Reading the recent utterances from the surviving rats in the Tory leadership sack I was reminded of an article I wrote almost exactly a decade ago (What does no really mean?) speculating as to what a No vote in the coming referendum might imply for Scotland. The following passage seems particularly prophetic in light of the attitude both contenders evince towards Scotland and particular remarks demeaning the First Minister, giving Westminster greater powers to ‘scrutinise’ the work of the Scottish Parliament and criminalising the independence campaign. Judge for yourself. Feel free to give me stick for the things I got wrong if it makes you feel better about what I got right.
The Scottish Government will be put in a budgetary stranglehold that will totally cripple its capacity to pursue progressive policies distinct from those being imposed on the rest of the UK. With the power of the administration thus undermined, the UK Government will increasingly find excuses to intervene, urged on by the British parties in Scotland. Devolution will be rolled back with a new Scotland Act.
Efforts will be made to “adjust” the electoral system in Scotland so as to ensure that Holyrood is permanently dominated by British political parties. There will be calls from some quarters for the SNP to be banned.
The Scotland Office will be given a much bigger role with scrutiny and oversight powers giving it effective control over much of the work of the Scottish Parliament – even to the extent of significantly expanded veto powers for the Secretary of State.
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