My piece on Calman yesterday had an interesting sequel. Tom Harris MP - Westminster’s answer to the danger’s of a Scottish Labour UDI - having formerly opposed the Calman Commission, is now in favour of re-establishing it on a permanent basis - I quote Kate Devlin in the Herald – “to constantly review the devolution settlement, even if it recommends handing back some powers to Westminster”. Tom Harris says he wants to ensure that Scotland is not forced to undergo major constitutional upheaval every decade or so.
Modesty doesn’t inhibit me from saying that Tom Harris was clearly impressed by my definition yesterday of the Calman Commission as a Commission set up by a unionist opposition to defend the Union and to limit and inhibit the elected Scottish Government, and has belatedly realised the value of establishing such an instrument of colonial control on a permanent basis.
I feel he should go the whole hog and nominate himself as the chairman of the new commission, a post he would hold together with his leadership of the new Scottish Labour Party. There may be some niggling constitutional quibbles over such a dual mandate, but this solution is better than simply announcing Michael Moore as head of the new commission. To celebrate the New Scottish Labour & Unionist Party’s birth, Tom Harris should be presented with a bound copy of John McTernan’s Collected Essays, What Labour Must Do. The new party and the new Commission will of, course, need a spin doctor – one will do for both – and although a token recruitment procedure will be undertaken, there can be no doubt of identity of the successful candidate. (I offer my condolences to Lorraine Davidson, The Times and the Sunday Post.)
If I may offer a word to Tom Harris …
Scotland won’t be undergoing “major constitutional upheaval every decade or so”, it will be independent. It will achieve its independence democratically in a single referendum in which only Scottish voters will participate. I’m sure you understand that, Tom – we wouldn’t want David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy to have to intervene to ensure that Scots achieve their democratic freedom from a corrupt and unrepresentative dictatorship of wealth, power and privilege masquerading as a democracy, one that was trying to manipulate their democratic rights, would we? Or would their notorious expediency and partiality in which dictatorships they chose to topple come into force?