A Scottish Home Secretary?

The Times today has a look at the likely shape of the reshuffle that will follow Thursday’s local elections. Apparently, there are two versions in the works depending on whether Charles Clarke survives.

Senior Labour figures believe that if Mr Clarke finally loses his battle to stay in the Cabinet then the next Home Secretary could well be a Scot. Both Alistair Darling, the Transport Secretary, and John Reid, the Defence Secretary, are potential replacements with the kind of record needed to tackle one of the Cabinet’s most demanding jobs. (Times Online)

This would obviously raise the West Lothian question, since home affairs is a partly devolved area.

Neither Darling at Transport nor Reid in his time at Health have shown much sensitivity to this issue previously. Given that they would almost certainly pursue the same authoritarian agenda as their (Labour and Tory) predecessors, this might well become a factor in the opposition to them, not least because many of the legal traditions they would be riding roughshod over are distinctively English rather than British.



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