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1721: That is all the results in: Final totals: SNP 69, Labour 37, Conservatives 15, Lib Dems 5, Scottish Greens 2, Independent 1

That's a reasonable working majority bearing in mid how fragmented the opposition is.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 12:33:29 PM EST
What's the SNP's views on Land Tax/Land Reform?  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:00:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now ? Or after Chris has got at them ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point.  ;-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The answer is no chance of LVT under Salmond, who is firmly in the conventional financial services/property rights paradigm.

The reason that the pro corporate Scotsman and the Murdoch press went for the SNP was Salmond's evident sympathy for the Irish Celtic Tiger meme, and association with the likes of Reform Scotland and the 'Edinburgh Mafia' clique of financiers and professionals which still thinks it runs Scotland and is sniffing around 'fiscal devolution' ie corporate tax cuts and public sector 'reform'.

I think that Salmond might have difficulties within his own party in actually imposing any sort of austerity policy.

He's had a fairly easy ride so far thanks to the historic funding settlement and Swinney's astute policy of devolving financial decision making locally, so that the unpleasant decisions are not imposed top down.

But chickens - such as a five year Council tax freeze; no tuition fees; no prescription charges etc - are going to come home to roost, and neo-liberal policies offer no solution.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:35:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...Irish Celtic Tiger meme

You mean: borrow a shit-pile of money and piss it away in non-productive economic activity having no hope of ever being able to pay it back?

WOW!  What a GREAT idea!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:52:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're going to spend it on something totally unproductive, you might as well have no way of paying back. Otherwise, you will be asked to do so more strongly.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 01:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the manifesto, page 40:

Rural Development:

We also want to see an expansion of the mutual model in rural Scotland and will support the creation of rural co-operative, including local energy co-operatives to enable communities to take forward their own local renewables projects.  We will make the case for further devolution [whatever that means - AT] in this area to enable a more rapid expansion of co-operatives in rural Scotland.

Economic revitalization of rural areas depends on grabbing as much of the 'final consumer pound' as possible.  Co-operatives is a known way (see Denmark) to achieve that goal.  OK. cool.  

What's not so cool is a drive to increase tourism - not quoted.  Tourism, I can state from experience, is a lousy business to be in.  

Land Reform:

We believe it is time for a review of Scotland's land reform legislation.  For example, we believe the current period of three months for communities to take advantage of their right of first purchase is too short, and we would wish to se it extended to six months.

feh  Doesn't go near far enough.  Out of 19.46 million acres 1,700 entities own 9.something million.  On the face of it, too few owning/controlling too much.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 01:47:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Caledonian Mercury: The time for the independence referendum is now

The Caledonian Mercury is politically neutral. The Caledonian Mercury does not endorse any viewpoint over another. The Caledonian Mercury is a forum to celebrate all the voices of Scotland.

The Caledonian Mercury does not have a position Scottish independence.

But I do.

I support Scottish independence. And I want to write about it - as an individual journalist, not as Editor of The Caledonian Mercury - because there are so few pro-independence voices in the media. Those of us who believe the Scottish people are capable of governing themselves have a duty to speak up. Indeed, the anti-independence attacks have started already.

Alex Salmond has called for an end to "fearmongering, negativity and scaremongering" and insults to the intelligence of the people of Scotland.

Aye, guid luck wi' that, Eck.

The SNP should force through the independence referendum right now. (continues)



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't been following the debate on Scottish independence so I can't comment directly.  

I do note the pro-independence side has a major question they need to consider:

What is the SNP's position on the Crown lands?  Those are the Big Wahoonie - IIRC - of land ownership in Scotland.  As long as HRH is Head of State and privileged vis-a-vis the other economic entities - especially local land users - rural economic activity, and how much that activity positively affects the rest of the Scottish economy, will not substantially change.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:23:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Crown Estate is a bit of a red herring since the revenues in fact go to the Treasury not Mrs Windsor, who has a separate, much smaller, private estate.

But there is an ongoing initiative to ensure that control of the Crown Estate in Scotland - where the marine foreshore is increasingly valuable thanks to renewables - is devolved through the appointment of a dedicated Scottish Crown Commissioner so that more of the revenues remain in Scotland.

The bigger picture is the completely iniquitous distribution of property in Scotland - which puts the average banana republic to shame. The Community Right to Buy - despite being heavily nobbled from the start - has nevertheless made some progress, but is currently limited to rural areas, and is totally under-funded.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 02:51:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking as an outsider ...

In a way it's a herring of redness.  In another ... it goes to the heart of the matter. Lizzy may, or may not, directly own/control the land but she is the Poster Posh example of a deep-dog serious Scottish problem:  absentee landlordism locking locals out.  It's been 35 years since I talked/studied with the Single Taxers but, as I recall, Scotland was The Horrible Example of land use law and policies gone wrong.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 03:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I understand this correctly, this is a legacy of Union with England in the 18th century. The Scottish nobility got a green light to ship their population to the New World at an ever increasing pace and they could move to London.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I recall it was more a matter of kicking the crofters out and replacing them with sheep so the nobility could move to London.

Immigration to various Imperial lands was an "externality."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They were a bothersome nuisance and the nobility had wanted them out of the way so they could run sheep more efficiently. This had been an ongoing problem, "enclosure" since the late middle ages. Thomas More described "sheep that eat men" in Utopia. In the 18th century the Scottish nobility hired ships to transport the crofters to the New World. Only some of the 'Scotts-Irish' came from Northern Ireland.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 06:03:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As much fun as an independence referendum would be, it isn't going to happen. The Scottish parliament does not have the powers to introduce one. Legally it can only do things delineated by the powers devolved to it. The power to do anything that would effect the UK constitution is expressly not devolved to the Scottish parliament, and removing Scotland would definitely alter the UK constitution.

If the Scots Nats produce a bill, the presiding officer has  to withdraw it from being laid before parliament, The only way it can happen is if the UK government agrees and votes it through the UK parliament. and the chance of Smiling Daves mob losing all that possible oil seems rather slim


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw Cameron earlier on BBC's webcast saying that if Scotland decides to hold a referendum he would campaign for a no. Sounds to me like they will not challenge it.

As I see it, if you are right, SNP could elect a presiding officer that interprets the devoluation as allowing an advisory referendum, and the Scottish authorities could move on to hold a referendum. If the result is a yes, then the Scottish parliament declares independence. If any step is challenged in court the Scottish government needs only to stall and continue with its actions. An independent Scotland will not fall under UK jurisdiction anyway.

The UK government can at any time stop this by sending in the troops, closing the Scottish parliament and turning it into another type of conflict. But I do not think that would happen.

In general assemblies that declare independence does not have a legal right to do so within the previous state. The crucial point is if they are believed to have the moral right.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Land reform needs more than that. People need permission to build in the highlands, they should set up something similar to the homesteading thing where people buy land they intend to run as a smallholding (5 - 10 acres) then they should be allowed to build a home on that.

I'm sure you can have strong legislative controls on definitions of intent to smallhold and size of house to ensure that it isn't abused but right now the Highlands are pickled in 19th century aspic as a playground for country gentry to shoot upon. And this is land that once held a huge rural population

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 03:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Small holdings aren't economically viable UNLESS they are producing a high value crop or crops they can sell direct to consumer.  This is one of the big advantages of co-operatives: the co-op can 'bundle' and market the goods.  In turn this reduces the marketing/sales costs to the producer and allows the producer to 'capture' the middlemen profit either directly or through ownership shares of the co-op.  

Add a credit union, somewhere along the way, and now you're talking.

BTW, I have no illusions about the moral superiority of co-ops or credit unions.  These organizations do, however, provide a maximum return to and for the people who create the wealth while giving them a chance - whether it is seized or not - of having more control over their lives.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 03:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't disagree, but a small holding can, in the cool temperate climate of Scotland, at least provide sufficient food and power for a family to live comfortably.

It may not be a varied diet, but with a little jiggery pokery, and co-ops help a lot to spread the load, a good living can be had. But the locality has to be willing to allow houses to be built - and more than those completely useless "crofts" which is simply 16th century technology

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:01:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe Norway has some rule against absentee ownership of rural properties, demanding the owner to live there.

Åland island also has a ban on absentee ownership, though I believe that is only allowed within the EU due to a special deal when Finland joined the EU.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 04:56:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norwegian Land Act of 1995 can be found here.

Chapter IV. Protection of cultivated and cultivable land, etc.
Section 8. Protection of cultivated land

All cultivated land that can provide a basis for profitable operations shall be maintained.

The municipality 1 and the County Governor may prohibit measures that may result in poor maintenance of cultivated land. The municipality shall make recommendations concerning measures that should be implemented if land is poorly maintained or remains unused.

if the Ministry 2 finds that cultivated land is poorly maintained or unused, it may issue an order to the owner or lessee regarding the measures he shall implement in order that the land may be cultivated profitably, under the circumstances. The owner may also be ordered to lease out the land for a period of not more than ten years.

In the case of cultivated land that cannot provide a basis for profitable operations, the Ministry 2 may order that forests be planted on the land, or that measures beneficial to the cultural landscape be taken.

if the order has not been complied with upon expiry of the time-limit, the Ministry' may enter into an agreement that the land be leased out for a period of not more than ten years or make a decision to expropriate parts or all of the property in order to transfer it to others.

Orders may be issued on such conditions as are necessary for achieving the purposes of this Act.

1 Cfsection3.

2 Ministry of Agriculture pursuant to resolution no.413 of 12 May 1995
Section 9. Use of cultivated and cultivable land

Cultivated land must not be used for purposes that do not promote agricultural production. Cultivable land must not be disposed of in such a way as to render it unfit for agricultural production in the future.

The Ministry may in special cases grant an exemption if, after an overall evaluation of the circumstances, it finds that the agricultural interests should not have~priority. In so deciding, account shall be taken, among other things, of approved plans pursuant to the Planning and Building Act 1, operational or environmental disadvantages for agriculture in the area, the cultural landscape and the benefit to society that would result from land being disposed of for another purpose. Account shall also be taken of whether the land can be restored to agricultural production. The presentation of alternative solutions may be required.

Consent to dispose of land for another purpose may be given on such conditions as are necessary for achieving the purposes of this Act.

The exemption shall lapse if efforts to use the land for the purpose in question have not commenced within three years after the decision was made.

The Ministry 2 may order that illegal installations or buildings be removed.

Don't know what this all means in practice.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a start, but if the EU require special dispensations then it seems that corporate control is preferred

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only about 5% of Norway is farmland with most of that in the Trøndelag.  So little arable land in the country has caused them to be protective of what they've got.  

And rightly so.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 05:51:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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