Sturgeon, more than Salmond, has been fairly bold in her approach to the limits of devolution. Despite having next to no powers on employment law and equalities what she has done with the little power that she does have has been held up as an example to other nations but it sits extremely close to the limit of what’s lawful (and arguably could be held to be unlawful if tested in court) and unions have rightly been broadly supportive of that. On Brexit she has pushed to the limits of devolution in introducing a rival Brexit Bill despite the Presiding Officer and the Advocate General taking a different view - and the Supreme Court upheld the Scottish Government’s position. On social, economic and environmental rights she’s made a firm commitment to legislate there - and put together a really excellent advisory team to fill in the gaps - despite the UK Government’s position being to roll back the rights that we already have never mind to expand on them. On fracking the Scottish Government has gone as far as it possibly can in achieving a de facto ban - and survived a court challenge on it. On children’s rights the Named Person scheme was groundbreaking but ultimately has been (in my opinion, wrongly) delayed by the Supreme Court (indicating, again, a push to the limits of what can lawfully be done). And on Brexit overall I would say that Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones have been impressive while May has been inept and Corbyn has shown to be more nationalist than even the nationalist parties, sadly at the cost of his socialism.
There are arguments to be had about whether their policies on fracking, named persons and so on are good policies but I think the Scottish Government has (and so has the Welsh Government, eg on Trade Union rights) been willing to push at the limits of its powers. And more often than not has been backed by the courts when it has done so.
Legally here and there, perhaps, but certainly not in terms of policy, vision and ambition. If we were some backwater like Wales then perhaps such a timid, managerial approach to governance would be enough, but in Scotland we came off the back of a referendum campaign where there was a genuine appetite for change which ,as far as I can see, still mostly exists in the background - and within the SNP's membership - and against that backdrop it just isn't really enough.
One hand tied behind their back or not, the Scottish Government haven't even came close to using all the powers at their disposal. Their electoral base is almost unassailable, they've had a free reign to properly push the envelope and have actively chosen not to do it. There's been some good policies here and there for sure, but if you're aspiring to create a new country and to being the only person who can deliver that, then Sturgeon's tenure has fell so far short. Council tax, local governance, transport, squabbling over who came up with a Tory education policy...it really isn't the governance of a party or leader determined to transform a country's wellbeing and people's lives. It's not governance that's going to inspire a majority of the population to scrap the Union.
Edited by EanieMeany, 26 April 2019 - 06:06 PM.