A conversation about a future which has already been decided from the top won’t encourage people to talk. Genuine consensus must emerge from the bottom up.
“Opportunities for Labour arise from an SNP that excels in performative politics but fails in policy performance. The respective and competing nationalisms of Edinburgh and London governments are shrill and limited in their understanding of self-government. You cannot ‘take back control’ by focusing on empowering London or Edinburgh at the cost to all else. Labour has some way to go but with an independence referendum unlikely any time soon it does have some time.”
“Holyrood needs to revive its commitment to power sharing and subsidiarity. At its inception, the Scottish Parliament could legitimately claim to be bold and innovative. It can be again.”
‘… a different kind of constitutional structure from a typical federal state, but a structure which discharges the same functions…For Scots, endlessly split over the unhelpfully binary independence question, change in the UK offers a different option which not just constructive unionists but thoughtful nationalists will be attracted to…’
‘The comment by the Scottish Finance Secretary at the time of publication that “Scotland’s economy and public finances are strong” seems fanciful given any reasonable analysis of recent low economic growth figures and a still high, by international standards, fiscal deficit.’
‘Westminster is also extending its reach to some detailed local policies that are clearly devolved and local. It is not clear, for example, why UK ministers should have a say in the decision about a new concert hall in Edinburgh…’
‘Just as the nation-state replaced Empire, so the plates delineating optimal, governable units within larger, common systems are again moving.’
‘If voters filter their responsibility judgements through the lenses of partisanship and national identity, incumbents may end up being rewarded or punished by the electorate in a way that is unrelated to policy outcomes.’
‘Were Brexit to weaken the autonomy of the devolved institutions without increasing their influence over UK policies, relationships between the UK’s territories may become ever more strained.’
Brexit is not necessarily best viewed as an English project. Daniel Wincott says it’s time for politicians and commentators to face up to complex multi-national realities of the UK.