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highlighter.jpgWhile searching for a particular response to our 2007 manifesto, I found an interesting document published under FOI - a review (580k pdf) of that manifesto by a Scotland Office civil servant. 

Specifically, it's a "Selection of material focusing on those aspects of the Manifesto which could impact on relations with the UK Government and the pattern of the Devolution Settlement."

The highlighter pen got quite an outing. Tackling climate change and airport expansion, opposing nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and reversing rail privatisation all got blue-inked, and that's just from our key pledges. 

Some of these are understandable, especially nuclear weapons. But airport expansion in Scotland is a planning matter for local authorities, Scottish Ministers, and the Parliament. And why did the regulation of supermarkets not get highlighted? Or the defence of civil liberties? Given Westminster leads on the abolition of civil liberties you might have thought otherwise.

Anyway, I was interested to see what they made of us. And it turns out it's not just the radical Greens who had The Treatment. The equivalent exercise was also conducted on the SNP, the Liberals, where the author speculates fruitlessly about coalition, those dangerous constitutional rebels, the Tories, and even the Scotland Office's supposed friends in Scottish Labour.

Impact on relations with the UK? We all do it, apparently. And now you know a little more about the constructive way the Scotland Office spends its time.

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