Thursday 27 November 2014

Post-referendum Big Bang - the Smith Commission reports

Immediate reaction to the Smith Commssion in today's Daily Record

We've had the vow, now the wow.

The rollercoaster that is Scottish politics just took another twist with the arrival of the Smith Commission today.

This is the Big Bang of devolution that Scotland has been waiting for.

Before, during and after the very long referendum campaign the majority of Scots expressed a desire for two things -  more power for the Scottish parliament and the continuation of the United Kingdom.

People voted to stay together in September and now in November they are being given a devolution package that exceeds expectations and is being delivered faster and with more surety than independence could have delivered.  

Power to set tax rates,  higher or lower depending on what voters demand, the ability to change and shape welfare budgets, borrowing powers, a wedge of VAT receipts to do as we please with - it looks like a big slice of devolutionary cake whichever way you want to cut it.

For some it won't be enough power, for others it will raise fears of unbinding the very Union that they fought so hard to maintain just a few months ago.

What effect this package will do to the volatile mood of the electorate when it is digested no one can predict.

But this we do know, this massive transfer of powers out of Westminster into the hands of the Scottish people will change Holyrood and the rest of the UK dramatically.