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« Old and new media - the battle for Scotland | Main | Torture, The President and Prestwick »

November 16, 2010

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What that big hitter Andy Kerr shadow finance minister not there, I wonder why!

Back to reality I trust an honest transcript will be forthcoming.

The Isle of Man situation is interesting, not just for the financial autonomy it enjoys. It also flags up a side issue of the "Steve Rodan" question if you like.

Mr Rodan is a Glaswegian pharmacist. In the 1970's when he was in his youth he was active in Scottish Liberal circles. He was Edinburgh Liberal Students boss, Scottish Young Liberals boss, member of the Scottish Liberals Executive, Liberal candidate for Moray and Nairn in 1979. Not long after the 1979 election he left Scotland and in the 1980's he settled in the Isle of Man.

Since 1995 he has been a member of the House of Keys and has been at the front line of Manx politics since 1999 when he first became a minister. In 2006 he ran for the post of Chief Minister but failed to be elected. Instead the Speaker of the House of Keys was elected Chief Minister and Mr Rodan himself was elected as the new Speaker.

Now the Manx go to the polls next year - the same as the Scots. Mr Rodan may run again to be Chief Minister and may of course be elected.

In such a scenario, Mr Rodan as Chief Minister of the Isle of Man would enjoy (particularly in the fiscal area) more autonomy from the UK government than if he had stayed at home in his native heath and become Scottish First Minister.

It would seem odd how Scottish politicians could justify their fellow Scot in charge of 80,000 being head of an administration which is fiscally autonomous but agin but if he was running his own country.

I was actually surprised that Mr Rodan was not summoned to give evidence to the Calman Commission considering his links with the Liberal Party of old.

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