‘Modern Scotland, both before and after devolution, emerges as a country that is more committed to bureaucracy than democracy’.
‘The UK Government needs to take more ownership for the perceived troubles of the Scottish deficit because it is clearly responsible for many of the revenue and spending decisions that have got us to where we are…’
‘It is important to remember that GERS takes the current constitutional settlement as given. If the very purpose of independence is to take different choices about the type of economy and society that we live in, then a set of accounts based upon the current constitutional settlement and policy priorities will tell us little about the long-term finances of an independent Scotland.’
‘The problems now inherent in Scottish education, both falling standards and the attainment gap, are cultural not just structural. Significant progress can only be made with real attempts to alleviate poverty and a genuine alliance of people and organisations across Scotland committed to significant change’.
‘This week’s court (Supreme Court) case may prove not to be the end — or even the beginning of the end — of the constitutional crisis. Perhaps we will find that it was merely the end of the beginning.’
‘Certainly, the tawdry displays of English chauvinism, the ugly racist sentiments behind it, the Dad’s Army nostalgia for empire, quite apart from the liars and cheats that delivered Leave, are reason enough to stay in (and reform) Europe – and quit the rotting ship of the British unitary state before it’s too late.’
‘One thing is clear – the days of a neat division of powers between UK, Scottish and local government are gone. Brexit will paradoxically make these multilevel dynamics very much like those of the regionalised states in the EU27,’ the bead of COSLA office in Brussels writes.
‘The UK could, therefore, be in the process of a fundamental constitutional reconfiguration that partially reverses devolutionary patterns of development of the preceding two decades. This project is taking place in a fashion that is not wholly consensual, and involves the UK government deploying, or at least threatening to deploy, parliamentary sovereignty for purposes of legal coercion.’
If this happens, the NHS Scotland will see average annual real terms increases of around 3.1% during this parliament (and 4.2% annually over the next three years), more than double the implication of its existing plans, which envisage average annual real terms increases on the NHS over the parliament of around 1.4%.
‘Furthermore, while Nicola Sturgeon, naturally, has to go along with today’s tomfoolery, it is difficult to imagine a politician who has spent 30 years helping to mould the SNP into a credible party of government approving a stunt that is more befitting of a student union meeting.’