Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Scottish Constitutional Commission

A belated post on the three Holyrood opposition leaders' (Wendy Alexander, Annabel Goldie and Nicol Stephen) southern sojourn to meet with their Westminster counterparts, the Scottish Secretary Des Browne, Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell and the Lib Dems' Scottish spokesman Alistair Carmichael - retained despite Nick Clegg's reshuffle.

They apparently discussed additional powers for the Scottish Parliament, as well as the proposed cross-party Scottish Constitutional Commission. This, I fear, amounts to very little beyond posturing and flannel, and the anodyne statements (all identical) issued by each party after the meeting simply confirms this.

It brings to mind another Scottish Secretary, George Younger, and his all-party talks on Scottish governance held in the early 1980s. The SNP refused to take part, and the outcome was another fudge: a revival of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and Scottish meetings for the Scottish Grand Committee.

Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph has an interesting piece on the meeting here.


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