‘ I would advise any Scottish government to aim broadly to balance the budget. At present, without support from Westminster, Scotland would be running a large deficit. If the proponents of independence want to increase their economic credibility, now is the time to start setting out how that deficit could be closed’.
‘If the limit of our collective ambition is to elect a media-friendly performer (like some kind of reliable weather forecaster) who can deliver a few hits in Holyrood to rally the troops, we’re underestimating the scale of Labour’s problem. And running the risk of getting giddy on the political equivalent of the worst football managerial merry-go-round’.
‘ Today, the Conservative Party is emphatically more nationalist than the SNP but some of its leading members still criticize the nationalist mote in the SNP seemingly oblivious to the beam in its own ideology’.
‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘At the end of the day, the UK Government and Parliament (subject, of course, to the constraints of parliamentary arithmetic) can legally have their way on what happens to repatriated power, even if any “will of the people” justification for doing so would be specious. But…’
‘For many on the independence side this is all a bit of a let down, but instead it should be seen as a challenge and window. Scotland’s journey to greater self-government isn’t all about the SNP. Nor is it about keeping quiet and burying any reservations until Independence Day.’
It is likely, therefore, that the UK Government will retain the key powers indefinitely and devolve only cautiously. It seems unlikely that the UK Government will transfer them all back or that the Welsh proposal for joint policymaking will be adopted.
“These arguments are entirely legitimate, and ‘fairness’ is something we each may have an opinion on, but to criticise the entire GERS exercise for the simple fact that they are based upon ‘estimation’ is clearly wrong.”
This would have beenl the first of a Sceptical Scot series exploring what kind of Scotland we are and want to become…What kind of Scotland we become tomorrow requires a clear and honest look in the mirror today. Come and help us shine a light by taking part in an open, generous and non-partisan conversation.
“Holyrood is an incredibly powerful Parliament with the ability to make a real positive difference to the lives of people in Scotland. Sadly, it is not in the interests of those who value independence above all else to use these powers to their full effect. The powers they need must always be those they don’t have. It is the only way their constitutional obsession can be achieved.”