For Immediate Release: Monday 6 September, 00.01 hrs.



In a paper published today (MondayKenny MacAskill MP has revealed that the size of the Scottish Government’s ministerial team has grown to the extent that it is now bigger in actual numbers than Norway and in proportional terms bigger than Ireland. This despite the fact that the two Independent countries have considerably greater power than Scotland over the economy, taxation rates, social security, foreign affairs and international affairs.

In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP said:

“Devolved Scotland now has more actual Ministers than independent Norway with 27 ministers in Scotland out of a parliament of 129 compared to 20 in Norway which has 169 MPs. This is despite Norway having significantly greater powers including over its currency and monetary policy, all taxation rates, foreign affairs, international development and defence.

“In the case of Ireland just over a fifth (22%) of the members elected to their Parliament – 35 out of 160 are Ministers while in Scotland that figure has now risen to over a quarter (27%) – 27 out of 129. Again despite Ireland being an independent state.

“We are seeing the Court of Queen Nic with the number of ministers now at the highest level ever in the history of Devolution. 

“Under this Scottish Government progress on independence has stalled, despite there being a renewed mandate in the Parliament for a referendum. Meanwhile administering devolution has become the priority.

“The Scottish Government has acquired limited additional powers since the Smith Commission reported in 2014, most notably over social security, powers which have still to be fully implemented.

“However none of this can justify the growth in the size of the Ministerial team and certainly not in relation to independent Ireland and Norway.

“The success of the Scottish Government in making progress on Independence as well as tackling the challenges facing the country in health, education, transport and jobs seems to be in inverse proportion to the number of Ministers appointed.

“It seems that the more Scottish Ministers there are the less progress there actually is in preparing Scotland for Independence.

“Despite the highest number of ministers in the history of Devolution the Scottish Government has failed to update the Independence White Paper to take account of the changed circumstances since 2014 and they have failed to provide answers or even just basic information on issues such as currency, debt, trade and borders.

“The fact remains that no number of ministers can compensate for the lack of progress on Independence as well as the overall policy vacuum, absence of vision and ambition displayed by the Scottish Government over a whole swathe of policy issues for which they have responsibility”.


Government Ministers

Government Cabinets vary according to population demographics and the geography of locality. The Scottish Government Cabinet sets the priorities for public policy. The cabinet is made up of the First Minister and all Cabinet Secretaries. Relationships of delegation exist within the cabinet, from the First Minister to the rest of the cabinet, and between cabinet secretaries and the junior ministers in each portfolio.

Where government ministers are elected through proportional representation, such as the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, coalitions are more likely produced. Collective ministerial responsibilities arise through the convention of a coalition government.


The Scottish Parliament has powers of primary legislation over certain devolved areas of government. There are a number of remaining areas of policy reserved to Westminster including Defence, Immigration and Foreign Policy among others.  Whilst some new social security powers have been granted to the Scottish government, in all, powers have only grown marginally, however, in contrast, the size of the government has expanded exponentially in recent years. 

The Scottish Parliament comprises of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), 73 of these MSP’s represent geographical constituencies. Eight additional regions return a further 56 MSP’s.

Changing Cabinet

The Scottish government cabinet numbers have varied over the years. The parliamentary term of 2007-11 saw the instalment of 6 cabinet ministers including the First Minister and an additional 13 junior ministers. Ministerial numbers then slightly expanded in the 2011-16 term with 9 cabinet ministers appointed including First Minister and 12 junior ministers.

Ministerial comparisons                                              

Comparisons of cabinet sizes can be drawn from the independent nations of Norway and the Republic of Ireland who have similar population sizes; although unlike Scotland their governments are responsible for all areas of legislation and government policy.

Norway has a similar population to that of Scotland at around 5.5 million citizens. The parliament consists of 169 parliamentarians. The Norwegian Cabinet comprises of 20 senior government ministers including the Prime Minister operating a coalition government.

The republic of Ireland has a population of just over 4.9 million people, represented by 160 parliamentarians elected by a system of proportional representation. The cabinet consists of 15 members including the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste, as well as a further 20 ministers.

This year has seen further ministerial increases to the Scottish government with 10 cabinet ministers appointed, as well as 17 junior ministers, an addition of 5 on previous years. This is the largest cabinet and ministerial team to date in the history of Devolution.

 Country PopulationMembers of ParliamentCabinet/Junior Ministers
 Scotland 5.517 million 129 27
 Norway  5.469 million  169 20
 Republic of Ireland 4.982 million 160 35


    1. Precisely how she’s planned it. I’m just amazed she hasn’t learned sign language so she can avoid sharing the spotlight with the woman at the back during the Covid briefings.

      Liked by 16 people

      1. I have this fantasy that the woman behind her doing sign language, one day subverts the Covid briefings and while Sturgeon is standing at her lectern basking in the limelight and power, starts signing everything that is wrong with the SNP government from the anti-Salmond conspiracy, the waste of taxpayers’ money funding Queen Nic’s power-building projects etc. It would take a little time before someone somewhere realised what was happening and frantic calls to the BBC would be too late.

        Of course, at first, only deaf people would get it but in my imaginings, it would spread through the population with videos appearing on the internet with subtitles under the blithely oblivious FM showing what the signing actually said. I just enjoy the dream of Sturgeon standing there, smugly triumphant, while behind her the woman is signing, not Sturgeon’s words but instead, ‘ See yous, yous are aw mugs. Ah’m getting away wi’ murder here. And there’s no gonna be any independence, no oan ma watch, suckers! We stitched up Salmond and noo yous are aw in ma hoose, see…..’

        I can but dream…..

        Liked by 10 people

      2. * Should have added in my comment… ‘and videos circulating with Janey Godley-type voice overs’, though not actually Janey Godley, of course.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Just a bunch of nodding dogs picking up their huge salaries at the end of the month. They are compliant, they are nothing more than sycophants; they don’t even reach the dizzy heights of mediocrity.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Needed to be said. It’s a disgrace. Maybe if she appointed people on ability rather than supposed loyalty or bribery she could get away with far fewer. They have made a mess of everything. All their achievements bar a baby box come from pre 2014 and they returned powers over social security back to Westminster leaving disabled people still in the clutches of DWP/Atos. What a pity disabled people aren’t among the most marginalised and vulnerable in society and therefore needing high speed legislation in the new term (/sarcasm).

    Well said Kenny.

    Liked by 14 people

  2. How else does she keep the “loyal” MSPs in line?

    She must have a carrot to go with the stick of deselection.( only for balance and fairness of course ) it wouldn’t be fair to the Wokerati Taliban if Joan McAlpine for example was re-elected instead of a loyal Sturgeonist who self identifies as disabled.

    This is the Government for the Few, Not the Many. The General population have to realise that Independence, WMD, A fair taxation system, Land Reform, Women’s Rights etc etc are trivial in comparison to GRA.

    If you want a promotion and a ministerial car…..get behind the men in dresses.

    Who else can you vote for is the Sturgeon game play. I hope the people of Scotland wake up before the Indy movement is destroyed by her.

    Liked by 16 people

  3. I support free speech but find myself wondering what the Lawson, Alba groupies (cult?) reaction would have been had they succeeded in getting a couple of msps elected and, as fervent Independence supporters ,(?) 2 were invited to join the government – foolish question – because from this blog they obvs would have declined,on principle, such an unwarranted expansion of the SG. Cant work out however how Alba are assisting the Independence debate positively with their unending grudge and insults. Instead, they are advancing the unionists divide and rule strategy – or are 5th columnists at work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spoken like a true ‘heid in the sand’ – “Nothing to see here; move along. It is all made up by Yoons, 5th columnists, MI5 and the 77th Brigade *and* Westmonster”.

      Florence, have you ever considered the possibility that there may in fact be reason to believe that things are not quite right in the current SNP setup and hierarchy?
      Can it really be that so many people are wrong and that what you term “unending grudge and insults” are mainly valid comments made on *facts* and these facts do not bode well for Scotland’s future.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Florence I will endeavour to answer you respectfully , I have been on numerous websites pleading with SNP members to take back control of THEIR party , they ATTEMPTED to do so by voting in their democratic voter choices via the constitutional rules , those democratic voter choices were then overturned and disregarded by deliberately installing and APPOINTING some of the individuals who were successfully removed
      I again respectfully request that you provide information and links for work and information that the SNP SG and party have produced to educate and inform people who are either undecided or soft no”s , I can name a individual independence supporter who has produced a proliferation of statistical information in diagrams and spreadsheets to expose the continuous lies by unionists in WM and elsewhere

      Independence supporters were PROMISED a rebuttal unit working daily to expose the lies being promoted by WM and also to reveal the TRUTH. NS promoted through a fanfare the man responsible for THE VOW who decreed that he now supports indy can I ask you to give me a link to any work that Murray Foote has done to rebut WM lies
      With respect Florence I await your response

      Liked by 8 people

    3. As a special treat for you Florence I have an article tomorrow that factually reports on some new organisational moves by the SNP leadership. Read it then I expect your post based on all is well.

      Liked by 4 people

    4. Scotland has a population roughly the same as New Zealand.

      Scotland’s Covid deaths over 8000

      New Zealand’s Covid deaths 27

      Says it all and the absurdity of the ‘Four Nation Approach’.

      Sturgeon has no balls but she has got plenty little helpers

      Liked by 3 people

    5. Untroubled by the increasingly authoritarian SNP government, Florence? Unperturbed by the tightening stranglehold the controlling leadership is gaining over the party? Not concerned by the lack of progress on independence but the contrasting enthusiasm of Sturgeon and her nodding donkeys to pursue unpopular policies and legislation like GRA and Hate Crime Bill? ( I mean ‘Hate Crime Bill’, Florence, for pity’s sake and yet you profess to believe in free speech? Well, it doesn’t seem that the SNP believes in it.)

      As to throwing around accusations of being a cult, well the absolute and unquestioning faith on your side makes your behaviour actually fit the description of cult-like – unlike people like me who have voted SNP for forty years and now have been alienated by the present SNP’s anti-democratic governance. You should try questioning more and find out why long-time SNP voters now could not bring themselves to vote SNP. The sooner the faithful, like yourself, begin to question rather than just to believe the facile, but comforting, nonsense that we are a cult ( oh, the irony, Florence!) or 77th Brigade or whatever, then the sooner the cause of independence might be salvaged.

      Divide and rule, Florence? Nicola Sturgeon seems to be using that playbook.

      Liked by 6 people

    6. Why attack Alba? They are the decent ones in all of this debacle. They have shown themselves to be principled and have given up their careers and the huge salaries that have gone with it to fight for the moral and ethical issues that have taken over Scottish politics. I think you’ll find the 5th columnists are overwhelmingly to be found in the upper echelons of the SNP. Sad, really.

      Liked by 6 people

  4. I wonder what the cost of running Scotland is. MSP’s MP’S and all other publicly funded organisations. We know the legal system is costing us an arm and a leg. A tiny wee country of five million people its an embarrassment.

    Xi Jin ping, before he became Chinas heid bummer used to run an area inChina containing 30 million people.

    Our useless politicians in our wee country should take a look at what China has achieved in the last 40 years and then resign in shame.

    Now Now, don’t give us the no democracy crap, after all how have wee ever fared, I mean ever, never mind the last three hundred odd years.

    We cannot wait any longer.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think you should ask the Uighurs how they’ve done under the totalitarian dictatorship that is modern-day China. It is a million times worse than here, as are a whole plethora of countries,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Under Sturgeon’s tenure as FM, it won’t be long until we’re challenging the Chinese Politburo on minister numbers, yet there’s no movement on independence, likes the banks who create cash on a computer screen Sturgeon creates ministerial positions for her clique at will.

    Will there be any room left at the taxpayers trough for important ministerial positions after independence.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Perhaps she is following that other woke rule so prevalent in a lot of schools today: “ALL MUST HAVE PRIZES!”
      Except in the Court of Queen Nic this is translated as, “All faithful SNP MSPs must be Ministers!”

      Liked by 3 people

  6. The arch palace-intriguer herself,Nicola, knows very well the power of political patronage as a means of buying off those, who like herself, wouldn’t think twice about stabbing their leader in the back.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Florence: Had Sturgeon encouraged the electorate to vote SNP 1, Greens 2 it might have been viewed as a strategic political compromise, as a means to block out Unionists from Holyrood. But no, such was her spite against Alex Salmond and Alba she preferred to end up without a majority of proIndy MSPs, and then invite two un-elected Green MSPs into government. And the credentials of these two Green MSPs, Harvie and Slater? Slater has no political experience. Harvie, well he has enjoyed ample media exposure over time, so judge for yourself what he may contribute.

    My own response, as a lifetime SNP member – until 2019 – of the formation of Alba – thank heavens..

    Liked by 9 people

  8. You have to add in to that lot the number of spads and PR agents, which I beieve are similarly rising and way out of proportion for the necessary functioning of not a government but an administration, one which baffles many people at what it actually achieves.
    This is how despots operate – the power of patronage draws in a large body of people who are dependent on the boss for their large salaries, expense accounts and pensions. Thus anointed, there is no way they are going to rock the boat by challenging authority and are there to protect her, as well as providing cover for her failures. It is classic colonial style rule – constructing a very comfortable middle class administration with vested interests in maintaining the status quo. Thus we have hordes of MSP’s and a host of dependent jobs and careers who are exceedingly comfortable, earning way in excess of anything they could earn independently and from their own talents.
    Hand outs to a compliant media? No problem. Promotion for certain judges? Why, certainly, and no you don’t have to ask them to do anything, they know what is expected of them.
    And of course, it attracts ever more people keen to join the gravy train by pushing Nikla’s social reform policies, the only ones she reserves any enthusiasm for,
    Just look at the recent elevation of the so-called Greens, and study their astonishing job titles/portfolios.
    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. As a 1/2 baked economist – I’ve forgotten much of it, the “circular economy” phrase by Ms Slater interested me. I suppose it means “money in, money out” within a financial boundary.

    So are the SNP/Greens coalition going to litigate against offshore accounts, against the tories UK dependency territories like the Cayman islands?


    Liked by 1 person

  10. O/T

    Credit where credit is due. Andy Ellis might not have the sense to get behind someone who’s trained in post-colonial legal theory, but he’s at least got the sense to call out the far-right when he see them. As Wings is heaving with them btl, and their narrative of white male victim-hood and nativist welfare chauvinism is exactly the pap that Trump’s supporters almost destroyed American democracy with. As it’s a narrative that supports climate change denial and racist authoritarianism.


    1. P.S. Climate change denial and racist authoritarianism are ideologically linked to covid-19 denial and hostility towards emergency public health measures.


    2. Are you having a laugh, here? Do you mean Wings over Scotland? Their commentators have been excellent in calling out Sturgeon’s cabal and their freaky, perverted policies. Right wing Trump supporters? I hardly think so.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Wings is sound, the btl comments are now heavily populated with science denying and racist nutters. The sad thing is some folks I had though pretty switched on are buying into the garbage.


  11. Just for further clarity. I’m not hostile towards Wings, I’m hostile towards the roasters who are using it to promote hate. And I’m saddened by their apparent popularity.


  12. Jobs for the boys, girls and non-binary kids.

    Or as several have commented above, political patronage to consolidate and protect the power of an increasingly despotic head. The next post on this blog (The takeover “plot” exposed) reveals this even further. Dismantling internal party democracy and replacing elected branch representatives in the NEC by appointees representing nebulous “affiliates” (=undemocratic pressure groups friendly – for now – to the party leadership), who in turn appoint and fill committees and subcommittees and basically all positions with their own.

    My country has its own problems with wokeism and imported US identity politics (e.g. gender ideology and self-ID is pushed quite forcefully) but so far the situation isn’t quite as dire as in Scotland. We have a somewhat functioning multi-party democracy (no FPTP, all MPs are list MPs, but votes cast rank the candidates on each party list, not some party dictat) and all our governments have always been coalitions of 2-8 parties. So our political culture is quite different – and perhaps more resistant to extremes of any kind.

    As to the number of ministers. Finland: pop. 5.54 million, 200 MPs, 19 ministers (representing 5 parties).

    Liked by 3 people

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