"Twas the night before Calman, when all thro’ the heather
Not a haggis was stirring, not even a nether;
The stockings were hung on Ms Goldie with care,
In hopes that Sir Ken soon would be there;
The tribunes were nestled all snug in their beds,
While fears of election haunt’d their heads,
And Bella in her girdle, and I in my cap
Had just settled my sphincter on a fine morning's crap
When out of the dawn there arose such a chatter,
I sprang from the shitter to see what was the matter.
Away to old Reekie I flew like a flash,
Impatiently eager, some whistled the Sash.
The sun on the tit of this new grown report
Gave a lustre of independence commanding support;
But, what to my plundering eyes should adhere?
When a waddle of worthies, clutching papers appeared,
Lead by a little old doctor, a doughty health man,
I knew in a moment it must be Calman
More trundling than turnips his cronies they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them foul names:
"Now! Pillock, now! Dullard, now! Bloater and Stoater,
"On! Cretin, on! Nyaff, on! Buncombe and Tosser!
... &c ...
As has been widely trailed in the media, the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution is to unveil its findings tomorrow. As my previous posts have pointed out, quite what will be in the final document has been the matter of wide - and wildly contradictory - speculation in the press. Although I have very strong reservations about the body, lets give it some room and undertake to analyse their views seriously and pause generously to allow suggestions a real, substantive airing. Contra to the dominant scatology of my little ditty above, I am honestly interested to see what sort of material they generate - and always more difficult - what concrete decisions they've had the confidence to insist on in print.
Questions remain to be answered about why we might want to follow the Commission's suggestions, and in a strong sense, their hasty conclusions can be seen to emphasise that the important decisions weren't ones about which data needed to be accumulated and sifted - but matters of political policy and public choice. The Commission's charisma, insofar as it is based on "expertise" or "independence", decreases the more one focuses on the fact that the substance of these decisions is not technical, but charged with political significance and determined by purely political choice. This fact will out subsequently, I trust.
Nevertheless, assuming there are no technical glitches, the final report and brisker summaries should be available for perusal tomorrow morning at 9.00 am on the Commission's website, here. I imagine there will be a fairly strong response from the blogosphere about this. I look forward to the informed, mischievous fall out!