An Unequal Kingdom

“A┬ásystem of government as close to federalism as you can have in a nation where one part forms 85% of the population” – Gordon Brown, 2014

The “F-word” is rearing its head again in Scottish politics. Federalism. An idea sometimes presented as a “credible” alternative to Scottish independence and a way of granting Scotland greater autonomy over its own affairs whilst maintaining the unity of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, it’s also an idea that is rarely presented in any greater detail than that previous sentence.

Both Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have flirted with this idea throughout their history and have been doing so again recently. In an attempt to raise the level of debate about this subject, I have just co-authored my latest policy paper for Common Weal with long-time constitutional activist Isobel Lindsay which you can read here or by clicking the image below. Isobel also has an article in the Sunday Herald which you can read here.

Unequal Kingdom Cover

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The Tories Have Delivered Us EVEL

Naval_Ensign_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg

The White Ensign. Possibly a fitting flag for the United Kingdom of England (plus others).

Thursday, October 22nd 2015. The day that Westminster ended, finally, any pretence that the United Kingdom consisted either of “One Nation” or of four nations joined as equals.

Now we live in a state in which one of those nations maintains a right and power over the other three and representatives from those latter nations have fewer rights to speak, to influence and to legislate than their colleagues and, by way of extension, voters from those nations have less control over how their state is run.

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