Sunday, December 04, 2016

So why is China upset about Taiwan?

Because Taiwan is, de facto, a separate country, but the mainland wants to keep up the pretence that it is entitled to do violence to it at any time if it so wishes.

It is the only a part of China that is not governed by the Communist Party of China (the People's Republic of China (PRC) because the Communists didn't manage to take over Taiwan and a handful of islands off of the mainland coast at the end of the Chinese Civil War.  The effect was that the previous government of China, the Republic of China (ROC), "temporarily relocated" its capital from Nanking to Taipei, with the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) putting Taiwan and other islands (Kinmen, Penghu and Matsu Islands and some others) under its control in a state of emergency for over forty years.

The effect was not dissimilar to that of the two Koreas, except the two Koreas are of roughly equal geographical size and at one time similar GDPs (indeed the Republic of Korea "south" was poorer than the Democratic People's Republic of Korea "north" until the late 1960s). 

So as mainland China suffered under the jackboot of Chairman Mao for nearly thirty years, and lost tens of millions to executions and starvation, and stagnated, Taiwan was under the less brutal jackboot of Chiang Kai Shek for a similar period and became a rapidly developing industrial country. Of course since Mao died, China embraced corporatist capitalism and its economy has grown much like Taiwan did since the 1950s, but Taiwan also reformed although spent many years under tough authoritarian rule. In 1969 the first legislative elections were held to have representatives of Taiwan elected (all others were legislators who were elected before the end of the civil war representing Chinese provinces under "occupation" by the communists).  As those legislators passed away they were not replaced so by the 1990s, the entire legislative assembly was subject to competitive elections.  Martial law was ended in 1987 by Chiang Kai Shek's successor and son Chiang Ching-kuo, as Taiwan moved to being a fully fledged liberal democracy.  By 1992, remaining mainland representatives were removed so the entire legislative assembly was subject to competitive elections.  
Taiwan, as such, is a role model for China as an open, relatively free, liberal democracy, with rule of law, capitalism and political power tempered by the separation of powers.  This, of course, is a complete anathema to the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China.

Of course, Taiwan (or rather the Republic of China in Taiwan - remember Made in R.O.C. labels on goods made a few decades ago?) has had an interesting history of international relations.   With the exception of the UK (primarily out of concern of Hong Kong), most Western countries did not recognise the Communist takeover of China immediately.  Australia and New Zealand did not until 1972, and even the United Nations seat for China was held by the Republic of China until 1971, as the United States vetoed the Chinese Communist regime (as it was called) from taking its seat despite strong efforts by friendly communist countries and developing countries lobbying on behalf of the PRC.  Albania became Beijing's biggest champion.  Both Beijing and Taipei regimes rejected each other being represented on the UN, but the US pushed for the PRC to be represented, not least because it seemed absurd that the world's most populous country (and a nuclear power) were not represented.  So the PRC was admitted, and the ROC expelled.   In 1979, the US switched recognition from the ROC to the PRC, but gave Taiwan a military security guarantee, as the PRC had always (and still does) reserve the right to reunify Taiwan by force.  

Both Chinese regimes refused to have diplomatic relations with any country that recognised the other, but the ROC on Taiwan dropped this in the 1990s, as it had lost recognition and embassies with almost all countries as few could refuse the commercial, diplomatic and strategic benefits of having good relations with mainland China.  Once Saudi Arabia (which had resisted the PRC because of its atheism) and South Africa (which shifted recognition not long after the end of apartheid) had dropped Taiwan, the ROC would only retain diplomatic relations with small Pacific Island, African or Latin American states, mostly through aid programmes (although this ended in 2000 as the PRC was able to outbid the ROC).

So Taiwan remains an oddity.  In every de facto sense, it is an independent country, with a military, government and informal diplomatic relations with many countries.  However, the PRC stops it from having formal diplomatic relations because it doesn't like the only part of China it didn't win in the civil war having a parallel status to it in international organisations or bilateral relations.  It claims that to do so would imply there are "two Chinas", which of course there are as there are two Koreas, and were two Germanys and two Yemens (and even two Cypruses) regardless of claims of legitimacy.

So Donald Trump accepting a phone call from the democratically elected President of the ROC should not be a big deal, except for Beijing, it ruffles their sensitivities over reality.  The US has a defence treaty with Taiwan, and should make it clear than any attack on Taiwan will be rebuffed by the US.  The ROC on Taiwan shares the values of the United States and other Western democracies, the values of freedom, individual rights and government that is determined by the consent of the governed.  The fact that this concerns the Chinese Communist Party is good, for it could do much worse than look at Taiwan and see an example of transition from one-party authoritarian rule to vibrant vigorous liberal democracy.   Peace between Taiwan and the mainland is critical for both, so I think there is little real risk of any aggression from the PRC, but it should be clearer than that.  A renewed US commitment to Taiwan because of its values.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel está muerto

So there is a reason to cheer, the death of Fidel Castro, should be a cause of celebration and reflection for everyone who believes in individual freedom, world peace, human rights and has both liberal and conservative values.  For the regime he founded continues to be one marked by violence, intimidation, intolerance and denial.

Castro interrogating a farmer as private property rights get abolished

Castro was a thug, a murderer and a warmongerer.  He urged Khrushchev to attack the US with nuclear weapons, which would have triggered World War Three.  

He incarcerated political opponents, labelling anyone who opposed the regime as "mentally ill" so they could be locked up indefinitely for not realising how lucky they are to be under socialism.  

He imprisoned Cubans who had HIV, he ran a prison state that saw Cubans flee at their own risk by boat to the United States.  Americans didn't flee to Cuba to embrace socialism.

Cuba under Castro was propped up by the USSR, in effect, poor Russians helped keep Castro's revolution alive.  A policy that ended with the collapse of the USSR, but from then on Cuba's rhetoric was that it was poor because the US embargo hindered it.  How a socialist state can claim that its prosperity is dependent on trading with a capitalist liberal democracy remains a mystery.

Cuba's joke is the large numbers of vintage American cars roaming the streets, only recently supplemented by Chinese vehicles.  This is seen as quaint, but is reflects poverty. 

One of the great claims about Cuba's "successes" is statistics around education and healthcare, because it claims low levels of child poverty and life expectancy that is high compared to other Latin American countries.  Yet the source of these statistics is entirely the Cuban one-party state, which imprisons its critics, so has to be at least treated with a high degree of scepticism.   Whenever foreigners inspect the Cuban healthcare system, they get to see what the regime wants them to see.   The UN may take the reported statistics from all member states on face value, but that's naive and absurd.  Only once Cuba is free will the veracity of these claims be clear, for now it is at best opaque. 

Of course, the usual suspects have come out singing paeans over Cuba.  Red Ken Livingstone couldn't help himself on BBC Radio 4 today saying that Cuba was "open and relaxed", even though it is a criminal offence for anyone other than the state to publish or broadcast, and when confronted with the regime's intolerance he said that in the UK anyone supporting Hitler was imprisoned. Odious little worm.

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn said he was a "champion of social justice" and dismissed imprisonment of dissenters and continued authoritarianism as saying "there are problems of excesses by all regimes",  confirming the man is a moral relativistic sympathiser with dictatorship.

Vladimir Putin said he made his country free, well maybe by his standards..

President of the EU, Jean Claude Juncker said Castro was a "hero to many", which indicates the quisling relativist tolerance of a man and an organisation that ought to be celebrating the end of a man, whose regime provided support and succour for brutal regimes that impoverished and denied the human rights of citizens of 12 current EU Member States.  

Canadian Prime Minister, the illiberal Justin Trudeau lionised him as having "deep and lasting affection" for the Cuban people, including those he killed for opposing him.

Sinn Fein, which until recently lionised terrorism as a legitimate technique to change minds and power, is commemorating him as a hero.

The position people take on Castro should be your litmus test for their morality.

Castro used violence against those who opposed him.  He criminalise anyone who published or broadcast any criticism of his regime, so he was intolerant and authoritarian.   Dismissing any politicians whose core strategy is to do violence to his opponents is appeasement of dictatorship, rejection of any liberal values whatsoever, and places his supporters in the same mould as fascist apologists.  

To claim that "well he gave them education and healthcare" justifies a system of terror for anyone criticising the government or any of its policies or any of those with the privileges and trappings of power, is the justification of a fascist.   For "he" gave them nothing.  He ran a prison slave state which forced teachers and doctors to do the bidding of the party, he used his comrades of another slave state - the USSR- to supply the equipment, technology and training - to deliver a system that could have been delivered under liberal democracy.   Indeed, Chile's post-Pinochet success demonstrates that a liberal free-market democratic government can deliver the prosperity, including high standards of education and healthcare, without pointing guns at its citizens for criticising the regime.  

The best that can be said of Castro is he replaced another vile dictatorship - the Batista regime - and that he could have been worse.  However, pardon me if I don't think reaching the abominable barbarities of Kim Il Sung, Enver Hoxha or Nicolae Ceaucescu is an "achievement".

So to hell with Castro.  Some of the people who claimed with Donald Trump being elected, he is the "new Hitler" are mourning the loss of a man who was much closer to Hitler than Trump is ever likely to be.  

If someone is an apologist for Castro, or says he "made mistakes" or " his human rights were dreadful but", then they are excusing the blood spilt, the poverty, the propaganda, the utter denial of human liberty, and the politics of fear, terror and the jackboot, over the politics of debate, diversity and tolerance.

Treat the apologists of Castro accordingly.  The people in Miami celebrating his death lived under him, or have relatives who do.  The people elsewhere mourning are exercising the freedoms that Castro never tolerated and Cuba doesn't tolerate today.

Let's hope Mugabe doesn't see out the year as well.

Let's hope Cubans in the New Year gain the freedom to speak openly and honestly about the past 55 years of their country, even though thousands of so-called "liberals" in the West couldn't really care less.

UPDATE:  In 2008 I wrote the Top Ten Reasons Castro should be hated.

In 2010 I wrote on how the Green Party of NZ appeased the Cuban dictatorship

Read Katherine Hirschfeld's critical review of Cuba's healthcare system, including how much of it is "informal" and how it is illegal to refuse any healthcare including abortions. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Trump or Clinton or damn them all?

I've thought a good deal about the US election today.   It is difficult to think of two people who were both about the worst candidates either major party has put forward in recent history.  Oh yes there have been some lousy ones, but both lousy and so incredibly awful in their own ways? No.

So in some ways I'll treat the election as a reason to gloat about whoever is defeated, whilst ignoring the gloating of the victor.  

Hillary Clinton oozes entitlement, is a shape shifter on issues time and time again (remember when she was against gay marriage until it became popular?).  Her ambition for power should be a sure sign of someone who should be kept as far away from power as possible.  The vast fortune the Clintons have amassed from speeches and running their Foundation, travelling first class, staying at five star hotels "for the people who need our help", indicates the usual concern of powerful socialists for those in need.   If she is elected, she'll demonstrate not that she has broken the "glass ceiling", but that First Ladies have a chance at becoming President.  She is not an example to other women, except those women whose ambitions at the jobs their husbands have had.   It's clear her tolerance for Bill's extra-curriculur activities (which are frankly neither here nor there to me) resemble more the wife of Francis Underwood/Urquhart in House of Cards, for the trappings of power and money matter more than anything else.   Hillary has been pro more-trade (never "free trade", she's never want to let go of influence by removing controls) and anti-trade, she is a traditional populist.  However, little goes past what is obvious, that when she says she has been "fighting for families" all her life, the family she fights the most for is her own, and it has benefited royally from it.

The only bright side to Hillary is that she may partially reverse Obama's isolationism, which has seen Russia fill the gap left by Obama's (empty) moral posturing.  Few would have thought after the end of the Cold War that a government could use chemical weapons against its own population again, with impunity.  Yet it has and Obama's words that it would cross a "red line" were proven as vacuous as his "hope" and "change" electioneering slogans.

Trump has had so much said about him that I needn't say much.  He and Hillary both lie as frequently as they use cutlery.  His stance on trade is economic lunacy,  his spending promises are loose and careless.  His utterances about Mexico (and almost all foreign policy) are ludicrous and about the only thing good thing is his interest in cutting taxes.   He's a rank populist who is a classic cardboard cutout celebrity politician.  Some may say he would take advice if he were President, and much of what he says is attention seeking. 

Both Trump and Clinton are the epitome of the airhead age of politics, where identity politics is fanned as much as it ever was.  Hillary Clinton, who has expressed her utter contempt for the 30% core support for Trump, and Donald Trump, who has talked generally about Mexican migrants being rapists.  Hillary knows her place in history is assured if she becomes the first female President of the United States.  About the only reason to celebrate a Trump victory is knowing how angry she would be if she lost,  but then what?  A Trump-Putin pact to divide the world into spheres of influence?  The utter destruction of the international trading environment?

Of course most media coverage is fairly one-sided.  Trump is irredeemable and all major media outlets share and express the same contempt for him, with much less contempt for Clinton.   The left-wing liberal bias is palpable, yet Clinton is such a heavily flawed candidate they both deserve contempt.

Yet the likelihood is that, unless the Democrats sweep through both Houses of Congress, Hillary will find her big empty expensive promises difficult to fulfill,  but even if the Republicans hung onto the Senate, it is much less clear that Trump could rely on a Republican Congress to facilitate his agenda unimpeded.  However, on foreign policy, the President has much more autonomy and power.  On that front, Trump seems a little unsettling, given his penchance for threatening US allies to pay up or lose support from the US. 

Sadly, the hope that Gary Johnson could break through and be a more significant third party candidate seems forlorn. 

I expect, given the polling, Hillary will win and there will be a nauseating display of faux humility and sloganeering, as she sinks her claws into the prize she long sought.   Yet the United States was not founded on nepotism or some sort of familial succession (and yes the Bush family started that, but this was rejected the third time round).  If Trump wins, watch the panic and doom and gloom emerging, but this too will be hysterical posturing, although he is obviously the less certain quantity.

The USA is going to get an utter arsehole as President, but I'll be cheering for the other arsehole losing.  What's utterly astonishing is that millions are willing to give moral endorsement to one of these vile entities.

Yes, it's been a while.  For the want of a better term, 2016 is "annus horribilis" for my family, with an uncle diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in February and dead in May, then my mother passing away unexpectedly in September, weeks before her birthday after months of a nuisance, but not anything like a life-threatening condition.  Let's just say some things matter more than a rant about politics. 

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Theresa May is no friend of freedom: any Tory leader but May

It's been just over a week and the UK still exists, and hasn't left the European Union.  That's a matter for the next government, as David Cameron, having promised to implement the outcome of the election, decided to wimp out completely.

It was widely assumed that as Boris Johnson had led the Vote Leave campaign, he would be in pole position to become Conservative Party leader, but that fell apart last week when his closest ally, Justice Secretary Michael Gove came to the (correct) conclusion that Johnson wasn't up to it.   As clever and witty and Johnson is, he isn't a man for detail and demonstrated in a column at the beginning of last week that his thinking was muddled and uncertain.  It also became clear that Boris was not trustworthy.  As Mayor he became addicted to vanity projects.  First a cable-car across the Thames that is barely used, then bespoke buses that no bus company would buy, so he got taxpayers to buy them for the companies.  He bought second-hand water cannons after the 2011 London riots that were not legal to operate in the UK, so remained idle, but maintained at taxpayers' expense.   He spent millions on a proposal for a vast new airport in the Thames Estuary to replace Heathrow, even though nothing in the statutory roles and responsibility of the Mayor includes aviation, and claimed businesses were "lining up" to pay for it, which of course was utter nonsense.  Finally, he embarked on a vast network of "cycling superhighways", taking away traffic lanes to accommodate cycling commutes for half the year (the other half the numbers dwindle because of the weather).  This has, in part, been responsible for increasing congestion and pollution, and cutting bus patronage.

In short, Boris is a showman, an intelligent raconteur and I'd even say he has mildly libertarian instincts, but as a Prime Minister, Chairman of Cabinet and chief negotiator with the European Union?  No.  He avoids conflict, his main approach to critics is to try to be witty or change the subject.  Expert debater, but loose with the facts.  This is why Michael Gove, a quiet, principled Conservative politician, who has cared little for his own image, decided to withdraw his backing and run himself.  Gove notably on BBC Question Time was questioning of the government he belonged to (as Cabinet Minister with collective responsibility) pursuing press regulation, because he was uncomfortable with government interfering with what newspapers could or could not publish.  

Yet the front runner is Theresa May.  Daughter of a Vicar, and the longest serving Home Secretary for decades.  She campaigned rather timidly for Remain, and while she is notable for her negotiating skills, she is frightening in her disregard for liberty.  

Her speech launching her campaign for leader alone should make just about anyone who doesn't have sympathies with the National Front, wonder...

"we should make clear that for the foreseeable future there is absolutely no change in Britain’s trading relationships with the EU or other markets. And until a new legal agreement is reached with the EU, which will not happen for some time, the legal status of British nationals living or working in Europe will not change – and neither will the status of EU nationals in Britain."

In other words, despite the Leave campaign making it absolutely clear that the legal status of any EU nationals living in the UK today would not change, she is putting it up for grabs.  Does it mean she could envisage having the Police knocking on the doors of families who have spent years working legally and peacefully to round them up and send them home?  Well an interview on ITV news/interview show Peston today made thing worse as reported by Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator:

Robert Peston: Now, there’s a lot of anxiety among migrants who’ve come here from the rest of the EU about whether they’ll be allowed to stay. There’s also quite a lot of anxiety among Brits living in the rest of Europe. What would you say to them?

May: What I’d say is that, at the moment we’re still a member of the EU, and the arrangements still continue, so there is no change to their position currently. But of course, as part of the negotiation, we will need to look at this question of people who are here in the UK from the EU, and I want to be able to ensure that we’re able to not just guarantee a position for those people, but guarantee the position for British citizens who are over in other member states, in other countries in Europe and living there.

Peston: So you would like people both… you’d like Brits abroad and migrants here to stay? Forever basically?

May: Well, nobody necessarily stays anywhere forever. But I think what’s important…

Peston: But at their choice?

May: What’s important is there will be a negotiation here as to how we deal with that issue of people who are already here and who have established a life here and Brits who’ve established a life in other countries within the European Union. And that is, their position at the moment is as it has been. There’s no change at the moment, but of course we have to factor that into the negotiations.

As Fraser Nelson, a Vote Leave supporter said:

Michael Gove and the rest of the Vote Leave leadership made this clear during the campaign: no deportations. Not even a question of deportations. Brexit was a vote to control immigration, to control the inflow: currently more than three times higher than Mrs May’s 100,000 target. But it was not a vote to boot out anybody, and to allow even the slightest doubt about that point is grossly irresponsible. Especially at a time when so many are trying to cast the Brexit vote in the worst possible light.

Britain needs these people; our NHS needs these people. We don’t keep them as a favour to Poland and nor should we ever dream of bargaining their residency in some game of diplomatic hardball. The EU may threaten deportation of Brits: it’s a corrupt and undemocratic institution which is why the 52pc of us voted to leave. But no British government should ever consider kicking out any of the two million EU nationals who are already with us..

Quite.  It's deplorable.

However, no one should be surprised.  May embraced the so-called "Snoopers' Charter" as she took every call from the Police, MI5 and MI6 for additional powers for surveillance as being in the public good.  Her proposals mean that a list of every website everyone in the UK visits must be held for at least one year with the Police having open rights to go through all those URLs, but needing a "warrant" to check the "contents".   Besides being completely draconian, it also shows an astonishing ignorance of the internet.  It's like saying I have a list of all the books you have read, but unless I get permission I couldn't work out what was in them.   

Former Liberal Democrat Minister, David Laws, said that between security and liberty, May always chose security, noting that former Home Security Ken Clarke often turned down requests for more powers from security services because "we would be a Police state".

Quite.

Gove is a good man, but I fear his quip that economic experts warning that leaving the EU were like the Nazis organising a smear campaign against Einstein makes him unsuitable to negotiate a new trading relationship with the EU.  He admits it was stupid, but for all his merits, he isn't the right man for the job.  The other three, Andrea Leadsom (pro-Leave ex. financial manager), Stephen Crabb (God botherer from Wales) and Liam Fox (Google Adam Werritty) all have pluses and minuses, more minuses than pluses in my book, but all of them are better than May.  

The contest is a process of attrition.  Conservative MPs vote on the candidates repeatedly, with the lowest polling dropping out until there are two.  I fear May will be one of them, and for now I just hope that whoever is the other can defeat her.

With the UK Labour Party led by a communist who is defying 80% of his Parliamentary party to remain leader, the country has no effective Opposition.   Make no mistake, Theresa May is an enemy of individual freedom, she is no "new Thatcher" and should not become Prime Minister. 



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit: An opportunity that could be wrecked by politicians

So the UK votes to leave and the PM decides to leave, but not now.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer hides, and beyond the Bank of England printing a few billion, nothing else happens.

The EU has already decided to play tough and has its own position, which is essentially "fuck off, the walls are going up, deal with it".  Although Germany is being much more nuanced.

The Conservative Party has to find a new leader, and from that a new Cabinet and a policy on negotiations.  Labour meanwhile is going the same way.  It is likely a new Conservative leader/PM will call a General Election on a manifesto of leading the UK into a new open, free-trading world with a new free trading relationship with the EU.   Leaving the EU requires the UK to initiate it formally, which the EU is begging for, but the Government would rather delay because it changes its bargaining position.

Yet that could be problematic, not least because a key plank of those fighting to leave the EU is to end free movement of people with the EU, and all countries in the EU Single Market (including non-EU Norway and Iceland) all have signed up to free movement, and even non Single Market Switzerland has, although it does have extensive restrictions on new residents having access to any government provided services.

Meanwhile, leftwing nationalists have jumped on an opportunity.  Sinn Fein wants a referendum on Irish unification, but the Northern Ireland First Minister has said no.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is flailing about wanting a second referendum on independence, but wont discuss:

1. The EU only lets non-members join, not current members split into joining and non-joining;
2. Joining the EU means joining the Euro;
3. 90% of Scottish trade is with the UK, Scotland in the EU would mean any EU trade barriers with the UK also apply to Scottish trade with the rest of the UK.

Spain, showing it really hasn't turned as far from Francoism as it would have liked, is demanding co-sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Meanwhile, the young leftwing social justice warrior types (Generation SnowFlake some have called them, for their "safe spaces", being "triggered" by hurt feelings and constantly protesting about what is offended) feel "betrayed" about the old "ruining their futures".  However, the truth is that the majority of the young didn't care enough to vote as revealed by Sky News below.

Whinging about democracy when it doesn't go your way, whilst embracing it otherwise, is beyond the pale, as are some of the hate filled attacks on older votes coming from those whose own identity politics is supposed to decry hate speech.  The truth being that the so-called liberal leftwing anti-hate, anti-violence activists are full of hate and quite happily embrace violence to get their "own way".  It's emotion laden petulance, of the kind you would have only seen from the fringes of the far-right and conspiracy theorists had the vote gone to Remain. 

So what should happen now? (notwithstanding who the PM and Government is)

1. The Government should announce the key planks of a new relationship with the EU around trade, investment, movement of people and co-operation, that it seeks to adopt.  It should clarify to the entire country that it is not going to be a UK of isolationism, but one of openness.

2. The Government should make it clear to all EU passport holders in the UK that no-one will be deported, except under existing arrangements for threats to national security or criminals.  No EU residents need fear this, nor will their property be affected or businesses, and if anyone threatens them they should go to the Police.

3. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Scottish independence this side of Brexit, but that the Government will consult with the Scottish government and parliament on the deal it seeks with the EU.  It is precipitous to talk about Scottish independence until Scotland sees the new deal negotiated with the EU.

4. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Northern Ireland joining Ireland unless the preconditions of the Good Friday Agreement are met, but that equally it cannot happen until the new deal with the EU is negotiated AND negotiations are concluded with the Republic of Ireland.

5. The PM should go to Dublin and discuss the future relationship and reassure that no border controls will be reinstated.

6. The PM should go to Germany and talk, extensively, about how to make this work, and then go to all other EU Member State capitals, and the EFTA Member States too. 

7.  The Government should go to the WTO to discussing reviving membership.

8. The PM should visit USA, China, Japan and other trading partners and say that it wants to have open, freer trading relationships and the UK will be open for business and people.

9. Finally, the PM should make it clear that there wont be a second referendum on membership and that those who want to claim it is unfair, that this is democracy and the task now is to bring the country together and work for a new relationship with the EU and the world that demonstrably proves the claims of the Remain activists wrong.

Oh and ignore Nicola Sturgeon.  The Scottish Parliament can't "veto" the British Government any more than Lambeth Borough Council can stop the UK having nuclear weapons.