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UK Devolution

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Figaro, Aug 30, 2007.

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To what extent do you support devolution in the UK?

  1. I support greater devoution with a view to independence for Scotland & Wales.

    21 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. I support greater devolution but would like to see Scotland & Wales remain in the UK.

    10 vote(s)
    18.5%
  3. The current level of devolution is OK / Don't Know / I am indifferent to devolution

    16 vote(s)
    29.6%
  4. I think the devolved institutions have too much power but should be allowed to exist.

    2 vote(s)
    3.7%
  5. I oppose devolution and would like to see the disollution of all devolved institutions.

    5 vote(s)
    9.3%
  1. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    That sounds more like an argument against the wealthy elite than for independence.

    Then back around from the South-East through to Scotland and Wales...

    As we all must know by now, one of the long-term goals of the EU is to turn Europe into some kind of united state. Gaining independance from the United Kingdom and then joining the EU (with the remainder of said United Kingdom) just sounds like independence for independence sake, i.e. pointless, and done just to either prove that "you can", or to **** off the people who never wanted to split up the UK at all.

    I disagree. I believe that is EXACTLY what it is doing.

    The "team" I was rooting for seemed to get out quite well.
     
  2. Verbose

    Verbose Chieftain

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    That surely depends on how they end up defining themselves as nations. Looking backwards and inwards is usually trouble. Looking outwards and forwards tends to work. In the instance the Scots and Welsh find that dropping the whole British-thing allows them to ditch an historical baggage they find less than useful, it certainly could work out for them.

    It looks like a considerable number of Welsh and Scots want to renegotiate the political contract of the UK as a political entity locally. There doesn't seem to be a reason they can't, and remain within the EU. And "British" is just tribal on a somewhat different level, one the Scots and Welsh seem to be becoming increasingly less enthusiastic about.
     
  3. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    Yeah, I'm of muddled ancestry too (having one of each of Welsh, Irish, Scotish, and English Granparents) and have spent as many years of my life in Wales and Scotland than England and consider myself British. What should I do? Cave into the smaller nationalists and pick one country or push for the maintence of the current unity?

    15% Hardly counts as 'much more rural', and rural poverty is generally more expensive and pernicious to combat as well.
    -Local Welsh water is more expensive as the settlements are more dispersed and has greater infrastructure costs.
    -Water counts for quite a small amount of your average households running costs.
    -"Laws appropriate to your demographics"? I don't think europe would be too keen on that ;).

    Also some small nations do well but in all those cases you can find reasons that Wales and Scotland lack or would be unwilling to impliment. Belgiums manufacturing advantages (and the fact they are rather bigger than wales and in the ehart of europe and the EU), Luxembergs steel and financial institutions (grown up over considerable time), Liechtenstein banking laws and corporate whorishness.
     
  4. BCLG100

    BCLG100 Music Master

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    Don't worry, one of them will bound to be relegated at the end of the season, we can only hope both.
     
  5. RE Lee

    RE Lee Chieftain

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    The more countries the better.
     
  6. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Unfortunately, football hooligans fail to see how being emotionally attached to a football club (or national team) could fuel a hostile environment. It is very difficult to view these matters clearly from the inside.

    Distinguishing between groups of persons creates an environment where members become emotionally attached to their group (team; company; nation; race; whatever).
     
  7. kristopherb

    kristopherb Protective/Charismatic

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    I think U.K should have a larger representation system ,There will be 4 parliaments ( England, Scotland ,Wales ,NI and Islands). And 1 uber Parliament where 10 representatives ,These 'Heads' will manage Foreign affairs and Compulsory laws which the lesser parliaments mush pass(change of currency and language), these lesser parliaments can have different laws like (death sentence ETC) these lesser parliaments can 10% of the armed forces from there land the rest go to (current)King or Queen of England.
     
  8. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    To the above statement, how about 5 "heads", because an odd number is always the best for settling disputes :)
     
  9. Figaro

    Figaro Tywysog

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    Call me naive if you like, but I don't think the EU are trying to turn everything into a superstate; and even if they are they're not doing very well at it - the EU constitution has proven highly unpopular. Given the general hostility towards all such things, I doubt the EU will ever progress much beyond what it is now in terms of its influence on its constituent nations. Besides, even if that were to happen, if Wales & Scotland were to enter Europe as seperate identities, rather than just the UK, I think it would prove rather better for them in terms of their representation etc. etc. - to be actual states within the superstate, rather than merely regions.

    I agree with this too. Seems to me that "small is beautiful" and all that - namely, that it would be easier to avoid wars between smaller states in loose unions (such as the EU). Consider the scenario: Germany, in the present political climate, would never consider going to war with France - not just because they seem to get along rather well these days, but because if they did then the sanctions & military aid granted to France as per the UN, EU & Nato would make the situation impossible for Germany to profit from it. However, larger states like the US and Russia can pretty much do as they like because they are powerful enough to be able to face down anything, hence the Iraq War etc.

    In George Orwell's 1984, one of the features of the rather miserable world of the future is that all sense of national identity is gone in the face of three superpowers who are perpetually at war with one another.
     
  10. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    I disagree- the Classical era, when city states were the "norm", was probably one of the most war-torn eras ever, because the more fragmented a society, the more likely conflicts are to occur. (I'm starting to sound like a socialist... :scared: )

    I don't want to throw one in for Internationalism, but if there were only one state, there would be no-one for it to fight, would it? (Although internal problems would probably give it plenty of internal enemies). Surely, you have to find the "medium" size, eh? I think the UK, as with your France and Germany examples below, and even some bigger countries such as the US and Australia, is about the right size, maybe even a tiny smidge too small!

    I would say by no means are France and Germany small, especially considering the many pretty recently united states of Germany would make it smaller, but Germany united for its own good!

    If you were to start talking small states, you should be talking states such as Belgium and Holland, who probably due to their unfortunate size have often needed to be bailed out/helped by the "larger" nations. It is only the modern political climate in Western Europe that keeps them safe.
     
  11. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    And Belgium and Holland are twice and thrice (respectively) the population and economic power of Scotland, much less Wales.
     
  12. Mega Tsunami

    Mega Tsunami Chieftain

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    I have little doubt that Scotland will be independent by something like 2015. Now the SNP have a toe hold in and with Alec Salmond playing a blinder as the county’s leader it looks almost inevitable.
    They need England’s help though – a vote on independence at the moment probably would give a ‘no’ answer. The English on the other hand are getting increasingly pissed off with three matters:
    1)Devolution for Scotland, Wales and NI and not for England.
    2)Scottish MPs voting (and holding the balance of power) on purely English matters
    3)The Barnet formula meaning the Scots can afford extras on health, education etc. that us ‘poor’ English apparently cannot afford. (No doubt because of the £11bn extra we send north every year.

    Up with the above three the English will not put for much longer. :)

    It would just take the breaking of any one of the above three to make the minds up of enough Scottish voters to swing a ‘yes’ vote.
    It is bound to happen and we will have Mr Blair and Mr Brown to thank for it.

    And a few years later Wales and NI will follow suite.
     
  13. Figaro

    Figaro Tywysog

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    Perhaps, but there were other factors involved - that period was not one of democratic institutions. A lot of said wars will have been over land and power that individuals wanted regardless of the whim of "their" people.

    France and Germany are not small compared with their immediate neighbours, no, but they're not one big fish in a small pond as it were. Any one of France, Germany + the UK are powerful countries but don't come anywhere near the sort of military power packed by Russia, the US or China, but together the various states of the EU are very powerful indeed. The difference is that the power is not held by one man, able to wield it as he likes, but by a great many who are contracted to defend one another. That's the point of the UN and other such institutions - that the nations of the world be able to unite against one another to prevent any one from terrorising the rest.

    Germany is a case in point. When they united it did indeed produce great things for Germany (i.e. Empire) but usually at the expense of someone else, be it the Poles, or the Africans in their colonies, or the French or anyone else. The reason the Allies feared the Antschluss so much is that, between them, the German-speaking peoples of Europe would form a country so powerful that it would be very difficult to contain it - as it happened, the two world wars were only won by the Allies due to outside influence from the US. Even though Germany was at the start of both wars probably the most powerful one nation on the planet (ok maybe the British were, but they were not able to concentrate their power in the same way), they were unable to win when the other countries of the world united against them. Arguably, the unification of Germany led directly to the two world wars, and great suffering for everyone in Europe! Certainly they would not have taken place without it.

    Besides, Germany isn't quite the same as the UK. Although Bavaria, Brandenburg, Prussia, Saxony etc. etc. were ruled independently of one another, they were still all German, with a common language and culture. The idea and notion of German nationality predates the forming of united Germany in 1871 or whenever it was. This is not the case in the UK, where the constituent nations all have their own languages and cultures, even if some are a minority.

    Indeed. The Conservative party oppose independence because it goes against their core values; but the labour and Liberal parties oppose it because losing Wales & Scotland would impact their own majority in parliament far more than the Tories.
     
  14. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    No, that's when Democracy was invented

    Most of the "Biggest" countries are full of barren, mostly uninhabited terrain, unlike France and Germany. Take Russia as an example, with vast swathes of Siberia completely desolate. Or Australia. Or even China. Just because a country is "bigger", doesn't mean all that excess land is put to use.

    And this also seems like a point against independence- why bother with many small, weak states trying to peruse their own agenda when you can have a couple of larger states with much stronger armies joining up to get rid of these smaller states? I mean, if Russia and China joined forces to attack Europe (which obviously won't happen IRL), then Europe would get quashed!

    And if Germany to disunite, then it would be at the expense of the Germans, just like if Britain would disunite, it would be at the expense of the British

    Paranoia by these "Allies" doesn't make unification bad, it just makes the Allies selfish.

    Just as the residents of the British Isles share a common culture, which in their quest for an idealistic world the Nationalists parties seem to try and hide...

    The German states did have their own Cultures, though, and although the same language, there were many variants. Us British are lucky that we only speak one variant of English as a first language, because in some of the European countries, their language variations across the country make it almost sound like a different language!
     
  15. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    Scotland and Wales should always remain as part of the UK. The current level of devolution is fine. Locla politics should be played up more across the whole of the UK.
     
  16. Figaro

    Figaro Tywysog

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    The Greek democracy was such in name only. Only male non-slaves with a certain amount of estate could vote. And besides, not all classical city states adopted democracy - in fact only a few did.

    When saying "big" I was also referring to population & wealth & impact on world affairs. I fully realise the Siberian plateau is virtually uninhabited, but we're comparing country-country here. I don't consider places like France and England as "small" countries, even though they are in terms of mere size.

    Indeed they would, but you don't seem to get my point. Lots of small nations would be able to join forces in each others' defence, it would be in their interests to do so. But small nations would find it harder to attack one another - consider NATO; if another country attacked a NATO member then (the idea at least) is that the other NATO members come to their aid. They are not however compelled to do so when a NATO member attacks another country. Big countries however have the power to attack whomever they like.

    Please elaborate. I for one know more about Russian literature & music than I do about Scottish literature. The vast majority of artists of the British isles either considered themselves Welsh, Scottish or English. What people often assume is "British" culture is in fact English culture; the difference is that it's more dominant than that of its neighbour. The countries of Britain have no more in common than the various countries on the European mainland.

    Er, last time I remember Welsh and Gaelic are completely different languages to English, so compared to Britain their differences were very small. However, Scots Brogue IS a variant of English (albeit one that has more or less died out), so you're wrong on both counts there.
     
  17. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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  18. Figaro

    Figaro Tywysog

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    But we're talking about Wales gaining independence today, not 200 years ago. Nowadays our governments are (more or less) democratic. All of the wars conducted in Europe in the latter part of the 20th Century have involved one dictatorship-esque nation; be they WW2 or Yugoslavia or wherever. It is very rare and unusual for Democratic nations to go to war with one another.

    Small nations who are themselves virtually unable to be particularly aggressive? Sounds good to me.

    Well, you say that - you say you consider yourself British rather than English, but if the three (English, Welsh & Scottish) cultures are the same then why do we study them seperately in school/university? Can you, in all honesty and without looking it up, name a Welsh-language poet or novellist? Or a Gaelic one? If they really are all one and the same, surely people all over Britain should be taught all about them! Why don't they learn Welsh in schools in England? If it's all Britain, surely it's our responsibility as a nation to keep the native languages of this island alive. Britain as a nation is only a few hundred years old - does Shakespeare count as British literature if he wrote in Britain?

    Care to elaborate? I don't know anything about the cultures of Spain or Portugal.

    So? It's the case now, but even in 1900 (which is only as far as the records regarding the subject go back) the majority of Wales could speak Welsh, and some 35% of the population of Wales could not understand or speak a word of English.

    Britain once ruled over Australia, the US, all sorts of other places. Do they then have the same culture? What about nations which already had dense populations by the time the British arrived - by your logic, India doesn't have any culture at all, it's merely British culture.
     
  19. SonicX

    SonicX Chieftain

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    Even though I'm pro European integration, I think it's better to split into solid parts first, instead of unions that can't think as a whole. It's easier to govern if a nation truly is 1 nation with 1 identity.

    So yes, if the Scottish and Welsh would decide that they differ too much from England, I wouldn't mind to see them give it a go. Relations might be sour with England the first couple of years, but sooner rather than later they will improve to a point they haven't been at in decades. It was that way for Czechoslovakia and even though Croats/Bosnians/Serbs still disagree and frown upon eachother, it used to be a lot worse in the union.

    We have the same situation here in Belgium, with a rich Dutch-speaking north and poor French-speaking south. The views of where the country should head to is completely different in both regions, with the Flemings desiring more autonomy and the Walloons wanting the status quo or even full unification and as a consequence, it's getting harder and harder to find another famous "Belgian compromise". It's been 85 days since the elections, but a new governmental agreement is nowhere in sight.
    Logically, the support for independence in Flanders has grown from 11 % in 200 to 38 % early august 2007 according to the polls and it will continue to increase.
     
  20. Figaro

    Figaro Tywysog

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    You mean Yugoslavia, surely :). But yes, I see and agree with your point. I don't think relations would be particularly sour between the UK countries; given the current attitudes towards Scotland relations might actually improve.
     

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