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Wings Over Scotland

Dreaming the unpopular dream

Posted on May 20, 2018 by

A couple of weeks ago Scottish Labour announced, to the traditional merriment, its commitment to greater federalism for the UK, as it has done every year since 2011 or indeed since 1910. (Sometimes under the equally-meaningless term “Home Rule”.)

In today’s Sunday Times, the much-missed former SNP spin doctor Kevin Pringle also pondered the idea, concluding that he could get on board a federal Scotland in the UK under certain conditions:

So in our poll of English voters last week, we thought we’d ask their opinion.

And sadly, it doesn’t look like it’s a vote-winner.

Barely one in five English voters thought the UK should be reorganised as a more federal state giving greater say to the minority partners in the Union. Almost as many thought devolution should be rolled backwards, with more power returned to the central parliament at Westminster.

And by far the largest number thought everything was just fine the way it was, even with the question (deliberately) worded slightly pejoratively to make the status quo sound a bit unfair. Just 38% backed any sort of change in either direction, and among Tory voters only 10% were willing to increase the scope or powers of devolution.

So don’t hold your breath for federalism, is our advice.

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    1. 20 05 18 12:56

      The unpopular dream | speymouth

    68 to “Dreaming the unpopular dream”

    1. Calum McKay says:

      Devolution was a sop to Scottish nationalism, federalism is a further sop.

      It’s purely designed to delay the inevitable and is a dead end.

      Let’s not go there!

    2. Clootie says:

      A favourite game – confusing practical potential support (reality) for a federal system across the full UK and empty promises to delay Scottish independence.

      It is an empty meaningless gesture but we are to pretend Gordon Brown speaks sense.

      …but we all know how much we can trust a unionist promoting a federal solution 🙂

    3. ronnie anderson says:

      Regurgitated piffle from the Labour Party , that ship has long since sailed .

    4. ClanDonald says:

      It’s incredible that Labour tells Scotland that it will deliver federalism in the same week that it votes to remove devolved powers from the Welsh government.

      What a bunch of sleekit cheats and con artists.

    5. JLT says:

      The simple fact is, and it has been there for over a century, is that the English electorate don’t give a damn for Federalism. If truth be told, our Southern partners continually vote Tory, because they believe that the Tories will enhance ones wealth by manipulating the financial markets, thus allowing them to climb the class system. It’s always about class.

      In the eyes of the English electorate, Labour has always been viewed with a certain amount of suspicion since the spread of wealth means higher taxes, and therefore, the perception of going backwards in the class system and financial status.

      But the bizarre thing is, the UK has ALREADY introduced federalism. It did it 70 years ago, and it did it successfully …so successfully, that the nation is the greatest economic power in Europe.

      I am talking about Germany.

      After the war, so determined was our Establishment in removing a rival establishment that had sought its own empire, navy, powerhouse industry and had its own major royal family, that it swore that it would never rise again to test the British Establishment. The ‘Juncker’ class (landed classes) were removed, the military destroyed, the royal family removed and everyone treated as an equal. In fact, so determined that they were, that they even destroyed the name of the nation that had risen spectacularly in the previous century as homage to the British State to whom it looked at as the perfect model – Prussia. An ancient kingdom wiped off Europe’s maps.

      And so the Federal Republic of Germany was born. And look how well it has done in that time.

      Which then begs the question …if Brtiain was so good at creating such a powerful and egalitarian state …then why have they not done it here?

      I wonder why…

    6. Ken500 says:

      Rev Stu on TV. MSM criticising itself?

    7. Alex Montrose says:

      The Rev on the telly, yeeaahh.

    8. galamcennalath says:

      So Labour are offering a federal unit in what? A mad bad far right xenophobic isolationist UK? That doesn’t improve the situation or solve many issues.

      Are they thinking of lots of additional powers to ‘federal unit Scotland’? Given the way Smith went, I highly doubt it!

      And most critical of all, England will never ever agree to it! We won’t hear much of this plan from Labour HQ/London.

      It all just a callous underhand attempt to influence gullible Scots into believing the Union has some future. The reality is their Union offers nothing positive and needs to be binned asap.

    9. HandandShrimp says:

      The very fact that Stu is on telly is going to irritate the nipple ends off some people.


    10. Bill Hume says:

      Federal…schmederal….yak yak. Same old.
      (I’m in a bad mood as I’ve been ordered by the missus to visit the Mother in Law today).

    11. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Who would have thought our owners would take such a view.

      You can stick your so called Federalism right up your vow.

    12. HandandShrimp says:

      PS Kevin is right. It could be possible to organise a Federal UK but independence is much more realistic ambition.

      Labour use the ‘F’ word as a long iron to welly change into the long rough.

    13. Robert Peffers says:

      @ronnie anderson says: 20 May, 2018 at 11:52 am:

      “Regurgitated piffle from the Labour Party , that ship has long since sailed.”

      Sailed! Sailed?

      Ronnie, Yon ship sailed right to the bottom long before the Titanic was even launched. In point of fact even remote controlled submersibles have been unable to locate the wreck.

      There has even been calls from the public to declare it a war grave if they ever find where it went down.

    14. Ken500 says:

      ‘Press freedom’. Freedom to lie through it’s teeth. Part of the Gov.

      No wonder they are losing their jobs. Crying Wolf. They are part of the problem.

    15. Bugger (the Panda) says:


      Squares with experience of London area.

      House prices, equity and extreme fatigue of going down the class system. Tories play Labour to a T every election on this.

    16. Giving Goose says:

      Fed sounds good on paper but it requires England to become an equal partner.
      Not going to happen because it would mean an admission that “Britain” (ie England) has diminished.

    17. Marie Clark says:

      Federalism again! Really! Stable, horse and door springs to mind.

      It’ll never happen cause England don’t want, don’t need it, and as the poll shows, don’t really care.

      Same old, same old from useless Labour. Just stirring the merde as usual. Chane the bloomin tune for god’s sake. Or alternately, gie’s peace ya bunch o’ chancers.

    18. Ken500 says:

      Scotland can be outvoted 10 to 1. Federalism will never work. That’s why Devolution was introduced. To stop Independence. Now the Tories want to thwart that. Take powers away, The Barnett Formula Scotland loses £Billions. The McCrone Report. Scotland can’t manage its own resources. It has to pay for what it doesn’t want. Trident. Pay interest on loans it doesn’t borrow or spend. Hinkley Point, HS2 etc. Governance in the Mall when these administration jobs could be in Scotland. Scotland has been depopulated by Westminster centralist policies. Thatcher. The Westminster unionist Gov is totally corrupt.

      The SNP Gov is standing up for Scotland. Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

    19. Sinky says:

      Good to see Rev Stu on BBC. Joan MacAlpine made a good point on broadcasting being reserved so we are powerless to stop STV being sold to ITV.

      STV main shareholders

      Crystal Amber Advisers (UK) LLP
      6,672,633 17.0%
      Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd.
      3,952,911 10.1%
      Slater Investments Ltd.
      2,662,001 6.79%
      Schroder Investment Management Ltd.
      2,608,731 6.66%
      Majedie Asset Management Ltd.
      2,000,582 5.10%

      Crystal Amber is an off shore asset stripping predator

      STV says it is going to invest in digital.

      The current STV leads you watch live online EXCEPT FOR STV NEWS at SIX.

      Same goes for Virgin Media where you get London ITV news instead of STV news at 6.

    20. Street Andrew says:

      Ken500 says:

      “‘Press freedom’. Freedom to lie through it’s teeth. Part of the Gov.”

      Part of the essential structure of democracy. It’s how the elite keeps hold of the agenda.

      Without that element of control of the ‘free press’ democracy would be at the whim of the populus. It’s one element in the golden rule.

      There are two things you need to be in government. The first is money, and nobody can remember what the second one is.

    21. Abulhaq says:

      The fact that the notion of federalism is even contemplated by someone associated with the SNP is very disturbing. I have long suspected that there is a ‘pro-British’ or Britain-lite element within the National party effectively dampening the ardent fires of independence. This in some respects confirms my suspicions.
      The concept of Britishness as a supranationality was largely a romantic Scottish invention. The English never got the idea and the Irish considered it poison. The Welsh I suspect weren’t bothered either way, they knew who and what they were.
      Clearing the collective consciousness of the junk of the unionist past is a prerequisite of seriously attending to the matter in hand, the regaining of our national sovereignty and independence

    22. Hamish100 says:

      bbc politics-

      Leask isn’t a spy and he believes in a free press and has a thick skin. Is he just thick?

    23. Peter A Bell says:

      Kevin Pringle, a man who knows whereof he speaks, confirms in his final verdict on the feasibility and likelihood of a federal UK what many of us have been saying for a very long time,

      “I think that independence is more realistic.”

      The reason is simple. The things Kevin Pringle rightly identifies as the basic (minimum?) conditions for an acceptable – and therefore potentially viable – federal Britain are the the stuff of fantasy politics.

      Written constitution? No chance!

      Economic policy that works for all the nations and regions? Unimaginable!

      Divested of post-imperial pretensions? Don’t be silly!

      All of this, together with anything else that so much as resembles modern democracy, is anathema to the ruling elites of the British state. Talk of imposing a working federal arrangement on the British state makes about as much sense as talk of squeezing me into a tutu and having me perform with Scottish Ballet.

      And there’s another problem, quite apart from the fact that federalism and the structures of power, privilege and privilege which define the British state are mutually exclusive forms. For a federal arrangement to be feasible it would not only have to be fair and equitable, it would have to be seen to be fair and equitable. Which means that the negotiation of the arrangement would have to be seen to be fair and equitable. Which, in turn, could only be the case if all the parties involved participated in those negotiations on the basis of parity of power, equality of status and mutual respect. Which, to close the circle, could only be possible if those parties to the negotiations were already independent nations.

      Independence precedes and is a prerequisite for the negotiation of any constitutional arrangement which involves the ceding or pooling of sovereignty. Only independence permits the full exercise of sovereignty which provides the rightful authority to cede or pool sovereignty.

      Federalism cannot proceed from the British state any more than pea and ham soup can proceed ‘fae a chicken’.

      Independence is, not only more realistic, but essential and inevitable. Any constitutional arrangement which succeeds in terms of the imperatives, aims and objectives of the British state necessarily fails in terms of the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people. It is not remotely possible that negotiation of a new constitutional settlement could command the confidence of Scotland’s people other than in the wake of the dissolution of the Union.

      The now ritualised espousing of federalism by British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) is not a case of them genuinely exploring constitutional options. It is a case of them striving for relevance in a political environment where absolute commitment to the preservation of the British state is increasingly regarded as an untenable oddity.

    24. Dan Huil says:

      Labour’s [or anyone’s] federalism spin is just another Britnat vow – worthless.

      Poll No.11 just confirms that most people in England think England and Britain are one and the same thing.

    25. geeo says:

      Federalism…(yawn)….desperation meets rock bottom.

    26. Glamaig says:

      Peter A Bell says:
      20 May, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      The now ritualised espousing of federalism by British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) is not a case of them genuinely exploring constitutional options. It is a case of them striving for relevance in a political environment where absolute commitment to the preservation of the British state is increasingly regarded as an untenable oddity.

      I think its more likely a cynical attempt to scrape up a few votes from the gullible.

    27. ScottieDog says:

      Poor form. Rev didn’t have the dog collar on.

    28. Hamish100 says:


      Surely is the way forward says labour. So whur is goordoon Broon? He was PM and in the uk cabinet for years. It was devo or nothing. This will kill independence.

      So No federalism says Brown , even the lying vow –only 4 years old avoided it. The current labour politians and “hingers on” all advocated the vow.

      So lets ignore ex FM McLeish and the other maybe’s

      It is independence or brexit.

    29. Port Jim says:

      As the Rev says, Labour has been promising this for over a century. Having signally failed to follow through despite all their opportunities, repeating the proposal lacks any credibility (except, perhaps, with the hard of thinking)!
      The same could be said about abolition of the lords etc.
      Fool us once, shame on you. If we fall for the same false promises after 100 years, shame on us!

    30. Liz g says:

      Federalism would mean the end of “The Crown in Parliament”
      Ask anyone from Labour if that’s what they mean,and I will bet my kid’s they won’t ever say that.

      Westminster is not Allowed to bind it’s successors,therefore any given Parliament that introduces a written Constitution could only ensure that it was valid while they were in power.
      This is why the Vow was a joke…

      The Westminster Parliament,must, always reserve for itself the right to change any and all law’s…
      So even if the English electorate wanted a Federated system,absent a revolution Westminster CANNOT deliver it.

      Whatever they designed!!!
      It would not be Federalism as everyone understood it to be,a bit like the consent thing,it might look like Federalism at first reading,but the devil will be in the details.

      I think that always asking when its mentioned about the role of the Crown in their proposals will shut them up quick enough.
      We can always point out that we ( the Yes campaign) are not suggesting removing the Queen from Westminster,but they seem to be!

      Would be interesting though to poll to see if any Scots are actually interested anymore?
      I think that it’s far too little,much too late for at least half of Scotland,even if it was possible?

    31. Highland Wifie says:

      Why would the majority that has all the power want to give up any of that power? (Rhetorical!)
      That’s not how colonies work. The British state doesn’t do caring and sharing.
      Like the playground bully who steals the other kids’ sweets what possible gain is there in giving any of them back?

    32. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Peter A Bell at 12.46

      Nice piece. In reality federalism in only achievable in the UK context if Scotland (and Wales and NI)are reduced to the status of Yorkshire or the West Country.

      Confederalism (like the Nordic Union) is feasible but all the significant component parts of that are independent to start with.

      Actually the deafening silence from most of what remains of Labour in Scotland on their federal policy tells me that most of them know it is shite – and McLeish did say recently that he suspected that that ship had already sailed.

    33. schrodingers cat says:


      excellent point well made,

      the only possible federal solution would require the nations involved to be independent in the 1st place

    34. Arbroath1320 says:

      Oh look … Federalism … again … *YAWN*

      If you can stomach watching this video here’s wee Gordy spouting his pish in a Channel 4 interview back in 2014 and yes he does eventually get round to saying the “F” word.

      I’m pretty certain I read something recently, might even have been written by Gordon Macintyre-Kemp but I’m not sure, about Federalism and if I recall correctly the article points out that Federalism will never work in the U.K.

      Of course there are a few areas of government that, under Federalism, will still be held by Westminster including Defence and Foreign Policy. We all know that this being the case all those lovely nuclear subs would be moved out of Faslane to … erm … Faslane!

      Another policy area that would remain under Westminster control is that of Foreign Policy. Boris Johnson? … nuff said. Oh and this as well. 😉

    35. mogabee says:

      Load of Federal piffle from Labour, as per usual.

      How desperate are they to keep Scotland under the Tory thumb.

      (above is rhetorical obvs)

    36. Macart says:

      Every time the natives become restless, Labour waggle Home Rule, devo to the maxiest and federalism in front of Scotland’s electorate. It is not and never has been a viable option and the poll result tells you exactly why.

    37. velofello says:

      Independence is more realistic, absolutely correct. We should be concerned about the means to achieve independence. The revelations over internet data gathering, media manipulation, postal vote scams etc. are concerning.

      The Establishment have demonstrated over the past few weeks how little regard they have for democracy and a worshipful regard for power. Witness the Clause 11 consent/no consent disgrace. Adding 10 “lords” to the H of “Lords” astonishing.

      Scottish Labour, an irrelevance now, are the punchbag of Scottish politics. They keep springing back with impractical, deceitful, tired old policy commitments that bloggers simply use their “jab” to fend off and ridicule.

    38. Arbroath1320 says:

      Here’s a wee snippet that was put up on Twitter that includes a wee bit of the Rev.

      Keep a sharp ear listening out for wee Davy and his “claim” that criticism is good we welcome criticism. Says the man who blocks anyone who questions him on claims he makes! ?????

    39. Jockanese Wind Talker says:


      Wonder if the SWA will go to court over this?

    40. Archbishop of Dork says:

      Labour are content to have London ministers dictate to the Senedd but think they can get away with telling us they want federalism.

      They think we’ll believe that they could get the Tory Party to agree to the Celtic nations having a veto on major decisions. When we didn’t have a veto on Brexit. When it’s obvious the Tories want to completely trash the devo settlement.

      And more than few in Labour would like to see the end of the Scottish Parliament too.

    41. Abulhaq says:

      Peter A Bell is so right the British state is systemically, ideologically and existentially incapable of delivering any desirable form of democratic federalism. Even if it were, why would we be prepared to continue an association with a set-up that has done so much to damage and divide our own country and is looking increasingly alien if not ruritanian? The sentimental kith and kin argument sometimes advanced in support of continuing perceived links withers in the face of rational analysis of the issues involved.
      We have crossed the Rubicon, there is no going back. .
      Independence is ours to take. All depends on how much we actually desire it and are prepared to sacrifice and fight, probably dirty, for it.
      For certain, it will never be handed to us on a plate.

    42. msean says:

      Not that old chesnut again…if they were ever serious about it,they would have done it years ago. Always remember,once Labour gets its next turn,every promisevowpledge would immediatey magically disappear.

      A bit like the last time with the reversal of Thatchers anti union laws. They can’t actually be trusted,and seem to be tory poodles in Scotland.

    43. Sunniva says:

      I’ve always said that is the key problem with federalism – the English would have to agree, and why would they?

      They have things exactly how they want them and see no reason for change.

      That is why there is a compelling logic to independence.

    44. Sunniva says:

      In 1707 we were 30% of the UK landmass and 20% of the population. We’re still 30% of the landmass but only 8% of the population. It is quite clear that the stronger nation is slowly strangling the weaker nation.

      Scotland free or a desert.

    45. Golfnut says:

      Federalism is a non starter. Way to many financial skeletons hidden in deep faults for the establishment to even consider it. Westminster not only wouldn’t let go of strategic assets, it couldn’t. Revealing the real value of Scotland’s contribution would cause uproar.

      Whatever the Labour Party are proposing, its not Federalism. Someone had a graphic of powers proposed for the Scottish Parliament during the Smith Commission. Labour opposed almost all of them. The list itself didn’t come anywhere near Federalism, and they later joined the drunken cheering rabble of Westminster MP’s to vote down every amendment put forward by the SNP.

      Better together has really never gone away, but it looks as if it is going up a gear or two. Time we did the same.

    46. TheItalianJob says:

      @Peter A Bell at 12.56pm

      Good concise piece on how Federalism want work as also pointed out by Gordon Kemp of Business for Scotland recently.

      Also Spot on with this point in your article.

      “Federalism cannot proceed from the British state any more than pea and ham soup can proceed ‘fae a chicken’.”

      @Arbroath1320 at 2.29pm

      Thanks for posting that piece with the Rev being interviewed on the Sunday Herald piece on the Glasgow AOUB march.

    47. Muscleguy says:

      Not to mention that everything bar defence and foreign affairs still leaves plenty of grit in the political wheels of a Federal Britain. For a start I full expect we would have to continue to host Trident. Also can you imagine the first time Scottish service men and women are put in harms way in a operation Scotland objects to?

      Not to mention policies favouring Israel, the Saudis and other unsavoury elements.

      It would neither be stable nor stop good causes for Independence being noted.

    48. TheItalianJob says:

      @Golfnut at 3.41pm

      Good points. Yes it (Federalism) was all spoken many times before but always voted down as you highlight during the Smith Commission debate.

      “Paw Broon” raised it during the last weeks of the 2014 Independence Referendum and then when it didn’t materlise, where was he protesting on this aspect post the Independence ref. The answers was nowhere and nowhere since.

      Everyone should know that Brown and the Labour Party can never be trusted in Scotland to look after Scotland’s interest. Look at Jack MacConnell when he was Labour 1st Minister in the Scots Parliament. Rather than spend £1 Billion extra in our budget in Scotland he gave it back to Westminster. He got his just rewards for his action. Lovely job for life a seat in the HOLs

      It’s obvious to all Scots the only party that will look after Scots and Scotland is the SNP.

    49. Arthur thomson says:

      This surely can’t be Corbyn’s Labour promoting this. Jeremy would surely make a stand against such disingenuous shit.

      Just kidding. This is exactly the type of shit, said in dulcet tones, that Corbyn spouts on a whole range of subjects each day of the week. It’s the new kinder politics, where you lie but in the really quiet, patronising tone of a Church of England Vicar.

      No folks, all Corbyn’s Labour will ever deliver is strikes, unemployment and high crime rates. Which is why his comrades were booted out of office 40 years ago.

      There are enough English geriatrics who remember this to ensure that Labour won’t be in power any time soon and Corbyn ever.

      And I read elsewhere that some ex Labour supporters are returning to the Labour penns. If it wasn’t for the awful impact on ordinary decent independence supporters I would simply give up caring.

    50. Legerwood says:

      Arbroath 1320 @ 2.03pm

      Strange but I cannot find any other report confirming that the British Embassy in Israel is to move to Jerusalem.

      But did find lots relating to a statement 7 days ago saying the Embassy would not be moving from Tel Aviv. For example, this from Reuters

    51. Scottish Steve says:

      I bet if Scotland was the dominant partner in this so called union, and it was us that made up the majority of the populace, the English wouldn’t see as “just how the world works.” There would be no end to their damn whining. Hell, there is no end to their damn whinging now. Their country and parliament dominate the UK yet they still love playing the victim card. They love playing the oh so oppressed English card who must pay to subsidise the ungrateful Jocks.

      Simply astonishing that so many Scots are willing to be dominated by English numbers just because that’s how the world works. I guess Scotland is more of a masochist nation than we realised. 50 Shades of Saltire Blue?

    52. Artyhetty says:

      Some great comments on this article, nothing much to add it’s all said very well already, except that we need to get this out to the unwary, those easily conned by BliS and their dodgy Tory pals.

      Won’t take much to make people aware that the idea of federalism is just that, an idea, a concept, an unrealistic never to be delivered, utter con.

      The majority of people in England happy with the status quo must know that Scotland is their cash cow and that their ‘country’ would be more or less bankrupt without Scotland.

      How many times do we have to remind people that the UK is not a ‘country’.

      Independence is the only way for Scotland to thrive, or even survive, the way things are going, with England’s determination in enforcing their narrow minded, isolating, backward, and destructive Brexit on Scotland.

    53. Artyhetty says:

      Re;The Italianjob@4.11

      I think it was more than a billion £s that Jack McConnell’s Labour party at Holyrood sent back to Westminster, saying ‘there is nothing to spend it on in Scotland’. Oh I remember it very well because my kids, and others kids, with learning support needs were shafted by the Labour gov, the Labour council and the school, ‘there is no money in the pot for any more support’.

      Disgusting, never looked back though, and would not vote Labour again, ever. They kept Scotland poor and begging while handing London UKGov, Scotland’s rich resources and massive revenues, and still would given half a chance!

    54. Abulhaq says:

      and our leaders let it happen….so much for trusting ‘our leaders’ then and now.
      It pays to be sceptical about all those who claim to lead. Scotland has had more than its fair share of political shysterism. Sadly, too many of us are still taken in by the snake oil.

    55. MorvenM says:

      Link to Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s article, where he makes the point (among others) that, under a federal system, the Supreme Court would have the power to strike down the Scottish Parliament’s legislation.

    56. mike cassidy says:

      I said a while back on this site that federalism is the last refuge of the Scottish political scoundrel.

      That’s not changed.

      Oh, and if anybody has made it back from the tv article,

      is there a link to McConnell’s handing back money to Westminster – and the reason he gave for it.

      After all, the guy led Stirling council back in the day – and would have been well aware of where such money could have been spent in Scotland.

    57. Liz g says:

      Common Green one of the sites linked to in the Politics Colum (4th from the bottom above the National) also has a good dissection of the unanswered questions/questions we should ask around this Federalism nonsense

    58. starlaw says:

      Federalism is just the same as we have now. Greater England will rule the roost, unless the Monarchy House of Lords Duke and Earl Tom Cobbley and all are consigned to the dustbin of history.

    59. Thepnr says:

      @mike cassidy

      there are quite a few myths about McConnell handing Westminster £1 billion. The money does not disappear and in fact when the SNP came to power they asked for all the Labour underspend back and got in addition to the block grant over a four year period.

      Dr Craig Dalzell on his website gives the facts.

      Between 1999 and 2007 the Labour led governments, which also ran underspends in each of its years in power, simply returned the unspent funds to the UK Government. By the time the SNP came to power in 2007 these funds had totaled £1.5 billion [page 9 here]. The SNP negotiated for the funds to be returned over a period of the following four years.

      Since then, the underspent funds have been rolled over into the following year’s budget (of course, given that there will inevitably be an underspend in that year too this doesn’t automatically translate to increased budgets. Merely an avoidance of budget cuts).

    60. yesindyref2 says:

      @Thepnr / @mike cassidy
      Yes, I saw somewhere online a full accounting of that, and none was lost. What happened was that underspend was kept by the Treasury and rolled over, kind of a savings account as the ScotGov itself had to keep “balanced books”. But the Treasury got worried as it mounted up and reached maybe £2 billion, I forget, and as it was “on demand” could make a sizeable dent in their current accounts and mean more borrowing to cover it.

      So in 2006 they announced a change of rules which came in I think in 2007 – with the Holyrood election occuring in the middle of it. The SNP had to fight to get it back, but it was fairly easily surrendered. Whether Labour / LibDem would have managed that, who knows, but probably.

    61. msdidi says:

      Mike Cassidy 6.54pm

      check this link

    62. McDuff says:

      Come indy2 Federalism will be the new Unionist “vow“ with promises that will instantly be broken.

    63. K1 says:

      No wonder they hate the interwebby thingy, they don’t get away with rinse and repeat without us all rinse and repeating back…’yer talkin’ shite’ 🙂

    64. Thepnr says:


      Said that many a time mesel 🙂

    65. stu mac says:

      Sad thing is some of the English regions are shafted by Westminster, just as Scotland is but because they see themselves as “the same” people they don’t see the need for more power locally. When things get really bad they tend to blame foreigners instead of their fellow Brits who have really created the problems.

    66. Plankton says:

      Just wondering if question about federalism wasnt actually loaded in the opposite way? Consider the fact that the unionist press continually present scottish parliament / snp / nicola sturgeon as power hungry and dictating terms to westminster. Instead of focusing on the redistribution of power from uk to scotland wales and northern ireland could the question not have also pointed out that england or regions within england could also have their own parliaments and more autónomy (and scottish mps would have no opportunity to vote on laws that only affect england)?

      Must admit though thats purely based on my own understanding on how federalism could work not on any great másterplan from labour that ive read (is there such a thing??? Thought not…)

    67. Auld Rock says:

      They tried a similar sort of ploy in Ireland in 1921/22 but Dev and Collins threw it straight back in their unionist faces and remember Ireland is now an Independent Republic, member of UN and EU. Think about it.

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