We’re giving you everything you want and more, Mundell [Secretary of State for Scotland] reiterated time and again. “We will be implementing the Smith Commission in full.” Scotland would be God’s paradise on Earth, a land of milk and heather where anything Holyrood wanted, it could have – except the bits it couldn’t.
For some reason, the SNP members were disinclined to take him at his word and frequently interrupted him. “Isn’t it the case that the bill would allow the UK parliament to veto anything Scotland did that it didn’t like?” asked Peter Wishart.
“Heavens no,” sobbed an utterly distraught Mundell. “The word veto is such an ugly word.” And he only wanted to speak in happy, fluffy words. “There is no veto. Just a right to disagree so strongly you can’t do it.”
Up stepped Alex Salmond. “The Scottish Daily Record argues that the proposals go nowhere near to implementing the Smith Commission,” he said. “They do, they do,” Mundell replied, “But even if they don’t, then that’s why we’re having the debate so you can make some amendments."Difficult to imagine Mr Mundell sitting in cabinet. He is the living proof of the Peter Principle.