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Iain Macwhirter


THERE could be no clearer illustration of the gulf in political culture between Westminster and Scotland right now than last week’s Budget. Neither of Scotland’s two big parties, SNP or Scottish Labour, would have dreamed of putting George Osborne’s package of class-based measures through Holyrood.

The parties in Scotland last week were arguing, instead, about who would put up taxes on the rich, with Labour suggesting, somewhat bizarrely, that they would allow taxes to go up but not down. I don’t see Ed Miliband putting that in his next Westminster Budget response, somehow. The Labour leader has said he will support the Tory benefit cap when it comes before Westminster next week, and he appeared lost for words in the Commons on Wednesday. Labour have become so afraid of being cast as the skiver’s friend that they are losing the will to…

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