From somewhere in the murky recesses of my memory, I seem to recall that in the early days of devolution, the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition rather casually announced that - for the time being at least - it wasn't going to bother making provision for the collection of the Scottish Variable Rate, thus meaning the parliament's tax-varying power would to all intents and purposes lapse. It was a responsible way to save public money, we were told. I think for about thirty seconds I was fairly outraged - it had been less than two years since Scotland had specifically voted for that power in a referendum, and nobody had bothered to make clear at the time that it was merely intended to be a 'potential' power that the Scottish Executive would be allowed to 'purchase' if it so wished. Although that point of irritation lingered (and is plainly highly pertinent to this day) I couldn't really stay angry with the coalition for their own decision - even I could see that if there was no possibility of the power being used within the relevant timescale, it was a fairly academic point. The main thing was that the power remained on the statute book, and would be available to future administrations.
I strongly suspect that those who are now expressing synthetic anger in similar circumstances know perfectly well that the same logic applies here. If anything, the logic is considerably stronger, given that we've now learnt that the powers wouldn't have been available for some time even if the Scottish government had shelled out for them - not to mention the fact that the current system is about to be replaced (without a referendum) with a tax-raising power that the Westminster government apparently intend to force us to pay to upkeep on an ongoing basis. Bearing all that in mind, I think most people must know in their heart of hearts that (cheap Nat-bashing opportunities aside) to throw away £7 million on the symbolic maintenance of a soon-to-be-defunct power that none of the major parties intend to use in the interim period wouldn't just have been unnecessary - it would have been idiotic.
But it seems that James of Better Nation is one of the few to be genuinely spitting fury over this rather esoteric issue, and is interpreting the silence of many SNP-friendly bloggers as a sign of deep shame or embarrassment. Well, that's one possibility, but as I pointed out in a comment on his post, there is another one - that nationalist bloggers don't, on the whole, actually give a monkey's about it. I'd also suggest James was rather foolish to list a number of bloggers that he apparently regards as guilty of supine loyalty, given that in many cases it's not at all difficult to find instances where those people have departed markedly from the party line. For example, it's only a few weeks since Lallands Peat Worrier went out of his way to publish a guest post that was scathing about the Scottish government's emergency legislation following the Cadder ruling, while Subrosa has always been several billion light-years away from SNP policy on Europe, climate change, and a whole host of other topics. And many, many nationalists haven't exactly been shy about calling for a homegrown inquiry on Lockerbie, despite the SNP leadership specifically ruling that out. Given such a track record, the idea that nationalist bloggers would hold back on an issue that touches on their most fundamental political priority of all - the powers of the Scottish Parliament - seems risible.
I suspect James is making the classic 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' mistake of assuming that his own anger about a particular topic must be universal, and that if others are keeping quiet about it they must - as rational people - be secretly fuming.