The new Scottish Parliament

The newest version of the Scotland Bill, designed to give Scotland more powers in the wake of its flirtation with independence, has cleared the House of Commons and will now be pored over in the House of Lords before being offered to the Scottish Parliament to accept.  It’s the culmination of over a year’s worth of debate and discussion about how best to devolve power to the Scottish Parliament whilst keeping it firmly within the Union.  Whether it manages to do either successfully is yet — Read more →

EVEL by name, evil by nature

This afternoon the constitution of the United Kingdom was changed by 312 MPs whose party won 36.9% of the vote in this year’s General Election.  English MPs will now have a veto on legislation which affects “English-only” matters in the UK Parliament (English Votes for English Laws or EVEL as it’s more commonly known) – leaving the elected members of the house from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland powerless to do the job they were sent to Westminster to do. It’s a constitutional shake-up the — Read more →

More crumbs for Scotland

The much-heralded Smith Commission report into further devolution for Scotland was published today, with the results of a two-month five-party investigation on what powers to give the Scottish Parliament finally being set out. While the Smith Commission’s recommendations are definitely a step in the right direction, and definitely give Scotland more power than it has ever had within the Union, it does miss some vital opportunities to give real and meaningful devolution to the Scottish Parliament. Let’s start off with the good parts of the — Read more →

What’s next for Scotland?: My Smith Commission submission

In the wake of last month’s referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to head a commission looking at the issue of devolving more powers to Scotland including which powers should be devolved and how the process is handled.  Politicians from both the Yes and No parties have been invited to participate, with their detailed submissions now available to read, and just as importantly so have the people of Scotland.  Until the 31st of October, absolutely anyone can put their own view — Read more →