I noticed that the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has suggested that, as the bulk of the Scots appear in polls to want a third question on the ballot paper in 2014, offering devolution max as an alternative to independence or dependence, the two options currently on offer from the coalition of Labour, Liberal and Conservative Unionists, or Dependentists... according to how you see it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to include this option on the ballot paper.
It's strange that Ms Lamont, his Scottish equivalent in the Labour hierarchy is so vehemently against this and seems to be more of a mind with Mr Forsythe the ex-Tory SoS.
Mr Cameron's solution is a vague promise that if Scots vote against independence, he will offer some extra unspecified powers to Edinburgh...trust him!
I don't want devolution max. Although no one has spelled out exactly what it would mean, the consensus appears to be that although Scotland would run all its own affairs, it would still be dependent upon the UK for Defence and Foreign Affairs.
At present two of the most disastrous departments of state, in my opinion (although I admit it's hard to single any out), are Defence and Foreign Affairs.
In Defence the UK still seems determined to renew a weapon system which would be a small contribution in any fight against the Soviet Union, which doesn't exist, at a cost of tens of billions of pounds, which of course we do not have, while troops fighting endless unwinnable wars in selected Muslim countries, go under equipped and all the time a massive bureaucracy far larger than the fighting force, and including no fewer than 47 admirals who do not have ships, never mind fleets, gobbles up money as if we had some. It sounds like something from "Allo Allo", but without Von Smallhausen.
In Foreign Affairs no one appears to have told them much about the 20th century, never mind the 21st, mush less that we have arrived there. They do seem to realise that America is now in charge, but apart from that they appear to think Britain still has imperial responsibility for a quarter of the Earth. Like an embarrassing Smithers to America's Mr Burns, we trail around agreeing with everything they say, no matter how ridiculous, all the while maintaining a Rolls Royce ambassador in nearly every country on the globe in a standard to which the Queen might like to become accustomed. Notably, however, when people need their help, they are regrettably unable to offer anything but the scantest advice.
So no, if Devolution Max means England (and it would be England) keeping control over these functions, it is, whilst immeasurably preferable to the current arrangements, not my preferred solution.
|British Ambassador's residence in Washington...|
And while opinion polls have shown that the public wants a referendum on continued membership of the EU, it has been denied to them.
Now, with most opinion polls showing that over 40% would vote for Devolution Max, were it included on the ballot paper, is it not time for the coalition of Labour, Tory and Liberals to give some though to allowing a referendum including this as an option?
Mr Cameron should note that you can only get away with offering people a choice of what they don't want and what they don't want more, for so long. That way you end up with people not ever getting what they want.
Eventually surely even the long suffering Brits, faced with a series of choices between bad and worse, whilst a better is just out of reach, are going to say, enough is enough.
Incidentally, if the Welsh can have an articulate, intelligent multi lingual Labour leader (who also happens to be First Minister) who wants only the best from Wales, why did Scotland get lumbered with Johann Lamont.