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Holyrood’s fight for survival

Devolution’s flaws will fester so long as London continues to undermine its very existence

By David McAllister  

One of Holyrood's committee rooms. Lacking an upper house, committees serve an enhanced role in holding the Scottish government to account. Credit: Andy Catlin / Alamy Stock Photo

Much of the fascination around the Salmond inquiry has been through the personalities of those involved. There are some obvious reasons for this. One is that the “story” of a protégé falling out with her one-time mentor in such spectacular fashion makes for a compelling narrative, especially when compared to the granular, often tedious intricacies of the actual case at hand.

A less obvious reason, however, is that to focus on personalities is a way for those being questioned to deflect criticism away from the very mechanisms of devolution itself. Salmond began his appearance in front of the…

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