Boris Johnson: Devolution & Scottish Parliament “A Disaster” – You Bet!

Boris Johnson: Devolution & Scottish Parliament “A Disaster” – You Bet!

Boris Johnson has denied that he opposes devolution as he attempted to end a major row in Scotland caused after he branded the creation of the Scottish Parliament a “disaster”. 

In an address to the Scottish Conservatives virtual conference, the Prime Minister claimed his leaked comments, made in an online call to northern English Tory MPs, had not been reported “entirely accurately” and suggested he had been referring to the SNP’s “abysmal” performance in government.

Mr Johnson was reported as telling MPs that devolution had been “a disaster north of the border” and was Tony Blair’s “biggest mistake”.  His comments dismayed Scottish Tories, with the Holyrood elections just six months away and the SNP already on course to claim a majority and a new mandate for a second independence referendum.

In recorded remarks to the conference, Mr Johnson said: “I know comments I made the other day on devolution have been widely reported, leaked, not entirely accurately, but never mind.  “But since no press were in the room, I’ll give you my unvarnished view: the way the SNP have handled devolution in Scotland has been a disaster – from plummeting education standards, low business confidence and the lowest satisfaction ever in public services – their record is abysmal. “The key is to have policies to show how devolution can work for Scotland, the people in Scotland, rather than the SNP obsession with making devolution work against the rest of the UK.”  (Taken from The Telegraph platform on YouTube)


If anyone can specify the benefits to Scotland of Devolution, in everyday life, and the Scottish Parliament as a practical and effective tool of governance, I, for one, would be interested to learn and, if necessary, revise my opinion. At the moment, I tend to agree with Boris, although, frankly, it pains me to agree with him about anything.  What about you?   


Comments (26)

  • RCAVictor


    I had to go look up “Scottish devolution” to figure out what this thread was about, but having found some information in an article in The Sun about “powers reserved” vs. “powers devolved,” I had a good laugh at this sentence:

    “Devolution means that decision making moves closer to the citizen and is more democratic.”

    As they say in commbox-speak, ROFL!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm
    • Josephine

      RCA Victor,

      I had to look up ROFL – LOL!

      Now I know it means “rolling on the floor laughing” – great, but I think I’ll stick with my LOL!

      November 21, 2020 at 4:50 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor

      In that linked article posted by your, the areas devolved (and reserved to Westminster) are listed. Notice that one devolved area is fisheries, and yet the SNP Government is determined to re-join the EU if they achieve their goal of independence; the poor fishermen will then be impoverished since the EU can “steal” fish from our waters.

      Nearly as bad as the Dems stealing Trump’s election!

      November 21, 2020 at 6:48 pm
  • Athanasius


    Absolutely! What “Scottish devolution” amounted to was switching totalitarian government from one Marxist location (Westminster) to another (Edinburgh). It was all part of Tony Blair’s “divide and conquer” strategy, how to break up and weaken the UK making it ripe for Communist takeover, which is what the SNP represents in Scotland and Plyde Cumry in Wales, which is also devolved.

    November 21, 2020 at 4:38 pm
    • Nicky


      I totally agree – whoever rules us, we’re in a Marxist Police State.

      PS I think it’s Plaid Cymru (in case you’re accused of racism for getting the name of their political party wrong! That’s the state of the times we’re living in!)

      November 21, 2020 at 5:03 pm
  • Athanasius

    It’s just a pity that Boris has already devolved all UK powers to Beijing, hence the fake virus excuse to open the door to “The Great Reset” and full blown Communist global dictatorship. The man reeks of hypocrisy, our very own liar-in-chief!

    November 21, 2020 at 4:45 pm
    • Josephine


      I couldn’t agree more – I forgot to say that in my comment (which I think went up with yours, LOL!)

      Whoever is in charge of the UK, it will be in name only after this virus has been used to “reset” the world. God help us all, north and south of the border.

      November 21, 2020 at 4:48 pm
  • Josephine

    I am mystified that the SNP get so many votes at elections. Even before the last election, they were known to be failing Scots in every area. Here is one article I selected because Scotland used to have a marvellous reputation when it came to education. That’s now gone.

    It’s also obvious that devolution was just a stepping stone to independence and then we’d be at the mercy of the likes of Nicola Sturgeon forever. Tony Blair was a bird-brain to have dreamt this up. The stupidity of thinking devolution would be a way of stopping the SNP demands for independence, is just so obvious.

    November 21, 2020 at 4:46 pm
    • RCAVictor


      “I am mystified that the SNP get so many votes at elections.”

      Scotland doesn’t use Dominion voting machines, do they?

      November 22, 2020 at 12:18 am
      • Lily

        RCA Victor,

        LOL! They don’t need to use Dominion voting machines, they just need the bishops to keep egging on Catholics to vote for the SNP.

        The spokesman for the Scottish bishops made his support for the SNP public yonks ago, and he was obviously speaking for the bishops. So they are happy with a government which is about to introduce a new Hate Crime Bill which will mean that the police can take action against a church if they receive even one complaint. It’s a disgrace that the bishops are pro-SNP and that lay people actually vote for them. If this Hate bill goes through, we’re all going to be watching our backs. We won’t be able to trust anyone.

        November 22, 2020 at 8:23 pm
      • editor


        Well said.

        Peter Kearney, the Bishops’ spokesman to whom you refer, was clearly speaking with the approval of the Bishops – there’s no question about that. Disgraceful, given their anti-family and anti-human life policies. I say “human life” because I’ve no doubt that foxes and squirrels will be totally safe in SNP Scotland!

        November 22, 2020 at 10:12 pm
  • Nicky

    I’ve seen Neil Oliver videos on this blog before so I thought I would post this one saying we are all being frightened into silence in Scotland about the virus – he’s the only Scot I know in public life who is speaking out.

    November 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm
    • editor


      We’re likely to have had that video of Neil Oliver posted before – I haven’t time to click on it right now – but we can never get too much of a good thing (and he is outspoken against the lockdowns and restrictions etc) so thank you for that…

      November 21, 2020 at 6:49 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Yes, the modern Scottish Parliament has been a major flop since its inception ~20 years ago. As a naive student I voted for it – thinking it would be useful to have local focus in some areas – a move I now bitterly regret.

    It has achieved nothing which could not have been done better and cheaper by the Scottish Office.

    It has only turned out to be a platform for divisive nationalists who are incompetent at running the country. The effect is that we pay more for poorer services. Indeed the “local focus” I voted for has rundown Scottish education to its worst ever international ranking.

    The politicians who make up the Parliament are a deeply unimpressive group of people. Mostly failed civil servants and identity politics candidates. They aspire to mediocrity.

    I would “bite your hand off” for a chance to scrap it and return powers to Westminster. The Parliaments own track record, especially under this SNP administration – which is as wicked as it is incompetent – is, ironically, the best anti-independence advert around.

    November 21, 2020 at 10:26 pm
  • RCAVictor

    It seems “The Great Reset” is a global devolution to a national sovereignty-destroying, pseudo-scientific oligarchy. The satanists have laid all their cards on the table.

    November 22, 2020 at 12:21 am
    • Lily

      RCA Victor,

      I do believe that satanists are behind what is going on in the world right now because of the sheer speed of it. I’ve never seen anything like it. One minutes we’re voting in a democratic election and the next we’re being ruled by dictators. It’s definitely satanic. The fact that the Pope has remained silent all the way through every lockdown and every restriction, even the closing of churches etc. is proof positive that this is all the work of Satan.

      November 22, 2020 at 8:26 pm
      • Athanasius


        Democracy was always a sham, a pretence that the people have freedom to elect their leaders when in fact all candidates from all parties are owned by powerful interests, whose bidding they do. If you think about it, the only freedom people have really enjoyed under democracy is the freedom to behave immorally and insult God. Trump was an anomaly, someone they never thought would be elected. No one paid for Trump and that’s why they are doing everything to get rid of him. The entire plot against President Trump, including the rigged election, is CIA orchestrated, as is Covid-19. Here’s an interesting article to read:

        November 24, 2020 at 2:52 pm
      • editor


        What you say is a variation on the old truth “if my vote meant anything, they wouldn’t have given it to me”…

        November 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm
  • Marc

    Devolution was always going to materialise because it is what the majority of people in Scotland wanted. The 1997 vote for a devolved parliament and tax-altering powers was significantly voted for in a referendum (around 75% for new parliament and 65% for tax-raising powers).

    Since the 1707 union, Scotland has always maintained it’s separate education system, legal system and it’s own established church – all of which has consequently helped to maintain a sense of being different/sperate from the rest of the UK. Home Rule, let’s not forget, was being touted for Scotland for about 100 years before we were given a watered-down version in 1999.

    Many people are rightly stumped with some of the laws which have been introduced at Holyrood (Named Person, Curriculum for Education, centralisation, the so-called ‘climate emergency’, etc.) but it hasn’t all been negative. Personally, I think that the new 5 band tax system is fairer than its predecessor. It has also helped to offset some of the Tory austerity measures which significantly hit poorer people the most; for example, the bedroom tax. Their record on crime – particularly, violent crime – has been a success. Our life expectancy has improved dramatically, comparative with the rUK, since devolution although could be improved further still.

    On balance, I believe that devolution has been a minor success although I admit that there has been instances where well-intentioned principles has been damaged by poor policy alongside some policy which just doesn’t compute whatsoever. A mixed bag, really.

    November 25, 2020 at 1:05 pm
  • Josephine


    I would need to double check this but I am sure that life expectancy in Nicola Sturgeon’s own constituency in Glasgow is very low. Anyway, this interview with the Scot, Neil Oliver on this morning’s Mike Graham show gives a different perspective on devolution and Scottish nationalism

    November 25, 2020 at 2:22 pm
    • Marc


      Editor asked “If anyone can specify the benefits to Scotland of Devolution, in everyday life.” Well, specifically, life expectancy has increased in every single area of Scotland post-devolution, including in Glasgow. The specifics of which can be found here:

      November 25, 2020 at 6:48 pm
      • editor


        It’s common knowledge in Scotland that under Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP life in Scotland, in just about every area, is worsening. I think it was Neil Oliver (interviewed in the above video) who points out in one of his previous interviews with Mike Graham that life expectancy in Nicola Sturgeon’s own (working class) Glasgow constituency, is much lower since the SNP took office. This data is likely to be much more recent than the data provided in your link.

        November 25, 2020 at 9:24 pm
      • Marc


        You’re moving the goalposts. You originally asked of the benefits of devolution. Now you’re narrowing it down to simply the SNP.

        Firstly, in 20 years of devolution, the SNP have been a majority government for four years out of 20. Not all of the blame should be lain at their door.

        Secondly, the Express has seriously misattributed the Public Health Scotland report in their article. I would encourage everyone to read it for themselves and not rely on a Tory-sponsored rag to provide a grossly skewed commentary of its contents.

        I don’t particularly like the SNP myself but I try not to let my dislike for them cloud my reason. For all their bad policies, there are some good in there, as well. Some of which I mentioned previously.

        November 25, 2020 at 11:18 pm
      • editor


        I did not move any goalposts. I responded to your comment about life expectancy.

        As for benefits from devolution – I can’t see any and it would not matter which party were the ruling party, although it’s unlikely to be any party other than the SNP for the foreseeable future – that’s pretty much self-evident. Labour is finished in Scotland, the Tories never really got off the ground, the Greens are a silly irrelevance and I can’t remember if there are any other parties in Holyrood, which kinda speaks for itself 😀

        As for this “I don’t like the SNP but I don’t let that cloud my reason” – well, I don’t let anything cloud my reason. Irrespective of her party allegiance, Nicola Sturgeon has a dictatorial streak running right through her just like “Saltcoats” or “Ayr” or “Blackpool” used to run right through a stick of rock candy. Not sure if they’re still available, so here’s a walk down Memory Lane…×3672/filters:fill(auto,1)/souvenir-rock-candy-78359416-5995c8f1af5d3a0010e8fc8a.jpg

        Devolution has not brought Scotland improved schools, health service or anything else. We’ve had letters insisting that we install fire and smoke alarms in every room, including landings, at our own expense – a decision in the category of “must be seen to be doing something” after the Grenfell Tower fire in England. And of course we’re now about to face the danger of friends and even relatives reporting us to the police under the new Hate Crime Bill when it comes into force, if we say the wrong thing – the wrong thing, that is, according to the person hearing it and reporting us.

        In a sense, devolution is really a non-issue, taking a wide perspective – because it will either lead inexorably to full independence for Scotland, in which case God help us all, or it will continue to be nothing more than a way for the Scottish politicians in power at any given point in time to use and abuse their authority to dictate to the population at large. I can see no benefit whatsoever from devolution – and I am, by the way, apolitical. There’s really very little to no difference between the various political parties – they are all Godless which is why I have spoilt my ballot paper every time for years now, and I think it’s fairly obvious that the only person benefiting from any of these parties, the only people celebrating are the people in power. The rest of us simply suffer the bitter fruits of their election victories.

        So, if you are planning to change my mind – forget it. I have had friends and relatives who have worked hard to win me over to the nationalist cause; won’t happen. My reasons are many and probably would seem complex, so that’s all I will say on the matter.

        Except this – devolution hasn’t stopped our political leaders acting like dictators; whether in England, Wales, North of Ireland or Scotland, we are all being told what to do in our daily lives with our political masters even telling us that they may or may not permit us to celebrate Christmas. In short, devolution is an irrelevance because…

        November 26, 2020 at 12:22 am
      • Athanasius


        That’s certainly not the case with people with serious health conditions whose treatment is suspended due to Covid-19, nor with the more than 50% of elderly who died prematurely in locked down care homes, nor with the tens of thousands expected to die prematurely because early detection of serious illness is suspended die to Covid. The SNP is responsible for all of that in Scotland and it equates to a national low life expectancy under SNP depending on what group you slot into.

        November 26, 2020 at 12:29 am

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