12 July 2009

Nobody's child

It is not as though the UK parties have totally disowned their bastard child - or at least not exactly. But there seems to be a general reluctance to put the Calman recommendations on top of the priority list. We already knew that Labour was not proposing to take any action in advance of next year's general election. Now The Sunday Times reports that the Tories are getting cold feet:
Holyrood is unlikely to gain any additional powers for at least six years after the Conservatives ruled out introducing constitutional change in the next parliament.
David Cameron, whose party is widely expected to win next year’s general election, has decided a future Tory government would have more important priorities, such as rebuilding the UK economy and getting public finance in order, than re-opening the Scotland Act.
It means the recommendations of the Calman Commission, whose establishment was supported by Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, will be shelved until 2015 at the earliest.
...
Cameron is said to be unwilling to give MSPs greater power to cut taxes until the Barnett formula, which determines the level of public spending across the UK, is replaced with a needs-based system.
2015 is a long way away. And if nothing is to happen until a needs-based analysis has replaced Barnett, the long grass is very deep.

It is almost enough to make one feel sorry for Mr Gray and Ms Goldie.

4 comments:

Wardog said...

Interesting times ahead.

Questions are going to be asked about a £500,000 Calman Consultation that non-one wants to put into action v a National Conversation derived referendum question that they all want to block.

Gray, Goldie and as yet to be seen Tavish are being backed into a rather sharp corner.

sm753 said...

I'm sure I predicted this weeks ago.

The economic mess, plus all the other "constitutional reform" crap knocking around make it very easy to say "Hold on - fine in principle, but not top of the priority list".

Parliamentary time is, after all, limited.

And I don't see any "sharp corners". Most normal people don't care about the constitution, they'd rather see the economy sorted out.

Wardog said...

"Most normal people don't care about the constitution, they'd rather see the economy sorted out."

Apart from the condescending tone of that, Smee fails to make the link between spending, autonomy and priorities.

"Sorting out the economy' will require major decisions.

Trident, Defence, Schools, Health & Welfare amongst them.

Autonomy, whether full or fiscal offers an opportunity for a specifically Scottish economic recovery suited for our economy and political priorities.

How Goldie will defend this is anyone's guess.

Gray is stmuped before he even begins, Jim Murphy has completely shadowed him.

Tavish is burning the midnight oil to try and make the steel commission proposals work. The Lib Dems won't let this sit.

Expect some interesting U Turns on fiscal control.

sm753 said...

"Autonomy, whether full or fiscal offers an opportunity for a specifically Scottish economic recovery suited for our economy and political priorities."

No, it makes zero difference to anything apart from making us a bit worse off.

Look at the numbers.