back to article Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth

As debate kicks off at Westminster over the surveillance powers of spies and the police, the 55 Scottish National Party lawmakers look likely to be a restraining influence. The party’s general election manifesto pledged to oppose the Snooper’s Charter. A decade ago, SNP MPs were among the first to oppose New Labour’s identity …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeez

    As a citizen of Englandanwales I am concerned about the path our government is following. I think if I were a Scottish citizen, I'd upgrade that to scared.

    1. smudge Silver badge

      Re: Jeez

      Well, the Scottish citizens have the opportunity to vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election next May.

      Given that the SNP government seems to consist of fairly canny operators, I would expect that anything that looks like a vote-loser will have disappeared well before the election. And if it's not a vote-loser, then - given that there is a free and open democratic system in Scotland - then good luck to them, even if we would disagree.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Jeez

        Exactly, time for El Reg readers in Scotland to write to their MPs and make clear the problems and risks from all of this. Not just for Scotland but also when it comes for voting on the snooper's charter zombie that has re-emerged from the Home Office.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jeez

      A decade ago, SNP MPs were among the first to oppose New Labour’s identity card scheme.

      But in Scotland, the SNP-run government is introducing a Scottish identity scheme.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Jeez

        Obviously.

        The SNP is like the Lib Dems. When they are in opposition they get popular because they back every protest group and oppose every unpopular decision.

        Personally, I would delegate authority for everything north of the border to the lawfully elected government there and stand back and watch the fireworks. As soon as they start having to break solemnly made promises (that can't be kept if you actually have to make the books balance) then their popularity is going to go down like the Titanic.

        1. ScottAS2

          Re: Jeez

          I'd point out three things:

          The SNP are not an opposition party: they've been in government for eight years, including being re-elected with a greater share of the vote.

          The Scottish Government has always balanced its books - it must, because it does not have borrowing powers (although the previous Scotland Act is about to introduce some, and who knows what we'll get along with road signs in the current Scotland Bill).

          Unlike most governments, the SNP's popularity in polls has consistently increased since they took power, although the extent to which this is due to their competence, as opposed to them just being less incompetent than anyone else (witness Scottish Labour's implosion at the last Westminster election), could be debated.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jeez

          also condemned PIP and yet DAWAP is "structurally no different to PIP" "Payment rates to be identical" "using the same assessment criteria and assessment model"

          So basically copy and paste, change name and logos and issue misleading media statements about "fairer system"

  2. John H Woods

    What is driving this?

    Is it nanny-statism? irrational fear of ultra-low-death-toll mainland terrorism? What is wrong with so many UK politicians (and citizens) that they cannot see that this is completely unacceptable?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is driving this?

      Harmonisation with continental practice. The majority of EU member states have ID cards. We're nearly unique in not having them. It's no surprise that every party that gets a whiff of power supports it - they're taking the advice of their civil servants, and the civil service in turn is following the EU principle of voluntary harmonisation that usually precedes the commencement of discussions for a directive setting a common policy. It's a long and drawn-out process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is driving this?

        "he majority of EU member states have ID cards"-- AC

        I don't have a problem with ID cards per se although I have a problem with an obligation to (a) carry one at all times or (b) show it to any little petty official who asks. The problem is with the surveillance machinery that seems to be part and parcel of it: "oh, if we're going to have ID cards, why don't we have a massive frickin' database and track everybody all the time"

        As in so many cases it's not the ideas that are the problem, it's the scope creep.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: What is driving this?

          "I don't have a problem with ID cards per se although I have a problem with an obligation to (a) carry one at all times or (b) show it to any little petty official who asks."

          I already have a passport that satisfies all of those requirements. An ID card system is duplication. A requirement to *have* a passport, so that you appear on the database, is (as you say) scope creep.

          1. Mayhem

            Re: What is driving this?

            An ID card and a passport are different things.

            An ID card is proof of identity as an individual within a state or organisation. A passport is an internationally standardised proof of identity and citizenship between states.

            I have no problem with ID cards if they are used as a proof of identity for access to government services. For example the Estonian state uses a card with two factor backup that identifies holders to a middleware service that provides proven identity data to the other services - driver licencing, voting, utility billing, banking etc. The card number itself isn't necessarily recorded in those foreign databases, only in the identity system.

            Where I do have a problem is where they try and make the card itself hold all the specifics of a person - addresses for example, so if you move you have to get a new card *cough* UK driver licence. I also strongly disagree with the idea of smushing all the data together into a wonderful all seeing database, because I don't trust the people running it not to look at the data when they shouldn't. Multiple independant databases linked by middleware with tightly defined access protocols are inherently safer from both attack and malicious snooping.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: What is driving this?

        "Harmonisation with continental practice. The majority of EU member states have ID cards."

        That may explain that side of it, but not the BB style camera upgrade and other nonsense.

        Sheesh, I had high hopes for scotland, I figured if things got too facist in the south we could all do a 'Monty Python Sci-Fi sketch thing and follow a raised fist north to the twirling of bagpipes (for those who have not seen or can't recall).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: What is driving this?

      So long as crappy reality tv shows, and east enders is on the TV most people dont care!

    3. CommanderGalaxian

      Re: What is driving this?

      Simple - in the case of CCTV - many do not work now and need to be replaced. You're hardly going to waste money replacing them only to find they are incompatible with police control rooms.

      And the Scottish Government does not have the intention of bringing in any sort of ID card scheme. This constantly seems to get exaggerated into something Orwelian when the intent is to rationalise different numbering systems across health care systems.

      As for the Named Person Scheme (whose intent is to pick up on signs of abuse earlier rather than later) - those leading the campaign against it are not Civil Libertarians - they are the usual cluster fuck of anti-vaxers, home schoolers and right wing christian fundamentalist wingnuts.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: What is driving this? @ CommanderGalaxian

        "As for the Named Person Scheme (whose intent is to pick up on signs of abuse earlier rather than later) - those leading the campaign against it are not Civil Libertarians - they are the usual cluster fuck of anti-vaxers, home schoolers and right wing christian fundamentalist wingnuts."

        I am not a leader of No2NP, but I am definitely against the named person scheme. However, I am not an anti-vaxer, or any flavour of Christian (or other sky-fairy-tale). I am very much in favour of home-schooling, though (if I had children, they would be home-schooled). You misrepresent the named person scheme as being about "picking up on child abuse", but it depends what the State thinks child abuse is. The published materials state that a child not having a say about what is on the TV and how their bedroom is decorated, along with not being able to ride a bike by the age of [5 or 7 - can't quite remember] is one about whom concern should be raised. This is far beyond the paedoterror justification you imply (and which is hugely exaggerated anyway).

  3. Blank-Reg
    Joke

    "Wassat? The BASTARDS down south are doing what? Then we must do better! We cannae be outdone lads..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for prompting me to find out more

    For a start, given that a recurring outcome of inquiries after each sadder-than-sad abuse/neglect cases is "individuals in separate departments/organisations didn't join the dots or share the information" then the notion that for each Wee Jimmy or Jeanie, someone identifiable has "your buck stops with me" on their desk, seems arguably sensible. And it needn't *necessarily* involve untoward layers of bureaucracy or intrusive data-gathering.

    I can see similar potential sense in each of the other topics mentioned. I can also appreciate the risks highighted in the article. So, I am going to find out more - with an open mind.

    Thank you.

  5. Tony S

    Todays message is brought to you by the letters W, T & F.

    " the Named Person scheme, allocating a state-sector professional to every under-18 in Scotland. The scheme, which is already operating in some areas and will cover all of Scotland by August 2016, provides someone who can respond to requests for help from a child

    Does anyone actually think that this is really necessary? Does anyone think that this will achieve anything of value?

    1. John 110

      Re: Todays message is brought to you by the letters W, T & F.

      See "Thanks for prompting me to find out more" above...

    2. Christopher Reeve's Horse

      Re: Todays message is brought to you by the letters W, T & F.

      "Does anyone actually think that this is really necessary? Does anyone think that this will achieve anything of value?"

      Short answer; no.

      An older article on the subject:

      http://www.scottishreview.net/MaggieMellon137.shtml

      "More children are in poverty, homeless and hungry. We have not 'got it right' at all. But, rather than focus on tackling the really big obstacles to children's welfare, the focus somehow seems to have shifted to monitoring and intervening in the lives of all children. Put simply, the state seems to be fancying itself as better at parenting than families. In reality the state makes a lousy parent, taking children into care, moving them around, and throwing them out to fend for themselves at 16 or 17 years."

      And further articles describing how things don't always go very well this side of the border:

      http://scottishreview.net/KennethRoy8a.html

      and

      http://scottishreview.net/KennethRoy10a.html

      "The distressed little boys in Edinburgh were the victims of a system which was unable to cope, poorly led, and in which morale had hit rock bottom. Only an unjust decision by an Edinburgh sheriff – and all that followed it – brought their case to light. And so we are left to wonder: how many other victims were there in the summer of 2013 whose cases never came to light? And how many have there been since, as Children's Hearings Scotland has struggled to sort out its disorganised affairs? We shall never know."

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Todays message is brought to you by the letters W, T & F.

      I have no idea if it is necessary or worthwhile and haven't looked into the details of the proposals but, on the face of it, it doesn't sound too different to holding 'next of kin' details.

      While accepting there are concerns over what data is stored, who can access it, and the risks involved in having such a list stolen or inappropriately accessed, I fear we are frequently becoming too over-concerned with those risks. It seems it is becoming fashionable to have a knee-jerk reaction against any storage of 'personal data' rather than a sincere analysis of threat, risk and benefits.

      Perhaps that is because of perceived eagerness for data grabs, difficulty to opt-out, opt-in as the default, and hidden agendas, and we do indeed need to assess proposals, but sometimes good ideas are simply that.

  6. David Pollard

    Reducing Youth Offending Generic National Solution?

    This seems to have features resembling Deloite's RYOGENS scheme, which was briefly popular with the Blair, Blunkett and Straw version of hang'em and flog'em until an increasing number of parents began to recognise what it would entail.

    http://databasemasterclass.blogspot.co.uk/2006/08/6-ryogens.html

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As the SNP is to the left of Jeremy Corbyn then does this embracement of Stalinist state interference surprise anyone ?

    This is what happens Scotland when you vote for a one party state.

    1. smudge Silver badge
      FAIL

      What one-party state? The article is about proposals from the Scottish Government. You do know they have a Government in Edinburgh? The current state of the Scottish Parliament is 127 seats excluding the Presiding Officer, with 64 SNP MSPs.

      I would call that an overall majority of 1.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        44.04 % of the vote and 53.49 % of the SP seats.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bit expensive for the bleedin' cameras

    "£10m upgrade of Scotland’s network of 2,800 public CCTV [cameras]"

    £3,571 *per f@%kin' camera* !!! To achieve exactly what?

    The only time I remember these been used was to move on the street-walking girls near the city centre in Glasgow back in the 90's - and guess what? They moved one street over.

    Surely it'd be cheaper to simply have a police dog handler take poochie for walkies that way whenever puppy needed a shite.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: bit expensive for the bleedin' cameras

      £3,571 *per f@%kin' camera* !!!

      Is about right, given that a lot are analogue so you are talking networking, HDD recorders, etc, and labour to visit each camera point and do the work, possibly with a cherry-picker.

      To achieve exactly what?

      Aye, there is the rub. Just how helpful are these cameras? Have we got evidence that they will save more than £10m in reduced crime?

  9. djstardust

    CCTV

    Aberdeen City is CCTV crazy. Everywhere you look there are cameras following you about.

    Only flaw in the plan is that the quality of the images are so bad that it's almost impossible to see what's been recorded. Money down the drain.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: CCTV

      "Everywhere you look there are cameras following you about."

      Are they on mobile platforms -- like bomb disposal robots or the scutters or DRDs?

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: CCTV

      I was a bit shocked 20 years ago walking through Livingston police station, they had a wall of screens of live feeds from all over the town. You kind of expect that in a city-centre especially now, but I hadn't ever spotted a single camera in that small town.

      The top cop there had a chat with me about them trying to bribe a student activist to spy on their student politics, the student of course exposed them in the media, and the cops attitude was telling, "If we can do it we will do it". No regard for morality or legality, just give them a tool and they'll use it to beat you with.

      A very decent young man emerged from their training and complained to me bitterly about human rights legislation stopping him doing his job. And expected my sympathy.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: CCTV -- quality of the images

      The poor quality of CCTV systems amazes me. We all carry around mobile phones that can do far better and a few minutes of web research will confirm that the actual sensors are cheap as chips. It must therefore be obvious that the high cost of a CCTV system is the physical deployment and wiring, possibly the optics, and definitely not the sensor.

      So how the hell to CCTV salesdroids get away with the fuzzy, SD, monochrome imagery that we see in crime reports?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CCTV -- quality of the images

        Because people record a few seconds of video on their iPhones and think I takes a while to post to facebook while businesses record a rolling couple of weeks worth from 2 or 3, or more cameras.

        Or they bought the kit a couple of years ago because the insurance company til them they had to have it.

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me

    I take it they need hi-def cameras to identify people by the patterns on their kilts.. Otherwise they all look the same - alcoholic, haggis munching gingertops.

    1. Bogle

      Welcome to Scotland

      Also useful for spotting the dead bodies of jingoists in the morning - just so the street cleaners can avoid them.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to Scotland

        Plenty of dead and dying homeless in Edinburgh - 366 registered last time I put in a FoI request, a tiny subsection of the several thousand unregistered homeless. And even the registered ones can wait for over five years in a city full of empty houses.

        And yet we get George effing Clooney waltzing in to support a homelessexploitation posh cafe, and all the darlings are out to fawn. As bad as the Sally Anne. We've yet to choose a national anthem, but 'The Preacher and the Slave' should be the only choice.

    2. djstardust

      "I take it they need hi-def cameras to identify people by the patterns on their kilts.. Otherwise they all look the same - alcoholic, haggis munching gingertops."

      I would reply to your stereotypical rant but I'm too busy tossing my caber and drinking Irn Bru.

    3. tony2heads

      I strongly object

      Some Scotsmen do not have ginger hair; some are bald.

  11. Bogle
    Flame

    My CHI Number is tattooed on my wrist

    Using the NHS Central Register as a national ID system is a great scam - why didn't anyone think of that trick before?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My CHI Number is tattooed on my wrist

      If someone wants to find out my date of birth, they have to ask me. Or look at my driving licence. I don't give it away because I'm wearing short sleeves.

      At least English NHS numbers don't carry obvious personal data.

  12. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Last rant here, promise

    I helped get some of the SNP elected and I'm regretting that now, they are just as bad as the scum they replaced. (Also I'm the guy who told them their ccTLD could and should be .Scot rather than their proposed .Sco, effin' muppets)

    Police Scotland are psychopathic, even by my low standards. They were never nice overall though generally you could find a decent cop if you searched them out, but since the force merger they are all just box-ticking, corrupt, sadistic morons. So are our sheriffs and all our politicians. The local gangsters are more reasonable and sensible. Instead of just complaining, I have a positive suggestion:

    We impose psychological testing on pilots, so why don't we do that with police, judiciary, civil servants and teachers? A crazy pilot can only kill you for a short time, relatively low risk compared to the damage our 'public servants' spread.

    1. Blank-Reg
      Big Brother

      Re: Last rant here, promise

      Just like all other politicians. They'll say what needs to be said to get themselves elected and those promises get fucked out the window when they get voted in. Independent or part of the Union, it doesn't matter. You're fucked either way (as are the rest of us)

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Last rant here, promise

        I think they start off good but power corrupts them, like wealth turns people mean. Hardly a plot spoiler, I know, somebody just crucify me now. The rigged Monopoly game in the link is interesting, as my single-parent sister did the opposite. I caught my nephew and niece playing Monopoly and both were in debt, so I asked how they could both be losing. My sis hadn't taught them to take money at the start of the game "to make it more realistic". Bitter woman, now a DWP manager of course but her kids turned out okay.

  13. Naselus

    Fairly standard for the SNP tbh

    The SNP is generally only preferable to the Westminster parties because of how truly awful London politicians are. The party itself is extremely opaque (Alex Salmond in particular has an abysmal record on FOI requests), has a strong tendency to make a lot of left-wing statements but still follow standard free market doctrine for 90% of the economy, and it's internal politics are very antidemocratic - for example, Alex Salmond's hurried re-emergence in 2000ish when it was clear that Nicola Sturgeon couldn't win the leadership contest alone.

    Many of the things Nicola Sturgeon was attacking the Westminster crew for back in May were things that her own government was doing independently in Scotland, and I wouldn't be hugely surprised if there's a big swing in Labour's direction over the next few years; the Scots like socialism, and while the SNP talk about it a lot they don't actually seem that keen on practicing it outside of a few headline-grabbers (free Uni tuition, mostly).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fairly standard for the SNP tbh

      With the SNP in Power the country will by 2025 get their desire for independence and proceed to form the SSSP.

      Scottish Soviet Socialist Paradise.

      Even my ex In-Laws are thinking of migrating South and they are native to Old Reekie.

      It is doomed I tell ye, doomed.

      {and we'll have to pick up the bill as usual}

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fairly standard for the SNP tbh

        How would the new republic handle a breakaway Independent State of Shetland?

        I understand (correct me if wrong) they think the political elites of Edinburgh as distant (in all but mileage) as those of London.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Fairly standard for the SNP tbh

          Not really. I think most people in the Shetlands would rather be ruled from Oslo rather from Edinburgh or London, but so would the rest of us. Oslo invested, they have an oil-fund. All we got was an Iraq war and Trident.

  14. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Freedom!*

    *terms and conditions apply, your mileage may vary

  15. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    ABSOLUTLY SECURE - UNTIL THE NEXT BREACH

    "The organisations that support them already have systems and processes in place to support the legal and secure storage of this information,”

    Prats.

    Ostrich, meet sand.

  16. Badbob
    Coat

    What they say about Turkeys and Christmas isntvtrue

    This part of the U.K. is going to the dugs!

    The thing is, despite all the interference in their daily lives and their horrid experiments in centralisation, their little sheep will still vote for them.

    I recently noticed my CHI number on a document totally unrelated to healthcare from a public body. At least the UK ID card scheme was public and voluntary, this snooping is covert and suspect.

  17. Peter Dow
    Unhappy

    Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

    Peter Dow is a Scottish scientist and a republican socialist whose legal human rights are cruelly violated by the police and courts in Aberdeen, where he lives.

    Peter Dow's political defence blog publishes the truth about the wrongful and unjust royalist arrests, prosecutions, convictions and punishments he endures.

    http://peter-dow.blogspot.co.uk/

    My scientific opinion is that it was stupidity and ignorance on the part of police detectives, prosecutors and sheriffs who read my tweets and quoted them as their poor excuse -

    to seek a sheriff's warrant to incite police officers to force entry to my home, search it and take my property

    to break my front door down, as the police did, on 27th July 2014

    to arrest me, to charge me and to hold me in a police cell overnight,

    to ransack my flat from top to bottom, damaging my property in the process,

    to seize my computer and my memory devices holding my irreplaceable science research and development data

    to refuse to return my property even when it is not needed as "evidence" to "prove" anything because I admit the @peterdow tweets were mine

    to impose in Aberdeen Sheriff Court oppressive bail conditions requiring me not to access the website of scot.tk or social media, with the threat that bail would be withdrawn and I would be imprisoned until trial - and that's a real threat of police and prison officer violence against me

    to terrorize me from posting about my political views on social media, which at that time would have been increasingly about the campaign for the Scottish independence referendum, supporting a "YES" vote

    to trump up a criminal charge in respect of my social media posts

    to proceed to a unfair trial in Aberdeen Sheriff Court initially due on 4th of November (now the trial date has been moved to 23rd February 2016)

    I frankly and openly admit to owning the @peterdow Twitter account and I've offered to delete any of the complained-about tweets which the police or prosecutors would otherwise take action over because no tweet is worth the loss of liberty and property which the police and prosecutors have terrorized me with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

      "royalist arrests"

      Have we gone back in time to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

      You omitted to mention a critical writeup on rationalwiki.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Peter_Dow

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

        rationalwiki?

        Who says it's rational beyond an Anon Cow?

        Please, do me, do me! I guess I could contribute myself myself, it being a 'wiki' after all. Why ask you?

        Registrant Contact Information:

        Name: Trent Toulouse

        Organization: RationalWiki

        City: Hamilton

        State: Ontario

        Zip: L8S2E4

        Country: CA

        Phone: +1.5052502814

        Post by Doctor Trent Toulouse.

        "A few weeks will mark another milestone for the site, 6 years! I had just started my graduate school program up in Canada. I was drawn to Conservapedia ...."

        Yeah, stopped reading there. Too Mad; Didn't Read. My dear 'doctor' (not a real doctor as far as I've found) didn't bother hiding his own Whois address from his smearing website. I blame his parents, I'd be mad too with a name like that, very reminiscent of the smelly cat-rapist Pepé Le Pew.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

          Well, it had links and in theory checkable.

          The thread I found on ARRSE was laying on the vitriol with a shovel.

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Scottish scientist faces Twitter trial over republican tweets!

            ARRSE is great for exposing Walter Mitty's posing as SAS heroes, no question. It's not really an arbitrator of anything else though, and whoever there quoted Dr Pepe Le Pew as a source was probably Mrs Le Pew.

            I'm not defending the original poster, just saying the person abusing him, Trent Whoever, has no credibility.

  18. HairyHaggisKeeper
    WTF?

    We're already more than half way to a National ID Card anyway

    What is it with people and ID cards???

    How many of these dissenters carry a Driving License? Ooh let's have a look at that will we:

    1) Your Name

    2) Your Address

    3) Your Date of Birth

    4) Your Photo

    5) Your frickin signature!!

    6) It's accepted in Euro-land

    The new Chipped cards the DVLA are proposing will have even MORE data about you contained on them.

    If the Government wants a National ID card scheme, just introduce a base DVLA card for everyone - it doesn't matter if they bother to learn to Drive - bingo: National ID Problem solved.

    No additional billions in system development required, no think tanks, no working groups, job done.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: We're already more than half way to a National ID Card anyway

      and that is the point, no extra billons for devlopment - if it dont mean wonga in the back pocket (lawfully) then it wont happen

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: We're already more than half way to a National ID Card anyway

      "If the Government wants a National ID card scheme"...then "I don't want to be joined to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis" (BBT)

      Remember John Swinney was the uber-lawyer who justified rewarding the Scottish Census contract to the Abu Ghraib torturers, "We would never award any contract to *convicted* criminals", whilst simultaneously squashing a prosecution of CACI in the Scottish courts.

      I did prisoner-support for a while, and I wrote to Angela Constance about a prisoner being abused by the SPSin her constituency, and her reply was curt and daft, "I support the victims of crime not the criminals". Aye, when the victims of crime are themselves victims of criminal abuse by your state then you prioritise the possible tabloid headlines over actual justice.

      There are some good people left in the SNP, but very few in the Scottish Government, and a diminishing amount. 'Slightly Better than Cameron and Blair' is a sad, sad slogan. Bought and sold for English gold, US dollars, Chinese Yuan...

    3. onemark03

      We're already more than half way to a National ID Card anyway

      Nobody is legally required to obtain a driving licence.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this result happened in a proportional electoral system imposed on the Scottish Parliament by London, one chosen to ensure that no one party could gain overall control.

    By contrast, in Westminster:

    With a 36.9% share of the vote, the Tories have 50.7% seats in the Commons (331/650 seats) with a Working majority of 17.

    The 820 Lords, of course, aren't concerned by such trivial detail as having to be elected. Once hand-picked into that chamber, they aren't accountable to anyone.

    With stats like these, is the London parliament really such a shining example of democracy?

  20. onemark03

    Creating an all-purpose Scottish ID system.

    Right. And the Irish have had a Public Services Card since 2011 which is de facto a national ID card. And they're already independent!

    Them Celts...!

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