Labour has been stoking up expectations that it can protect Scotland from the cuts. Those expectations will not evaporate after the May elections. Pressure on Labour to deliver will be intense. The new Scotland Bill will be unable to help.
Labour’s only hope will be to channel disillusionment and anger against London. The lesson from the recent past is that it is best to pre-empt the build-up of pressure and ensure that a measure of fiscal autonomy is implemented that creates meaningful self-government rather than fuelling Scotland’s grievance culture. It may be too late for that.