Mask slips as Lord Frost reveals he wants to reverse devolution 

DAVID 'Lord' Frost, Boris Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator who was given a peerage by his bestie for services to making the UK an international pariah fully deserving of the soubriquet Perfidious Albion, is not content with destroying the UK's reputation in Europe. Now, he has set his sights on destroying the devolution settlement.

In an article in The Telegraph, Frost calls on the Conservative government to take advantage of the SNP's 'implosion' and put devolution into reverse. Frost nonsensically claims that devolution has produced one party states in Scotland and Wales where both devolved governments rely on power sharing agreements with other parties. Naturally, he ignores the very real one party state that the Tories are hell bent on imposing from Westminster where thanks to the unfair First Past the Post system Sunak's party enjoys a crushing absolute majority despite never coming close to winning a majority of votes cast.

Frost called on the Conservatives, if they win the next General Election, to commit to stripping back the powers of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Senedd, removing their tax raising powers and in particular removing their ability to represent themselves abroad or to 'disrupt trade' (which is pretty rich coming from the man who disrupted trade between the UK and the EU in an unnecessary fit of extremist English nationalist zeal).

Frost makes it clear that the Conservatives should ensure that the governments of Scotland and Wales should be firmly put back in their boxes as 'local authorities.' Frost did not say, he did not need to, that the Conservatives should commit to this course of action if they win the General Election in England; the Conservatives have made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that they do not care what people in Scotland or Wales think or how they vote.

Not that Frost is bothered but few in Scotland would back his call for devolution to be put into reverse. According to latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey from October last year, two-thirds of people in Scotland (66%) said they trusted the Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests 'just about always' or 'most of the time'. Only 22% said they trusted UK Government to do so. Support for the idea of abolishing the Scottish Parliament is confined to a small minority of the Scottish public, although it's a far more popular notion amongst Conservatives and the rabid British nationalists who infest the comments sections of most Scottish newspapers.

The Scottish Tories have quickly disavowed Frost's suggestion. He did the unthinkable and said out loud what too many of them believe in private. But the Scottish Tories know that openly attacking devolution is electoral kryptonite in Scotland and risks them facing devastation at the ballot box.

READ MORE: Scottish Government announces changes to Deposit Return Scheme

So, they must continue to pay lip service to support for devolution just as they continue to pay lip service to the concept of the UK as a voluntary union of nations, even as they act to undermine and bypass the Scottish Parliament and take further steps to cementing the UK as a unitary state. With the Tories the important thing is not so much to listen to what they say but to pay heed to what they do; and what they are doing is to unravel the fabric of devolution as much as they possibly can even as they mouth platitudes about how much they support and respect it.

Robbie Gibb and the cost of BBC accountability 

THE BBC has refused to release emails sent to staff by a member of its board of governors on the subject of 'impartiality.

The board member Robbie Gibb was once characterised by former Newsnight host Emily Maitlis as an 'active agent for the Conservative party'. Gibb has held a number of press and public relations posts for prominent Conservatives, including a stint as Theresa May's Downing Street director of communications. He was an editorial advisor for right-wing broadcaster GB News prior to its launch.

In 2021, it was reported that HuffPost UK news editor Jess Brammar was the front-runner for the post of BBC executive news editor – but Gibb attempted to block her appointment, claiming that if it went ahead the Conservative government's "fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered."

The BBC took over three months to respond to a freedom of information request asking for the release of Gibb's emails but eventually turned it down claiming that it would be too expensive to collate the information as it would cost more than £450. So, now we know the cost of accountability in the UK, the powerful can only be held to account if it costs less than £450.

Fergus Ewing scolded by sister at FMQs 

FERGUS Ewing, the SNP MSP for fracking and harrumphing, has never reconciled himself to his demotion from the Scottish Government for his enthusiasm for fossil fuels, his opposition to equal marriage, and his opposition to a ban on fox hunting.

If you are seeking to build a vision of an independent Scotland as a progressive, liberal, and forward looking nation, Fergus is not the man you are looking for. Aside from his belief in Scottish independence he is very much on the right politically - or as he would put it 'pro-business' - and as such is vehemently opposed to the involvement of the Scottish Greens in government.

READ MORE: Lord Frost blasted for saying it's time to reverse Scotland's devolution

Today, at First Minister's Questions, he made an ill-tempered and frankly snide intervention which resulted in him getting slapped down by his sister Annabelle Ewing, who was presiding at FMQs in her capacity as one of the two Deputy Presiding Officers of the Scottish Parliament.

To cheers from the Scottish Tories, Fergus attacked the Greens as 'wine-bar revolutionaries,' an attack line lifted straight from the Daily Mail. Annabelle Ewing then intervened to demand that he treat all members with 'courtesy and respect.' This led The First Minister to note that he suspected this was not the first time that she had had to tell her brother off.

The substance of Fergus's question was a predictable call for the Scottish Government to ramp up oil and gas exploration in the North Sea. However, existing operations still have a good twenty years left to run and money spent on oil and gas exploration that exacerbates the climate crisis is money not spent on a just transition to the development of carbon zero renewable energy.