Looking back on some of Nick Robinson’s recent posts, I came across his gleeful obituary for the Barnett formula. Making the formula the centre of controversy – whatever your political view – serves only to annoy all sides.
However, like the arguments against Scottish MPs voting on so-called “English-only” measures in the Commons, the case is only superficially logical. It should be remembered that the Barnett formula has been in operation for longer under Conservative governments than Labour. And never once, during 18 years in government, did the Tories ever question the fairness or appropriateness of the formula. They only started to do so when… oh, yes, I remember: when the Tories were completely wiped out in Scotland at the 1997 general election.
Coincidence? You decide.