Posted on June 2nd, 2023
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
It’s been yet another Brownhog Day, with Gordon Brown once again promising us something or other which he isn’t able to deliver. Not only is Labour not in power, but even if they do form the next UK Government, Sir Keir (Knight of the Realm) starmer has already said that reform of the House of Lords may not be the priority Gordon Brown thinks it should be. So it’s yet more nonsense from the Broon.
One of the attendees at this talking shop was Mark Drapeford, First Minister of Wales. I like a lot of the things he has to say, and I can’t help feeling he is in the wrong Party. But as well as joining the Labour pontificators, he also backed Humza Yousaf in calling for Westminster to respect Devolution. Now, I know they need to say things like that, but they must know themselves that it is a total waste of breath. Westminster will never respect Devolution, and we are seeing that yet again in their ludicrous stance over Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme. Westminster was apparently quite happy for Wales to design a scheme which included glass bottles, even signing a joint document to that effect. But, buoyed by their successful blocking of the Gender reform Bill, the Tories are really going on the offensive now, using their internal Markets Act as a sledgehammer to squash pretty much anything the Scottish Parliament tries to do. After insisting that glass should be included in the DRS, they have now decided that they can block Scotland’s new legislation by changing their minds and insisting that glass be excluded. This will not only create havoc with the scheme, costing many retailers a lot of money, it allows the Tories to chip away at Holyrood’s decision-making powers. They will not stop here, but will use the IMA to block as much Scottish legislation as they can. Those who were jubilant when the Gender Reform Bill was blocked really should have tempered their feelings because, whether you agreed with that Bill or not, blocking it was an act of deep significance. Having succeeded, the Tories are now emboldened.
Of course, their hypocrisy over the inclusion of glass in the DRS, while evident for all to see, does not embarrass them in the slightest. Having demanded that Scotland’s plans be scrapped, they have now completely swivelled on their agreement with Wales, and are now telling Mark Drapeford that his plans will need to change. So far, he is digging his heels in, but it remains to be seen how far he will push things.
There’s no way yet of telling what will happen here, but one possible outcome is that both Scotland and Wales will either scrap their plans entirely or will go ahead without the inclusion of glass. But whichever way they go, it will cause much confusion and financial cost. It will also allow the BBC to mock the Scottish Government. And, once all of that has been achieved, just watch what happens when Westminster devises its own DRS. I’m not a betting man, but I’m fairly confident that their scheme will include glass, because that will allow them to point the finger at both Wales and Scotland, telling them they are out of step and had better improve their own schemes.
As ever, the only way to escape this madness is to become a normal, self-governing country. The same goes for Wales, and the sooner Humza Yousaf and Mark Drapeford get on with making this a reality, the better.