28 Nov 2014

New powers for Scotland – but can they save Labour at the polls?

The SNP’s message all day was that there’s less to the devolution deal than meets the eye.

Yesterday afternoon, they got support for that proposition from the former Labour First Minister Lord (Jack) McConnell. In the Lords he expressed bafflement at the Commission’s claim that its plans gave Holyrood 50 per cent of taxation powers.

Day Two - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Lord McConnell said that the Commission was wrongly including the VAT funds being diverted to Scotland as a tax-raising power, when the tax level would still be decided in Westminster. He sounded like a man who thought that, though much of Labour might have felt it was at the outer levels of dangerous devolution, it was actually doing nothing like as much as it needed to on devolved powers.

From the other end of the argument inside the Labour Party, Alistair Darling tried his best to welcome to report with a gnomic question at the Commons statement.

But it’s only a couple of days since he tried to warn Labour off devolving income tax levels to Scotland and his tone wasn’t exactly celebratory.

Jim Murphy, with his eyes on the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party, had a script to deflect those challenging his inconsistency: I’ve changed my mind, Labour’s changed its mind, Scotland wants change.

The man who Ed Miliband tried to persuade to lead the Scottish Labour Party, Gordon Brown, was said to be planning a speech rowing in as best he can behind a plan he’d never wanted. Labour needed his endorsement for its attempt to turn round the SNP’s massive lead in Scottish polls.

In Holyrood, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said it was all a far cry from the “powerhouse parliament” she wanted. And she menaced Labour talking of how her supporters would have an early opportunity in May next year to show what they thought of the vow redeemed.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

7 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Gary,

    Answer: It might delay it but it won’t stop it.

    New Labour are as doomed in Scotland as the tories and the libdems.

    And good riddance to them all. The sooner the English wake up and do the same thing the better.

    The political scam has gone on long enough. Many millions of lives and aspirations have been destroyed by these liars and hypocrites.

    It will probably take a few more decades (and in the teeth of mainstream media propaganda) to get traction but at the present rate nothing is more certain.

    What concerns me is how the establishment will react. The present absurd hysteria over the “immigration issue” is just the tip of the reactionary worst. The Canary Wharf/Westminster/Whitehall mob won’t hesitate to crank up even worse artificial fear and war if they need to. That’s what history shows and I see no reason for that behaviour to change in the future.

    It will go on just as long as people allow it to.

    1. Gavin Hunter says:
  2. Calgacus says:

    No, Labour are completely beyond redemption.They slept with the Tories.

  3. Malcolm McCandless says:

    Ed Miliband, speaking today, “It (the vow) has been signed. It has been sealed. It has been delivered. Elect a Labour Government in May and we will implement the Smith Commission in our first Queen’s Speech. This is my promise to the people of Scotland.”

    So Ed Miliband is arguing that the vow was just the ‘delivery’ of the Smith Commission report, no more. However, according to Miliband, the ‘implementation’ of the report’s recommendations is now dependent on Labour being elected in 2015 and the Labour leader honouring another promise.

    So it takes two vows and one election to give Scotland ‘extensive’ new powers?

    Surely it doesn’t matter who is elected to government in 2015 because all the Westminster political parties are by default duty bound to implement the Smith Commission report?

    Just asking, like.

  4. A Scott says:

    Labour is dead UK wide and it will be buried finallyafter the May elections. The SNP will decimate their vote in Scotland and Milliband will do the same for the rest of the UK. If the LibDems hadn’t entered their suicide pact with Cameron they would be laughing all the way to the polls (at least South of the border).

    There simply isn’t a socialist class in this country any more. Maggs knackered the Unions, Blair knackered Labour and Amazon/FacebookiTunes keep the prols content. They only uniting political theme now is the media generated concept of immigration being and issue, hence the ‘rise’ of Beer Boy.

  5. john macleod says:

    I just like to add and I have read that the labour leader is pleading with the snp members to vote for labour in the general election in may I will never trust labour after what has happened with the new powers and the vows that was promised to Scotland personally labour is wasting there time asking votes from us and no one who is a snp member will ever vote for labour

  6. Willie MacDonald says:

    Scotland is being offered the absolute maximum powers that Westminster is willing to hand over, however they are no where near the minimum powers we require to limit the damage to society that the blue & red tories are planning to inflict on every layer of society beneath their rich friends.

    The so called tax raising powers are nothing of the sort as for every extra penny Scotland raises it will be matched by an equal cut in the block grant.
    What happens if we cut taxes & raise less money, well obviously we have demonstrated that we don’t need that money & the block grant is cut accordingly & Scotland will be required to compensate London for its loss of revenue, so Scotland looses out twice.

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