Power devolved is power retained – or so the old saying goes. The UK Government can always over-rule a devolved government, forcing them to do as they want rather than want the members of the devolved parliament prefer.
The British Labour Party is a reluctant supporter of devolution, it was their MPs who, in 1979, created the 40% rule which effectively killed off the devolved Scottish Parliament which Labour has promised to create. The 40% rule – where 40% of the electorate had to vote in favour of devolution – had never been used before or since. This was at a time when the electoral rolls were not as up to date as they currently are and it was accepted that the information they contained could be as much as 18 months out of date. This meant, for instance, that people who had died but hadn’t yet been removed from the electoral roll were effectively counted as ‘No’ voters – making the 40% target a very difficult one to reach.
When Scotland did eventually win its devolved Parliament, Labour insisted we didn’t have a government – we had an ‘Executive’, a very bland description of the body of MSPs who were charged with the responsibility for a whole host of public services. Labour’s record (supported by their Lib Dem lapdogs) was unambitious. Everyone knew of the housing problems following the destruction of council housing via the ‘Right to Buy’ policy but Labour’s reaction was to build a grand total of 6 council houses across Scotland in their last four years in power! The only thing they excelled in was dumping massive debts on the Scottish ‘Executive’ via their dodgy PFI scam, resulting in around £30 billion of debt as councils and the NHS had to pay exorbitant rates for new public buildings. For instance, £100 million worth of new schools in Renfrewshire will cost the council tax payers in Renfrewshire over £530 million when the contract eventually finishes.
Labour don’t want a powerful Scottish Parliament; they don’t want devolution to work as it only highlights that decisions made in Scotland are better for the people of Scotland. Let’s not forget it was a former Labour Minister, Lord Foulkes, who complained that the SNP Scottish Government were deliberately making public services in Scotland ‘manifestly better than south of the border’.
Labour only want to create a feeble Scottish Parliament that is used to offset what they don’t like coming out of Westminster – even though their own MPs don’t do enough to criticise or even vote against such policies! Why vote when you can abstain appears to be the motto of Labour under Corbybn!
Even though Corbyn recently echoed the comments of a UN investigator who said that, “it is outrageous that devolved administrations need to spend resources to shield people from (UK) government policies” that hasn’t stopped a Labour MSP from claiming (wrongly) that the SNP Scottish Government could mitigate the rape clause. Instead of attacking the Tories for introducing such changes, Labour decide to use this appalling legislation to attack the SNP.
Labour can never be trusted with our Parliament again and their constant bickering about mitigating Tory cuts should only serve as a reminder of just how useless this political party has become.