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Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Cameron, Clegg Miliband "Vow", is nothing more than a not very subtle bribe

Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing the result either way

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband reveal the "Vow" and promise to protect "Barnett formula" 

For anyone in Scotland thinking about voting “No” in today’s referendum, there is a very good reason for voting with the “Yes” campaign. For anyone who thinks that the promise made by Cameron, Miliband and Clegg in respect of greater autonomy to the Scottish Parliament including powers over taxation, spending an even greater devolution, in exchange for a “No” vote, should consider what has emerged since the three “leaders” went to Scotland to unveil their “Vow” and plaster the front pages of practically every newspaper in the United Kingdom with the text.
It has become apparent that not all MP's at Westminster in the three main parties, and particularly those in the Conservative party, do not support their “leaders” in the, not very subtle bribe, that has been dangled before the eyes of the Scottish people. It seems that there is significant resistance to the prospect of Scotland gaining more per capita expenditure north of the border than people in the rest of the United Kingdom. The so called Barnett formula” has received even more criticism and is now even more likely to be scrapped.

In response to this criticism from MP's and others, the government is proposing that in the event that Scotland does vote “No” today, a set of proposals for the detail of the “Vow” will be drawn up and agreed between the party leaders, provided that they are able to gain the consent and support of their own MP's and their respective parties. A “White Paper” will be produced, probably in January of next year, for consultation and discussion. Following this period of time, legislation will be introduced in Parliament. Any decisions or votes on the necessary changes however, will not take place or be effected, until after the next General election in May of 2015, when in any case, there is likely to be a new government which may itself have a very different make up and viewpoint on the whole matter of greater devolution for Scotland. 
The “Vow” from the Westminster triumvirate of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband was always nothing more than a desperate, unconsidered knee jerk reaction to falling support in the polls. If it were a serious proposition, it would have been included on the ballot paper for the referendum, as originally proposed but rejected out of hand by Westminster. Moreover, even after almost 5 years of this ConDem coalition, and many years of the previous Labour government, it is only now that more devolution and greater taxation and spending powers for Scotland are hinted at.
This may be coincidence, but I think not.