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  1. #1

    Federal United Kingdom thoughts?

    I read an article today that outlined the policys labour are considering for a restructured federal UK system.

    Now I've known for a while that labour were considering this even befor corbyn, though brexit and various other issues such as the persistence of the SNP's popularity (something labour needs to quell as Scotland was a labour bastion pre devolution) and a growing and worrying political tension in the North of england that has been part revealed and part stoked by the covid crisis, seems to have brought more urgency to this topic.

    Labour seem to be far into talks but they arnt the only party, the torys have said they will also be looking at federal restricting of the UK, for the same quoted above reasons as labour though commentators say they are waiting for the results of holyrod elections (likely a vain hope of an snp collapse) befor thrashing out what changes they would put in a manifesto.

    So the reasons for a change, seem pretty clear, the UK can't go on in its current political structure, both major partys now seem to agree that the London centric system we have had for centuries is no longer sustainable.

    So it looks like over the comming years we in the UK will be in a very unique once in a century position to decide on a major overhaul of the very structure of our political system, a task that shouldn't be taken lightly.

    Labour current ideas are as follows:

    1. A UK-wide constitutional convention bolstered by citizens’ assemblies to investigate options for reform.

    2. A written constitution that would greatly reduce the monarch’s powers.

    3.Replacing the Lords with a federal senate of the nations and English regions, able to veto some legislation and ratify international treaties.

    4.Giving the Scottish parliament, Welsh Senedd and Northern Irish executive permanent constitutional independence.

    5.More borrowing and policymaking powers for Holyrood, including over postgraduate immigration, alcohol taxation, drugs policy and social security.

    6.Significant devolution of policymaking and financial powers to English regions and councils, including borrowing.

    Obviously these are just the early stages, some I agree with, some im 50/50 on and some i disagree with personaly.

    My thoughts.

    1. Is a good idea, the public should be heavily involved in the process of shaping the system that governs them.

    2.im against a written constitution, america is a good example of a bad constitution, written constitutions are too in flexible they hamstringing a nation to the past and prevent it from evolving with the times in my view.

    3.im 50/50 on this, ive defended the lords before, theres alot of people who seem to mistake democracy for the gospel, democracy has flaws, alot of dangerous ones, that the lords does a decent job of safeguarding against, so it would depend on how its formatted and if we learn the lessons of americas failed Senate in structure it from the start to prevent the political jiggery pokery the US deals with constantly.

    4. All for it, self determination is a human right, independance in a federal system is a good step for all of us.

    5. 50/50 its a good gift of power, but could causes issues if one state goes on a borrowing spree that all states are responsible for, and it could negatively hurt scotland as they might be told to borrow and deal with there own debt which at there current gdp would mean needing major cuts to services.

    6. 100% agree, the English regions need much greater autonomy, part of the growing political dissent in the North is down to finaly being tierd of rule by the South and part jealousy of the freedoms Wales, Scotland and NI have, the North and South of England are genetically and culturally distinct and they have the right to self determination as all people do under the UN charter of human rights, as such the regions should be given the power to use as they see best free from overt dictation much like Scotland and Wales enjoy.

    Im interested to see what policys the torys produce as well as the lib dems and greens, I think the federal question is growing to be the defining question of the next general election which is fascinating times to be in.

  2. #2
    I am Murloc!
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    hmmm, seems the ship has sailed..... NI and Scotland will leave and merry old England can do what it wants.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ranzino View Post
    hmmm, seems the ship has sailed..... NI and Scotland will leave and merry old England can do what it wants.
    And the other country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lothal View Post
    Scotland and NI join the EU as independent countries England + Wales could decide whatever they want to do with their country without imposing their will on others.
    Why does Wales have to stick with England?

  4. #4
    That was a great idea for maybe 100 years ago or more. That ship has sailed.

  5. #5
    The Insane PC2's Avatar
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    I think tinkering with the system itself is an unnecessary distraction from the real policies and issues that people care about. There's a million different ways in which you could rearrange your democracy/government but those rearrangements will never do anything to solve society's hardest problems.
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  6. #6
    Can we... can we define 7 states?.. and let’s not call them states, let’s call em kingdoms.

    Oooh and lets make Lizzy a throne out of melted down drones, to celebrate this transition!

    On a serious note; it would be a good change imo. Democracy has its (terrible) flaws, but its better than any system harbouring inherited seating in government.

    Also I don’t think a written constitution would make the evolution of the country more inflexible. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s already pretty damn inflexible. The legal battles over constitutional issues is just more... arcane.

  7. #7
    Unless you get rid of FPTP, tinkering around with the structure of the United Kingdom is pointless. Get proportional representation, move away from confrontational politics and move towards co-operative politics. Give people the chance to vote for a wide variety of parties, knowing that their votes would actually result in representation. Once you've done that, you can start to sort out the archaic power structures we have.

    Oh, and teach politics in schools, so that people grow up with some kind of idea about political ideologies. It's horrifying how little people know about something that has such a profound impact on their lives.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Attackrabbit View Post
    Why does Wales have to stick with England?
    Classicly speaking, Wales used to be the center of UK power.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ranzino View Post
    hmmm, seems the ship has sailed..... NI and Scotland will leave and merry old England can do what it wants.
    Probably not for a few more decades. And by then the Brexit stuff may have settled down and not be a big driving motivator anymore.

  10. #10
    the democratic peoples republic of yorkshire

  11. #11
    The Unstoppable Force Puupi's Avatar
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    Sounds more like confederation to me.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Nelinrah View Post
    Probably not for a few more decades. And by then the Brexit stuff may have settled down and not be a big driving motivator anymore.
    NI will be gone and united with the Republic within 4 to 5 years, it's an almost guaranteed given and accepted fact in Westminster.

    Scotland... I'd be shocked if they wouldn't hold a new independence referendum before the next general election. One that will almost certainly pass and trigger the break up process whether Westminster likes it or not. The only way to prevent that from happening is either by suddenly rejoining the EU's common market or by withdrawing home rule, and the latter would irredeemably break the UK, and just postpone a much uglier break up.

    At this junction, Brexit is just one of the major points of contention. Economics, social policy divergence, handling of the pandemic, rejection of English nationalism etc.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Attackrabbit View Post
    And the other country?

    Why does Wales have to stick with England?
    Do you want to leave? Cos so far it doesn't seem like you do. The world can listen to English sheep shagging jokes about Wales so much before thinking you have resigned into your situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    NI will be gone and united with the Republic within 4 to 5 years, it's an almost guaranteed given and accepted fact in Westminster.

    Scotland... I'd be shocked if they wouldn't hold a new independence referendum before the next general election. One that will almost certainly pass and trigger the break up process whether Westminster likes it or not. The only way to prevent that from happening is either by suddenly rejoining the EU's common market or by withdrawing home rule, and the latter would irredeemably break the UK, and just postpone a much uglier break up.

    At this junction, Brexit is just one of the major points of contention. Economics, social policy divergence, handling of the pandemic, rejection of English nationalism etc.
    I'm obviously not from the UK, so take this with a grain of salt, but I see none of the things happening that you describe. Scotland's polls are far from convincing. Majority? Sure, but do you think England will accept another poll as binding with a low single digit majority? They did that for Brexit and that totally didn't work out well for the country as a whole. And England HAS to accept the decision before anything happens in Scotland. That is one condition the EU put out for Scotland to be fasttracked into the EU, presumably the secondary goal of a scottish independence.

    NI joining with the RoI? And risk another Troubles, only this time it's Dublin that gets bombed? Not sure anyone in that region is interested in changing the status quo that dramatically. Can they even agree on a Government or is it still basically not ruled? About Wales... nah, don't see that happening in any scenario. Never even heard about Welsh people wanting to be independent, and I've talked to some over the years. They like being the special child with the odd language, but independence? Seems a bit too much outside the comfort zone.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    NI will be gone and united with the Republic within 4 to 5 years, it's an almost guaranteed given and accepted fact in Westminster.
    lol not while there a unionists living there. people forget how bad it is. theyve had to stop port checks because of threats and a police helicopter almost got shot down last month.

    Scotland still need permission from the tories to do anything.

    and who gives a fuck about wales.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lothal View Post
    A reform is definitely need. This proposal also makes sense but I would personally much prefer that Scotland and NI join the EU as independent countries respectively and then England + Wales could decide whatever they want to do with their country without imposing their will on others.
    Scotland id say yea there's a growing amount of bad blood been generated over the last few decades, a lot of scots want out of the Uk and into the EU, and alot of the rest of the Uk want Scotland gone as they see them as sponges. its getting close to the point where both the animosity and reputation of the scots is irreconcilable within the Uk and its better they left.

    northern Ireland is a different beast, you have 2 groups in NI that have historically shown they are willing to go into open revolt if they politically don't get there own way, those being the loyalist paramilitaries and the IRA and its off shoots, when it comes to northern Ireland my policy is similar to Britain's and the republic of Irelands, whilst its peaceful just leave it alone and let it do its own thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnysensible View Post
    lol not while there a unionists living there. people forget how bad it is. theyve had to stop port checks because of threats and a police helicopter almost got shot down last month.

    Scotland still need permission from the tories to do anything.

    and who gives a fuck about wales.
    when the IRA debate comes up, a lot of people forget it wasn't as simple as an oppressive imperial Britain vs the freedom loving IRA, i can understand why people push that narrative as politically its an easier sell and spin on the whole thing.

    the danger is it hides the much deeper and more complex issue that lead to the division of Ireland in the first place, and that wasn't Britain wanting some small bit of the north for no real strategic reason. but that when talks were being conducted to create an independent Ireland, the north stated very clearly and with intent that if forced under rule by Catholics in the south they would start a civil war, some find it hard to imagine that there are a large number of people in northern Ireland who being British is such apart of there identity they are willing to fight and die for it with the same fantasism as any religious extremist.

    as long as that is the case, and also as long as the IRA exist as well, N-Ireland wont change from its current status quo in either direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    NI will be gone and united with the Republic within 4 to 5 years, it's an almost guaranteed given and accepted fact in Westminster.

    Scotland... I'd be shocked if they wouldn't hold a new independence referendum before the next general election. One that will almost certainly pass and trigger the break up process whether Westminster likes it or not. The only way to prevent that from happening is either by suddenly rejoining the EU's common market or by withdrawing home rule, and the latter would irredeemably break the UK, and just postpone a much uglier break up.

    At this junction, Brexit is just one of the major points of contention. Economics, social policy divergence, handling of the pandemic, rejection of English nationalism etc.
    id be willing to stake everything I own and will ever owe on that bold bit not happening, the republic does not want red hand bombs in Dublin and more than the British want IRA bombs in London.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnysensible View Post
    the democratic peoples republic of yorkshire

  16. #16
    The problem with America's constitution isn't that it is written, the problem is that the process for amending it is incredibly arduous and we have some really Arcane provisions that would need to go thru that process.

    Presumably the UK (or any country writing a constitution today with the benefit of hindsight regarding the US) could avoid those pitfalls.

    A constitution should basically do 5 things:
    1. Establish how the government is elected.
    2. Establish a separation of powers between the legislature, courts, executive (or executive analog, e.g. a Prime Minister).
    3. Establish inalienable rights for the citizenry which can't be taken away via simple legislation.
    4. Establish how simple legislation and other day-to-day government business is handled at an abstract level.
    5. Establish a process for amending the Constitution if it proves necessary to serve the people's interest in the future.

    Once that basic framework is laid down in this can-be-changed-but-shouldn't-need-to-be document (as opposed to the US constitution, where the framers considered amendments to be a necessary and fairly common part of changing life in America moving forward), all the minutiae should then be handled by simple legislation in parliament that can be repealed or amended quickly with a basic majority should the situation arises.

    Based on the OP, the only concern is have would be borrowing powers to the individual states. IMO the individual states should only be permitted to borrow from the federal government (and given broad leeway in doing so) while the federal government should be the only entity permitted to borrow from foreign entities. It's essentially a parent and child relationship.

    You don't give a child the credit card to buy whatever they want without restriction. Mom and Dad keep the credit card and make those final decisions, because ultimately if the piper wants to be paid, they are coming after Mom and Dad, not the children.

    I'm imagining a scenario where Wales is in default on debt to China and China decides to use it's military to collect. They won't be fighting Wales, they'd be fighting the entire UK.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Huehuecoyotl View Post
    Unless you get rid of FPTP, tinkering around with the structure of the United Kingdom is pointless. Get proportional representation, move away from confrontational politics and move towards co-operative politics. Give people the chance to vote for a wide variety of parties, knowing that their votes would actually result in representation. Once you've done that, you can start to sort out the archaic power structures we have.

    Oh, and teach politics in schools, so that people grow up with some kind of idea about political ideologies. It's horrifying how little people know about something that has such a profound impact on their lives.
    i agree with all that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiganon View Post
    The problem with America's constitution isn't that it is written, the problem is that the process for amending it is incredibly arduous and we have some really Arcane provisions that would need to go thru that process.

    Presumably the UK (or any country writing a constitution today with the benefit of hindsight regarding the US) could avoid those pitfalls.

    A constitution should basically do 5 things:
    1. Establish how the government is elected.
    2. Establish a separation of powers between the legislature, courts, executive (or executive analog, e.g. a Prime Minister).
    3. Establish inalienable rights for the citizenry which can't be taken away via simple legislation.
    4. Establish how simple legislation and other day-to-day government business is handled at an abstract level.
    5. Establish a process for amending the Constitution if it proves necessary to serve the people's interest in the future.

    Once that basic framework is laid down in this can-be-changed-but-shouldn't-need-to-be document (as opposed to the US constitution, where the framers considered amendments to be a necessary and fairly common part of changing life in America moving forward), all the minutiae should then be handled by simple legislation in parliament that can be repealed or amended quickly with a basic majority should the situation arises.

    Based on the OP, the only concern is have would be borrowing powers to the individual states. IMO the individual states should only be permitted to borrow from the federal government (and given broad leeway in doing so) while the federal government should be the only entity permitted to borrow from foreign entities. It's essentially a parent and child relationship.

    You don't give a child the credit card to buy whatever they want without restriction. Mom and Dad keep the credit card and make those final decisions, because ultimately if the piper wants to be paid, they are coming after Mom and Dad, not the children.

    I'm imagining a scenario where Wales is in default on debt to China and China decides to use it's military to collect. They won't be fighting Wales, they'd be fighting the entire UK.
    isn't the bold bit the point though, that its so damn hard to change no one bothers trying and thus what's in it becomes basically a permanent state of things?

    but my issue with that is if you do something silly like add in the right to bare arms during a time of swords and muskets and that becomes and excuse to own more private modern munitions than some nations army's, now that's the obvious case, but there all sorts of stuff you could add into a constitution that given a few hundred years as people change, knowledge changes and things advance end up doing far more harm to a nation and society than good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    I think tinkering with the system itself is an unnecessary distraction from the real policies and issues that people care about. There's a million different ways in which you could rearrange your democracy/government but those rearrangements will never do anything to solve society's hardest problems.
    society's hardest problems ultimately cannot be resolved until the problems have proportional representation in power and a system the actually rewards solving those problems over just pushing them under the rug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodarzna View Post
    That was a great idea for maybe 100 years ago or more. That ship has sailed.
    well 90% of us only got the vote 102 years ago in 1918, that's yesterday in the grand scheme, give us some time haha.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnysensible View Post
    the democratic peoples republic of yorkshire
    As a Yorkshireman, that has a bit of a ring to it....

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lothal View Post
    Well I think -something- should be done with NI, but not sure what. The complicity of the situation is self-evident from all the violence that has been going on there only recently.

    The main problem is that the current status quo is literally the result of an occupation and before something is done to change that symbolically at the least, the issue will remain an issue IMHO. Same for Scotland, although there the history runs even deeper ofc.
    Problem is the occupation of Ireland occurred over 500 years ago, and in that time a whole bunch of religious jiggery poker happend and from that a large number in the North ended up fanatically loyal to the UK. Any symbolic move to lessen the UKs ties to NI is met with violence from the red hand and UDF and any move closer is met with violence from the IRA, so its a no win situation no matter what you do, any movment either way means alot of blood no one wants to be responsible for.

    Scotland history is completly different, England and Scotland had many wars but Scotland was never conqured and occupied for any great length of time, Scotland joined the UK due to Darion affair as a big debt write off in the 1700s, our monarchy were joined befor that when the English line died out with Elizabeth the first and king james of Scotland became king of both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UnifiedDivide View Post
    As a Yorkshireman, that has a bit of a ring to it....
    Would need a dmz across the pennines to keep the the Lancashire federation out.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lothal View Post
    Yeah well this is precisely the reason the EU is a good idea - it hasn't been that long since the Balkans were bathing in blood. Now, the countries are all willing to give up their feuds in favour of joining the EU - and at that point, those feuds quickly start disappearing, as the young generation already identifies with the idea of the Schengen area and suddenly the borderside minorities cease to be an issue, because you have a higher unit you can identify with that just your nation.

    I think the NI was in a similar situation for a long time, and the feud may revive itself following Brexit.
    Careful, the Balkans are not a good example. The cultural and ethnical differences still linger and having a "higher unit idenity" did exactly squat for Yugoslavia. In the end, they broke free and conflict immediately flared up. I'm not convinced the Balkans are settled, right now all they do is promise everything the EU wants to join, like everyone else does. We'll see if they deliver and actually became peaceful peopel. Remember, their genocidal actions are barely 20 years over. And so far I've not seen any sign of actual peace. What we do see is that NATO still has troops in the region to make sure everyone understands the consequences of fucking shit up again.
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