Socialist Worker

New powers for Scotland won't undercut support for independence

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2438

Tory prime minister David Cameron announced new powers for Scotland last week. 

He hopes his draft bill will be the “final resting place” for the constitutional arguments raised by the independence referendum. 

But it will do nothing to undercut support for independence. The bill is a pale shadow of the Smith Commission, itself a watered down version of the promises that all the main party leaders made in an effort to stop a Yes vote in September.

The STUC union federation criticised the bill as “unacceptable”. 

The House of Commons retains a veto on many of the “devolved” powers. This has only handed more ammunition to the Scottish National Party (SNP) for May’s election.

The post referendum surge in support for the SNP and the disintegration of the Labour Party’s working class base both show no sign of fading.


Polls still look grim for Scottish Labour’s new Blairite leader Jim Murphy. At best Labour is 10 percent behind the SNP, at worst it could be lucky to keep a handful of its 41 Westminster seats.

In the key battlegrounds in Labour’s traditional heartlands, where a SNP victory was once mere fantasy, Murphy is not inspiring party activists.

A leaked general election strategy document shows that in 14 key seats, including SNP targets in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, Labour has contacted fewer than 100 voters.

It’s good news for SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, but her party does not present a serious challenge to austerity. 

But it was fighting austerity  that inspired many people to vote for independence.


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Article information

Tue 27 Jan 2015, 16:09 GMT
Issue No. 2438
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