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Thursday, 7 May 2009

A federal Britain and the end of the Labour Party

It is perhaps ironic that Labour's introduction of devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales has decimated their support in both. Labour is at heart an ideological party, but the politics of devolution are the politics of people and place, not of ideology. And having had a taste of local self-determination, both the Scots and the Welsh want more - including control over taxation. As the pressures increase, Labour will become ever more irrelevant in both Cardiff and Edinburgh. It is the realisation of this effect that causes Labour to oppose Localism so fiercely - there's no room in a Localist nation for the Labour Party.

As much as I loathe and protest the idea of a federal Europe, I'm wholly in favour of a federal United Kingdom. Our national Parliament can then concentrate on national issues, including defence, foreign relations, and a framework of law and leave most else to the federal authorities. It is absurd that MPs in Westminster should waste our time debating the exact number of pieces of litter permissible on a suburban street in Sunderland or how long someone in Taunton should wait to have their ingrowing toenails cut.

Labour's devolution has let the genie out of the bottle and this June we will see how their vote holds up in Scotland and Wales for the European elections.

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