“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.”
Isla Bryson: a trauma-blind response in prison
The Bryson case reveals a long-standing tension in Scottish prisons policy between gender self-identification principles and trauma-informed care. For the best part of a decade this contradiction has played out in plain sight, with minimal scrutiny, to the detriment of female offenders. That it has taken the case of a double rapist to bring it to the fore raises serious questions about political priorities as well as the susceptibility of public authorities to lobbying.
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.”
Swinney should use his fiscal powers to the full: Update
“But there are also flexibilities that the Deputy First Minister has for the next financial year that were not available to him for this year – the Scottish Government does have tax powers that could be used, if he wishes, to raise more revenue.” FAI sets the scene for Thursday’s Scottish Budget
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.