Bypassing Barnett

.’.the allocation of an additional £1bn funding to Northern Ireland over two years represents a particularly large financial settlement to have bypassed Barnett. To secure an equivalent funding increase via the Barnett Formula, the UK Government would have had to increase comparable English spending by £30bn; this in turn would have generated Scottish consequentials of £3bn..’

When will the next general election be?

John Curtice interpreting the 2017 general election

“If you can tell me if and when the government would lose a vote of no confidence, either because of defections, bye-election losses, falling out with the DUP, ministerial planes stuck in the fog in Brussels airport, or all the rest of it, I’ll tell you when the next election is”: John Curtice

Dialogue of the deaf: 4-nation Brexit talks

‘In a post-election paper, the Welsh Government has called for ‘deeper and more sustained cooperation’ between the UK and devolved governments, including more shared governance, co-decision and joint delivery. The paper also calls for…a Council of Ministers acting as a decision-making body not dissimilar to the EU Council.’

Scotland’s lost architectural futures

Owen Hopkins’s book Lost Futures surveys the rise, fall and rise again of the reputation of British post-war architectural modernism, including iconic Scottish projects such as Glasgow’s Red Roads Flat and Hutchenstown C, the Cockenzie Power Station and St Peter’s Seminary.

An independent Scottish foreign policy

‘Over time, in contrast to the UK where the twin foundations of foreign policy have recently been shaken (its ability to influence policy formulation in Washington and as a leading shaper of EU policy in Brussels)…Scotland’s position in both the EU and NATO would prove a valuable anchor for stability and influence in a complex world.’

Trident: a very British yearning for Empire bling

‘Trident is a weapon designed for the past. Britain’s willingness to squander billions on a technology which may well be redundant before it’s been fully installed would be absurd if it were about military strategy. But as a substitute for a proper process of truth and reconciliation over empire, it’s utterly useless.’

The SNP’s conservative agenda

“As in 2015, the main slogan is ‘Stronger for Scotland’. The manifesto repeats the trick of running this alongside a tartanised version of the famous green leather seats in the House of Commons.” “In fact, the expected Conservative majority would mean strong SNP numbers have practically no impact on this area” (health spend).