Will Tanner, Onward’s Director, writes for Prospect Magazine about the diminution of transparency in Scotland under devolution, which frustrates attempts for different parts of the UK to learn from each other and prevents meaningful accountability of the Scottish Government. He writes:
“For Nicola Sturgeon, transparency is part of the brand. Styling herself as the “most accessible first minister ever” when she succeeded Alex Salmond in 2014, Sturgeon has repeatedly pledged to lead the most scrutable government Scotland had ever had. The values she projects—and which Yes voters identify with—are those of openness and accountability. The values she attacks—usually when she is calling out Westminster—tend to be those of secrecy, conspiracy and corruption.
“But it’s all an act. Under Sturgeon’s leadership, Scotland is not a shining light but a black box. Since taking power, the SNP has gradually, but deliberately, changed the way different public services collect data, measure outcomes and are held to account. The intention appears to be political: to create differentiation, evade scrutiny, and avoid intervention from Westminster. But it is the Scottish people who are suffering the consequences—with worse public services and an unaccountable state.”
Francesca Fraser writes for Times Red Box on the value of taking children away from their desks for short periods during the day.