After #IndyRef how fit is Westminster to bring about a democratic renewal of local regional government?

If Scotland only gets as far as another metaphorical Derby next week, this conversation is worth checking against delivery. About here, John Redwood (who is like Hain a former Secretary of State for Wales) tells Hain he cannot object to his proposal for an English parliament because, erm, he’s Welsh (I think he means a Welsh MP).

As Jenny notes in her first blog for Slugger, the Scottish bid for an exit from the Union is as much a disgruntlement with the democratic institutions as with a broader rise in nationalist feeling.

Indeed the democratic plumbing has not been working in England for some time. As the Local Government Association notes:

‘New powers being offered to Scotland in the event of a no vote must be given to every local area in England and Wales. The appetite for devolution does not stop at the border and the rest of the UK will not be content to settle for the status quo.

‘Local areas across the country need to be set free from the grip of Whitehall and allowed to raise and spend money in a way which will best serve the people who live there, from equipping them with the skills for work to being able build the homes people need.’

In many European countries, the principle of subsidiarity which reserves powers to the lowest possible levels have been eviscerated in both the UK and Ireland over the last forty years. Lack of agency and interference from the centre is one reason people are turning their backs…

  • mark7694

    Since the other 3 nations in the UK have their own parliament, creating an English one does seem like a logical step. However, an English parliament alone doesn’t go far enough.
    ”The appetite for devolution does not stop at the border” as stated in the post is undoubtedly true. Hain’s comment that ”status quo is dead” indicates that the federalisation of England is coming.
    How this is going to be implemented in practice though is what interests me.
    Different parliaments for the English Regions aren’t the answer. They seem so artificial. The very average turnout and 77% rejection of an Assembly for the North East Region are evidence of this.
    I think setting up assemblies or empowered councils for each of the 48 English ceremonial counties as 2009 would be a positive move, but then again, that just sounds like a hell of a lot more politicians.
    I find it remarkable that a country with the size of a population that England has is only now making any headway towards a federal structure in 2014, and how long it has (and still is) operated under the unitary, centralised Westminster parliament.

  • Robin Tilbrook

    There is absolutely no democratic English mandate whatsoever for breaking up England!

  • terence patrick hewett

    Federation does not mean dismemberment: of course any constitutional settlement will have to be put to the country.