Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “London”

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

Read more…

Drumbeats from North of the Border

This week (27 November 2014) has seen the publication of the Smith Commission‘s proposals – seen by many as the first stage in delivering the three Musketeer’s Vow to the Scottish People.

Whether it proves to be an effective response to the apparent desire of the Scottish people for more autonomy is yet to be seen.

It does however set a critical and crucial drumbeat to which all in the UK must respond. Read more…

Brass Plaques

Salmond says he is not worried about Banks and Financial institutions threatening to leave Scotland when it votes for independence.

Quick look – What are banks saying now?

  • Lloyds – It said it could shift its legal home to to the headquarters it has in London. However, Lloyds said this was just a legal procedure and “there would be no immediate changes or issues”.
  • Clydesdale – The financial institution, which is part of National Australia Bank, said its contingency plans for a “Yes” vote included re-registering as an English company.
  • RBS – It confirmed it will relocate its registered headquarters to London if Scotland votes for independence next week.
  • Tesco – Its contingency plans include the creation of a “new registered company, domiciled in England”

BBC News Website 11 September 2014 : Scottish independence: RBS confirms London HQ move if Scotland votes ‘Yes’

Salmond has said:

“We know the moves both from Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland will have no impact on operations or jobs. They are about brass plaques.
ibid

If he is happy for Scotland to become a “branch economy”, he needs to look at the experience of the North East of England. Read more…

Keeping the Last Colony?

So the colonial masters have finally decided that they need to visit and tell the rebels that it is “just not on”.

If you want to persuade Scots that they should stay in the UK, you don’t at the last minute send in a triple pack of English Politicians to represent the old order. Read more…

Seeing the light?

I have to admit to a degree of surprise. Who might have said this?

… the cities in the North of England were individually strong but were “collectively not strong enough

He said that in the past few decades giant global cities, such as London, had emerged – and that the string of northern cities, with better transport links and careful planning, could take them on and be “greater than the sum of their parts”.  …

it was not “healthy for our economy, not good for our country” if “the powerhouse of London dominates more and more”. …

“We need an ambitious plan to make the cities and towns here in this northern belt radically more connected from east to west – to create the equivalent of travelling around a single global city.

“I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high-speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds.”
BBC News Website 23 June 2014 : High-speed rail link needed to boost north – xxxxxxx

A Clue? … Well, it’s a Tory. A very senior Tory – in office

More? … It’s a Tory who is tight with our money and believes in Austerity Read more…

A federal Britain?

Gordon Brown  has been considering the future structure of Britain and an article in the Guardian reports that:

he is the highest profile UK politician to utter the political F-word during this debate. He is right to do this, because federalism, in some shape or form, is one of the great awakening issues in the debate about what happens after 18 September. The four nations of Britain need to engage with federalist options before the referendum takes place, because if there is a no vote they will have to engage with it afterwards.

Federalism is a Janus-like word. In Britain’s Europe debate it is routinely misused to mean its opposite, centralism.
The Guardian 11 June 2014 : Gordon Brown is right: federalism is on its way if the Scots shun independence

I have struggled to get my mind around an effective structure for English Devolution in a Federal Britain. No solution is optimal – we just need to decide where the non-optimal pain is felt. Read more…

London is a foreign country; they do things differently there

The BBC Reports:

Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor for policing and crime, authorised the [Metropolitan Police] force to buy the cannon from the German Federal Police.

The mayor’s office said: “By purchasing them now we are able to save over £2.3m compared to buying new devices.”

The water cannon will not be deployed until the home secretary authorises their use in England and Wales.
BBC News Website 10 June 2014 : Metropolitan Police given permission to buy water cannon

Pre-ordered in the expectation that the Home Secretary will escalate the force that the Met is allowed to use. Read more…

English Devolution – Identity and Viability

On Democratic Audit Ellie Geddes of IPPR argues that the north of England should take the opportunity to make the case for a degree of devolution and range of powers, concluding.

Whatever the outcome of September’s referendum, it is likely that Scotland will get further powers through some form of greater devolution. There is no doubt that the United Kingdom is evolving and the devolution agenda is coming to the forefront. If the north of England is ever to get its voice heard and gain control over its own affairs, ensuring it is not left behind, now is the time for it to speak up and be noticed.

This raises important issues of identity and viability. Read more…

Our National Railways

Some prospective Labour parliamentary candidates have written to the Observer calling for the Railways to be re-nationalised:

Just as Labour has pledged to freeze energy bills and reset the market to secure a better deal for customers, so it will be necessary to reform the rail industry to secure a better deal for passengers.
The Observer, Saturday 3 May 2014: Letters (3rd letter down)

I think they are advocating the right policy, but clouding the issue by making the major reason securing “a better deal for passengers”. Read more…

London is housing a problem

The housing benefit controversy illustrates just what a mess London is in. Read more…

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