Just as a quick follow-up to my earlier post about the Supreme Court controversy, I was more than a touch bemused by Tony Kelly's defence of the status quo on Newsnight Scotland tonight. He has a very confident air about him, as if it can be taken as read that he's talking common sense, but in fact with each answer to one of Isabel Fraser's questions he seemed to be cheerfully contradicting what he'd only just said in the previous answer. For instance, when she asked him if it wouldn't be a good idea to ensure that the Supreme Court had a majority of Scottish judges when it dealt with Scottish cases, he made a high-minded 'juges sans frontières' point that it shouldn't be about checking a judge's passport or birth certificate. But then Fraser countered by suggesting that Scottish judges would have a better understanding of the context in which the decisions of lower courts had been made, to which his rather startling reply was "exactly". He added that this was why the presence of Lord Hope and Lord Rodger in the Supreme Court line-up was so important. OK, so suddenly it is about "passports and birth certificates" after all, Tony?
But he saved the best for last. When asked if it wouldn't be better to bypass London altogether and go straight to Strasbourg, he said no, because all the judges would be "foreign" - presumably in this instance meaning anyone from outside the UK. Yup, that inspiring, idealistic point you made about judges leaving their passports and birth certificates at home is really looking in fine shape now, Tony.
A proxy argument for British nationalism? Perish the thought.