LABOUR leadership candidate Jim Murphy will today call for “devo max within Scotland”, arguing that transferring powers from Edinburgh to local communities can help his party win back trust.
The first thing that we notice is that Murphy’s primary concern is, not how local devolution would affect the governance of Scotland at all levels, but how it might help “his party”. The tribalism runs so deep in his veins that he doesn’t even notice it any more and would probably be totally perplexed by the suggestion that some things might be considered more important than restoring the hegemonic status of British Labour in Scotland.
But there is an even more insidious and devious agenda behind “Scottish” Labour’s new-found passion for localism. And it sure as hell isn’t about empowering communities. For Murphy and his ilk local devolution is entirely about undermining the Scottish Parliament. It is about driving a wedge between the people of Scotland and their parliament. It is about enabling local authorities controlled by British labour and/or their Tory allies to bypass the democratically elected Scottish Government and deal direct with London.
It is about reducing the Scottish Parliament to the impotent talking-shop that was all it was ever intended to be.
I am very much in favour of devolving power to local communities. But this must be done in the right way and for the right reasons. It must be done entirely under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament. We simply cannot trust Westminster or the British parties with this task. As Jim Murphy has quite brazenly revealed, their objectives have nothing whatever to do with what is best for the people of Scotland.
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