Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Labour on the Union

From their manifesto:
Protecting the UK and supporting the Union

Devolution has strengthened the UK, preserving the union on the basis of a fairer partnership. The UK is strong enough and flexible enough to devolve power while retaining the benefits of staying together.

The Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly have put more power in the hands of local people. All the evidence is that devolution works, and is popular. We will implement the recommendations of the Calman Commission, including giving the Scottish Parliament additional tax-raising powers, and seek ways to build consensus behind these changes.

In Wales, we will work with the Welsh Assembly Government on a referendum to enhance the powers to make laws affecting Wales in Wales; and to ensure that Wales is not disproportionately disadvantaged by the application of the central government funding formula.

For the first time, Northern Ireland can look forward to a stable and prosperous future as a result of the Good Friday, St Andrews and Hillsborough Agreements. Supported by unprecedented public funding, we will continue to invest in the institutions of devolution, so that the Unionist and Republican traditions can work together for all the people of Northern Ireland.

Our constitutional monarchy is the source of deep pride and strength for our country. We believe that there is a case for reform of the laws concerning marriage to Roman Catholics and the primacy of male members of the Royal family. However, any reform would need the agreement of all the Commonwealth countries of which the Queen is the Sovereign.

Summary? Longish on rhetoric, short on specifics.

1. They'll implement Calman

2. They'll "work with" the WAG on the referendum for more powers. Falls short of saying "we'll support" more powers.

3. Ensure Wales isn't "disproportionately" (financially) "disadvantaged" by "central government funding formula"...do we mean Barnett here? Also is Wales the only area of the Union "disproproportionally disadvantaged"?

4. Northern Ireland is doing great under Labour (look at all the dough they pour in) but still they'll do their very best to ensure Labour doesn't perform their democratic duty and actually put up candidates there. Also, that "continue to invest in the institutions of devolution", sounds a tad metaphorically, ie "invest" as in the non-financial meaning of the word.

5. They still (as they've done for the last 2 decades or so) believe that the Act of Settlement needs to be reformed. But, you know, it's not that easy because of the Commonwealth. Right. In other words, cop out.

6. The West Lothian Question? Good question, no mention.

The Conservatives on the Union will follow shortly.


Anonymous said...

Legislating to stop double jobbing as supposed to ending double expenses will come up against the European Convention on Human Rights even before Monica's Bill got enacted.

O'Neill said...

THe ECHR protects the right to hold TWO jobs simultaneously? Which Article?