“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…
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.”
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
Prospects for future fiscal devolution?
“Are current fiscal powers optimal for managing day-to-day and longer-term risks? And do the devolved administrations have the right tools to manage the financial risks they are likely to face now and in the future?”
Scotland’s currency options under independence
“The transition to full use of a S£ would take time, with high use of the UK£ within Scotland even once the S£ is established, whether at independence or soon after. In my view, it should start on day 1 of independence.”
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.”
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.”
A voluntary union with no exit?
“Scotland, the Supreme Court says, cannot have a referendum without Westminster’s approval. But what the SNP, and others, put in their election manifestos is up to them. We’re on a path to a quasi-referendum. And Scotland will have its say.” Kirsty Hughes on the political aftermath of THAT ruling. Where do we go from here?
Unhelpful clarifications on #indyref2
“The way is now open for the UK Government to say that there is no time or way for Scotland to exercise its acknowledged right of self-determination, for no other reason that it has the power to do so. As others have noted, this turns from one of consent to a union of (narrowly interpreted) law.” Michael Keating on Scottish self-determination and UK sovereignty in the light of the Supreme Court ruling.