I'm Roger Sanchez
Sorry I haven`t posted I`ve been away checking out the Scottish parliament for myself.

Which for those of you who havent realised yet is shit.
Thats both the building and the people inside.
First the new building: the bill for it is already about £431 million which I`m reliably informed is ten times over budget. It also looks ridiculous.
Though I`ll let you judge that for yourselves:
This is a typical window:

Yes thats bamboo

The propaganda exhibitinformed me that the design was based on the idea of "upturned boats" and the windows on a "monks cell". MSPs (members of the Scottish Parliament) are also complaining that they feel like a cell because they will let little light in. Not that they have moved in yet because the whole thing is running late:

The latest story up there is that the new parliament will have about 400 widescreen TVs. This is despite the fact that there are only 129 MSPs. These TVs are not as I originally assumed so they could have three each but also for researchers parliamentary staff and public areas. The grand total cost of these TVs will be about £700.000. MSPs aren`t happy because it annoys the people but more importantly because they wanted plasma ones. The bulky ones they have recieved take up to much space in their cells.

LoserDem MSP Donald Gorrie said "to have neraly 400 sets seems ridiculous, but as in everything else they seem to have gone overboard regardless of cost" Well okay then Donald I`ll take your advice and not vote for the governing party next time then which is the LoserDems and Labour.
This strikes me as another of the many problems with coalitions. This Donald guy thinks he can just criticise the executive and that way all the blame will be passed to Labour even though it just as much his parties fault.

Now on to the actual people and devolution itself and why thats shit:

Firstly as I wrote in the Scottish Parliament guestbook "Devolution is pointless and sucks" .
There is no reason why decesions for scotland cannot be taken at westminister, yes scottish people do vote slightly differently to England on average but so does Yorkshire. The main reason that decseions taken north of the border will be different is not because people feel differently about thing but because there will be different political actors.
For example a recent law up there was to allow youth tagging. Now it is very unlikely that people feel differently about this either side of the border but the laws about it are still different. Also they use a stupid version of PR 73 MSPs are elected by first past the post and another 54 are elected by the PR regional closed list system. This makes coalition governments much more likely. Thus the Loser/Lab pact that has held since elections first took place. Whats more because of the way scots vote there is a divided oppostion with the tories the losers and the Scottish Nutters Party (SNP) coming far behind labour. This heralds worries for the future because if labour support drops but the three other parties support rises equally what coalition can be formed. At the moment the coalition only has a five seat majority.

For your information these are the areas the parliament can legislate and govern over:

Agriculture. forestry, fisheries; economic development; education; enviroment; health, social services; housing; law and order; sports and the arts; tourism; transport;

Other areas such as tax and constitutional affaris are reserved to westminister.

The main problem with devolution however is that nobody cares
It has quite good coverage in local newspapers and it probably has more power over scotland than westminister does yet still nobody bothers to vote. About 70% of people normally vote in elections to westminster yet less than half the electorate turned out in 2003 for the scottish parliament elections. And most of these treated it as a protest vote against the westminster parliament and there handling of the war in Iraq which is completely irrelevant. In wales turnout was only about 38% about the same as for council elections. This all shows why devolution is crap but I`ve got plenty more reasons for anyone who wants them.

on May 29, 2006
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on Jun 08, 2006
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on Jun 08, 2006
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on Aug 18, 2006
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