Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Scottish Government's new "spiritual" power

I've just been having a first quick perusal of the plans for the new Scotland Bill, and one particular detail made me laugh. The Calman proposal for Scottish ministers to be given the power to appoint the BBC Trust member for Scotland has essentially been rejected, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise from the explanation that is given -

"Following careful consideration of the Commission's recommendation, the Scotland Bill includes a clause that requires UK ministers to obtain the agreement of Scottish Ministers on the selection of the BBC Trust member for Scotland. The UK Government considers that this meets the spirit of the recommendation..."

Really? How? Would simply requiring the Chancellor of the Exchequer to secure the "agreement" of Scottish ministers on the rate of income tax "meet the spirit" of the proposal for a devolved income tax? What utter nonsense.

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