Most people will, I think, be curious as to why the British parties are so anxious to have the Fiscal Framework/Scotland Bill rushed through with the minimum of scrutiny. Certainly, those who are aware of the British establishment’s agenda will be extremely suspicious.
The fiscal framework is crucial to the entire Scotland Bill. We know that the legislation is a mess cobbled together more as a means of making life difficult for the SNP administration than with the interests of Scotland’s people in mind. John Swinney will be the one who has to find a path through the minefield of fiscal traps that the Scotland Bill will lay. It makes perfect sense that he would seek to make this task slightly easier by ensuring that the fiscal framework does not support the malicious intent of the Bill itself.
He, along with Nicola Sturgeon, will also have the job of selling this fiscal framework and the Scotland Bill to a Scottish Parliament that will naturally be very sceptical. The British parties at Holyrood will want to push it through as it serves their petty political purposes. But the Scottish parties will, by contrast, be primarily concerned about the impact on Scotland’s economy and people. Securing legislative consent is not going to be an easy matter. So it stands to reason that Sturgeon and Swinney will want to be able to give MSPs an assurance that the legislation has been very thoroughly scrutinised in committee.
As ever, the media portray the SNP as being “unreasonable” while the British establishment is all paternalistic patience. Look at the language used by Mundell.
But “reasonableness” depends very much on your perspective. And your priorities. If the main concern is the best interests of Scotland and its people than clearly it is the British parties that are being unreasonable by trying to obstruct and harass those who have a democratic mandate to look after those interests.
To put it as simply as one might, in this matter John Swinney speaks for Scotland. David Mundell only ever speaks for the ruling elites of the British state.