Thursday, 10 April 2008

Wendy's Independence Commission

I've just spent a couple of days down in Galloway - first time I've dallied in that part of the country - it's a lovely part of country (don't tell Rob Davidson I was there and didn't visit him - I was nowhere near Dalbeattie).
Anyway, being in the constituency of Alex Fergusson (Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, noted unionist-type chap but generally good egg) brought my mind around to the Commission he's still to set up as a result of a Scottish Parliament vote (you know, the one Labour thinks it set up with Brown's blessing which isn't the right one because it doesn't fulfil the terms of the resolution).

I thought, in my usual, generous way, that I should offer a wee bit of advice to those who want to amend the devolution settlement but don't want Scots to have a wee vote about Independence.

We definitely need control of xenotransplantation back, that one's non-negotiable (in the iconic phraseology of Jim Wallace). We should have control of time and outer space as well - what self-respecting administration doesn't have them? And we can add to the list between now and forever if you want.

Here's a better solution. In the Scotland Act 1998, sections 28 to 35 make provisions about Westminster Ministers and their powers as well as noting Westminster's power to legislate on Scotland.

Why not repeal Schedules 4 and 5 of the Act, make a few amendments to the powers vested in the Scottish Secretary and proceed on the basis of common respect and cooperation?

Surely if London still has an emissary in Scotland with those powers then the shackles can quite safely be lifted from the Scottish Parliament and Government to allow them enough freedom to substantially improve the lives of the people of Scotland while London's interests will continue to be protected by the Scottish Secretary? That would also remove forever all of the arguments about which reservations were correct and which should be lifted.

It would be a sensible move for unionists to make which is why I'm fairly confident it won't be made - the union's case is being prosecuted by very small-minded people these days.
Must mention this idea to a few people and see what they think.

2 comments:

Genuis said...

If I could change one word in the Act it would be....

Pargraph 4(1) of Schedule 4.

"An Act of the Scottish Parliament cannot modify, or confer power by subordinate legislation to modify, this Act"

Delete "cannot"
Insert "can".

Why?
Because change is what we do.

Rob Davidson said...

Deary me, I am hurt! Proabaly see ya in Embra soon anyway . . .