GORDON Brown yesterday announced his support for sweeping new powers for the Scottish Parliament, saying he would endorse any major changes that improved the lives of Scots and strengthened the Union.
The Prime Minister used a speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee to make it clear he expected to give his full backing to the recommendations of the Calman Commission into the devolution settlement.
Ah, so, we’re back to that old cunning "Defeat the separatists by giving them more separation" strategy- worked a treat with the original devolution experiment, didn’t it (see the George Robertson quote on the right-hand side of my blog for reference)?
But thankfully, there appears to be still some semblance of realism amongst elements of Scottish Labour:
On Friday 6 February senior Scottish Labour party members called for its MSPs to have part of their powers removed, arguing that Holyrood should no longer have executive powers in crucial policy areas such as energy and national security.
The main concerns are planning powers, giving Scottish ministers control over the construction of new energy projects.
MP John Robertson, secretary of the Westminster group, said: "We need to look at security and energy. Energy is a reserved matter but there are planning issues which can be used to frustrate the energy policies."
He added: "When it comes to national security, we believe one body should be in charge of it on a national basis as a UK government.”