Monday, May 23, 2016

How d'ya like them apples?

Scotland's got new powers. Just a few. Will it be enough to keep the natives restful? 

Let's cast our minds back to the 8 September 2014, when Gordon Brown took to the stage in front of a hand picked audience in Midlothian and promised a timetable of power transfer to Scotland that would give her People: 

 "radical transfer of power" "as close to federalism as is possible" while also maintaining the "benefits" of union.

622 days have passed, the Smith Commission wrangled us down to a slim list of powers, Westminster blocked nearly all of what Smith recommended. So let's have a look at the "radical transfer of power" that has been given to the Scottish Parliament today:


You heard it right. Scotland now has control over road signage. We could choose to go metric if we wanted. But we probably won't.

Abortion Law

The Scottish Government has no plans to amend the current law, which allows for terminations in certain circumstances up to 24 weeks. No change.

Gambling Machines

We have new powers over Gaming machines - the crack cocaine of gambling. In one street in Rutherglen alone, these machines took £1.2m out of the community in one year. The Scottish Parliament will use it's very limited new powers to address the problems this type of gambling causes to communities across Scotland. Fixed odds betting terminals are excluded.


From today, we can begin legislating for stuff like: Parking on the pavement and double parking. A wee victory for all those who've been campaigning for the mums with prams and people with visual impairments who find their way impeded by a selfish parker.

Speed Limit

Really? We can change the speed limits? Well, sort of. We still have to ask permission from the last Tory in the Land: Viceroy Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland. He gets a final say.

Transport & Transport Police

Public sector operators can bid for future rail franchises and British Transport Police operating in Scotland will be brought under the banner of Police Scotland.
The Transport Police will be transferred over 'lock stock and barrel' before the end of 2016.

Equal Opportunities

Scotland is ready to use these powers. We are hungry for a fairer Scotland and we will immediately move to bring forward legislation for gender balance on the boards of all public bodies.But expect some creative uses of this new power in the months to come. It's all good.

Consumer Advocacy and advice

We've been gearing up for this new power for over a year and we'll hit the ground running with 46 new recommendations to give Scottish consumers better protection in law. We can also call OFGEM and OFCOM to appear in front of our Parliament Committees if they aren't "gude bairns", and they'll have to come.

Sop to Cerberus

Home Rule this ain't. Scotland grows weary of the MSM trumpeting "extensive new powers". These are tinkering round the edges changes based on what was left after the Smith Commission negotiations concluded we couldn't do any of this stuff:

... But Hey Ho,  If the Tory UK Govt gives Scotland lemons, we'll make the best lemonade you ever tasted.

1 comment:

  1. Transport Police and Police Scotland to merge? Doubtless that will somehow lead to us paying more VAT...