The Scotland Office is a ministerial department of the UK government. It’s stated mission is to “represent Scottish interests within the UK government and we represent the UK government in Scotland.” Although I suspect that there is somewhat more of the UK government representation going on than Scottish interests being represented.
Due to the outstanding performance of the election campaign the Tories have managed to retain their single MP in Scotland, David Mundell. Which made him a cast of one when the Secretary of State for Scotland job was being handed out. He was duly anointed and Fluffy, as he is known, rides around in a ministerial car. So what do we know of our new Imperial Master? Well he’s a warmongering tory (who never stood in the firing line) who supports Trident and all austerity measures. In fact you could say that he is in perfect tune with the population of Scotland.
The main role of the Scottish Secretary is to promote and protect the devolution settlement. So Fluffy’s job is to preserve the status quo.
Then the UK government had to cast around for someone else to be in the Scotland Office. Lacking any other elected persons the PM decided to ennoble one of his chums from the Better Together campaign and shoehorn him in. So arise Lord Andrew Dunlop, our new unelected representative in the heart of government.
This is his new job: “The Parliamentary Under Secretary engages with Scottish stakeholders on a wide range of matters relating to the UK Parliament. They represent Scottish interests on a total of 22 Cabinet committees and subcommittees including the National Economic Council, Domestic Affairs, Life Chances, Constitution and Legislation.”
Here’s a thing though. Fluffy, being a true blue tory, will always defer to a peer of the realm. So who do you suppose is actually in charge of this department? I suspect that Fluffy is Lordy’s fluffer.
So with this once proud department being reduced to little more than a wrinkle room, isn’t it time to send it down the old dirt road?