Jonathan Galbraith was born and educated in Scotland, joined the Conservative Party while at Strathclyde University, and now works in the pensions industry in Birmingham. He proposes several constitutional policies including calling for a referendum on Scottish independence but not taking a side.
Almost six months have passed since the May elections to the Scottish Parliament, which gave the Scottish National Party their first ever taste of power at a national level. After having dominated Scottish politics for over fifty years, Labour were finally kicked out in their heartland. The Conservative Party have recently regained their lead in the UK polls, and now expect to defeat Labour at a general election (expected in 2009).
The contradictions of devolution have become ever more apparent in the last week or so, with the SNP minority administration in Edinburgh promising ever more “goodies” (free prescriptions, ending bridge tolls, scrapping university tuition fees, etc.). I also refer to the Platform article written by Murdo Fraser MSP.
Murdo eloquently explained that the SNP’s promises must be met by savings elsewhere in the Scottish Executive budget, and that much of what is written in the press about “the over-subsidised Scots” is untrue. I agree with this. Instead, I would like to leave economics and focus on the democratic implications of Scottish devolution. Where I disagree with Murdo is that I feel it is time for the Conservatives to consider some bold and radical constitutional with regard to Labour’s devolved settlement in Scotland.