By a Newsnet reporter

Michael Forsyth, the last Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, who now sits in the House of Lords as Baron of Drumlean, has reacted angrily to what he claims is a lack of information from the Coalition Government about their consultation on the independence referendum.

The peer was also angered that the UK Government had apparently made further concessions to the SNP.  Mr Forsyth said that Scottish Secretary Michael Moore had treated the Upper Chamber with "contempt" and added that it was now impossible for the Lords to have an "informed debate".

The UK and Scottish Governments jointly agreed to go ahead with the Scotland Bill on Wednesday after reaching an agreement.  But Mr Forsyth has complained about the handling of the bill, saying that the House of Lords was not given enough time to consider the UK Government's response to a consultation on an independence referendum, before the report stage of the Scotland Bill begins.

Mr Forsyth said that "very extensive concessions" had been made by the UK Government in order to reach agreement with Holyrood and said that it was "quite unacceptable" that the House of Lords would not be able to discuss and debate them properly.  

Unelected politician Mr Forsyth had tabled a large number of amendments to the Bill, mostly advocating the return of powers from Holyrood back to Westminster, a policy position which enjoys very little support amongst the Scottish public.

Addressing the House of Lords, Mr Forsyth said: "I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms about the way this legislation is being handled."

He added:  "There is absolutely no time for us to take account of this consultation.  It is really unacceptable that we should go into the report stage on Monday without a full analysis and full information relating to the consultation process, and also an indication of where the government stands on this."

He went on:  "In short, this a major constitutional bill which has huge implications for the people in Scotland ... and the rest of the United Kingdom.

"The way in which the parliamentary process has been handled has limited our opportunity and I have to say, I think he [Mr Moore] has treated this House with a degree of contempt.

"He knew that we were delaying these proceedings to deal with the consultation process and at the very last minute at 11 o'clock on the day to give us such a cursory analysis of the consultation makes it absolutely impossible for us to have a fully informed debate."

Labour peer George Foulkes, who has likewise tabled a series of amendments to the bill, said that he shared Lord Forsyth's frustration.  However Mr Foulkes said that Lib Dem peer Jim Wallace, who is responsible for piloting the Scotland bill through the Lords, should be "absolved" of blame for the UK Government's handling of the bill.

In a statement which admitted that the UK Government has been put on the back foot in the debate on the Scottish constitutional settlement, Mr Foulkes said that Mr Wallace had to work with a UK Cabinet which had "only recently begun to realise" the implications of devolution.  He added that Mr Wallace was under "great difficulty" from "a number of sources".  

Speaking in response to the remarks made by Mr Forsyth and Mr Foulkes, Mr Wallace claimed that the Lords had already given the bill proper scrutiny and had improved the legislation.

Mr Wallace said there had been 3,000 responses to the consultation and the government wanted to ensure it did "justice" to the quality of submissions received.  The minister added that he was "more than willing" to discuss how best to order the business for report stage of the bill, which is due to begin on Monday.

Comments  

 
# J Wil 2012-03-23 00:20
"Forsyth says UK Government has treated Lords with "contempt" over Scotland Bill"

Actually the Scottish contingent are beneath contempt. He would be pulling his hair out if he had any.

This seems to back up Hazel Lewry's analyis.

If anyone should be in great difficulty Mr Wallace well deserves to be.
 
 
# deepthroat 2012-03-23 00:22
The thing about Messrs Forsyth and Foulkes is they are agent provocateurs for Scottish Independence -just that they don 't realise it.

Every time they open their mouths support for Independence grows and the SNP website is jammed with new members signing up. They are too fond of their own voices to have any understanding that they are making the case against the Union.

It is rich to complain they have not been given enough time to debate the Scotland Bill in the Lords. They have been at it for weeks and wasting their time at OUR expense.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-23 00:29
Mr Forsyth said that "very extensive concessions" had been made by the UK Government

How odd. All the media reports I've seen/heard - NNS excepted - have suggested that it was the Scottish government that made extensive concessions. You don't think they've been lying to me, do you?
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-03-23 00:53
wash your brain out - the MSM would never do that......... would they?

It is late, off to the dark room!
 
 
# call me dave 2012-03-23 00:31
Well well, 'call me Dave' and Alexander capitulate to 'the First Eck's' team to get a deal, says F1& F2. What was in the deal that they thought was good for them.? What was in the deal that tempted the SG?
 
 
# richardcain2 2012-03-23 01:19
Every time this bloke opens his mouth, I get a mental image of Rumpelstiltskin , stamping his foot through the floor in frustration. Hopefully he will soon disappear in a similar fashion....
 
 
# Edna Caine 2012-03-23 01:37
Forsyth, Foulkes and Fwallace. Now there's a set of weird sisters.

"What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question?"


The ridiculous navel-gazing posturing of these unelected fossils is now shown for what it was. A time-wasting insult to the democratic process indulged in only to justify their leeching on the State. Indeed, what is the House of Coofs for but time-wasting? I can't stand Cameron but have to smile about the way he has put them in their place.

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
 
 
# edinburgh quine 2012-03-23 05:58
I prefer this as an epitaph for them:

Oh God who sends us all things, partridge, grouse and deer,
Send the aristocracy to do some shooting here,
My royal, loyal ancestors, who got me this estate
To please their English masters forced the folk to emigrate,
Forced the folk to emigrate,
Oh Lord thou kens me well,
Though my name's MacPhee, I'll try to be
As English as yourself!

Here's the link for the all the words:

scotsindependent.org/.../...
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 05:21
Their Lordships have treated due process with contempt with all their silly pointless amendment proposals (were any actually voted through?). Their behaviour has earned them the contempt of us all, including HMG in Whitehall.
 
 
# clootie 2012-03-23 07:40
That sums it up!
 
 
# zorbathejock 2012-03-23 06:50
If Forsyth wants to be useful he should go back to being a barman at Clachaig Inn,Glencoe.At least he would be serving the public instead of doing them a dis service
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-03-23 07:39
Quote:
Mr Forsyth said that Scottish Secretary Michael Moore had treated the Upper Chamber with "contempt" and added that it was now impossible for the Lords to have an "informed debate".


Well, perhaps if your debate HAD been informed, there would have been less reaction.

You and your unelected cronies are a blight on the democratic process in this country, and your comeuppance is a delight to those of us who want real democracy, and real respect for the citizens of ALL countries in this (dis)United Kingdom.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-03-23 07:42
What is missing in the mindset of the establishment and re-inforced by these ermined Scots is that the UK as represented by Westminster and or the silent ones in the background never intended to comply with the requirements of the Council of Europe at any time.
Blair admitted it when he described his view on Holyrood as a ' Parish Council'.
What they fail to understand, especially these traitorous Lords is that a power devolved is a power retained.
So all their nonsense of trying to take back powers which is what the basic Calman/Scotland Bill proposed would be if we had one, un-constitutional !.
I simply hate the Scotland bill in all its manifestations and refuse to have anything to do with it other than using it as a bargaining chip which is what it appears Mr. Salmond is doing, In that, he has my support. Spin it, bin it. My motto here.
 
 
# nchanter 2012-03-23 08:42
Quoting UpSpake:
What is missing in the mindset of the establishment and re-inforced by these ermined Scots is that the UK as represented by Westminster and or the silent ones in the background never intended to comply with the requirements of the Council of Europe at any time.
Blair admitted it when he described his view on Holyrood as a ' Parish Council'.
What they fail to understand, especially these traitorous Lords is that a power devolved is a power retained.
So all their nonsense of trying to take back powers which is what the basic Calman/Scotland Bill proposed would be if we had one, un-constitutional !.
I simply hate the Scotland bill in all its manifestations and refuse to have anything to do with it other than using it as a bargaining chip which is what it appears Mr. Salmond is doing, In that, he has my support. Spin it, bin it. My motto here.

Glad you are feeling better Upspake.
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-23 08:00
I've been holding the Upper Chamber in contempt for years. :)
 
 
# Exile 2012-03-23 10:43
:))) LOL
 
 
# Provan 2012-03-23 14:47
Sadly, the upper chamber has held the country in contempt for years. How can an unelected body of the landed gentry, Church of England bigwigs and political placemen be representative of anything? And how can they honestly say that they are legislating for the benefit of the country.

Labour promised to reform the upper chamber before being elected in the '90s then did absolutely nothing - they lost all pretence at being a socialist party at that point.
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-23 21:47
These ingrates represent only two things - power and privilege. They are uber troughers who stand first and foremost for the sovereignty of parliament over people and wouldn't know an honest selfless thought if it bit them on the bum.

Don't get me started! :{
 
 
# Provan 2012-03-23 22:03
It really is an affront to democracy to hear these people debating (and I use that word advisedly) the democratic process for a referendum in Scotland!
 
 
# Macart 2012-03-23 22:27
Their primary function throughout this whole debacle Provan has been to generate headlines for the MSM. Create division, risable debate (see Diabloandco below) and ammunition for sympathetic broadcasters. A complete waste of oxygen. Now they have the brass neck to have a moan because the debate has moved beyond them whilst they have enjoyed parliamentary privilege, protection and expenses.

Sooner we lose this lot, the better.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-03-23 08:28
I watched Messrs Forsyth ,Ffoukes ,Steele and some other bozo ,spend much time in debate insulting the First Minister .
If the quality of debate was bothering Forsyth , he has only himself and his Labour/Liberal cronies to blame.

I too would prefer NOT to see his face ,or any other part of him - thank you!
 
 
# nchanter 2012-03-23 08:44
Quoting Diabloandco:
I watched Messrs Forsyth ,Ffoukes ,Steele and some other bozo ,spend much time in debate insulting the First Minister .
If the quality of debate was bothering Forsyth , he has only himself and his Labour/Liberal cronies to blame.

I too would prefer NOT to see his face ,or any other part of him - thank you!

Is this the thanks he get for giving you back THE STONE?
 
 
# Aucheorn 2012-03-23 08:59
Aye, but I believe that was only to be a loan.

We takit it wance we'll tak it again.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-23 11:12
Don't forget Foulkes rant about his wonderful birthday party for 300 guests. It came up several times in the Scotland Bill debate. They had to cover the important things you know.

Contempt is an inadaquate word to describe them.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-23 19:17
At one sitting, I remember the Welsh Nationalist leader standing up and complaining about the abuse AS was getting from, their Lordships.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-03-23 08:31
Quote:
UK Government has treated Lords with "contempt"


Just catching up with the rest of us.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-23 08:41
What Forsyth and his cohorts were trying to do was morally reprehensible. They should have no place in the decision making process for Scotland.
 
 
# Provan 2012-03-23 14:49
Agreed
 
 
# brh206 2012-03-23 09:00
The sooner we are rid of that unelected mob the better. They have no mandate and speak for no one but themsleves, whatever happens in the referendum, this unelected mob such as wallace, McConnell, Prescott, Forsyth etc have got to go. It was bad enough when they were elected in the first place but no they were placed in that place for services to westminster and against the Scottish people. get rid asap.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-03-23 09:26
I also have nothing but contempt for the HoL but I'm not in favour of a unicameral system. I think we do have to have some form of second chamber - elected of course and accountable.
 
 
# IamLiamto 2012-03-23 09:38
I watched some of the debate from The Lords. The quivering indignation of Forsyth and Foulkes was music to my ears. If there are more contemptible people in politics I have yet to find them. Foulkes makes me want to spit every time I hear his croaking voice. His utter contempt and hatred of Alex Salmond and Scotland reeks of him as he continued to describe Holyrood as "The Executive" and Alex Salmond as "difficult to deal with." A slight change from his previous sneers of "devious." This snub, if it has hurt their pride is delightful and was well earned, their jaikets are on shaky nails.
 
 
# Harry.Shanks 2012-03-23 12:43
Quoting IamLiamto:
..their jaikets are on shaky nails.



Presumably those white jaikets that fasten roon the back.
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-03-23 09:43
They cant be held in contempt by anyone; they're beyond contempt. I wonder if his lardship and his cronies will leave their gravy train in 2016 and come back north when can ridicule them at close quarters, or will they stay in their adopted nirnava?
 
 
# rhymer 2012-03-23 11:50
Quoting alasdairmac:
They cant be held in contempt by anyone; they're beyond contempt. I wonder if his lardship and his cronies will leave their gravy train in 2016 and come back north when can ridicule them at close quarters, or will they stay in their adopted nirnava?


They will have to return as Scottish citizens without titles - unless Westminster decides to pay their pensions and expenses. I think they will be quietly "let go".
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 12:21
They will have the choice to become rUK citizens if they wish, but I don't know if the rUK will allow them to remain peers with foreign (Scottish) place names in their titles.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-03-23 12:31
Foulkes isn't Scottish, he comes from Shropshire so I hope he'll be refused a passport.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 12:32
Let's not go down the route of defining citizenship by ethnicity or birthplace.
 
 
# Harry.Shanks 2012-03-23 12:40
Surely we can treat Foulkes as a special case!
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 12:53
No. No special cases. Not even wee Geordie.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-03-23 16:53
Quoting Holebender:
Let's not go down the route of defining citizenship by ethnicity or birthplace.


Far from it Holebender. I'm of the opinion that anyone and everyone whatever their background is welcome to live in and be a citizen of this country provided they contribute to the good of Scotland. Foulkes fails that test IMO.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-23 16:30
Can they still be Lords of Scottish place names? They can't make themselves Lords of place names in other countries.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-03-23 09:44
Hi there,

It is not the Commons which has treated the HoL with contempt, it is the unelected Forsyth and friends who in pursuing their own agenda have been guilty of contempt for democracy.

They will have their reward in an Independent Scotland - utter disdain.

Regards,
 
 
# Taldor83 2012-03-23 10:07
They say they wouldn't have time to have an informed debate?

Funny that...isn't that what the problem would be if the referendum was rushed? And yet they don't appear to have a problem with that..?
 
 
# Embradon 2012-03-23 10:07
Moore presumably realises that the noble Lords Foulkes, Forsyth and Wallace are an embarrassment to democracy and that each of their pronouncements aids the SNP cause.
He is probably wise to act to curtail their input.

Having a lie down after re-reading my last sentence.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-03-23 10:18
Treated with the contempt they deserve.

I do not agree with snowthistle above.
Many small countries survive very well without a second chamber.
For those who have not read this book,I thoroughly recommend it.

A Model Constitution for Scotland
by W. Elliot Bulmer
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-03-23 10:19
Remind me again - just how much does the Lords cost us? What would be Scotland's share of that? What is the percentage of Scots to others there?

It is flawed in being not an elected body but an appointment based gathering. It carries no democratic mandate. It is unrepresentativ e as the SNP, for one, do not send a representative to it, nor will ever do.

There is no substantive democratic reason for its existence and it may be argued that it is counter-democratic since it is populated by political and establishment place-men.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-23 17:10
Ok Baron, you know how much as it was on the BBC website yesterday, but if you don't I'd take a seat !

bbc.co.uk/.../...

(£500k A WEEK)
 
 
# balgayboy 2012-03-23 10:25
Maybe the Scottish people should get a rebate post 2014, only the costs though not the so called Scottish peers...they could stay where they are and where made their bed and "lie" in it as well. Roll on 2014
 
 
# Exile 2012-03-23 10:41
"...Mr Forsyth said that Scottish Secretary Michael Moore had treated the Upper Chamber with "contempt"..."

No more (or is it less?) than they deserve.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-03-23 11:30
Enjoy the contempt, Mr.Forsyth, along with all your contemptible associates, Foulkes, Wallace, McConnell, Steel, Caithness, etc. You've all earned it!
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-23 12:01
Forsyth says UK Government has treated Lords with "contempt". Forsyth is part of the UK Government. Oh well at least Forsyth appears to be upset :D. Can't be all bad.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-23 12:16
Quoting Islegard:
Forsyth is part of the UK Government.


No, he isn't.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-23 16:27
Ah I see where I went wrong the Lords are a part of the government of the UK with the body called HM Government. The UK government is the tory party. Michael Forsyth is a tory.

Structure

Members

788(+21 peers on leave of absence or otherwise disqualified from sitting)[1]

Political groups

HM Government
Conservative Party (218)
Liberal Democrats (91)

HM Most Loyal Opposition
Labour Party (239)

Other Opposition
Democratic Unionist Party (4)
Ulster Unionist Party (4)
UKIP (2)
Plaid Cymru (1)
Crossbenchers (186)
Lords Spiritual (25)
Non-affiliated (19)
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 16:34
The Lords is part of the Parliament of the UK. The government is something else.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-23 16:40
As in not the members of the Lords described as HM Government?
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-03-23 12:15
Contempt is the very least these odious lords deserve.

I do not think they have the best interests of Scotland or the Scottish people at heart.

The sooner we can be rid of them all the better.

I, for one, can't wait.
 
 
# Training Day 2012-03-23 12:21
One can do no better than quote a great Englishman (William Blake) to Forsyth and Foulkes..

'As is air to a bird and sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.'
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-23 16:51
Quote:
Addressing the House of Lords, Mr Forsyth said: "I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms about the way this legislation is being handled."


Clearly he does not 'do' irony then.
 
 
# Juteman 2012-03-23 17:12
Can anyone tell me what would happen to Scottish Lords after independence?
Would they have to leave the trough, as they would then become foreign troughers?

I would pay good money to watch that eviction! :)
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-23 17:18
As far as I'm aware that would be a decision for Westminster - presumably they would be on the dole as the rest of the UK would not want Scottish lords sitting in the HoL

Of course, if we were to think about a second chamber here in Scotland, some of them may think to try and get a job up here - god forbid.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-23 17:21
Any second chamber we have will be fully elected.
 
 
# Juteman 2012-03-23 17:24
Mmmm. Some of those 'Lords' applying to join a Scottich second chamber could be amusing.
We could turn it into a Big Brother type game show, with viewers voting on who gets in. Who will prostitute themselves the most? Galloway set the benchmark with his cat 'antics'. :)
 
 
# Early Ball 2012-03-23 18:28
Quoting Juteman:
Can anyone tell me what would happen to Scottish Lords after independence?
Would they have to leave the trough, as they would then become foreign troughers?

I would pay good money to watch that eviction! :)


Their ermine will be confiscated and sold with profits going to a fund for the victims of crime.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-23 19:03
Who knows what the rUK Parliament would decide to do?

Their is a precedent with the Irish peers.

burkespeerage.com/.../...

"None of the legislation under which Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State were established contained any provision relating to the position of the Irish peers nor were they mentioned in the debates in Parliament on these measures..... The existing Irish representative peers continued to be summoned to sit in the House of Lords until the last survivor, the Earl of Kilmorey, died in 1961."
 
 
# Juteman 2012-03-23 19:19
Cheers Oldnat.
I hope the BritScot lords don't realise their gravy train could continue after independence.
They might shut up, and help the unionist cause.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-03-23 20:21
Can you really see the rUK paying for all those asset-less Scots spongers? I've no doubt they'd be welcome providing they were self-funding, but I can't see their gravy train continuing.

As Juteman says though, if they could freeload, and with no need for the "political hassle"....!
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-23 22:11
As with the "Irish" peers, who were actually "British" (in what sense are Forsyth or Foulkes representing Scottish interests?), a similar situation might well be the case with Scots peers. In any case the peerages of most of those in the HoL who originated in Scotland are UK life peerages, not traditional Scottish ones.

What the rUK decides to do with the composition of the Lords is simply a matter for them. We can look on and comment as friendly neighbours, but let's not try to tell them how to run their own affairs.
 
 
# Keep UTG 2012-03-23 21:31
I see another one has decided to utter irrelevant nonsense,wouldn `t you think a NI Politician would refrain from using violence in any context? guardian.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-23 22:22
I suppose it was inevitable that the Tories would play the sectarian card at some point - no matter how they tried to underplay what they were doing.

Yes. Part of the discussion is about identity (and most Scots describe their Scottishness as their dominant identity). However, the economy remains the dominant aspect in most people's thinking, whether they live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or elsewhere.

For Trimble to try to import Ulster Unionism to Scottish politics is wholly inappropriate. That he is so clearly ignorant of Scotland makes that even more true.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-23 22:32
Quoting oldnat:
For Trimble to try to import Ulster Unionism to Scottish politics is wholly inappropriate.


Well, it looks like it might not be in football for long, so it needs a new home.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-23 23:24
So we have someone who isn't Scottish commenting on the Scottish identity.

Of course if you look at the history of the settlers in the north of Ireland its somewhat schizophrenic. The were originally Scottish settlers identifying with Scotland. England didn't like this and imported English settlers and set about supressing the Scottish identity. Many were forced to go to America.
 
 
# Teri 2012-03-24 19:16
I did wonder when I heard a deal had been struck, what had happened to all the added anti-independence/SNP addenda that Ffoulkes, Forsyth, Earl Caithness and Peter Walker appeared to have put in place as I felt sure the sG would not agree to any of that. I'm glad to see the dear lords have been stymied. However, I have not idea what is in the agreed deal. Does anyone know or can SKS point me in the direction of the agreed bill. Ta
 

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