Scotland’s External and European Ministry 164

Scotland must be a fully functioning independent nation in two to three years. We need to start now to understand and plan for the physical infrastructure of governance a modern state needs. Just one of the vast gaps at present is the ability for an independent state to interact with other states; that is, after all, what defines the very being of a state. Scotland will need its own foreign ministry. In short time.

That foreign ministry will need to be physically somewhere in the capital. It needs to be a prestige location that can host visiting foreign ministers and delegations and top level international meetings. The answer is staring us in the face in the old Edinburgh Royal High School, a truly magnificent though sadly neglected building.

Edinburgh Council has just taken the lease back from the prospective developers of yet another luxury hotel in the centre of Edisneyburgh, a name I use for the hollowed out tourist attraction which the centre of Edinburgh is fast becoming (Jenners is now to be yet another luxury hotel). There is a consultation in play on the future of the Royal High School. What worries me is that I have not seen a single element of that consultation that factors in the coming urgent question of the needs of Edinburgh as the capital of an independent state, nor have I ever seen any indication that Edinburgh Council or the Scottish Government have ever given the matter serious thought.

I have even seen it suggested that Independent Scotland will not need a foreign ministry, nor a defence ministry, because in these areas it can continue to cooperate with the British state. I should hope that I could forever destroy the argument for an Independent Scotland aligning with UK foreign policy in just nine words. I shall try:

Iraq. Libya. Afghanistan. Palestine. Yemen. Chagos. Catalonia. Trident. Rendition.

We simply cannot align ourselves with the butcher’s apron abroad. Quite simply, that would be to sacrifice a key attribute of a nation state. It would not be Independence. The immorality of UK foreign policy is a key motive for many Scots to want independence in the first place, myself included.

The UK Treasury admits that it receives (pre-covid) approximately £30 billion per year more in revenue from Scotland than is given back to the Scottish Government in block grant. In fact, numerous accounting tricks make that £30 billion an underestimate, but let us go with it for now. That money is spent on our behalf by Westminster, on reserved matters like Defence (including Trident), the Foreign Office, the Treasury, Immigration and Nationality, certain benefits and social services, and projects of UK strategic value, like (ahem) London’s crossrail, HS2 and the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

After Independence, none of that £30 billion (in reality it will prove to be well more) will go down to London. All of it will be spent through Scotland, and the large majority of it will finally be spent in Scotland. That will of itself be a major economic boost, but for the purposes of this article I am concerned with the administration of that expenditure, all of which administration will on Independence be moved up from London to Scotland.

That means Scotland will be paying for a lot more civil servants in Scotland, rather than paying for civil servants in London. Scotland will need a Central Bank, a Finance Ministry, a Ministry of External Affairs, a Ministry of Internal Affairs (including immigration and nationality), a much expanded benefits ministry, an overseas aid ministry, a Ministry of Defence, and its own, but hopefully very small, security services. There will be others.

Recruitment should not be a big problem as many Scottish civil servants will be very happy to repatriate from the UK civil service. I do however caution against an automatic right for senior civil servants to transfer as many will have been steeped in neoliberal doctrine. Almost certainly, as with Ireland, London will have to grant a residual right to Scots to continue in London service, as much would simply collapse without them.

But we have to think where we can physically put all these civil servants. The truth is – and I know it is unpopular when I say this – the current Scottish Government is really only a glorified regional council, set up to placate a nation, and is extremely far from the scale of operation needed to run an actual independent state.

Just as there are those who think we should just continue to follow the UK Foreign Office, there are those who seem to think that bunging a few extra desks into St Andrews House will solve the problem. There has not been enough planning for the sheer scale of what is needed to administer a real nation state. Most European countries of Scotland’s size will have 20 to 25 separate ministries.

Sweden has 48,000 “core” civil servants in central government. Denmark has 68,000 civil servants working in “central administration”. By contrast, just 6,500 “core” civil servants work for the Scottish “government” at present. It is hard to find exactly equivalent figures because, while all these numbers exclude agencies, civil service jobs have been farmed out to agencies in differing degrees in different nations. Agency and other non-core civil servants working for the Scottish Government total around 11,000, but do also have their equivalent extras in Sweden and Denmark. What is plain is that after Independence the Scottish Government central operation, once it really is an actual Government and not a Mickey Mouse one, will have to be on an entirely different scale.

Here is a little illustration. The Scottish Government’s civil service only has one Permanent Secretary, and perfectly bluntly she would never have made it to five grades lower than that in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the Treasury. After independence Scotland will need at least 20 proper permanent secretaries of high quality.

There are however 24,500 UK civil servants based in Scotland who work for the UK government. Many of these will simply be able to be transferred in – the very large majority of them (17,200) being from the Inland Revenue, and Revenue and Customs. But do not think this solves Scotland’s problems. There is a large difference between processing tax returns and running a state’s macro-economic policy, and the very large majority of all the UK civil servants employed in Scotland are non-policy staff.

The policy apparatus of central ministries aside, there is a useful legacy of physical government infrastructure currently housing these UK civil servants, much of it helpfully outside Edinburgh. Immigration and Nationality will have a good base in Glasgow for example and can expand into spare space in the overseas development administration in East Kilbride, which is larger than Scotland will need. But for reasons of democratic accountability the policy headquarters of these ministries, with their ministers – a whole new layer of Administration in Scotland – will have to be near parliament and the seat of government.

Speaking of parliament, I am convinced that Scotland will need after Independence far more by way of checks and balances on its executive, not least of which should be a bicameral parliament. That second chamber too will need to be accommodated somewhere, with its staff.

The new UK government buildings near Waverley station will provide a little of the answer to all of this, but will by no means be enough. Is there a masterplan for what ministry will go where, into what buildings – or even what the ministries will be? I hope you understand now why it is essential to commandeer the old Royal High School, and start to earmark other buildings in the capital.

To return to the question of external affairs, I hope in general we will avoid UK nomenclature for ministries. Ministry of External Affairs has a less pejorative tone than “Foreign Office”. I would tend to make it “Ministry of External and European Affairs”, to make plain Scotland views Europe differently. I also hope we will follow Ireland in eschewing the Imperial relic of the Commonwealth, and unlike the British Tories we will have a separate ministry for development aid.

As a state it is essential to interact with foreign states, and to do that, we must have Embassies abroad. Scotland will need Embassies in all European states, in major countries outside Europe including in the developing world, and in all fellow major oil-producing states. Ireland has 57 Embassies abroad, Denmark 71, Portugal 75 and Sweden 80. I suspect Scotland needs about 75.

In addition there are consulates, which will provide assistance to Scottish businesses and individuals abroad, and often issue visas, but do not handle political relations. If you need assistance in Los Angeles an Embassy in Washington is little use, for example. Ireland has 109 consulates and Portugal 250.

This is not at all as expensive as it seems. The UK has a major owned property estate abroad, much of it belonging to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and some of it literally palatial. An Independent Scotland will be entitled to 10% of that estate. Some of that will be able to be used directly to provide the offices and accommodation we will need, while some might be sold to provide funds for suitable premises.

To return to Edinburgh, I would expect at least 80 Embassies to set up in the Scottish capital, and possibly a good few more. Apart from the Europeans and major players, it is a fact of life that countries always like to open Embassies in really nice places for diplomats to live. There are over 1,000 foreign diplomats accredited to Sweden, of whom 667 are actually resident in Stockholm, the rest visiting. There will be a similar number of non-diplomatic Embassy staff. Edinburgh will need offices for at least 80 Embassies, some of them fairly large. While it is not up to the Scottish government to provide the premises, the demand will be significant.

Some 800 foreign diplomats with their families will substantially impact the higher end Edinburgh property market. That is aside from the much larger problem of housing perhaps 10,000 new Scottish Government civil servants in the capital.

These are excellent problems to have, and solving them will provide a major macro-economic boost to Scotland. But if the Scottish Government is serious about moving to genuine Independence within a short timescale, much more work needs to be underway on preparing Edinburgh to be a real capital once again.

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164 thoughts on “Scotland’s External and European Ministry

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  • Highlander Bill

    I totally agree with the regards to a defence ministry, and not aligning with the UK, the Scots could do well aligning with the Nordic countries as a defence force and by banning nuclear weapons from inside our sea borders as Norway does, this is why we cannot join the EU as we wouldn’t have the same control due to dare I say it Brussels’s as Scottish waters would then technically become EU waters.
    A foreign ministry would also be needed but along with this we would need consular staff, and having paid towards UK assets, they could not refuse an iScotland the use of consuls abroad

    • Goose

      There’s been much online comment about this lack of preparedness – laying the groundwork for Scottish life post independence. Those of a more cynical disposition could be forgiven for believing the SNP’s leadership has no intention of actually delivering, hence the lack of such planning.

      • Goose

        ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’
        – Benjamin Franklin

        The case for independence will be immeasurably strengthened by a a well-briefed team putting forward detailed proposals.

        • Alf Baird

          Yes, several years ago, prior to 2014, I proposed that the SNP MPs should establish ‘shadow’ ministries for reserved powers. That the SNP did not do so indicated they were actually ‘soft’ nationalists, if nationalist at all. That the 56 SNP MP’s elected in 2015 decided to settle in rather than settle up, as Craig once described, tells it all.

          We are fortunate there are now another 4-5 or so independence parties to choose from in May, which will I hope be a plebiscite on independence.

      • mark golding

        You are right Goose the SNP ‘peers’ have been cajoled and seduced to maintain the union. MI5 Room 1603 perhaps is commited and charged with preserving the union.

  • 6033624

    Scotland has never had the infrastructure to house a Civil Service of its own. And, for decades now, the Civil Service in Scotland has been run down, jobs relocated and otherwise made unfit for purpose. For example, looking at taxation, the ‘district’ offices in England are all still in place but Scotland moved to the Centre 1 system many years ago before further centralising in 2008. National Insurance was centralised to Longbenton in the north of England, I’ve been there, the site s absolutely massive. Tens of soviet looking blocks that are themselves enormous. Longbenton was later to take Scottish Insolvency work from IR too. NB this wasn’t because they were already doing the work and this was simply centralising to one site, no, the work was given to them and, without training, they had to start from the ground up with only CBT to get through this specialised work which requires training and years of experience. The thing that was felt important in doing these things was to REMOVE the work from Scotland.

    The Civil Service, The Army, The Navy, The Coastguard, The Met Office – all had plenty of work to be doing in Scotland and all have been removed. This is a removal of assets and infrastructure designed to cause maximum difficulty to a newly independent country. Remember, the costs associated with setting up an independent Service were actually used by the ‘Better Together’ campaign in 2014 as a reason to vote No. If this WASN’T deliberate it would be happening UK wide and Scotland would be the beneficiary of some of the centralisations too.

    It is not by chance that the government has been doing this for many years..

  • Michael Droy

    Re-joining the Eu with England in between will be almost impossible, and selling that to voters is entirely impossible.
    And I can tell you, any British conservative leader that grants Scotland a 2nd referendum is going to get kicked out very quickly, while any Labour party that does so will be writing a very short suicide note. Ain’t happening. Merit worthy or not.

  • Contrary

    I think having Edinburgh as a capital city is a shit idea.

    And let’s not have any civil servants? Call them something else. And start by writing a totally new code of conduct.

    SIC had a good report on defence and security services published on Iain’s blog a few weeks back, it’s worth a look.

  • chris

    Craig-i really don’t know where you get this

    “The UK Treasury admits that it receives (pre-covid) approximately £30 billion ++++ per year more in revenue from Scotland than is given back to the Scottish Government in block grant.”

    in light of these figures, presumably Scottish should on a spending spree before or after
    successfully achieving independence.
    but then they (the Scottish government) are a bunch of Socialists whatever happens.

    sadly disagree with most with what you say in this article, except your argument relating to independent Scottish foreign policy with regards to Rendition Libya and Iraq.

    and it would be very interesting (and entertaining) to see an independent Scotland join the EU

    • craig Post author

      That’s completely uncontroversial Chris. The official UK figures are that Scotland generates about 60 billion in revenue, while the block grant to the Scottish govt is about 30 billion Difference about 30 billion. But the UK govt also claims it directly spends about 45 billion on Scotland’s interests, on the things I talk about, giving Scotland a notional deficit.

  • Goose

    The Republic of Ireland confine themselves to United Nations peacekeeping operations and they have lowest defence spending as a proportion of GDP in Europe at just 0.3%. Do the Irish go to bed on a night worrying about being invaded at Galway Bay along their west coast?

    Will an independent Scotland escape the UK’s Nato fuelled paranoia and militarised mindset?

    • James B

      Goose – well, if Nicola Sturgeon or someone of her ilk is in charge of an independent Scotland, you can be sure that there will be no change there.

      There is absolutely no point in independence if the Nicola Sturgeon faction is controlling things.

      • Goose

        Yes, she comes across as a conformist and really quite conservative. Those characteristics are potentially helpful in winning the referendum, which is all about reassuring and winning over the waverers. But you’ll need someone who’s got a bold radical vision to shape Scotland post independence. Someone not bound by doctrine and/or fear of the UK media and British state’s reactions, someone unafraid to ruffle feathers in London and even Washington.

        • Goose

          Also, maybe the fact she’s become the dominant figure and there’s a lot of groupthink among her clique. It’s well known that groupthink leads to poor decision making, it may go some way in explaining the tangled mess her and husband find themselves in.

  • Tom

    For what it’s worth, Anders Holch Povlsen, the owner of Jenners, insists it will remain a department store, although there is a possibility of a small attached hotel in the secondary parts of the building.

    More importantly, there is a fully-funded St Mary’s Music School proposal for the old Royal High School on Calton Hill. We should just get on with that, rather than throw further confusion on a project which has been thoroughly confused since before some of us were born. (But, unfortunately, not me.)

    We can decide on appropriate accommodation for embassies and the like once we know independence is on the way.

    Remind me, just how is that going ..?

  • Craig P

    There’s a lot of now empty white collar office space at the Gyle industrial estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, near the airport and by the city bypass. Stick the government ministries there.

    To accommodate all these civil servants and diplomats, simply requisition all the Airbnbs in central Edinburgh.

    There you go. Problem solved 🙂

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Edinburgh! FFS!
    Property prices are already overheated. Surely Scotland’s Diplomatic and political capital should be elsewhere. Stirling is equidistant from Edinburgh and Glasgow and the recent upgrade of the electric rail service to these cities is really quite good.
    As far as consulates in smaller nations and large cities goes, bunking up with oor kin over the Celtic sea would seem a neat solution.

  • Wally Jumblatt

    Very kind of you to write this plan up of course, but shoorely Mrs Murrell wrote up and costed a very detailed one with all the i’s and t’s dotted and double-crossed when she first thought of independence for Scotland?

  • Geoffrey

    Perhaps Scotland should start issuing some debt, the price of this will give a good indication of the cost of independence. If Scotland is to take on 10% of the UK’ s debt, the price will really decide whether independence is financially viable or not.

    • craig Post author

      Whether Scotland takes on any of the UK’s debt will depend entirely on whether WENI (Wales England Northern Ireland) wants to claim to be the sole successor state, thus keeping the nuclear weapons, security council permanent seat etc.

  • Joe

    So where is the written Constitution which is the rule book on which a state works, grants rights etc…loads of Embassies for what exactly,
    what currency will you use, how will a border function between England and Scotland

    • vin_ot

      Have you read a written constitution of the UK or indeed a rule book on basic punctuation?

    • Cubby


      Now that – where is Scotlands written consitution – is always the funniest objection to independence I’ve ever come across.

      Clearly using that logic the UK should not be independent.

      It is quite common for Westminster to tell its colonies it just cannot be independent. Wee Malta would shrivel up and die they said.

      The people asking these questions like you Joe should have a long hard look in the mirror and you will eventually see someone with a colonialist mindset.

  • nevermind

    why copy everything that kept you in chains? and what are the most important priorities today? Any ministry should have the word environment in its title, before those eager and currently not so concerned civil servants be reminded of their obligations to those who have no vote, every day and on every letterhead.

    what can be done in regions should be done there, duplication of services should ideally be avoided. Central remoteness and decision making pver and above local knowledge and expertise always been a bain put on localities and created mistrust, I would not even think of copying such framework to govern from a distance.

  • Alf Baird

    This is the kind of national strategic thinking we never see from the SNP elite.

    Might I suggest a CPO for Leith Docks obsolete lands, much of which may be filled in to create a mini city within the city, tram linked, and high speed ferries across the Forth. Like any other well developed waterfront city, as opposed to the present long term dereliction waiting on offshore equity owners to do something there. There may also be scope for a runway. Would take some pressure off what remains of the ‘green belt’. Might even be possible to allow the Water of Leith to flow to the sea again! Victoria Quay is already there of course.

  • djm

    Scotland must be a fully functioning independent nation in two to three years.

    Has to be in the running for the most deluded start to a blog post……

    • Alf Baird

      There are now 5 or 6 parties standing on the independence ticket in Scotland. The UK union is absolutely finished as far as most Scots are now concerned.

  • Goodwin

    A great article – which details exactly why it’s not going to (be allowed to?) happen. Well not in less than a 10-20 year time frame.

  • SBC

    Would London already be hedging its bets by laying down some groundwork amongst Member States at The UN in New York City?
    …perhaps try and replicate in some way the enduring China / Taiwan stitch up?
    [i.e. Scotland can only be regarded as a ‘region’ of the UK – ergo no Saltire raising allowed on 1st Avenue.]

  • Colin Smith

    Just like the UK soaking the wealth of the nation and spending it in London, this looks like a plan to soak the resource wealth of the county for a very comfortable lifestyle in Edinburgh.

    Surely we can do better than this with a blank canvas.

      • Sikunder Smoulders

        I think you rather let yourself down with this very superficial, glib, & strangely conservative response to Colin Smith’s point Craig.
        Even a cursory examination of Germany for instance would suggest an over-concentration of power, wealth, culture & status in the capital city is very far from being inevitable, as well as being wholly undesirable. I wonder how you would respond (as a credible & radical independence advocate) to an overmighty & smug London’s assertion “That’s what capitals do Craig”.
        What better symbol of an invigorated, progressive & democratic state than to the shift the balance towards Glasgow, its most populous city?

  • William Stevenson

    Scotland must be a fully functioning independent nation in two to three years….. Snowball in hell springs to mind

    If Sturgeon actually ever gets to the point of having a referendum, at some time in the undefined future there is no guarantee that the electorate will vote yes. A thousand and one things can happen in that intervening period, I give you Covid as the first witness for the defence.

    The opinion polls are opinion polls but when it comes to the cross in the box I think loss aversion theory will win the day. I would put your mortgage and Mr Murrells pension on it 🙂

  • Andrew

    Does the Scottish Foreign Ministry have to be in Edinburgh. Why not Glasgow, Stirling. Perth or Dundee. Might it be a mistake to follow the London centralist policy
    Just a thought

    • Kitbee

      A Good point. The SG already has Agencies dispersed around Scotland from the Borders to Tiree. Why not. Why should all the employment ops be in Edinburgh. Its congested enough.

    • craig Post author

      Certainly some ministries can and should be outside. Not the Foreign Ministry though as it really needs to be where the Embassies are.

      • craig Post author

        Actually I would much prefer a brand new capital which is more central to the country – somewhere like Blair Atholl. But that’s a 30 to 40 year project.

        • Moine

          Inverness might make a better hub for the Highlands and Islands and it already has an airport.

        • Contrary

          I’d say Perth a better option, but glad I spotted this comment Craig – that you HAVE thought about a more central location. It can move some of the investment in infrastructure round the country – no reason not to start, and to start improving transport connections, and have different institutions in different places – there are fewer reasons now than there was to have things physically located near to each other.

    • lysias

      Holland divides government functions between The Hague and Amsterdam. So, I believe, does South Africa between Pretoria and Capetown.

    • Wikikettle

      What a wonderful way to put a practical bricks and mortar reality to the idea of Scotland transitioning to Independence. I could never understand why the SNP were happy to stay in NATO, Trident and British military. This article should stir the blood of Scots at home and abroad, retired and active, to muck in and build a new more just and equal society for the many, not the few. You have in Craig, a visionary, its upto you the population to stop watching the tele and roll up your sleeves.

  • Kitbee

    A Good point. The SG already has Agencies dispersed around Scotland from the Borders to Tiree. Why not. Why should all the employment ops be in Edinburgh. Its congested enough.

  • Graham

    As ever Craig, you provide an extremely knowledgeable breakdown of what will be needed in an independent Scotland. I sincerely hope there is a place for you (should you wish it) to help provide the expertise needed in any future administration.

  • Republicofscotland

    Great as this is Craig, aren’t you jumping the gun a bit, nothings in place because we have an FM who isn’t interested in independence. Lets hope we can remove her and get the plans moving.

    • craig Post author

      It’s a bit chicken and egg. People need to understand that the current leadership isn’t doing the essential work for Independence.

        • Wikikettle

          John Munro. I think you first paint a picture in the minds of the people, about what they can build once over that bridge. If enough of them can be distracted away from the tele and entertainment, you have a chance.

  • Alan D

    Queen Elizabeth Hoose. Every time it comes up in the news, I have a wee chuckle at the thought of all the propagandists being turfed out and a Scottish ministry being set up there.

  • fwl

    3 thoughts:

    1 One week your saying that Scotland would take free of National Debt. The next your claiming 10% of FO assets.

    2 Every state has some sort of deep state. Who is or will be in Scotland’s and what does it seek to protect and control?

    3 US history. It started off with Nobel aspirations but was soon bogged down in slavery, depriving native Americans of their lands and civil war. However noble our founding asperations we are all blinkerd in one way or another and tend to try little experiments with the boundaries of what is acceptable or we can get aways with. Then unless there is resistance we tend towards downward momentum. I don’t see why Scotland is likely to fare any better than the US. People are not inherently better than others and the cultural forces which have resulted in a British tendency to exploit abroad is as much Scottish as English. What resistance will there be in Scotland to prevent decay / backsliding on fundamental principles and opportunism.

    • John Monro

      There’s no guarantee, not everyone’s motives are noble, and those that climb to the top cannot avoid having to weigh nobility against the needs of the Darwinian climb to get there. But the experience of (relatively) functioning small democracies around the world should reassure a bit. NZ, where I live, the Nordic countries, and some smaller developing nations, there is a league table, but there’s corruption and corruption. Presently all countries are corrupted to a greater or lesser extent by money, cronyism, neoliberalism, consumerism, globalisation and corporatisation – the right wing ascendency. NZ may appear to be second least corrupt nation after Denmark, but that’s basically talking about graft. We have a very hard time making governments and organisations accountable for their mistakes, the ability of NZ to bury things under the carpet is pretty good (witness recent Burnham report on the SIS cover up in regard to civilian deaths in Afghanistan) We have serious inequality, poverty, ill health, and failing infrastructure, and absurdly unaffordable housing, I believe any otherwise pretty wealthy country that can tolerate this sort of social dysfunction is indeed “corrupt”. We also signed a free trade deal with China some years ago, everyone here thought that was tremendous, $ signs in their eyes, but I believe the moment we signed it, we became a much more corrupt nation. I suppose it comes down to do you prefer your own parochial corruption, which you might have some chance of dealing with, but being in an equally corrupt state that you have little sway over? What moral injunctions can you place on your representatives that will be observed when a “moral” or “simple” lifestyle itself is so outmoded and a malign or selfish individuality so prevalent?

  • Fazal Majid

    Wouldn’t it make sense to share costs of joint consulates with the Irish once Scotland rejoins the EU? As EU citizens once again Scots would have the right to seek consular protection from any member state, like France (third largest consular network after the USA and China) but of course the language barrier would make English-language countries like Ireland or Malta, or fluent ones like the Netherlands more convenient.

    As for office space, the lingering effects of COVID and shift to Working From Home will certainly release a lot of business real estate back into the market.

    I’m not sure the top-heavy structure of the British administration, based as it is on the needs of a highly centralizing monarchy, is suitable for a 21st Century reborn country. The Scots would be well-advised to look for inspiration to other places like Estonia, whose government cultivates digital savvy like no other. As Scottish author Charlie Stross puts it, IT project management is the core competency of a modern government. The UK is piss-poor at it, and it should be designed into the framework rather than bolted-on as an afterthought.

    • craig Post author

      There is a long history of various countries trying joint consulates. It was especially fashionable around 1980-2000. Almost always very unsatisfactory in practice.

      • Colin Smith

        Are they really necessary in the modern world where there are a thousand ways for countries to communicate? Perhaps they are – but not to the same size and status that was needed before cheap and easy air travel or multiple forms of electronic communication. It seems like unnecessary empire building when there are a thousand grass roots issues needing prioritised.

  • Pete Roberts

    An excellent post, the problem is that this would require diverting valuable resources from the SNP’s current priority of making sure that men can use women’s toilets. So it won’t happen till all women’s hard won rights are completely destroyed.

  • AdamH

    I think its vital not to create a new monopoly in Edinburgh but to spread things around Scotland as much as possible. Surely we’ve all learnt from the pandemic that there’s little need to be physically close when remote working is so easy.

    The last thing we should be doing is rebuilding Westminster in Edinburgh. Ministeries can function perfectly well in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling and Inverness,

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