Westminster determined to cling on to power

Revelations in today’s Sunday Herald show why when it comes to the crunch Westminster’s instincts are always to cling on to power.

Newly released files from 1997 have revealed that civil servants at Westminster in the early days of Tony Blair’s administration believed that a devolved Scotland should have its own civil service and that there was little purpose to the role of Secretary of State for Scotland after devolution.

The revelations are particularly embarrassing for Michael Moore, the current occupant of that post, given calls the LibDems previously made to abolish the post of Secretary of State for Scotland.

The recommendations that Scotland should gain its own civil service and that the Scottish Secretary post should be abolished were overruled by the then Labour Government, who were determined to ensure Westminster remained in control on these areas.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said:

"Westminster's resistance to genuine devolution to Scotland is no surprise and should give pause for thought to anyone tempted to vote No in 2014.

“These papers show that when it comes to the crunch, Westminster will cling on to the power Scotland needs, even when they know that it is far better for the Scottish Parliament to have full responsibility.

"The only way to genuinely complete the powers of devolution is with a Yes vote in September 2014.

"It has been clear ever since devolution that the role of Secretary of State for Scotland is an expensive and unnecessary position that instead of putting forward Scotland's interests in London, imposes policies on Scotland that the people of Scotland didn't vote for."

Details of the revealed papers can be viewed at http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/devolution-files-r...