The power of politics to change constitutional terms of reference …

Brian Taylor, the BBC’s political editor in Scotland:

It is simply remarkable to note the extent to which the Scotland Bill, building upon the work of the Calman Commission, has been overtaken in political debate.

One does not need to subscribe entirely to the view that the bill and the status quo “now seem lost in the mists of time” (author, Sir Peter Housden, permanent secretary, Scottish Government.)

However, the Calman package – which involved such detailed discussion and prolonged scrutiny – would appear to have been subsumed before it has even been implemented.

Why? One does not need to look beyond that stunning victory by the SNP in the Holyrood elections last May.

Yet still, that’s only half the battle:

One, the sundry versions of fiscal autonomy now being discussed involve a very substantial change to the make-up of the British state.

The Treasury gulped at Calman but ultimately swallowed it. This is much more – although it might well prove palatable to those who argue that Scotland should raise what it spends.

Two, those parties which are now looking at plus options do not want to go too far, too fast.

That might add to the pressure upon them to agree that any finalised plus option should be placed on a ballot paper alongside independence, either in sequence or as an alternative.

Closer to home, the Republic’s referendum regime is much more efficient means for fast tracking such democratically mandated insurgency…

Ireland’s ‘incumbent parties’ should perhaps consider how the SNP is stealing acres of political ground on a gone-to-sleep political mainstream in order to get a handle on the downside (for them) of losing this vote (or the inevitable one after that)?

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.