“The £320 million of money coming to Scotland mentioned in the Chancellor’s speech is for 2023-24 and 2024-25, but that’s all we’ve been told. Given that these figures will have been worked out in advance, there is surely no reason why these figures can’t be released in full at the same time as the rest of the Budget documents.”
Impartiality and public service media
“It (BBC) also bends with the political wind, especially where—as on refugees—Labour is too cowed to offer any challenge to the dominant discourse (that the desperate journeys by raft across the channel, often ending in tragedy, are all got up by traffickers of the ‘migrants’), which the BBC then faithfully echoes.” It should “speak truth to power” instead…
SNP leadership election: what about indy in Europe?
“there is still time for the three candidates to set out a serious, substantive case on their perspective on independence, as well as on being First Minister…This substantive independence case should include an in-depth and sustained focus on what independence in the EU offers and how to get there. It’s time the SNP got serious on independence in the EU.”
Taking the border out of politics
David Torrance looks back on the first UK constitutional referendum – the 1973 N Irish border poll. “As Prof James Mitchell has observed, the 1973 referendum ‘suggested that sovereignty rested with the people of Northern Ireland and not Parliament at Westminster’, a suggestion arguably reinforced with respect to Scotland more than 40 years later.”
Are Europe’s independence movements dead?
“With neo-autonomism becoming increasingly exhausted, the most likely trajectory is that the ERC and the SNP drift towards becoming parties that are more or less satisfied with seeking to accrue more devolved powers within the hegemonic state. Nationalism without independence.”
Why Labour should adopt a two-stage approach to Lords reform
“The House of Lords plays an important part in our national political life, but it is undermined by uncontrolled prime ministerial appointments, growing size and the continued membership of hereditary peers. The public want change on these things and – before doing anything else – party leaders should deliver them.~
Will the Assembly of Nations and Regions fly?
“If the purpose of a second chamber of the nations and regions is to bind the devolution settlement together, engagement with key figures from beyond Westminster, particularly at the devolved level, is clearly essential. Consultation should also meaningfully engage the public, ideally through deliberative exercises such as citizens’ assemblies.” On Brown Commission plans for a second chamber at Westminster
Can Scotland enjoy a ‘velvet divorce’ from UK?
Looking back on the Czech/Slovak divorce 30 years ago, a US political scientist sees no precedent: “The SNP might interpret a general election result as a mandate to leave, but unionist parties might see it otherwise and refuse to come to the table. Any push towards independence in the face of opposition from the U.K. government could lead to an impasse akin to that between Catalonia and the Spanish government.”
Should Wales leave the UK?
“He explores the various sorts of visions to which independence supporters aspire—socialist, enterprise-driven, republican etc.—provocatively querying what happens if on arrival at the much-vaunted Shangri-La it does not meet individuals’ personal expectations.”
The SNP’s new fundamentalism
“The SNP has dug itself into a fundamentalist hole and will need a dramatic pragmatic turn to hope to take advantage of the changing political context. Its best hope under its current fundamentalist leadership remains that the Tories win the next general election, opinion remains polarised and might finally shift decisively in favour of independence.”