Guide to Party submissions to the Smith Commission

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The chart above is explained further below. Briefly It represents my interpretation of the command paper & policy documents from the 5 Political Parties.

Proposals for Devolved Powers and proposals for other agreements like Federal and Council powers have a very different implications.

This page is devoted to clarification of the 5 political party contributions to the Smith Commission.

What are they actually proposing ?

The government made a document ( command paper) outlining their view of currently reserved matters and their view on issues making changes to the current situation. The Command Paper was published 13/10/14

Where it contains proposals they are directly taken from the Scottish party commissioned reports. These where all undertaken before the referendum on Scottish independence.

These commissioned reports are also submitted in full to the Smith commission as the Scottish party submissions.

What these commissioned reports all share is they read more like partisan political manifestos than recommendations for the Smith Commission.

Yes they all include proposals relevant to the Smith Commission but they were by no means written for that task.

Then there are the SNP Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party submissions.

Before we get to my analysis let’s qualifying who and what the Smiths Commission is.

Here is a Wiki on Lord Smith himself.

The Smith commission is: To arrive by the 30th November 2014 at a set of ‘Heads of agreement ‘ that ‘command cross-party support’.

Their deliberations will be

” … informed by a Command Paper.”

this was published in the 13/10/14 earlier than expected.

The Commission has :
”invited submissions from political parties, a wide range of business and civic organisations and the wider public to help guide its consideration of what further powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Commission welcomes all such submissions, and will give them due weight in arriving at its final conclusions.”

Along with Lord Smith are the Smith Commission representatives, nominated by the
political parties.
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They will assess proposals to the commission on the following terms

– What are the principles underpinning your proposals?

– What is your assessment of the current situation?

– What would be the potential advantages to Scotland and the UK as a whole (and/or its constituent nations) of devolving the power in question to the Scottish Parliament?
For example, at

– What would be the potential disadvantages to Scotland and the UK as a whole (and/or its constituent nations) of devolving the power in question to the Scottish Parliament?

– To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (or vice versa)?

– What are the interdependencies between your proposal and other key issues?

– Are there any practical or legal barriers or difficulties to implementing the proposal? How might these be overcome?

– What would be the financial advantages or costs involved in implementing the proposal, and who would bear or benefit from these?

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My analysis

That all said. Below describes my process of dissemination of the Main 5 party submissions actual proposals.

First I organised all the ‘command paper’ proposals. These represent the Westminster vetted headline policies that are intended to define the set the agenda for the smith commission.

As far as actual proposals go its light. They are proposals and statements from Scottish labours Devolution Commission, Scot Conservative Strathclyde Commission, Scot Lib-dem Home Rule and Community Rule Commission. Edited and Prioritized by Westminster.

It had 42 statements over 22 topics.

Then with kind help of Debra Storr
The same process was applied to the SNP and Scottish Green party submissions.

That then produced the Full Text table you can see here.It is a patchwork of statements over 37 topics.

I then reviewed the Scottish labours Devolution Commission, Scot Conservative Strathclyde Commission, Scot Lib-dem Home Rule and Community Rule Commission.

I found only a few proposals that did not get a place in the command paper. These where then added to a 3rd spreadsheet so as to see the difference from the command paper.

So how to share this information in an interesting way that might prove insightful.?

The proposals that advocate some form of change fall into 2 categories .

A) Powers devolved to The Scottish Parliament.

And

B) Powers proposed through Future Federal agreements, nationally devolved powers to local and regional council. Powers deferred to EU

I used a scoring system to relatively evaluate the statements made.

A) A score of 1-10 about statements dealing directly devolved power to the Scottish parliament.
0 = No proposed devolved powered to Scotland.
10 = firm commitments to devolved powered Directly to The Scottish parliament

B) A score of 1-10 about statements proposing Commitments to UK Federal , Council and EU agreements.
0 = No proposed powers for Future UK Federal system or Councils . 10 = Strong commitments to power through Future UK Federal system ect.

The file here is the document. It has 3 spread sheets.

The first page is scored assessment.

The second is the Full The text version of the command paper proposals and SNP and Scot Green Party. So you can asses the context of the mark.

And a third with the full Scottish unionist party commissioned report proposals and SNP and Scot Green Party proposals.

Here are some links to the original documents.

Command Paper
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proposals-for-further-devolution-of-powers-to-scottish-parliament

Scottish SNP Government Submission
http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/oct/snp-submission-smith-commission

Scottish Green Party Submission.
http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/news/scottish-greens-set-out-smith-commission-proposals/

7 thoughts on “Guide to Party submissions to the Smith Commission

  1. You should compare the actual party submissions to Smith rather than the Command Paper. Otherwise your chart is completely wrong. For example, the Lib Dem proposals on the Crown Estate and loads of other areas. That will start to make your chart a more useful comparison

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    1. I am doing just that and The SSP submission. If you can find the full Scot Con letter it would help. They haven’t put a link to the letter just some extracts. The Command paper is however a extremely good reflection of the direction of the Scot Lad Lib-Dem and Con party’s. It is also the paper that the Smith commission is using to inform the presses. So a significant document for the prosses.

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    1. The Smith commission is: To arrive by the 30th November 2014 at a set of ‘Heads of agreement ‘ that ‘command cross-party support’.
      Their deliberations will be

      ” … informed by a Command Paper.”

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  2. If you don’t want to look at the party submissions, which are the basis of Smith’s work, then fine. But it makes your chart less useful as a comparator than it could have been.

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    1. As said I am reviewing the Submissions from the Scot Partys . today i have edited the Strathclyde Report (Scot Con) it contains the text the Westminster Cons uses for the Command paper. Please do me the courtesy of reading my responses . my blog post states I am working the Scottish parts submissions. If you don’t believed for whatever reasons that the Command paper is detailing the Unionist party proposals that are coordinated between Westminster and the Scottish political partys l suggest you go look for yourself.

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