Dear Editor, Even after ten years there is still widespread political ignorance over devolution with even some UK Westminster politicians and others, naively and thoughtlessly, writing off devolved governments as parish council talk shops – where have they been since 1999?
“Lockerbie” has shown that Holyrood (Scottish Parliament) has even usurped “foreign affairs”, one of the few retained non-devolved functions supposedly still governed by a neutered UK Westminster under Prime Minister Gordon Brown – so what’s now left of a political UK?
Since 1999 the self-governing devolved Celtic countries have controlled education, health, local government, planning, housing, industry, social services, law and order, transport etc. – effectively all governance except for UK Westminster’s few retained non-devolved duties i.e., defence, taxation, foreign affairs – and the latter has now been challenged.
Each Celtic government has a first (prime?) minister and national ministers administering all above devolved matters in the interest of its own country and inhabitants.
Between them the devolved governments have 297 politicians and large bureaucracies.
They have combined Barnett-subsidised public spending near £95 billion (2008/09) almost equating to UK’s non-devolved budget and very near the current EU budget.
Every four years each country has its own election where its electorate can rid itself of an unwanted government without outside interference – which we can’t do in England.
If people listen to Celtic radio (BBC Wales etc.) or watch BBC Parliament they will see how real national self-governing democracy works, concluding that the only make-believe governance on these islands is that at Westminster which still thinks it governs the “UK”.
Also, each self-governing devolved country is wedded to the EU being in receipt of huge Objective One funding (England’s contributions recycled) and with each having its own influential presence and MEPs in Brussels they are almost honorary member states – with EU by-passing UK Westminster as if it is of no consequence at all.
The devolved national governments have their own pro-country dedicated political parties e.g., Scottish Labour, Welsh Tories, Northern Irish Democrats all there putting their own country and inhabitants first – that’s what real government is for.
By contrast England, having no self-governance, is still totally governed by a subjugating but dependent UK Westminster and its self-indulging UK parties – for how much longer are its 52 million inhabitants going to put up with it?