Tag Archives | devolution

Are our versions of history sundering or reconciling us?

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Martin Kettle in the Guardian pens a lament for the ignorance of the English about their own history. The outcome, he claims is a” loss of national self respect” and the threat of a disintegrating Union. For once, the term “English” is used deliberately. It’s a long time since AJP Taylor’s superb English History 1914 more…

Will the Scottish independence debate ripple south of the border and across the Irish Sea?

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At last, it’s game on for the Independence Debate.  London based comment has decided that on balance David Cameron  had the best of Round One, or  the “Edinburgh Declaration, “  as  Alex Salmond  dubbed it with typical initiative-grabbing grandiosity. Salmond of course hasn’t conceded any such thing. Leaving the wording of The Question aside for later debate, some more…

Stop pretending over welfare cuts

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In practice because of the funding straightjacket, welfare is not devolved to Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont.  So are the objections to the new universal credit in both Holyrood and Stormont any more than political grandstanding?  Differential welfare payments make little or no sense without extensive tax raising powers. And there is no sign of more…

Deal announced on Scottish referendum

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The deal between the UK and Scottish governments on the referendum is done and will be sealed on Monday.  The Scotland Office and the SNP government seem to have jumped the gun on Downing St by announcing  agreement on a single “yes, no question,” but with votes for 16 year olds added, if the Scottish Parliament approves. more…

What was the Ulster Covenant about?

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What was the Ulster Covenant whose centenary is being commemorated on “Ulster Day” 29 September really about? 400,000 signed the Solemn League and Covenant and the Women’s Declaration in a vast demonstration of public opinion that still impresses today. The production of the largest Union Jack is history, 48’x25’was an example of PR sureness of more…

Big News. Innovation from the Executive

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Good to see Northern Ireland featuring on the UK national news agenda with a report on the “Tesco tax.,” (Today programme 7.25, Sammy and retail consortium rep interview). Despite the national coverage, inexplicably I can’t find  news of  the 1st April vesting date for the business charge on the local BBC News website. Old news locally more…

Scottish referendum: ‘Devo more’ could be a unionist runner

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  On the subject of greater powers for Holyrood, there’s something of a right wing split between the Telegraph newspapers and the darling of the Tory grass roots, blogger Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome. The Sunday Telegraph leader dealt with the subject with a knowledge of the subject that would disgrace an unpaid intern: To concede greater more…

It’s the English question now, stupid

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The Scottish media were a PhD dissertation about chippiness all unto themselves,” reflected Mr Blair in his memoirs, the Times editorial (£) recalled. By those standards, it seems Dave’s nervous apologia for the Union in Edinburgh fitted the bill after all, presentation wise. Substance was more problematical. In the Times (£) the august Scots unionist more…

How the Scots don’t yet understand the English…

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Fascinating piece by Peter Jones in the Scotsman in which he highlights how Tory newspapers sowed a senior discontent not simply with the Scots, but with the United Kingdom: …the advent of devolution is one of the factors which appears to have contributed to this rising discontent. The fact that it has appeared some 13 more…

Unionists too distanced from the future of the Union debate?

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One of the reasons I argued that making the proposed marriage between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionists would work well for both parties was that it would shore up Cameron’s party colleague’s woeful lack of understanding of the constitution of their own country. Something at Reg Empey shows a residual grasp of: “I feel more…