‘Party of federalism’

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Opinion polls so far don’t tell us which way devolution supporters are going to jump when faced with the Yes/No question the unionists have foisted on them.

Christine Jardine, however, appears to believe that the outcome of the independence referendum is already determined. We are, therefore, asked to “move on” and welcome the arrival of powers over landfill, air guns and speed limits in 2016. If that is not enough, we are then expected to take heart from Liberal Democrat proposals for a federal UK in their 2015 manifesto. For someone from the “party of federalism”, Ms Jardine seems to understand the idea poorly. Federalism doesn’t just “give Scotland the financial levers to ensure social change”, it gives Scotland a choice on which powers to cede to the federal government.

A Yes vote might offer the best chance of achieving that position. A better chance, beyond any doubt, than planning to vote Lib Dem in 2015. Voters seeking change may conclude that the SNP’s independence is the surest route to a British federation – which is why the referendum result ought not to be called until the votes have been counted.

Malcolm Kerr


Isle of Arran