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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Of course Scotland should have powers

Provided that Scotland remains part of this one Realm, stands under the Union flag and looks to the sovereign as the fount of law and justice, I see no difficulty in devolving just about every other exercise of power by government to the Scots. An annual precept paid by Holyrood to Westminster for defence, foreign affairs and justice, from taxes raised and collected in Scotland, would cover the essentials. Scotland would set her own income tax, corporation tax, national Insurance, VAT and duty rates, determine how property-based taxes are to be levied and enjoy licence income from coal, oil and gas extraction both on land and in a 200 mile coastal economic zone. 

Scotland would pay from such taxes for health, education, welfare, pensions, police, fire, transport (including rail subsidies) and all local services. Why not? And as the national debt is a UK sovereign debt, Scotland would have a joint responsibility for this along with other constituents of the Kingdom.

Wales should enjoy similar arrangements. As should England through the quadrarchy of  Northumbria, Wessex, Anglia and Mercia. Such arrangements would mean we wouldn't need an English parliament - the six parliaments of Great Britain between them dealing with the bulk of government. Westminster would remain as a sovereign parliament to regulate justice and foreign affairs, administer defence, immigration and citizenship, air traffic control and the like. And of course to administer Northern Ireland, which is a province, and the UK's other dependent territories. 

Only such bold thinking will free us from the Mandarinate and the central State's pernicious political class; only such radical measures will put the terms of our relationship with the EU on the agenda, and only such progressive measures will bring true Localism to Britain.  


Wildgoose said...

On the contrary, the only arrangement that makes sense is an English Parliament that allows Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to stand together in the same relation as each other to the British State.

I am sick and tired of people suggesting that England needs to be broken up and abolished just because the UK isn't working.

If the relatively recent UK can't work with England, (the oldest established country in the whole of Europe with the oldest currency in the World still in use), then it is the UK that has to give, not England.

An English Parliament can then re-instate and re-invigorate genuine truly local government that is close to the people whilst acting as the proper forum for national issues such as the laws we all live under.

Gordo said...

Perhaps with a confederation All Ireland, under the Cross of Saint Patrick, could be inside the tent.

And yes, agree with Wildgoose that you Southrons need one English Parliament, anything less is selling yourselves short.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I disagree. I don't want my country 'carving up' but I do want it to have it's own parliament. I'm with Wildgoose!

English Pensioner said...

I'm all for a federation, somewhat like the United States. It is interesting to note that although claims are made that their President is the most powerful man in the world, his power is strictly limited to National matters. The Individual states in the US have considerable power to regulate their own affairs and fight tooth & nail against any central government attempts to reduce these. This, in fact, was one of the main stumbling blocks to Obama's health care reforms, which was seen as encroaching on the States' responsibilities.
It is worth noting that the individual states have greater freedom in respect of their legislative powers than Britain, a so-called sovereign nation, has within the EU.
If the UK were split into four parts with equal powers, I'd be quite happy; whether England should be further split is a matter for argument, certainly Cornwall would argue in favour.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The root of the current financial crisis is that taxes are raised at a high level, allowing national level politicians large amounts of money at their disposal to start throwing money around, nationally and internationally, as well as not having to account for it. The problem gets even worse, much worse, when taxes are imposed at the supra-national level, such as the EU. In such situations, banks as will as international money lenders, are happy to loan vast sums of money to governments, as they know they will be paid back as the government has a steady tax income.

Switzerland has a much better system. Most of the tax raised is at the cantonal level. As cantons are small, the amount of money is not as large as it would be if it was raised at the national level. Cantonal politicians have to spend the money at the cantonal level, as they do not have the power to spend it at the national level, or throw it around the world buying influence, or feel-good feelings. Cantonal politicians are reachable, as they possibly live next door, and can be given the heave-ho. The greatest advantage is that they do not have such large amounts of disposable money, so they cannot throw it around.

Smaller amounts of money at the disposal of politicians, thus forces both government and the banks to act responsibly. Devolution therefore starts the process of fiscal responsibility for government and banks alike.

The Tea party in the US has started to realize the problem, and that is why it is being slagged off by the MSM and big spending federal politicians.

DeeDee99 said...

Certainly a Federal UK is the way to go. But I am not happy with the idea of England being broken up the way you suggest - it is far too much like the EU's plan to divide and conquer us.

We need a Parliament in England and Cornwall should perhaps be allowed to decide whether to remain English or join with the Welsh.

Alfred the Ordinary said...

"DP111 said... The root of the current financial crisis is that taxes are raised at a high level, allowing national level politicians large amounts of money at their disposal to start throwing money around, nationally and internationally, as well as not having to account for it."

While you are right, you are talking about a huge change. My local authority only gets 18% of its income from Council Tax payers. For it to raise all of its money locally, and then fund central government would require such a huge shift of funding mechanisms that it would require a revolution to bring it about. Maybe that is the inevitable direction now.