Alert readers may have noticed with barely-concealed disinterest that Scottish Labour have announced their intention to have another really hard think about devolution.
With Labour not looking like being in power at either Holyrood or Westminster for at least a decade, and their opinions therefore being about as relevant as our ideas as to who should play in the back four for Real Madrid next weekend, most papers treated the news with the gravitas it deserved, such as this report in the Sunday Post:
But we thought it might be a snappy idea to keep track of all the times the Unionist parties have promised that they’ve come up with the ultimate form of devo-X.
So after all the kerfuffle and commotion and comedy, a deal was done, of sorts. The unsquareable circle wasn’t squared, but the day of facing up to it was punted down the line for five years, by which point everyone hopes that it’ll be someone else’s problem. (Which is certainly the case for David Cameron.)
Every newspaper in Scotland tomorrow will look like this:
It’s been a fair few months since we last documented the Daily Record’s increasingly panicky attempts to save its own hide over its infamous eve-of-referendum “Vow”.
In its growing desperation, the paper bizarrely turns today to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, demanding that SHE should be the one to fulfil a promise that the Record made specifically in order to thwart Sturgeon’s lifelong goal of independence.
Gordon Brown, last seen wailing that The Vow had been “betrayed”, appears to have jumped ship a little early when it came to changing his position on it for what by our count is the fourth or fifth time so far.
With David Mundell and Ian Murray both having appeared on today’s “Good Morning Scotland” singing the praises of the wonderful Scotland Bill and how it would deliver all a nation could ever dream of, it seems a good time to publish the results of our recent Panelbase poll on the subject.
The nation, it seems, has rather more ambitious dreams.
We’ll never tire of documenting the Daily Record’s increasingly panicked attempts to get David Cameron to enact the Record’s dodgy promise of last September and save it from having to answer for the pup it sold Scotland.
The Daily Record has a major editorial in today’s edition bleating piteously about the way David Mundell and the Conservative government have – to everyone’s complete and utter astonishment, except not so much – ignored the wishes of almost all the MPs elected by the Scottish people just two months ago and blocked every single amendment to the Scotland Bill.
The picture above, by alert reader Neil Hepburn, seems to sum the situation up.
Unionists got very excited last week when the Office for Budget Responsibility once again downgraded its long-term North Sea oil revenue forecasts (which in 2011 it was predicting at £131bn) to just £2.1bn over 20 years. The new figure was as usual treated as a gospel fact and deployed to attack both independence and full fiscal autonomy by proving that Scotland couldn’t afford to run its own affairs.
We and others pointed out the numerous flaws in that argument, but of course those are just points of view. We could all debate it all day and all night and never achieve a consensus. There is, however, an easy way to settle the matter, by which supporters and opponents of independence and FFA alike can both put their money where their mouths are and everyone will be happy.
The first five words of “The Vow” – the solemn pledge made by all three UK party leaders on the eve of the independence referendum – are “The Scottish Parliament is permanent”. This is what happened in the House of Commons this evening when the UK government was asked to make good on that pledge.