Saturday, 14 March 2009

My Speech in the More Powers for the Scottish Parliament #sldconf

Here is my speech which sadly was never heard out loud for the above debate.

Conference a few years ago you will remember that we debated and passed a policy of fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

You may also recall that the bulk of that motion faced a substantial amendment from Policy Committee after the words "Conference notes".

I, in my less rebellious persona, spoke strongly for that amendment. Not because I was opposed to fiscal autonomy, but because I said we needed to see it as a part of a greater federalism.

I've lived in London, Northern Ireland and Scotland and I know from personal experience that one policy does not fit all.

Of course I'm not shy in flying my diverse federalist tendencies to the mast. But as I currently reside in Scotland I want what is best for Scotland...except from 5-7pm this evening at Murrayfield.

This policy upholds long held liberal beliefs of decentralising power to the people. The people best able to make changes to effect a smaller section of our United Kingdom; whether subtle or radical. Whatever is needed at any point in time.

Which is why in this motion especially lines 38-41 we offer so much more than just financial empowerment.

In recent weeks my blog has attracted many comments from the Nats and their sympathisers about our stance on just this issue.

They say, "How can we be democratic yet not consider devolution max as part of a referendum?"

They say, "How can we be for fiscal autonomy yet not let Parliament have that ability?"

I say look at this motion!

Not just fiscal autonomy - but a wider framework of federal governance.

To help us tackle our own unemployment -
After all Alex is very, very concerned about a particular 8,664 jobs.

To help us tackle the issues with our shared infrastructure -
We need to get to England even the MP for BAnff and Buchan -With extra powers we can improve our rail links to London and beyond. Making them an attractive alternative to air.

To help us boost our energy strategy - we have the people to innovate in wave and tidal energy, even if the Carbon Trust fringe event didn't help with the kymatology question at the LYS quiz last night. Let's as a government support and utilise them, so we don't lose out on the manufacturing jobs that result as we did with wind.

Salmond and Swinney bemoan not getting financial support from Westminster.

Is that a conversation they're actually having? Well, is it Darling?

We in this motion show the way forward.

Work within the UK - with Westminster - and strengthen how the Scottish Parliament can act.

Unlike the SNP we can make a difference -
and we don't need to sever all ties or cancel everything without replacement in doing so.

You heard what John Sleigh said about the returns from his survey.

Conference I urge you to stand shoulder, to shoulder,

Answer. [pause]

Scotland's call and support this motion.

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