The United Kingdom and Federation

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  • The United Kingdom and Federation
  • Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    As a response to the problems posed by the incomprehensible Westminstercentricity of the British political system, why is it that a confederation of states wouldn’t work?

    Devolution as we have known it so far is virtually meaningless, insofar as the countries affected have no tax-raising powers. There is no real autonomy, and very limited budgets. In Canada by contrast, every Province has its own tax-raising powers, and even where Ottawa takes precedence, the individual capitals can veto or at least make their concerns known, in the knowledge that they actually have leverage in negotiations. And the system works. Really quite well.

    So why not here? Why not give full autonomy to the four countries of the UK, with the Crown and a parliament for each, with a UK-wide parliament to determine economic policy, foreign affairs, military policy, etc.? Could that not mitigate the sense of frustration on the part of countries like Scotland?

    scotroutes
    Member

    Four equal partners or voting rights in the central Parliament according to population? There are problems with both approaches.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Before we go anywhere, I have some concerns about your bookshelf…

    gordimhor
    Member

    It’s been proposed many times, but the usually half hearted proposals never really had any chance of winning the argument. If someone had proposed something similar to your suggestion 20 years ago it might have worked. As far as Scotland is concerned I think that boat has sailed now.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    SaxonRider

    Subscriber

    So why not here? Why not give full autonomy to the four countries of the UK

    TBH, there’d never be any chance of that for as long as the English consider Westminster to be their parliament- which far from changing, has got worse over the last few years.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    It will never happen.

    The problem you have in the United Kingdom is that one member of the 4 nations represents roughly 85% of the population.

    Quite rightly England would expect to have the most say politically in any federal arrangement. This then makes the whole point of federalisation null and void for Scotland, Wales and NI.

    At the moment England gets what England votes for, I’m sure they aren’t in a hurry to change that arrangement. The only possible way it work is to break England up in to “states” or regions and put each region on a par with each other and with the 3 smaller countries.

    But would Scotland, Wales and NI like to be formally downgraded to federal states rather than countries? Doubtful.

    To be honest I think Scotland will reach for another solution shortly anyway.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    why is it that a confederation of states wouldn’t work?

    As long as we had a Prime Directive to stop more advanced societies meddling in Welsh affairs. 🙂

    taxi25
    Member

    I hope not, certainly not based on the current home nations. I’m Welsh but certainly don’t have any nationalistic asperations. All I want is competent goverment (I know, I know). My needs and wants aren’t any different from someone say in the W.Midlands, population wise considerably larger than Wales. The fact we might live a couple of miles apart doesn’t somehow make us different.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Pre-Brexit I was, as a Scot who’s lived in Yorkshire for over 25 years, anti-independence.
    Having seen how the Brexies have conducted themselves, I think the case for breaking up the UK is starting to look somewhat stronger.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    The answer is independence for the South East of England.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    You’d probably have to split England into Länder with about 5 million people each for it to work.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Thereby suggesting that Scotland was an English region.
    Not going to work long term. Possibly not short term.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    No, a British or UK region … but yeah, never going to wash politically to dissolve England in that way (well, except in Yorkshire of course).

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    kelvin

    Subscriber
    No, a British or UK region … but yeah, never going to wash politically to dissolve England in that way (well, except in Yorkshire of course).

    I dunno, NW, NE, W.mids, East Mids, S.west, s.coast, SE, and 2x London would all be approximately 5 Millon.

    I think the problem would almost the opposite of pissing off one region over another, it would probably be that intraregional rivalries would come out. IOW would want to be independent of the mainland, Devon and Cornwall aggrieved that Somerset gets to their Celtic party, North(we’re not part of Yorkshire)umberland etc. And that’s before the highlands moan about the central belt having all the say over Scotland’s vote and north vs South Wales. And then what way do you split London, east / west doesn’t work any better than. North South. Maybe a doughnut?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Devolution as we have known it so far is virtually meaningless, insofar as the countries affected have no tax-raising powers. There is no real autonomy, and very limited budgets.

    You didn’t read the letters the Welsh Government sent you, did you? They do now have tax raising powers – we now pay UK tax and Welsh tax which is 10p out of each of the tax bands. The WG can then spend that money how it pleases.

    I’m in favour of federalism. Different areas can have different taxation rates and different public services. If you want lower taxes you can move to a place with worse public services, your choice.

    TheBrick
    Member

    I like the idea but I think you would also have to split England. Maybe I to the old kingdoms or maybe something else but England has too big a population imbalance to the the other countries to make it work.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    As an Englishman who has made Scotland his home, independence for Scotland or a merge with London would make me happy.

    athgray
    Member

    As an Englishman who has made Scotland his own, Scottish independence for Scotland or a merge with London would make me happy.

    ^ This with a referendum for the NE as far as Newcastle on what direction they wish to take.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    So we’re all going to pretend that bookshelf is normal?

    spursn17
    Member

    If we’re splitting up and dividing England as well, I’m with the Iceni. 😀

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Splitting up England would be the tricky bit.

    And how long would it take before the States in England are recognised only as each state individually, and fend for and represent themselves, and are not collectively the states that make up England?

    UK would probably pick the US style system… more politicians and more people with power!

    Possibly the German system might be better, where the senate is made up of a few votes per state, with each monocameral state parliament dictating their allocation of votes shall be cast in the upper house.

    Either way, you have to treat new states created probably along ceremonial county lines (eg Yorkshire, Wessex, etc.) as states with “equal” power as Scotland or Wales. Both the German and US federal systems, some states are clearly more equal than others. It works for them because they were a collection of states that confederated, rather than a load of politicians and peace makers drawing up national boundaries. Pretty much every carving up and boundary drawing in Europe in the last 100 or so years has finally ended up completely different to the way the experts agreed. Czech, Slovakia, Yugoslavia,…

    On the plus side, the Lords would go. The “jobs for the boys” would go.

    Blair’s dream of more local / regional assemblies that would naturally sway towards their being more Labour elected representatives would properly become true too.

    Scottish independence and Irish reunification will come first though, and throw a spanner in the works.  So it’ll be the English and Welsh Confederation if it ever happened.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    What’s wrong with the bookshelf, @bearnecessities? I’ve been trying to figure it out since you made your first comment…

    I’m not sure I’d be looking at the Canadian model. They nearly split not so long ago and rumblings are happening again on that front. Each little jurisdiction is fighting it’s own corner with no regard to how it affects others. The federal government makes decisions based on election success and plays each province off against each other. The provinces are taking the Federal government to court all the time over things they think should be local decisions. It works despite itself not because of itself. The only thing they do get right is not having the party system at the town council level.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    We need to expand, not contract.

    Surely the answer is to invade Canada and regain it for the Crown?
    A huge, sparsely populated playground, ripe for exploitation.

    The moose **** seem like a relatively placid bunch.
    I’m sure they’d be happy to give up their peaceful, boring, successful democracy and join us on our exciting, brave new lurch into a Boris led utopia.

    hols2
    Member

    Does Scotland get to keep the ballistic missile submarines?

    kerley
    Member

    I would just go for splitting the UK in half. One half can have the selfish, tory,Brexity type people and the other half can have those can are able to think about things and actually care about the impact on others.

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