Scottish journalist and writer Iain MacWhirter has, amongst other things, been writing and commenting for some time about way the Tories will use Brexit to centralise the UK, change the Scotland Act and impose more Westminster power on Scotland. You can Google his pieces at The Sunday Herald on the subject and here’s a good brief and video to get you started.

Today, it’s been announced that Ruth Davidson is to attend UK cabinet. She’s downplaying it and playing it up at the same time, of course. The first through direct comment to the media, the latter by the usual not-very-back-channel means.

But of course there’s a Scottish Secretary with nothing to do (he doesn’t run a spending department) except attend cabinet and give the Scotland perspective on any stuff which comes up there. So what on earth is Ruth Davidson doing attending cabinet?

The simple answer is that, unelected as anything other than an MSP in Scotland (there isn’t even an official leader of the opposition), and unappointed to any UK government job, she’s now running Scotland in every way as much as the Scottish First Minister is. Arguably, Davidson is even more powerful that Scotland’s elected leader.

The First Minister has to work within a budget extracted largely from English departmental spending allocations, and has the option to utilise tax-raising powers tightly circumscribed by Westminster. While the unelected and unappointed Ruth Davidson in now in effect responsible for shaping UK government policy, and policy for English spending departments, for Scotland. And of course to the extent that any Scottish politician can influence UK government policy in the UK-wide reserved policy areas, that will be Ruth Davidson.

The Tories are now unashamedly, and unconstitutionally, reeling in devolution in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, their position is so weak that they’ll have to use DUP and Scottish Tory MPs to even pass England-only legislation and in this way they’ll prove that English Votes for English Laws (Evel) was only ever a means of ensuring that the big English dog would be able to wag the ‘daft wee pretendy nations’ tail.

And in case anyone doubted that the UK has become an expression of England politicians serving England, once again of the 130 UK ministers, every single one in every single spending department (apart from one Wales MP) is an England MP or peer. A single Scotland politician is the entirely pointless (he has no spending powers and his job is now being done entirely by Ruth Davidson) Scotland Secretary. The almost equally pointless Wales department has a couple of Wales MPs and of course the Northern Ireland office is also entirely populated by England politicians.

The UK is now, in governance terms, simply Greater England. The Tories like it that way, but it really can’t hold.


11 Responses to Ruth Davidson is now running Scotland, unelected and unappointed, on behalf of Greater England
  1. Tory voters in Scotland don’t care about legislation which only affects those outside our borders. The SNP whom they despise have protected Scots from the worst of the legislation and these people only get upset about things which affect them. They are blinkered and selfish

  2. Totally agree in regard to mundell. Am I right when I think if Scot Gov uses its tax raising powers that any money raised will have the equivalent amount taken off the block grant??

    • There’s def read-across. Also, everyone in the Treasury knows that if Scotgov uses income tax power then the way better-off people pay tax will change to lead to a reduction in income tax and an increase in other taxes like corporation tax which remain reserved, creating a zero-sum game for Scotgov.

  3. I’m not convinced that EVEL means the Tories need any ‘external’ help to pass English only legislation. Do they not have a healthy majority amongst MPs for English constituencies?

    • England-only legislation now goes through an extra stage made up of England-only MPs. After that, it still needs to be passed by the whole house. The SNP has said it may vote on some England-only issues because they may have indirect (or even direct) effects on Scotland. If they do, the Tories need DUP and Scottish Tory votes to win.

  4. The ever compliant media is backing them. Tonight I watched a News at Ten report from Stirling on the Tories’ capture of the seat. They interviewed some ‘random’ members of the public, one of whom, an elderly lady, was introduced as a liefelong SNP voter who had switched to the Tories because of ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence ‘.

    As a lifelong SNP voter myself, it’s the SNP’s ‘obsession’ with independence which keeps me voting for them. Why would this lady be any different if she was the genuine article?

  5. Probably they will stand for it. There appears to be a substantial majority of Scotland’s population who will take whatever insults are flung at them by Westminster and keep voting for a party which doesn’t give a damn about them.

    Large swathes of the population just voted for the rape clause, tuition and prescription fees, bedroom tax and removing motability cars from the disabled.

    Just plain nuts.

    No pride. No gumption. Sickening.

  6. If David Mundell was a nonentity before, he’s even more so now. What an absolute embarrassment to be usurped of any power by Ruthie. The man has no b***s!

  7. Unfortunately Eric,that is what the majority of Scots voted for in 2014…..No say.
    Very strange people.
    The Tories,if they are still around after Brexit will definitely attempt to reduce the powers currently held by Holyrood using the excuse that devolution has failed,poor education attainment,health care etc etc.
    Will Scots stand for it?


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