Region Archives: Scotland

Murdo Fraser: A Federal Future? #indyref

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There is nothing new about the idea of federalism in Britain. Early last century a Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with drafting a Bill for a federal UK, in an attempt to deal with the Irish question. Federalism has long been a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, objective. In recent months the idea has attracted more interest, more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

Why is Irish nationalism neutral on Scottish independence?

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Martin Mansergh is a splendid relic of an old Anglo-Irish tradition, a Tipperary landlord, one of a very rare breed of Fianna Fail intellectuals, an adviser on the North to successive Fianna Fail Taoisigh, a minster who never quite fulfilled his promise possibly due to his background, a historian and son of Nicholas, one of more…

Where the big arguments for devolution are heading

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This post most of which I mainly wrote for an academic blog gives anyone interested a heads up on a more sophisticated theatre of devolution – Scotland –  assuming it votes No in the referendum. A couple of points to start with. First, taxation is the big theme. How much of its own revenue should more…

Scotland’s Choice: Reshaping Relationships #qubindyref … and a Federal UK pitch from Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

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Whatever the outcome, the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September will have a profound significance for relationships spanning Britain and Ireland. That was the assertion at a one-day conference organised through the Political Studies Association and Queen’s University Belfast today. In his opening lecture “Tangled Histories” Prof Graham Walker (QUB) unravelled some of the more…

Friday thread: Flags make a difference to how we think and feel…

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Via Peter Curran with a h/t to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Fascinating piece of quick and dirty research on the Scottish Sunday Politics Show regarding the effect of flag displays during a detailed online questionnaire from last week… It’s well worth watching the whole way through, but the findings themselves are at the beginning and more…

Better “a Scotland busier being born than busy dying…”

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A typically passionate piece from Pat Kane in the Scotsman, arguing that Scottish independence is not something you can enjoy something of if you don’t have it at all. He believes this is a once off opportunity to re-arrange power relations on the island of Britain that won’t be coming back any time soon, if more…

In a post #IndyRef Scotland will ‘form’ trump ideological ‘content’?

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Interesting piece from Torcuil Crichton who is a Westminster lobby correspondent for the Scottish Daily Record, courtesy of Bella Caledonia.. There have been 29 general elections to the Dàil, Ireland’s parliament, since independence. Ireland’s Labour Party have won precisely none. When socialism goes up against nationalism in a country where all civic politics is about more…

Open Government Partnership: How to start the ball rolling…

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After Tuesday’s #DigitalLunch on Open Government Partnership and ahead of Friday’s event in Belfast, for those of you thinking of how you might roll up your sleeves and get involved in making government smarter and more open, here’s your Survival Guide to OGP in Six Memos: Paul Braithwaite sets the scene on where we are… Fred Logue  on what OGP is more…

Abortion turndown is a constitutional issue

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The ruling in the English High Court against free abortions for Northern Ireland women in England comes as no surprise. Have campaigners legally examined the situation in Scotland? This now seems like a case for  the Supreme Court where the issue would be: Are devolution powers superior to  UK  equal citizens’  rights? An aspect of the judge’s comments intrigued me: He more…

The Scottish independence debate goes colourful…

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        The Herald on Sunday is the first Scottish newspaper to come out clearly in favour of independence. The front page designed by the artist Alasdair Gray makes quite a splash and the editorial arguments are balanced and reasonable. (The case for independence) seems to us to be a more exciting, imaginative and more…

Scotland Essays: The pro-Union cause has four months to unite, learn identity politics and make a new devolution pact now!

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The difference between before and after the Scottish referendum is as fundamental and unknowable as the black hole between life and death. Yet the fate of the Union may depend on what people believe now about what may happen then, in that currently unknowable state.  With the polls narrowing near the point of cross over, London- based   politicians and commentators more…