So much for democracy

Scotland’s new social security system will include an unprecedented degree of independent scrutiny – with the express intention of future-proofing the powers against the kinds of austerity measures that have devastated vulnerable groups in the rest of the UK.

Scotland’s social security minister, Jeane Freeman, announced on Sunday that there will be a Scottish Commission on Social Security, an independent body that will scrutinise any proposed changes to the new system – and give its view of their compliance with human rights protocols – before Holyrood can vote on them.

So if the people vote in a party with different ideas they’ll still not be able to change the system then?

This is probably correct about some things – that US Bill of Rights seems reasonable enough. But social security payments?

25 comments on “So much for democracy

  1. Or if they get really annoyed just pass a law disbanding the commission. The threat is really the bad press coverage more than legal impediment. This of course goes both way, if the commission complain about ‘silly’ things the public/press will ignore it and not care if it gets disbanded. If the government ignores it despite lots of ‘valid’ criticism they may see their approval ratings plummet.

    I did think however the job of looking at laws and if they are compatible with human right acts etc was the job of parliament and the various cross party select comittees, so sounds like just another pointless quango.

  2. Depends who gets on the panel to review laws. And which interest group they favour.
    Let me guess: a rule will be challenged if it affects women, ethnic minorities, religions (other than Christianity), and those below the median income level.
    Unless they voted Leave, of course.

  3. NuLab stuffed every institution they could with fellow lefties so that when, inevitably, the Tories took power, they would face criticism from a vast variety of “independent” charities, museums and others.

    The SNP are just setting up an “independent” body of cronies who will “independently” laud everything the SNP does and criticise everything announced by any other party.

  4. Isn’t this the fuss over Trump gutting Elizabeth Warren’s favorite agency? They tried to proof it from interference but Trump ignored them?

    Every fool knows, the only way to keep democracy out is to sign an international convention. Then the government can’t do a damn thing.

  5. the kinds of austerity measures that have devastated vulnerable groups in the rest of the UK

    Eh? Who’s been “devastated” by “austerity”?

    Yes, I’ve read that some people use food banks, and the main reason for that seems to be delays in their benefits payments. That sounds unpleasant but hardly devastating.

    The Guardian claimed recently:

    Disabled people, single parents and women have been among the biggest losers under seven years of austerity, according to a report by the equalities watchdog.

    Anyway… “devastated”:

    While the poorest tenth of households will on average lose about 10% of their income by 2022

    Decimated, surely? But it’s hardly Venezuela, is it?

  6. “…there will be a Scottish Commission on Social Security, an independent body that will scrutinise any proposed changes to the new system – and give its view of their compliance with human rights protocols…”

    We’ll see more of this in future. A government cannot bind a future government because all legislation in principle can be repealed. But legislation like the Climate Change Act and an ‘independent’ (ie stuffed with lefties) commission are harder to abolish or ignore. So future governments are constrained by the threat of bad PR.

    TUT

    “NuLab stuffed every institution they could with fellow lefties so that when, inevitably, the Tories took power, they would face criticism from a vast variety of “independent” charities, museums and others.”

    Quite so. But there’s another factor at work which is that most right-wing people don’t like the idea of sitting on some Quango, while lefties (who are often so useless that only the public or voluntary sectors would employ them) queue up for these roles.

  7. But there’s another factor at work which is that most right-wing people don’t like the idea of sitting on some Quango, while lefties (who are often so useless that only the public or voluntary sectors would employ them) queue up for these roles.

    Indeed. Back when I was trawling through social media and LinkedIn profiles doing research on demented American lefties for my book, I noticed there were a lot of tattooed, purple-haired feminists kicking around in menial jobs claiming to be artists saying they were looking for a position on the board of a non-profit, i.e. having a say in the distribution of taxpayer cash.

  8. … purple-haired feminists kicking around in menial jobs claiming to be artists saying they were looking for a position on the board of a non-profit, i.e. having a say in the distribution of taxpayer cash.

    Don’t sound the type…. 😉

    But seriously, on similar lines to what we were discussing at your place – the Great Big Brass Balls of Entitlement are really something to behold. It’s just so alien to my worldview that I can’t put myself in their mindset. “I produce nothing of value, I have no relevant experience, but I want to jump straight into a cadre level position on some Quango – well paid, of course – for deciding how to distribute and spend other people’s money”.

  9. “Quite so. But there’s another factor at work which is that most right-wing people don’t like the idea of sitting on some Quango, while lefties (who are often so useless that only the public or voluntary sectors would employ them) queue up for these roles.”

    And when they do get put forward the left fires up in indignant outrage machines on Twatter, FaceAche, The Guardian and BBC.

  10. I think you are overlooking all those halfwits who voted for Hillary Clinton, Dennis.

    Yes, they were the one who came over looking to recreate Glasgow here. And By God, they have!

    No system is perfect when it comes to screening out dimwits. Especially when you remember that for most of us, our forefathers all started out as wogs.

  11. Nobody can sit on Quango’s that don’t exist. The lot of them could be put out of business tomorrow.

    Not of course by BluLab scum like Camoron or the FFC.

    In the case that is the subject of this thread, a PM with balls could simply inform the SNP that the Sassenach subsidy is halted unless their DDR-on-the-Clyde schemes are all dropped. But we have no decent PM.

    And of course, as Theo informed us some threads earlier, the soggy-left UK population would never stand for it. He says.

  12. Ecksy

    Cameron promised “a bonfire of quangos”, but ended up in coalition with the Limp Dicks. Nevertheless, the Cameron government succeeded in abolishing some quangos – including the Regional Development Agencies, the Health Protection Agency, and even something called the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine.

    Abolishing quangos is not easy. It involves taking on the ranks of public do-gooders and political re-treads for whom sitting on a quango is almost a birthright.

    Nor would taking on the Scottish government be easy. Much energy would be expended for little gain.

    Unsurprisingly, a minority government struggling with Brexit has no time or resources for such battles. Any government must be very careful not to fight on more than one or two fronts, otherwise it will be overwhelmed.

  13. Theo that is a good point which I have been making for some time. Brexit had completely crowded out all other issues some of which important but to honest can wait. Anyway as Mr ecks so rightly says with may at the helm there’s no chance anyway. Even Brexit if it is Brexit and not some sort of lash up which seems more likely, will be a miracle.

  14. Scotland doesn’t deserve democracy. They should be given independence whether they want it or not.

  15. BiItaly
    May is useless, a ditherer and a plodder. I have never liked her and I have never supported her. And I share your concerns about Brexit.

  16. @Theophrastus

    Indeed, it has occurred to me that restricting SPADs (ministerial special advisers) solely to those government departments which are responsible for a government’s chosen battle fronts would be a very valuable discipline.

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