Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scottish Devolution isn't working

A report promising to tell us:
"How Scotland’s constitutional obsession leads to bad government" and
"How devolution has failed to solve Scotland’s real problems"
...sounds very much like my kind of report!

It has been published by Policy Exchange, a think tank, and concludes that Scotland’s health service, education system and economy have declined since 1999 thanks to MSPs "retrograde" attitude to radical reform and their obsession with obtaining more powers for Holyrood.

Concrete evidence is given regarding the decline (despite increased spending) in the two areas the Scottish Administration has main responsibility for: the health service and education, but the most intriguing claim is that for some Scottish Nationalists:
"inaction strengthens the argument for more powers” by providing a constitutional solution to all the country’s problems.

"There is a clear conflict of interest between adopting a distinctive programme of economic and social reform on the one hand and claiming independence is necessary to cure Scotland’s ills on the other,"
In other words, it's not in the SNP's long-term interest to work for an economically prospering Scotland as that may reduce the percentage voting for separation?

The document can be accessed here(PDF).


The Aberdonian said...

The swipe was at the past and present administrations - and written by a former Tory candidate.

The report bizarrely united all four Scottish parties to attack it in one way or another. Even the Tories.

The demand for more powers has only recently - post 2007 - taken off.

In many ways the report is the first in the offensive to stop more autonomy.

Talking about autonomy by the way, the Manx are appealing to have another moratorium on the revoking of free health care provision for Manx residents visiting the UK.

Also interesting quote the other day from a Conservative and Unionist MP which might make you mad -

You might be interested who is backing him-----

And also a meeting between the UK and Guernsey administrations

O'Neill said...

"The report bizarrely united all four Scottish parties to attack it in one way or another. Even the Tories"

Not that bizarre, in that any decline in health or education provision is the responsibility of both the governing party and its supposed check, the opposition.

Re Mr Rosindall, thanks, I'll use it. Nothwithstanding his "inappropriate" views on Manx devolution he's one of my heroes in the parliament.

Regarding both IOM and Guernsey constitutional position, do you fancy writing a post I could put up here?

An English MP has urged colleagues to support what he says is a "cherished and unbreakable link" between the Isle of Man and United Kingdom.

kensei said...

What you meant to say was policy arm of British Tory party attacks devolution.

The idea that this think tank is impartial or independent is laughable.

O'Neill said...

"The idea that this think tank is impartial or independent is laughable."

If it isn't and it's representative of CHQ thinking (and I think it well might be) then we are in for a very interesting time ahead.

kensei said...

Devolution is irreversible. You have a class of politicians that will fight tooth and nail to retain their power, and you a very different electorate that will not take kindly to English Tories mucking in. Hell, the LDs risking a caning next year just by association.

Unless Dave wants to break the Union, he'd be better off talking a few niceties and leaving them to it.

The Aberdonian said...

I will try and write something about the issue in the near future.

Interesting issues (apart from the tax thing etc) is the lack of reporting in the UK media of some major scandals in the Crown Dependencies. Whilst the Jersey child abuse affair is well reported - and the alleged collusion in the domestic political establishment in hushing it up, the Fallargate case in Guernsey and to me to give it a title "Grantgate" on the IoM are very interesting.

For example if a First Minister was arrested and questioned by his own police accused of trying to defraud his own government----- like a Chief Minister on the Isle of Man, critics of devolution would never shut up.

Mrs Chief Minister was later convicted-----

A British Banana Republic?

Taffytron said...

The kind of thing referred to by Aberdonian is quite common in the overseas territories as well.

For example, the corruption in the Turks and Caicos islands has had self government totally suspended due to large scale dodgy dealings. Interesting note: this leaves the people of the TCI without any form of democratic representation, as the governor is now in direct charge. These places are not part of the UK and return no M.P's - surely this isn't a good thing??

There are also serious concerns regarding Bermuda (a great deal of racial tension between black and white bermudians stoked up by their politicians), the Cayman Islands and Anguilla (see for example the blog Corruption free anguilla). These problems are not constricted to British dependencies; the Dutch West Indies are supposed to be pretty corrupt. Just to demonstrate that centralised control Westminster style doesn't really work eithr we can look at the riots that occured last year in Martinique, part of the super-centralised French republic - 'There is no such thing as Creoles, Bretons, Basques or Catalans, we are all one French race language and culture'. Sounds familiar ?? : )