Devolution White Paper: The ladies who eat scones would like a bit more say
Friday 25 July 1997
With a regal wave she demonstrates the manner in which the Met Office's finest contemptuously dismiss the Caledonian climate.
"That is Westminster's opinion of Scotland - its just a wave of the hand," adds Mrs McLeod, indignantly.
Home rule cannot come soon enough if nationalist politics has reached this far into the Scottish psyche. The Scottish capital has not had a parliament for 290 years. But it has its own political class already in place if the legislature comes along - the ladies who eat scones, a living, permed, national treasure.
Jane McLeod, for instance, sups in Sherry's of Morningside - scone heaven. Constitutional change is a long way from setting the heather on fire, she says, but it is sometimes talked about at the bowling club. "I think a Scottish parliament would be more responsive to Scottish needs - if the MPs get among the people and really find out what the people want."
Peggy Simpson, also in Sherry's, is a native of Twickenham who finds anti-English resentment has had no impact on her in 24 years spent living north of the border.
She is a convert to the home rule cause. "It would be nice to have a bit more say up here," she says. "We're like the cow's tail at the moment."
The real seat of scone-eating power in Edinburgh is Jenners department store on Princes Street. An opinion survey there finds Donald Dewar still with work to do in selling his plans.
Margaret Ketchin is strongly devo-sceptic. "I don't really feel that Scotland can do it on its own. Maybe they can have a little more say in their affairs, but I don't agree with devolution at all."
Politicians have their priorities wrong, she argues. How can they be planning a new parliament building when council cuts have meant that fewer bin bags are distributed to Edinburgh households? "I think taxes would go up with this parliament - and everything would go up," she adds, ominously.
Marjorie Nicholas and Maureen Johnston fear that a new parliament would be divisive. "In England, they think from what they read that everybody in Scotland wants this," says Maureen. "But I have a wide circle of friends who don't."
Marjorie adds: "It's too small a country. Economically we wouldn't be better off. What is there up here that's not attached to America, England or Japan?"
interviewThe producer and activist, Trudie Styler, whose film 'Filth' is up for five film awards, is tapping into the industry's neglected female talent
interviewHer estate has become the nation's glossiest food empire
theatreTheatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 David Duke: Former Ku Klux Klan leader expelled from Italy
- 4 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£70000 - £85000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: An excellent Transfer Pricin...
£30000 - £44000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Pro-Tax are recruiting for a...
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer (WPF, WinForms, ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...