Sometimes it’s the little things……

broken-rings…… that make all the difference in the world.   I’ve no idea what the main reasons for people getting divorced are, but I’m willing to bet it’s usually because of a lot of little things all piling up until it beceoms intolerable.

For Scotland, that seems to be what’s happening.  Over the past few weeks there have been many little things happening.  None of which, in isolation would cause a divorce.  And yet……when the cumulative effect of all the little slights, and all the snide comments and put downs are added together they begin to make you wonder about staying in a union.

Here’s a few of the little things

  • Speaker John Bercow’s (quite excellent) speech on Trump being shown on BBC Newsnight – with a backing track of “Jerusalem”.
  • Joanna Cherry QC MP being told to sit down and be quiet in the House of Commons during a debate on the Develoved Nations and Brexit.  (Tommy Shepperd has written about this, see below this post)  This, despite her talking for a scant 3 minutes when many Tories had been permitted to speak for 20 minutes or 30 minutes.  As for the behaviour of the Tories……
  • The Brexit White Paper being devoid of any factual content in relation to Scotland.  There’s an excellent review of it here.
  • The mis-use (abuse?) of statistics by Ruth Davidson MSP with no challenges or questions being raised from the Scottish Media.
  • David Mundell’s waffle and obfuscation and complete denial of having been elected to represent people in Dumfriesshire when he clearly believes his job is not to represent his constituents, but to represent his Party and it’s dictats from London
  • Theresa May ignoring the Paper on Brexit, which contains many compromises,  presented by the Scottish Goverment.


So when the dust settles, the Scottish people, being well balanced will be left to wonder what exactly is going on.   All little things on their own.  Collectively though they seem far larger.






Here’s Tommy Sheppard MP’s post on Facebook. 

So not everyone spends their evenings watching Parliament TV – and who can blame you. It’s often not the most exciting watch. But I do think it’s important that folk know what happened last night. Even after some kip, I’m still pretty angry.

We have 3 days to debate around 100 motions on the Brexit bill. Yesterday we focused on 2 elements – the rights of EU citizens and the role of devolved administrations. It works out at about an average of four minutes to debate each amendment.

In one of the many bizarre aspects of debate here no time limit is placed on speeches during committee stage debates. When that is combined with the informal gentleman’s club hierarchy whereby the longer serving get priority, it means it’s very hard for new MPs to get a word in edgeways.

In 8 hours of debate, only 4 MPs representing Scottish constituencies got to speak. In the 3 hour debate on the devolved administrations we had 1 MP representing Wales, 1 Northern Ireland and 2 Scotland.

One Tory MP spoke for longer than all members from Scotland combined – on a debate about the role of the Scottish Parliament in Brexit.

Our second was my colleague Joanna Cherry QC. After 2 minutes (when many others had spoken for around 20 mins each – including a Tory who attempted to filibuster and had already had 20mins+ in the first debate) the Deputy Speaker said he expected her to finish up, that he had been kind enough to let the SNP speak and she should not abuse it.

Joanna made the point that she should be heard and carried on. She was basically told to sit down – she was done. Alex Salmond raised a point of order and a number of the group walked out in disgust. It wasn’t pretty.

You elected me to represent you. To do that I need to be able to speak.

Last night the voices of the people of Scotland were not heard. We were silenced by the mother of parliaments not being fit for purpose.

It shouldn’t be this difficult.

The fact that the debate was delayed by points of order on the clerks wearing wigs (some Tories were upset that Bercow had ruled that they no longer need to) shows just where we are at.

I’m proud to represent Edinburgh East and I will continue to fight for my constituents with all I have. But sometimes you do wonder…

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