As you read reports such as ‘Alarm call on £800m ‘shared’ post-Brexit funding for Scotland‘, always keep in mind that dread phrase “UK-wide common frameworks”. The issue is not that funding will be withheld from local authorities in Scotland but that it will be controlled by that horrifying echo of British imperialism the ‘UK Government in Scotland’. Or, as it is known to those aware of the British political elite’s malign intent, the unelected and unaccountable shadow administration being established to take over powers stripped from the Scottish Parliament.
Funding is everything. Control the money and you have a stranglehold on even the ‘most powerful devolved administration in the world’. After the Union itself, Westminster’s ultimate control of the purse-strings is what makes devolution meaningless. Worse! It’s what allows the British state to use devolution as a weapon against the democratically elected Scottish Government.
That weapon has not been as effective as the British establishment might as hoped. Successive SNP administrations have managed to avoid the worst of the political and fiscal traps. But London has also long been looking at the potential to use local government as a means of bypassing and undermining Holyrood. This has, of course, been made easier by the fact that, in an act of political self-harm which must be utterly baffling to onlookers, voters have handed control of many local authorities to the British parties.
Put the pieces together. The British state’s imperative to eliminate the threat to its supremacy posed by the Scottish Parliament and the SNP. The opportunity Brexit has offered to unilaterally alter the devolution settlement, seize control of funding and impose “UK-wide common frameworks”. The readiness of the British parties to let Councils be used as a Trojan horse. It all adds up to only one thing – the creeping restoration of direct rule from London with Holyrood, if it survives at all, left to manage the stuff that the British would rather not be blamed for.
You were warned!
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