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CELTIC-L  June 1999

CELTIC-L June 1999

Subject:

Re: Stupid saenes cow

From:

Martin Burns at EasyWeb Design <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Martin Burns at EasyWeb Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Jun 1999 21:16:32 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (100 lines)

Sharon Evans wrote on 8/6/99 3:32 pm

>>>We've always been culturally vibrant, but self-confident we haven't been.
>>>Now that that we are - well, you can hear the bleating for English regional
>>>assemblies from the Perth foreshore.
>
>It must be a trick of the atmosphere, there haven't been any loud
>clamourings for Somerset Assemblies / Kent Assemblies / Durham Assemblies
>etc over here.
>
Not Somerset & Kent, because those areas still perceive themselves as
doing better than average out of Westminster. Obviously you're too far
from Durham to hear the clamours from there. When Kent realises
it's getting screwed by Westminster, it'll want more control too.

Of course, the discussion is about nations, not counties anyway...

>Actually that's not the case - government is being decentralised as an
>ongoing thing,
which is one of the (few?) improvements made by this government.
As far as the previous one was concerned, the principle of Subsidiarity
(ie power should lie at the lowest applicable level) meant that the
lowest applicable level was Westminster, while the highest applicable
level was Westminster.

The other thing to note is that this government hasn't decentralised
any area it thinks it's not going to control. Only today, the Labour
puppet government in Edinburgh tried to gerrymander the process
by reducing the average allowance paid to opposition parties (for
things like offices in their area, researchers etc), following on from
the proposal to reduce the money available to opposition parties
centrally (while giving their coalition partners a nice leg-up, thanks
very much).

>a lot of regional power already lies with local government
>in England.
But regional power is no power at all if you have such a limited
scope.

>Europe may be responsible for issuing bills, directives and
>some legislation but Britain still makes its own laws and still controls
>its own budget.
Ahem? It makes it's own laws, but where Europe disagrees,
guess who's over-ruled? And as for making its own budget, when
did we stop taking part in the Common Agricultural Policy?

>As I've said before, the main areas where Europe does
>have any jurisdiction is in environment and trade, which are not
>insignificant areas but by no means diminish the responsibility of
>Parliament.

>Europe has nothing to do with the DSS
Minimum Wage? Working Hours directive?

>, MoD
Eurofighter purchase? NATO (which is basically the EU
plus the US)?

>foreign or home affairs
For most purposes, foreign policy is shared with EU partners.
Home affairs again have to come within the boundaries
set by EU law. The biggest home affairs area is criminal
justice - where's the final place of appeal? Strasbourg.

>Further devolution might be attractive to those who envy Scotland's
>position, but I think you would find it would make little difference to
>the man on the street if he was suddenly told he'd have his own assembly
>for his county or region, because it would only have the same powers as
>local government already has.
As pointed out above, if you stopped at the level of deciding what colour
the local buses are, then you're right. But that's not what I'm
suggesting at
all.

>If you're meaning Britain should be broken
>down into its original constituent parts
'original' is an interesting term. If you mean going back to Wessex,
Mercia et al, then no, because there is no longer any national identity
(with the possible exception of Northumbria). If you mean original as
in the nations which make up the United Kingdom, then you're taking
a different game, which I will have no hesitation in playing.

>fares better than one split into every ethnic group possible.
You may have missed it, but certainly Scottish Nationalism is not
an ethnic nationalism, but a civic one. Our local SNP candidate in the
council elections last month was Asian. For political purposes, I define
'Scots' as those who live and vote in Scotland.

Cheers
Martin

Now at our new office:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 EASYweb Design - professional Web Design that speaks *your* language
    email: [log in to unmask]           snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
      tel: +44 (0)131 623 0266                     Edinburgh, Scotland
pricelist: [log in to unmask]  terms&conditions: [log in to unmask]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Cynical about New Britain? Have a look at www.easyweb.co.uk/uturns/

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