Regional rivalry…

LORD (Neil) Kinnock, the former Labour Party leader, has warned that tensions between nations are being fostered by fears of a break-up of the United Kingdom. It was reported that he said the devolution of powers at different paces across Britain would lead to misunderstandings and enmity between the nations and the regions. In the debate over whether the Welsh Assembly should get more powers, the double-jobbing Welsh and Northern Ireland Secretary is against a referendum on the issue. Of course, I’m sure Mr Hain has a different position when it comes to the devolution of policing and justice powers to a restored NI Assembly!

Kinnock said:

“What continues to concern me is not decentralisation of effective administrative and executive power but the fear, and the fear still exists, of the fragmentation of the United Kingdom and the possibility of enmity growing out of it.”

“Unless there is a general pattern of decentralisation throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, the possibility of tensions, misunderstandings, even antagonisms between the different parts of the United Kingdom, continues.”

  • aquifer

    Being governed by a shower of Welsh windbags is deeply threatening to the Welsh. But worse still is the alternative, having to admit they are just an English region. They stopped building castles long before the Scots and Irish, indicating that effective resistance ceased way back.

    Their building even has a hot air funnel. Really.

    Assembly Building

  • foreigncorrespondent

    Dw´yn meddwl bod Aquifer wedi siarad lot o grap, de… Wales has a remarkably resistant native language to be just another ´English region´. Maybe the hot air is blowing from another source? 🙂

  • Observer

    Kinnock has been wrong about most things in his career. This is merely his roundabout way of admitting he was wrong about Home Rule in the 70’s. A loser and a fool, but an entertaining one.

  • bertie

    “A loser and a fool”

    Yeah but that’s because he’s Welsh ;0)

  • monty

    More powers for Wales means by rights, more powers for England.This is what they’re really afraid of.
    This article Scotsman 26.8.05

    Peter McMahon
    Festival of Politics has confounded the cynics – so let’s do it again

    “Neil Kinnock was, to put it mildly, never a big fan of devolution. He used his ‘conversations’ with George Reid to argue that it was possible that a right-wing government in the UK, elected on the basis of English votes, could cut the budgets of Scotland and his native Wales by billions of pounds, thereby precipitating a constitutional crisis.
    The winners in this would be the nationalist parties in the Celtic areas, reacting to what he called a ‘nasty and lethal’ form of English nationalism. Far-fetched or not, it is a fear that many senior Labour figures share.
    Lord Kinnock said that the way to combat this possibility was to foster a sense of Britishness across the UK. Watch out for speeches and articles from senior ministers lauding the idea of being Britsh”.
    All this britishness nonsense is a smoke screen,
    it is not really the asian community they’re interested in but the English.They (the main three) want the English to be the british alone and are trying to ram the UJ and being british down peoples throats.All this in the hope they don’t have to answer the west lothian question.
    Their Nations and Regions agenda is not working
    and they’re thrashing around desperatly trying to
    avoid the English Question. It should be re named the New Labour question, how can they hope to form a government in an English Parliament?

  • bootman

    Like all artificial creations the United Kingdom will inevitably dissolve at some stage the only question is when.

    Only in Ireland does there seem to be a growing radical nationalist party though, mores the pity.