Nicola Sturgeon states that she is “disappointed” at the Smith Commission’s proposals, arguing that, in her mind, they do not go far enough.
Naturally it is right that both she and the SNP are left disappointed. The Smith Commission was set not with the task of delivering independence by the back door, but with the aim of creating a more federal Britain by enhancing the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Whatever outcome the commission brought forward it was always going to have been short of SNP desires to break up the Union.
It became obvious shortly after their defeat in the referendum that, whatever the outcome of the Smith Commission, the Nationalists were going to try to pretend that “the vow” had been broken, as to admit that Westminster had in fact delivered on its promise of “home rule” would be a hammer blow to the separation agenda.
Any suggestion from the Nationalists that “the vow” has been unfulfilled and Scotland betrayed by the unionist parties is contrary to evidence and can be seen as an act of desperation on their behalf.
On the contrary, the Smith Commission’s recommendations even go further than the original vow made by Gordon Brown in that it recommends full, instead of part, devolution of income tax alongside significant elements of the welfare state.
These devolution suggestions by the Smith Commission provide the framework for Scotland to pursue a more socially democratic political agenda (if she so chooses to do so) while retaining the economic security and international prestige that the United Kingdom so excellently provides.
It allows Scotland to express her own distinct political and cultural identity, while at the same time preserving the joint umbrella of British identity that we all benefit from, across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
The proposals, far from being a Westminster betrayal as Nationalists may try to make out, deliver on the home rule promised to Scotland and which 55.3 per cent of Scots voted in favour of.
If enacted by parliament (as they will be in due course) they can bring about a stronger Scotland within a new federal United Kingdom, fit for the challenges of the 21st century.
I find myself disenfranchised. I don’t want devolution in any form, and I believe there are others who agree. However, all the political parties have deserted me.
It seems there are four tiers of government now, for which I have to pay: local government, Scottish Parliament, Westminster and Brussels.
Would it not be much better to spend our money on the NHS and education than on the salaries of an army of politicians, their advisers, researchers and secretaries, not to mention their expensive junkets round the world.
What evidence do we have that Scottish politicians are better than British? None so far as I can tell.
I thought I voted No in September.
Those who “won” the referendum have lost. Gordon Brown’s “vow” intervention as a constituency MP was unauthorised by his party members, never mind voters.
There was no option to vote on extending devolution on the ballot paper.
As one who voted No, albeit reluctantly, I will vote Yes next time in order to remove the constant tension that blights the relationship between our parliaments.
Fiddling with income tax and welfare in different parts of a country?
Some MPs more equal than others?
Voting at different ages in various parts of what was formerly a united kingdom?
A recipe for resentment and an utter shambles!