Tuesday 31 July 2007

Governance is Not Monopolisation of Power by the Labour party

Together with the White Paper on the planned referendum on Scottish independence, there is mooted a Scottish Speaker's Conference on what powers the Scottish parliament requires to be transferred from the Westminster parliament to broaden and deepen subsidiarity in the extant devolved parliament. The new European Union constitution embeds the subsidiarity principle - that power should invariably be devolved to the lowest competent authority and that the central authority should deal only with subsidiary matters that lower levels of organisation cannot effectively handle.

The Speaker of the Scottish parliament, presiding officer Alex Fergusson, has indicated his willingness to serve as chairman of the Scottish Speaker's Conference, which the ruling Scottish National Party see as necessary '..to make progress on additional powers for the parliament. The way forward, I believe, and other parties believe this as well, is to have a Scottish version of the Speakers' Conference. This will involve people from all walks of civic life to try and reach agreement on the additional powers..'. The proposal is supported by the Liberal Democrats and by the Conservative party.

In an implicit acknowledgment that while Scotland had been ruled by the Labour party the powers already held by the Scottish parliament had not been used, the Labour party rejected the proposal, and called for currently-held powers to be called into action. The contemptuous dismissal of Scotland's parliament as having no more powers than a parish council by the Labour leadership of the United Kingdom obviously applied when Labour subsumed Scottish governance within its own party structures. It is unable to do so now.

Membership of the European Union requires conformity with its governing principles, and this is the muscle that Scotland is flexing. If a Scottish Speaker's Conference is called into existence, how much more pressing is the need for the Speaker's Conference of the Westminster parliament to discuss and determine both the changing relations between England and Scotland within the United Kingdom, and the rapid implementation of the subsidiarity requirements of the European Union within England itself.


Anonymous said...

Well said on all counts.

Sackerson said...

I have just found a comment of yours here (http://sinclairsmusings.blogspot.com/2006/12/british-right-wing-blogosphere-anti.html) and it describes perfectly the quite literally visceral worry I've had for a long time.

I'd thought that the people I heard at Oxford talking about bringing down the system from within, had grown up and gone to the City or some poly or other, but some of them are the masters now and they're pulling up the ladder after them. I never had the sitzfleisch for political activism and in any case my parents brought me up with a deep dislike of bull****, but here we are.

Is there some easily-accessible, easily-comprehensible book that describes what on earth happened to us in the last 30 years, or are you prepared to write it?

Sackerson said...

Oh, and what about "power devolved is power retained" in relation to the EU? I cannot trust any system where my liberty and my rights are on loan from my master.

Newmania said...

YOu are brilliant on this HG I will nominate you for best political blogger. Great post I have wanted to try to get more people to read your stuff for ages.
I still recall seeing you comment for the first time and thinking oooo who is that isn`t she wonderful !

Why why why are you not running the country?

hatfield girl said...

Presumably this is the remark (the link refused to work)
'.. its project is so to disturb the constitution and institutions of the uk state that there will never be a return to democratically responsive power by any party; and this vile objective rides on labour voters under the pretence that it is anti-conservative. Political categories don't fit properly any more; listening for moral, plitical and even economic sense, honestly argued, is the touchstone of decency now, not right or left, liberal or Correct.'

You heard them at Oxford, just as I did at LSE, as did any student in almost any university: the trotskyoid organisations whose principle tactic was entryism, following up on the Communist Party of GB's job of taking over the trades unions and driving out the skilled men and the working class Conservatives. And, yes, you're right, some are in the highest positions now, still using the same, nitpicking, quasi autistic attention to every last detail, decision, meeting, vetting of every person, control of every attitude, loyalty to the group....
My parents brought me up to think political activity was voting at the elections and helping out with leafletting or serving the tea in the committee rooms, and my father going to his branch meetings. I was goggle-eyed the first time I went along to the Labour Society to help out with the envelopes and found I was supposed to hand over my soul, (and, being a girl, my body while I was at it, refusal being uncomradely I failed to make the grade as a cadre). They were in the teachers' training colleges, the schools, the CLPs, the civil service, local government, they've never gone away. Now, as you say, they are in power, animating the corpse of socialism. But I've said all this earlier.
Don't know of a book; I see articles and research things in economics and social sciences when working. Nothing as technical and trikky as the financial stuff on Bearwatch - I do read it but it is specialised, you must agree, so I'm just looking at the moment.

Sackerson said...


Clearly I'm failing on Bearwatch, I intended it to be a layman's exploration of what's happening in the economy. I'm not an economist, just someone with a growing awareness that the game is very crooked and has been for years. So thanks for the feedback and I'll have another go and making it clearer to myself and others.

But what you say about political activism is just as baffling to me - Fourth International and all -and I need someone to Janet-and-John it for me, too. Something obviously went very wrong somewhere - a battle lost without a shot. I suspect the generation that had been through WW2 so wanted the world to be different that they indulged the next generation and gave ground unnecessarily, when they might have been firmer. And so many families had lost their father anyway.

That and their unbelievable naivety - from "I have seen the future and it works" in Russia to Edgar Snow's starry-eyed reportage from China; and ours, from Stuart Burge's 1976 drama series "Bill Brand" right down to Phil Agland's enchanting and sentimental 1994 docu-series "Beyond the Clouds".

Has no-one written a book on how the evil fires of class war were (and are) kept burning in universities, the media etc? And how it works against the very people that it pretends to cherish?

Newmania said...

nitpicking, quasi autistic attention

You are starting to sound a bit like me HG , hope you leave me some Mojo. I was reading in Prospect about centre economic theory based around Market failure . One of the planks of theis rather ricketty construction is asymmetry of information.

I was interested to see this treated as a principle upon which left economics rests because it rather pulled together a lot f thoughts I have been having about the way Government are establishing a new dictatorship by using this rather counter intuitive means of control. The use of focus groups and differential voting not to say pointless complexity all hands further power to those who know wat questions shall be voted on when

hatfield girl said...

There is a comment that says what constructive is to be done about it.

No need to swear, and what is to be done is, within the ways things have been done until recently in England, vote Conservative. But then anyone who has been looking here since April will know that such a simple solution isn't even going to be offered.

Anonymous said...

It's now 2009 - what price indpendence? You couldn't afford it. All that North Sea oil will not do you any good - it's going out of fashion. Oil's not very green. Speaking as a Cumbrian of Scottish stock, I would kick you jocks out and see how you all fend. Just as a wee experiment, you understand, nothing personal.