Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Tories were 'wrong' on devolution, says Cameron

In a documentary to mark the first 10 years of Devolution in Scotland, to be broadcast tomorrow (Sunday 28 June 2009) at 10.20pm on BBC1 in Scotland, David Cameron is quoted as saying:

"I don't think we got it right.

"I think you can argue that the principled position, of arguing that devolution within a unitary state is extremely difficult and there are all sorts of problems it brings, and those problems are there.

"But I think where we went wrong was we should have spent more time in government thinking, how do we give legitimate help to those people within our United Kingdom who want to have a greater expression of self-government?"

Mr Cameron apparently went on to say that he 'would respect the right of the Scottish Parliament to rule on domestic matters in Scotland' if he becomes Prime Minister. In return, he would 'want the Scottish National Party to accept his mandate to decide on issues such as defence which affect the whole of the UK'.

I was not happy with the idea of devolution 10 years ago and I voted against it in the referendum held in 1997 by the then new Labour Government. I remain unhappy with it and would dearly love for it never to have happened. However, I accept that in the political cllimate then and now it was probably inevitable and that there is very probably no going back. One must therefore accept the new political reality and try to make the best of it - something I came to accept (through gritted teeth) several years ago. So David Cameron is undoubtedly correct to have come to the conclusions he has and his statement that he will work constructively with the Scottish National Party whilst it remains the elected Scottish Executive (aka 'Government'), unlike what it has often seemed is the extreme churlishness of the Labour Government in London since the SNP came to power in Scotland, is undoubtedly the sensible and pragmatic policy.

Whether it is realistic of David Cameron to hope for long-term acceptance of his 'mandate' (should be become Prime Minister) to govern the whole UK in respect of non-devolved matters is open to doubt when the avowed intention of the SNP is to achieve separation/independence for Scotland from the rest of the UK. My view on that particular subject, however, is that we should hold a referendum on Scottish separation/independence sooner rather than later to establish what is the truth about the desire of Scots for this outcome - if it voted for, then so be it (through gritted teeth), but I suspect strongly that most Scots do not actually want this and it is essential to call the SNP propaganda 'bluff' on this matter. In any case we need to know the answer to the basic question, to bring to an end the somewhat corrosive political game played by the SNP since it came to power in Edinburgh in May 2007.


  1. It's all academic anyway, in the context of the EU post Irish Lisbon 2.

  2. Possibly. There are a great many things to say here, but I'm happy to stick with that 'possibly' for the moment.


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