Saturday, February 13, 2010

Scotland - know your place

We've heard a great deal in recent days - indeed for a lot longer than that - about how a Cameron government will show "respect for Scotland and strengthen devolution". This, however, is quickly qualified as having very little to do with what others might regard as showing respect or strengthening devolution - 'respect' seemingly does not cover respecting Scotland's right to have a voice on an issue as vital as Trident. Rather it is a "mutual" respect, which roughly translates as "Scotland - know your place". And 'strengthening devolution' does not appear to involve actually transferring further powers to the Scottish Parliament as proposed by the Calman Commission - you know, that body the Tories helped to establish. Instead it's all utterly cosmetic stuff about UK government ministers coming before the Scottish Parliament to answer questions - fine as far as it goes, but it does all seem eerily reminiscent of the non-reforms the Tory government introduced in the 1990s (ie. John Major going before the Scottish Grand Committee - wow) to avoid actually having to address the real issue of the Scottish democratic deficit. As Canon Kenyon Wright memorably said of those 1990s 'reforms' - "interesting, but appears to misunderstand the question".

As an aside, there is something that comes around for the 'Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party' only once a year. It's something called a 'Party Conference Broadcast'. Wouldn't it have been a mark of Cameron's professed 'respect' for Scotland to take just an hour out of his schedule to record a Scotland-specific broadcast, rather than recycling one of his English 'Cameron Direct' meetings? A trivial point maybe, but such things can often be the most revealing.

1 comment:

  1. Why bother even talking about Cameron?

    For the moment, the man is completely irrelevant to Scotland.