The Calman Report was either the biggest thing to happen to Scotland in thirty years or a complete non-event, depending on who you read and what you want to put across. Certainly the streets were hardly awash with ‘Calman Fever’. I wasn’t stopped once on the street by people screaming “My god have you read the Calman Report!”
There’s good reason for this. This is political rights sprinkled on a democracy like sweeties. No one elected Sir Kenneth Calman. He is a be-knighted steward of the British Establishment and his remit is clear from the Unionist parties: come up with something to stop the trajectory towards independence. Anything will do. Handgun control is anything.
That his remit should ‘consider all the options ‘ accept the one the view that is represented by the currently democratically elected Scottish Govt, who polled upwards of 40% at the latest election in some constituencies, is just bizarre, even by the terms of British historical chicanery.
It leads to the most honest analysis of the Calman Report being a commentator on the Scotman website who wrote: “With Calman you can ban handguns. With independence we could ban Trident.” This is the reality of the poxy paternalistic counter-intuitive nonsense dolled out by Calman to prop up the failed British State.
As the Herald wrote:
“Sir Kenneth’s commission produced its final report yesterday and concluded that, while it should not be Scotland’s oil, it should be Scotland’s stamp duty, landfill tax, air passenger duty, marine nature conservation, drink-driving and airgun laws, housing and council tax benefits, speed limits, power to borrow for capital programmes and responsibility to manage its own elections”.
Logic has deserted him.
Hamish Macdonnell, Scottish political editor of The Scotsman could hardly contain his excitement:
“The 1998 plans for a Scottish Parliament were ground-breaking but they had been worked through by the Scottish Constitutional Convention for years. Nothing was really surprising. But yesterday Sir Kenneth Calman produced something which has the capacity to change Scotland to a far greater degree than the creation of the parliament itself. Will the Calman report take Scotland a set closer to independence? Undoubtedly, yet this is the perplexing part about it. Time and time again Calman insisted his report would strengthen the Union and cement Scotland’s place within it. However it is difficult, if not impossible to see how that will be the case.”
Macdonnells over-excitement is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of politics and the route to self-determination. For him the goal of ‘nats’ is seperation. For republicans, socialists and libertarians the goal is intergration with the progressive community of nations across the globe and beyond the shackles of the British State. “Power devolved is power retained” said Enoch Powell and this remains the raison d’etre of Calman and his Unionist backers. He thinks change happens when a cabal of politicians hand down ‘new powers’ to the Scottish Parliament, ones that also clearly take with the same hand that gives. This is smoke and mirrors. Its the same smoke and mirrors that talks of openess at Westminster then scapegoats the Speaker, publishes MPs expenses with all the key information blacked out and announces a comforting inquiry into Iraq (in secret). The British State is innoculated against change and the more it desperately defends the indefensible it exposes its own ridiculous contradictions and hypocrisy’s.
And then there’s the oil. He forgot the oil.