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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A Deliberate Sundering?

Something Josephus shared recently has surfaced again. (See The Spectator article here.) When Tony Blair forced through the legislation creating a Parliament in Scotland and Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland, he paved the way for the dissolution of the United Kingdom. The Cabinet Minutes for the discussions in his Cabinet in 1997 remain sealed and at least one of the members of that Cabinet has shown himself willing to fight to keep them so. Why? Would it reveal something treasonable?

Now we have the Chancellor of the Exchequer of that same period, the same man whose tax, borrow and spend economics has ruined the economy, promoting Scottish independence. Perhaps the seal on the Cabinet Minutes is intended to hide the fact that the majority of Blair's Cabinet were Scottish and Welsh MPs - and he needed them in Westminster to remain in power. Had he addressed the problem Josephus reminded me of, and given the English their own Parliament, Blair's ability to impose his ideology on England would have vanished. This is why, instead of a 'parliament' for England he tried to divide it into 'regions' with "assemblies."

By meddling with the Constitution, Blair set about destroying the Union. I suspect he knew this all along, but went ahead with it anyway. As the Spectator article Josephus drew to my attention says, by failing to address the issue of the Union being four nations with one parliament, then giving three of the four representative bodies, and denying the fourth that privilege, he set in motion a drift toward the breakup. Already the Republicans in Ulster are set to challenge the Act of Union and demand the 'return' of Ulster to the Republic. Welsh nationalists will not be far behind if Scotland does leave the Union.

I have no doubt that England can and will stand on its own if the Union is broken, but it will not be good for any of the four nations in the short term and there will be a political mess left behind.

Perhaps it is time to demand the opening of these 'secret' minutes and see just what Blair and his cronies are afraid of having revealed.

7 comments:

  1. Didymus writes
    I am obviously revealing my own bias by questioning the monks slant on this subject. Firstly the deed has been done and no amount of hand wringing or scrutiny will undo it. Secondly I personally doubt that Tony Blair was trying to unravel the Union or indeed had wicked conniving intentions at any time he was our elected Prime Minister. Lastly, as a first generation Englishman from Irish stock I actually believe our democracy is in a fairly healthy state despite the strange and outdated Monarchy and second chamber.

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  2. Those minutes won't show you want you want to see. Asides from minutes being struck from the record for all sorts of humiliating reasons, or at least that's the excuses that drive the participants, there is the Post-It note workaround for politicians where they state they are exempt from recording processes. The last Labour government was photographed in the act many times doing it and resulting FOI's bounced on requesting those yellow notes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/2011/01/mcnally_interview.html "Those now unhappy about FOI include some officials, according to Lord McNally. "I've had very senior civil servants say to me that we've replaced the normal process of decision-making with a 'Post-It note culture'". In other words, some advice is written on sticky notes which are then discarded rather than kept for the record."

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  3. As the Monk is proud to be 'British' in that, though his father's family are "English," his mother's is Irish, English and Scottish and there are Welsh connections as well. According to the Spectator article The Ex-Chancellor, ex-PM, is now touting for total Scottish Independence. I'll hook in the link in the post so that those interested can follow up on their comments themselves. Blair's intention in refusing to allow the English to have a separate Parliament and attempting to create 8 'Regional Assemblies instead, was simply an attempt to ensure that "The English" could not form a united 'bloc' against the political elite infesting London.

    Yes, the deed has been done, now we, as a people, must deal with the consequences. As the Spectator says, without an "English" Parliament to balance the Scottish one (The infamous West Lothian question remains unaddressed and a disproportionate number of Scottish MPs vote on matters with no impact on their constituencies) we cannot even create a "Federation" if Scotland does, as Mr Brown and Mr Salmand seem to want to do, break away.

    Like you, I doubt Mr Blair actually understood the impact of what he was doing.

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  4. Tim, sadly, you're right. Whitehall's idea of 'minutes' is a simple schedule in which quite complex issues and discussions are summed up in a single meaningless sentence with sets of initials next to 'action' ...

    So much for 'open government.'

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  5. Slim Jim rants:
    The Scots will not vote for independence. At least, they won't if someone explains that they will probably have to stay in the EU, as well as adopt the euro. Or will they want to have their cake and eat it and retain the pound? Princes Street would have to dance the highland fling to Threadneedle Street. The groat just doesn't have that nice ring to it. You have made many assumptions about Laurel & Hardy (AKA Blair et Broon); either they knew exactly what they were doing and the consequences thereof, and deliberately misinformed/misled us, or they really were that incompetent and recklessly naive. Either way the feckers should be put against a wall and shot. Bastards both!

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  6. Jim, I wish I had your conviction on this. So far I see only a very persuasive "Yes" campaign and no one actually attempting to explain any of the ramifications. I think you may be correct about an Independent Scotland having to adopt the €uro and dance to Brussells tune, as the €uro experiment has shown, it isn't that easy to establish or 'reinvent' a new currency.

    I think everyone in our position is forced to assume a lot about Blair/Brown since all we can judge them on is what they said at the time and the results we now face. I note that even professional political commentators can't seem to decide which of the options you give is the true picture. My own belief tends toward the 'incompetent' side. I think they were so blinded by their ideological 'vision' they simply did not consider the consequences of anything. Sadly, that appears to go for the whole political establishment at present.

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    1. Slim Jim replies:

      Yes, and none more so than the eedjits promoting the EUSSR project. I think you may be correct about the incompetence, although the laws of unintended consequences comes into play as well. Actually, most of the political establishemnt demonstrate in one way or another, Einstein's theory of madness!

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