Devolution in Scotland: Handout, Transparency, Script


Presentation (Elaboration), 2002
13 Pages, Grade: very good

Excerpt

1.) Handout: Devolution in Scotland

Introduction

A pact between scoundrels in the nation that sold their fellow citizens for English gold, wrote the great Scottish poet Robert Burns. The scoundrels he is speaking of are those noblemen who gave way to the English occupants because of bribery. Despite protests from the public, Scotland was united with England in 1707.

However, since the uniting of Scotland with England also had very positive aspects - for example, in the form of economic growth - the Scots initially accepted their fate. But later, when oil was found off the Scottish coast and Margaret Thatcher implemented her social policies that went against the grain of Scottish community spirit - the calls for more sovereignty became ever louder.

Since the late 1970s, devolution for Scotland and Wales has been under discussion. As promised in the Labour Party’s manifesto, referendums over the introduction of a certain level of self-government were held on September 11, 1997. The Scottish referendum produced a strong majority for a separate parliament (74%) with limited tax-raising powers (63% majority) on a turnout of over 60%. Scotland was expected to have a parliament within 12 months. In Wales, the result was a narrow majority, on a low poll, for a Welsh parliament. Unlike the House of Commons, the regional parliaments are to be elected by proportional representation.

The Scottish Parliament

On 1 July, 1999 the Scottish Parliament took control of Scotland's domestic affairs - including health, education, local government, economic development, transport, the environment, rural affairs and law and order. The Parliament now has a historic responsibility to meet the domestic aspirations of the people of Scotland.

Many Premiers have promised the Scots more rights - Tony Blair is the first who has kept his promise. In 1999, the Scots have elected their own Parliament. And this Parliament, sitting in Edinburgh, also has many powers. The most important is the right to levy a separate income tax and law-making powers in areas that do not affect the interests of the UK as a whole. There are 129 representatives in the Parliament elected under an additional member system which ensures a strong degree of proportionality. 73 of those 129 Members are directly elected via a proportional system using eight electoral regions that coincide with the eight pre-1999 European Parliament seats and 56 are drawn from the existing European Parliament constituencies in Scotland. The single member constituencies are the same as the Westminster parliamentary constituencies except that 'Orkney & Shetland' has been split into 'Orkney Islands' and 'Shetland Islands'. The political party with the most MSPs makes the government.

The first elections were held on May 6, 1999 and, as no party secured an outright majority, the Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Liberal Democrats have formed a Partnership Government. The Scottish Executive will be responsible to the Parliament for the discharge of Ministerial functions in respect of devolved matters.

The Scottish Parliament has the power to make some of its own laws. These are called "Acts of the Scottish Parliament". The Executive is in turn accountable to the Parliament. It can make laws about any areas except reserved matters – areas that only the UK Parliament can decide.

Thus the parliament controls:

- health
- education and training
- local government
- economic development
- the law and home affairs
- the environment
- agriculture, fisheries and forestry
- sport and the arts
- research and statistics
- any number of smaller issues
- The control of local authority expenditure, non-domestic rates and other local taxation is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, which also has the power to increase or decrease the basic rate of income tax by up to 3p in the pound

However, certain powers will be reserved for the UK parliament; these are:

- the constitution of the UK
- UK foreign policy, including relations with Europe
- UK defence and national security
- the stability of the UK's fiscal, economic and monetary system
- common markets for UK goods and services
- employment legislation
- social security
- most aspects of transport safety and regulation.

Timeline - Recent implementations of Scotland's quest for self-governance

1997

May 1 New Labour government formed by Tony Blair

July 24 The White Paper, "Scotland's Parliament"

July 31 The Referendum's Act 1997

Sept. 11 Referendum in Scotland (and Wales on September 18) on the day of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge and 4 days after the trauma of Lady Diana's funeral resulted in a 3 to 1 decision

Dec. 18 The Scotland Bill: Donald Dewar presents a Bill to implement Scotland's first parliament in 300 years, which passes due to a large majority in the House of Commons. This Bill was the 34th attempt at legislating for Home Rule since 1889. The Bill opened with a clause drafted in refreshingly unlegalistic language: "There shall be a Scottish Parliament."

1998

Jan. Scotland Bill was introduced in Parliament

Nov. The Scotland Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes The Scotland Act 1998 (as well as The Government of Wales Act and The Northern Ireland Act at the same time)

1999

May 6 First Scottish Parliament Elections

May 12 David Steel elected Presiding Officer. The Parliament first met in Edinburgh.

May 13 Donald Dewar elected First Minister with 71 votes out of 127

May 17 John Reid succeeds Donald Dewar as Secretary of State

July 1 The Scottish Parliament assumes its powers granted under The Scotland Act 1998 by being officially opened by the Queen

2000

Feb. 10 Budget (Scotland) Bill passes all parliamentary stages

March 10 Tony Blair, Prime Minister, addresses the Scottish Parliament

March 20 Budget (Scotland) Act receives Royal Assent

Oct. 11 Death of First Minister Donald Dewar (after a heart operation on May 8, 2000 he returned to work on August 14, 2000)

Oct. 26 Scottish Parliament elects Henry McLeish as First Minister

Oct. 27 Henry McLeish formally appointed First Minister by the Queen

2001

Jan. 9 Tom McCabe, Parliament Minister, suggests that Executive should be called 'Scottish Government' what meets with immediate hostile response from London ministers

Nov. 8 Henry McLeish resigns as first minister over a finance scandal and is replaced by Jack McConnell (Scottish labour party)

Sources

Oakland, John – British Civilization. An Introduction. 4th Edition. London: Routledge, 2000.

Sieper, Roswitha (Ed.) – The Student's Companion to Britain. British History, Geography, Life, Institutions, Arts and Thoughts. 8th Edition. Dillingen: Max Hueber Verlag, 1993.

Trench, Alan (Ed.) – In Search of Stability. In: The State of the Nations 2001. Imprint Academic.

http://britannia.com/history/nar20hist8.html - History of England, The 20th Century

http://www.britannia.com/celtic/scotland/history_scotland.html - GO BRITANNIA! Scotland A Brief History

http://www.citizensconnection.net/home-page/how-society-works/national-government/scottish-government.vdf - Scottish government

http://www.debatabase.org/details.asp?topicID=130 - IDEA Debatabase Topic Page

http://www.guardian.co.uk - The Guardian online

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980046.htm - Scotland Act 1998

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page155.asp - Devolution

http://www.scotland.gov.uk - The Scottish Executive

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk - The Scottish Parliament

http://www.scottishelections.co.uk - election scotsman com - UK General Election 2001 coverage from scotsman.com

http://www.scottishsecretary.gov.uk - Scotland Office

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/devolved.asp#sp - National Statistics - geography - electoral – devolution

http://www.ulibauer.de/sen/devolutionfornet.htm - Devolution for Net

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1997/1997061.htm#aofs - Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Act 1997

illustration not visible in this excerpt

3.) Transparencies:

People's opinions on Devolution

Is devolution (in Scotland and Wales) to be regretted? (UK specific)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: http://www.debatabase.org/details.asp?topicID=130
- Kirsteen Macleod

4.) Notes for the Oral Presentation:

Introduction

A pact between scoundrels in the nation that sold their fellow citizens for English gold, wrote the great Scottish poet Robert Burns. Despite protests from the public, Scotland was united with England in 1707.

However, since the uniting of Scotland with England also had very positive aspects - for example, in the form of economic growth - the Scots initially accepted their fate. But later, when oil was found off the Scottish coast and Margaret Thatcher implemented her social policies that went against the grain of Scottish community spirit - the calls for more sovereignty became ever louder.

Also, "Braveheart", the Hollywood movie had reminded the Scots of their past glories as an independent nation and of the bravery of those who had fought to ensure independence against almost insurmountable odds. The fortuitous arrival of "Braveheart" was good for business, tourism especially. More and more Scots began to look at William Wallace as a role model and proclaim: "We're not free. We need a William Wallace."

Hollywood movie star, Scotsman Sean Connery (who did not appear in "Braveheart") campaigned hard and contributed a great deal of cash to the campaign, invoking the 1370 Declaration of Arbroath, "It is not for glory, riches or honours we fight, but only for liberty, which no good man loses but with his life."

In 1996, the English returned the "Stone of Scone" to the Scots - a stone on which Scottish kings had been crowned and which the English King Edward I had confiscated in the 13th century. Although - or perhaps because - a Regional Parliament gives the Scots a lot of liberty and self-determination, it could be the first step towards complete independence from England. The revenue from the oil off the Scottish coast is drawing the attention of some Scottish politicians, who would prefer to see it going into Scottish pockets.

Since the late 1970s, devolution for Scotland and Wales has been under discussion. As promised in the Labour Party’s manifesto, referendums over the introduction of a certain level of self-government were held on September 11, 1997. The Scottish referendum produced a strong majority for a separate parliament (74%) with limited tax-raising powers (63% majority) on a turnout of over 60%. Scotland was expected to have a parliament within 12 months. In Wales, the result was a narrow majority, on a low poll, for a Welsh parliament. Unlike the House of Commons, the regional parliaments are to be elected by proportional representation.

The Scottish Parliament

On 1 July, 1999 the Scottish Parliament took control of Scotland's domestic affairs - including health, education, local government, economic development, transport, the environment, rural affairs and law and order. The Parliament now has a historic responsibility to meet the domestic aspirations of the people of Scotland.

Many Premiers have promised the Scots more rights - Tony Blair is the first who has kept his promise. In 1999, the Scots have elected their own Parliament. And this Parliament, sitting in Edinburgh, also has many powers. The most important is the right to levy a separate income tax and law-making powers in areas that do not affect the interests of the UK as a whole. There are 129 representatives in the Parliament elected under an additional member system which ensures a strong degree of proportionality. 73 of those 129 Members are directly elected via a proportional system using eight electoral regions that coincide with the eight pre-1999 European Parliament seats and 56 are drawn from the existing European Parliament constituencies in Scotland. The single member constituencies are the same as the Westminster parliamentary constituencies except that 'Orkney & Shetland' has been split into 'Orkney Islands' and 'Shetland Islands'. The political party with the most MSPs makes the government. As no party at present has a majority, two have come together to form a coalition.

[...]

Excerpt out of 13 pages

Details

Title
Devolution in Scotland: Handout, Transparency, Script
College
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz  (Department of English)
Course
Culture Studies II
Grade
very good
Author
Year
2002
Pages
13
Catalog Number
V13531
ISBN (eBook)
9783638191715
File size
462 KB
Language
English
Notes
Tags
Devolution, Scotland, Handout, Transparency, Script, Culture, Studies
Quote paper
Sabine Klimpe (Author), 2002, Devolution in Scotland: Handout, Transparency, Script, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/13531

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Devolution in Scotland: Handout, Transparency, Script


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free