“A government that operates on the basis of centralisation and control; micro- management and a misplaced lack of faith or worse still, a lack of trust in local government to deliver locally based solutions to both national and local issues will not succeed. It must exploit the full toolbox offered by devolution.”
UK-wide constitutional reform is an unavoidable must
“Intergovernmental relations across the UK should be redefined on a stronger, formal footing and codified in a new constitutional framework which enhances arrangements for self-government and secures mechanisms for effective isles-wide collaboration.”
Scotland’s centres of power need reform: Part 2 (Holyrood)
James Mitchell’s survey of Scotland and its centres of power ends with reflections on the glaring need for reforming Holyrood after two decades of devolution. “The Scottish Parliament is not a delicate flower that needs protection but a robust institution that required robust critiques, especially from those who support it.”
Plotting Scotland’s unsettled future
“There is no question that leaving the EU will leave our economy smaller and less successful than would otherwise have been the case. But rather than dwelling on this ‘borrowed future’, we need to have consensus on how to move forward. That consensus can be especially hard to find when politics in Scotland is often binary and confrontational in nature….”
What’s going on at the SNP?
“History may judge the police search and arrests to be over the top – or justified. We don’t know yet. But I think the interests of justice would be best served by a speedy decision from the Procurator Fiscal on this.”
Humza faces a hard landing
“If Sturgeon’s reputation is already being shredded, he doesn’t have one to defend. A hard rain gonna fall on him. And, more than likely, his party too.”
Eradicating poverty in Scotland: a long way to go
“Relative poverty needs to move down to 18% by 2023-24 to meet this target (and then down to 10% by 2030-31). It goes without saying that there is a long way to go!
How sustainable are Scottish tax and spend policies?
“under current Scottish and UK fiscal policies, if public services in Scotland are to continue to be delivered as they are today, Scottish Government spending over the next 50 years will exceed the estimated funding available by an average of 1.7% each year.”
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.”