Dear Lord Smith of Kelvin,
I appreciate that the commission has screeds of opinion to read through and will therefore be as brief as possible.
I believe the cobbled together last minute “vow” has left all participants in an invidious position, from which little robust
legislation can follow. I believe your own interests in the energy
sector leave you less than impartial. The leaderless Labour Party in
Scotland, already a lack lustre contributor, is now surely comprised to the point of non-participation. I am also disappointed that not one open public meeting has been held. Further I have no expectation of the next UK Government honouring any agreement.
Notwithstanding my profound reservations I wish to argue for federalism i.e. the UK Government keeps control of defence, foreign policy and currency regulation. Post- referendum two acts of the Scottish Government have illustrated the palpably ridiculous nature of the implementation of the currently devolved powers: the franchising of Scottish train services to a foreign public body when they could not be franchised to a Scottish public body and the plastic bag”tax” relying on a “gentlemen’s agreement” on charitable distribution of income from sales, and the VAT receipts going directly to Westminster from a solely Scottish initiative.
I believe all attempts to devolve chunks of this and bits of that
without scrutiny from constitutional and fiscal experts will inevitably
lead to more ridiculous outcomes. For every time any new devolved powers fail to deliver logical, fair and workable solutions the Union will be further weakened. If “the settled will of the Scottish People” is, currently, to remain within the the Union, then I believe only federalism can achieve this.
If, as mentioned previously, the next Westminster Government does fail to honour the “vow” I expect you Lord Smith to be a public, vocal defender of any agreement the Commission can reach. By accepting the Chair of the Commission I believe you have committed yourself to fighting for increased autonomy for the Scottish people for as long as this takes to achieve.
Sarah K. Grant M.A. (Hons)