The Times quotes an anonymous member of Labour's shadow cabinet who seems to be very upset at the latest developments in devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament.
I don't blame the chap, I has to say, because it only a few months ago that Labour MPs at Westminster forced Johann Lamont (then Labour's Scottish leader) to drop her support for the full devolution of income tax.
And it's only days since Gordon Brown (once King of all he surveyed in Scotland) was warning that full devolution of income tax was a 'trap' that would damage the union and Labour's interests both at Holyrood an Westminster.
But with its back against the wall Labour has done a complete about turn by standing its previous tax a devolution policies on their head which goes to show, if you ask me, that the intellectual 'glue' that once held Labour together is now coming apart at the seams.
The prospect of losing a swathe of Scottish seats at the forthcoming general election is what made the Labour leadership shift its position, so just imagine the result if a large number of these deadwood MPs really are swept away in May 2015.
Miliband faces party’s fury on greater powers for Edinburgh
Jim Murphy backs the full devolution of income tax - Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
By Sam Coates - The Times
Ed Miliband will welcome the cross-party report into further powers for Holyrood today, but he faces an uphill battle convincing English members of his party to agree.
With one senior Labour figure predicting “fury”, the Labour leader will have to explain why their party has committed to transferring billions of pounds in revenue-raising powers north of the border, while nothing is planned to help England.
“We knew this was coming, but where was the plan for us?” one English Labour MP asked.
The package could harm Labour in the north of England, reinforcing the electorally damaging perception that the party is taking its northern heartlands for granted.
While David Cameron has pledged to make English laws the preserve of English MPs after the election, a move that would have changed the course of only four votes in the past decade, Mr Miliband has deferred the entire question to a constitutional convention at some point in the future. This is unlikely to be easy to sell on the doorstep during the election campaign.
“MPs in England will wake up to the fact that the world has changed — and not for the better. They will be furious. They assumed that Gordon Brown’s intervention would be the end of it, today they will find out it goes much further,” one senior Labour figure said.
A member of the shadow cabinet told Channel 4: “If the Tories win next year, that’s it now, it’s [Scotland’s] gone . . . It is very frightening.” Another said: “We had no choice, we were boxed in . . . but yeah, it could be the end.”
Another Labour MP said: “We walked straight into the trap.”
A northern Labour MP expressed disbelief at the decision to devolve air passenger duty, which could damage growth in the north of England by making northern airports uncompetitive. “This is what happened in Ireland and the UK government had to bail out Belfast airport by letting them do the same, yet what happens for us?” MPs asked.
Labour is likely to engage in an aggressive spin battle today to try to suggest that the picture is not as bad as presented, and stress that the deal contains the “pooling and sharing” of resources championed by Gordon Brown because it keeps pensions reserved under Westminster.
They will also be championing the preservation of the Barnett formula, as they had insisted that any deal could not leave Scotland worse off. They will also emphasise that the Smith Commission on the future of Scotland has agreed that all MPs will continue to vote on budgets, rather than excluding the Scots.
Whatever the detail, the decision to hand Scotland control of income tax while Scottish MPs continue to help to determine what the rest of the UK should pay, will be seen by many Conservatives as unsustainable.
Graham Allen, the Labour MP who chairs the political and constitutional reform select committee, calls today for a major offer for devolution in England in a letter to The Times.
“If Smith can go away and report in eight weeks and come back with plans to devolve 100 per cent of income tax, then why on Earth can’t we have similar negotiations with similar bodies to do a comparable deal for the rest of England?” he asked.
A number of Scottish MPs appear to be reluctantly backing Labour’s position in the hope of clawing back votes from the SNP. Tom Harris, a former minister, wrote a blog urging his colleagues to rally round regardless.
“Whatever the views of nationalist activists, the majority of those who voted ‘yes’ are democrats who, however reluctantly, accept the will of the Scottish people,” he wrote. “It is now incumbent on those who supported the No campaign to acknowledge that position and, perhaps, to reciprocate by moving to a position [that] a majority of Scots can live with.”