Keep devolution above politics

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IN CONTRAST to your front page headline (“Poll reveals new danger to No camp”, 15 September), the necessity to address having a better devolution settlement has been recognised for over a year now, and is well understood by most within the Better Together campaign.

It appears to me that virtually all journalists are more preoccupied with the politics of this than they are with the actual issue itself, and that this will be the case until both the Labour Party and the Conservatives have published their proposals.

However, there are two sets of concrete proposals on the table already that are worth debating if we are interested in additional powers.

Firstly, the raft of new powers brought in by the Scotland Act have never been discussed or analysed in any depth, and I doubt if most people even know they exist. But they will be implemented within this Scottish Parliament. How would we use them, or should we just conspire to lose them down the back of the sofa like John Swinney did with the tax varying powers we gave him in 1997?

Secondly, the Home Rule paper published by the Liberal Democrats a year ago has been virtually ignored, and yet it sets out a series of recommendations that are better developed than any proposals we have from the Scottish Government to date.

We could start having this discussion now, and analysing either or both of the above would be a useful start to that. Both deserve more coverage.

I expect Labour and the Conservatives to come forward with proposals of substance as well, but I am not sure I want to see an overall agreed position prior to the referendum. That would look too much like a stitch-up. If the pro-Union argument prevails next year, then it is important that those voting Yes should not be excluded in the process of forming a new consensus, nor should non-political organisations who may then want to contribute to the process of taking us forwards, as they did in the 1990s.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy