Federalism and devolution?

A while ago I wrote this post a while ago, when i first received David Melding’s book.  In it he argues that for the union to survive, the UK should look to a federal future.  Mr Melding’s view is a departure from the traditional Conservative view on constitutional matters.   His argument is well thought out, and is likely to find sympathetic ears from both Labour supporters and Plaid supporters.  I’m not as sure how much support he is finding within his own party to this idea.

David Melding has recently written a blog post for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, where he argued that the UK has been one of the most successful states, however many would disagree.  Sure there has been no revolution nor dissolution, however we do have devolution, an ad hoc arrangement that has no real clear direction.

This unplanned (if you could call it that) constitutional arrangement can’t be anything other than ad hoc, after all the entire British constitution is ad hoc, and is designed to suit the needs of which ever party occupies No. 10.  What David Melding argues is that the UK needs a written constitution that outlines the roles of the UK government and the home nations’ governments.  He also suggests that Lords reform should be used to give each home country equality within the a ‘Federal Britain’ through over-representation of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I for one support a written constitution, and an equal representation to each home country within the Lords; an arrangement that has worked well for each state in the USA.  Of course parliament’s lower chamber would be proportional to the population.

In his posting, David Melding doesn’t go into any detail about the jurisdiction of the UK parliament and the respected devolved bodies.  A federal argument is something I hope develops within the ‘unionist’ parties, only then will Wales have a clear path for devolution.

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The end of the Condem coalition.

Shortly after the formation of the ConDem coalition last year I predicted that the government wouldn’t last more than a year. Well, it’s almost a year and the coalition still stands… for now. I might have been a bit hasty in my prediction, however the situation seems more fragile than ever.

The last year has been relatively plain sailing because it’s only now an issue that is close to the Lib Dems’ hearts. I’m not sure why commentators are acting surprised by this though, it was inevitable that the government would be split on the issue of AV.

May will not be a good month for the Lib Dems, they could very well AV slip through their fingers at the same time hundreds of their councillors in England face being turfed out of their wards – and as for the Lib Dems in Wales, well they could possibly find themselves with as little as 2 seats in the Assembly.

With all of these factors considered I feel confident in saying that the Westminster government won’t last until 2015. I would go so far as to say that the coalition won’t be in place this time next year.

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(c)The Prime Minister's office

Election leaflets

Since the Westminster elections in 2010 I have been uploading all election leaflets that come through the door to a great website called electionleaflets.org. This site depends on volunteers to upload the leaflets they have received. I find that this could be a very useful resource for future historians and political anoraks who want to see how issues have developed, who has promised what, and how campaigns change with time. So I urge all of you out there to scan and upload your leaflets.