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New parliament, new politics in Scotland

Mitchell, J. (2000) New parliament, new politics in Scotland. Parliamentary Affairs, 53 (3). pp. 605-621.

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The promise of 'new politics' following the establishment of the Scottish Parliament had been part of the rhetoric of the Scottish home rule movement. The nature of new politics was never precisely defined but some of its features can be discerned from statements made by senior figures in the campaign for a Scottish parliament, the publications of the campaign groups and the 'Scotland Forward' umbrella organisation which campaigned for a tax-varying Parliament during the 1997 referendum. Three aspects stand out from this rhetoric: new institutions, new processes and a new political culture. The extent to which politics in Scotland has been changed and the degree of novelty that has emerged is considered in this article. It is argued that while there has been substantial change in the institutions, and to some extent in the policy making processes, there has been little evidence of a change in Scotland's political culture.