30 years ago

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
Publication of the white paper on Scottish devolution prompted a TES Scotland editorial of December 5, 1975, which observed that the past 10 years had seen "determined socialist unification" and "an intensification of the increasingly centralist system of education operated by St Andrew's House": At the same time (and partly as a result), the quality of local government has deteriorated: little men have leaned on - and hoped to be able to blame - St Andrew's House. There is reason to fear that this process would be accelerated by a system of the kind proposed in the white paper. One of the likeliest outcomes of a Scottish assembly as proposed would, we believe, be the death of effective local government in Scotland.

If Westminster really believes in devolution, it can show its sincerity by devolving to the new Scottish regions some of the powers which the white paper says might be devolved to an assembly . . . Scotland does not deserve as a form of national government anything that would be as inward-looking as would this assembly. It would have no reason to look outward, except to quarrel with Westminster.

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