Few, if any, are taken in by Kezia Dugdale’s pointless posturing. Her talk of a ‘new Act of Union’ is nothing more than a transparent ploy to try and position British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) somewhere between the SNP’s positive and aspirational plans to bring Scotland’s government home and the jingoistic British nationalism espoused by the British Tories in Scotland. Having been beaten to the title of ‘Queen of the Britnats’ by Ruth Davidson, Dugdale is now desperately flailing around looking for a distinctive constitutional policy.
Brian Wilson is hardly the first or only one to note the woeful failure of this project. What Dugdale is proposing is, not a solution or a settlement, but a call for yet another constitutional talking-shop with a remit to preserve the union at any cost.
Neither is Wilson being particularly perspicacious when he observes the distinct lack of enthusiasm for an umpteenth ‘Constitutional Convention’. Not even the rest of BLiS is able to warm to the idea. And they are normally very keen on anything that might kick the constitutional question into the long grass for a while.
What is striking about Brian Wilson’s analysis is the fact that, while he sees the asymmetry problem in relation to a federal arrangement, he remains stubbornly blind to the deleterious effect on Scotland’s democracy of this same gross imbalance of power in the context of the current constitutional settlement. Stubbornly blind, or complacently content to accept the glaring democratic deficit in the name of preserving the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.
There is a hypocrisy in Brian Wilson’s attitude which will not be unfamiliar to observers of British nationalism.
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