One of the ideas which has been floated to ‘solve’ the constitutional problem in the UK is a move to a Federal system.
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has been running with this idea for some time, and although, it is interesting, it won’t work.
The Scottish National Party will take any Westminster powers that they can get from the UK Parliament, like a squirrel hoarding nuts, but they won’t use them.
Federalism wouldn’t have stopped people deserting the Unionist parties at the Westminster 2015 election in Scotland and if anyone thought it would have, they are losing the plot.
The collapse of support didn’t just happen overnight, it was set in motion decades ago, it was a sea change because people were fed up not getting their voices heard but also getting their requests for help ignored or turned down.
During the Westminster 2015 election campaign, former leader and MP Jim Murphy boldly said that he had ‘fixed’ the Scottish Labour Party. That was a pretty bold statement but it was also wrong, the Labour campaign was really awful.
Remember my article of Feb 2015?
It was plain to see the writing on the wall, so far out,
who starts an election campaign wittering on about getting a drink at a football?
And who really gives a shit in the grand scheme of things?
As I wrote in the article:
“Deliver policies of significant meaning to win back Labour voters, big ideas, real change and real commitment”.
Murdo Fraser doesn’t get it, it isn’t federalism or indeed any other kind of ‘ism’ that Scots needed or wanted; it was people who would fix their problems. People aren’t pro SNP, the vote is still fluid, people wanted rid of the current crop of Scottish politicians.
Now, it appears that no one wants to help them, as the old saying goes, what goes around, comes around.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Conservatives said:
“The UK Constitution is evolving and under this Conservative government we are now witnessing further change – with the biggest transfer of powers to the Scottish parliament since devolution, and more powers devolved to England’s regions.”
Or you could offer another opinion and call it benign neglect, just shunning problems further down the line which eventually someone else will have to deal with and fix.
Murdo Fraser said:
“We could move to a situation, fairly quickly, of a network of strong city regions with devolved administrative powers. These would be areas of administrative devolution, not legislative. That would leave a de facto English parliament, sitting within the House of Commons at certain times, or at certain times of the week, following the implementation of EVEL. Whether there would then need to be an English executive in some form is another matter which would have to be considered: and, if so, whether an English First Minister would be required, or whether that job could simultaneously be held by the UK Prime Minister. This would not be pure federalism in any sense, more likely ‘quasi-federalism’.”
Have a read of this from the London School of Economics.
Short version, it isn’t going to work, it isn’t going to be tolerated in Europe.
Murdo Fraser can punt federalism till the cows come home, it solves nothing, it isn’t even on the radar of the Scottish people, it has no interest, there is no groundswell and there are other problems which affect people which come first.
No one is sitting around pining for federalism because it changes nothing, power shifts which don’t benefit people are part of the reason why nearly every Unionist politician was throw out on the street at the General Election.
It isn’t that people want the SNP in power, they want to get rid of useless politicians and the SNP is a vehicle to do this until such time as either the Unionist parties get better leadership and candidates or there is a new centre right party in Scotland.
Murdo is flogging a dead horse!
George LairdThe Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University