The Smith Commission
There were nine cross-party meetings over seven weeks prior to the publication of an agreed draft of “Heads of Agreement” proposals on 21 November 2014.
It emerged that Unionist panel members and MSPs of political parties incorporated in Scotland and allegedly independent of Westminster were frequently on the phone taking instructions from their Party leaders in London.
The Unionist backing Commission chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, also gave the impression he added weight to the views of the three main Westminster parties over panel members.
A source said: “The position that Lord Smith took was that if the parties who were either in the current UK government or might be in the next refused to budge on something, he went with it. The Unionist votes counted for more.”
Nov 2014: Devolution deal for Scotland
Lord Smith of Kelvin, praised Scottish political leaders for coming together after a “bruising” referendum, with a reminder that the cross-party commission had been set up after the unionist parties promised greater powers for Scotland in the event of a no vote in the independence referendum, in a pledge known as “The Vow”.
The deal was promoted by Unionist “no” campaigners as the greatest transfer of powers to Scotland since the Scottish Parliament was set up 15 years before.
Drawn up in little over two months it included the transfer to the Scottish Parliament of broadcasting:
Control of broadcasting policy remitted to Scotland for near 70 years before being taken away in 1991 by the government in Westminster, without consultation would be returned to Scotland. The “Broadcasting Council for Scotland” would be established providing Scotland with the longstanding broadcasting governance arrangements which had been in place between 1946-1991.
But the foregoing new arrangements were axed without explanation, on the final day, at the instigation of Unionist parties in London and in Scotland and replaced with:
“Scottish Government is to have a role in reviewing the BBC’s charter and the BBC management in Scotland will be expected to report to the Scottish Parliament’s committees”.
Up Yours – BBC Scotland senior managers refuse to meet with the MSP committee
Ken MacQuarrie, Head of BBC Scotland and his enforcer, Head of News and Current Affairs and Labour Party supporter bully boy Boothman refused to appear before the Scottish Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood stating that BBC management in Scotland was not accountable to the Scottish Government.
They were subsequently ordered to appear by the Chairman of the BBC Trust and finally did so but stonewalled every question put to them. Boothman, (later exposed as a bully left the BBC soon after and transferred his employment to the private