Anyway, in case there was anyone out there still convinced that Tomkins has any semblance of impartiality in the debate, he's very helpfully started his own blog, complete with the following explanation in the "About this blog" section:
I am a Unionist. I am opposed to Scottish independence. I am British (not English; not Scottish) and I do not want my country broken up.So, I think we can all agree that's pretty categorical. Anyway, someone linked to this post on Twitter, and obviously I felt the need to reply, because it's just complete and utter unsubstantiated guff. The idea that this man is a suitable commentator when the media is looking for an impartial academic expert on anything related to independence is, as they would say in Germany, ficken lächerlich. Which, naturally, means we'll see more of him, not less of him. Anyway, at the time of posting, Tomkins has yet to see fit to publish any of the comments on his article, and I know for a fact I'm not the only one waiting because the URL on the postback said my comment was number 2 (not a number 2). So, for posterity's sake if nothing else, and in case he never publishes it, here it is.
Well, thanks for showing that seasoned academics are just as capable of spinning rubbish as the rest of us. It's a bit disappointing, mind, because we always like to think that when we see someone with "professor" or "doctor" in their title that they'll be giving us the results of proper analytical research, rather than spin that could have come from a bog-standard politician's SpAd."And, now, note this. The SNP opposed both the moves to create devolution in 1997-98 and the moves to enhance it in 2009-12."This is simply a lie, Adam. The SNP were a key component of the YES-YES campaign in 1998. Indeed, there are stories of areas where SNP volunteers did all the legwork because there simply weren't enough Labour campaigners to do it. On the other hand, the Tories formed the official No campaign (as is their habit in referendum campaigns...). And while Labour may have given a united front in 1998, they had more than their fair share of naysayers, not least Tam Dayell. It's also difficult to imagine Alistair Darling - who campaigned against devolution in 1979 - being the most vocal supporter in 1998...As for 2009-2012, the SNP took no part in the Calman Commission because it was expressly designed to find a way of keeping Scotland in the union, which is against SNP ideology. It was part of its mission statement, for god's sake - "...and continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom." Criticising the SNP for not taking part in that would be like criticising the Greens for not taking part in a commission whose mission statement specifies "...and to enable continued use of fossil fuels for as long as possible."And yet, what happened when the actual act was being put through? The SNP government tried to get MORE powers added to it - suggesting after their emphatic win in 2011 that there were areas of crossover between parties in Holyrood for devolving things like broadcasting and the Crown Estates - and, in the end, passing a Sewel motion to allow the UK government to enable the legislation. Pretty strange behaviour from a party that apparently "opposed" the legislation.
If we can't trust academics to tell the truth, then who can we trust?