SNP vote strategy

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If humiliation applies anywhere, it is to Richard Allison (Letters, 22 January).

It is nothing new for the SNP at Westminster to vote on programmes that are devolved. They voted when there were financial consequences via Barnett under which we receive, or lose, a 10 per cent ratio of what applies to England. So they would not vote on English health issues, as he claims, if there were no financial implications.

I wonder whether Mr Allison recalls, when the government of Tony Blair (officially, First Lord of the Treasury) and Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer) could not get their English student tuition fees legislation through because their English Labour MPs objected, they brigaded the surplus Scottish Labour MPs to pass it. But what they did not realise was that by supporting the issue, they deprived Scotland of its 10 per cent Barnett share which applies only on tax-borne expenditure. Jim Murphy’s recent faux pas, when he laid claim to the mainly London-based proceeds from Labour’s proposed mansion tax for 1,000 nurses, showed similar ignorance – with Lab­our now U-turning on it. Will he now be making that a first call on Holyrood’s imminent new taxation powers, or will he find some other wheeze to get 
someone else to pay the bill?

Unfortunately, Mr Allison’s letter is consistent with many published in The Scotsman from people unfamiliar with the 
mechanics, and the common factor is undisguised blind 
hatred for the SNP!

Douglas R Mayer

Thomson Crescent

Edinburgh