Thursday, July 05, 2007

More Regional Government for England

Now there are to be ministers for the English Regions. Ours is Barbara Follet, who said:
We need to give English regions representation. I want to give the East of England a real voice.
Right. The East of England already has the East of England Regional Assembly, or EERA, which I happen to sit on. Now, this is nothing like Scottish and Welsh devolution as the members are either Councillors, or simply appointed. The appointees have the balance of power, ensuring that the body lacks any democratic legitimacy, and the EERA doesn't even have any proper rules of debate or voting procedures. So, things go through on a show of hands without named votes. This means unelected members deciding things for the people of the East of England without having to take any responsibility, because no-one knows who actually voted for anything, just the numbers. Not surprisingly, EERA has less credibility than most village fete committees and it, and similar bodies for the rest of England, have not quelled the groundswell of dissatisfaction over the democratic deficit between Scotland and England, where Scottish MPs can decide English policy but not vice versa. Brown's answer, apparently, is to sideline the assemblies and bring in ministers for the regions. Frankly, the idea that this represents a re-balancing of the constitution is laughable. Until a government actually grips this issue then the call for English votes for English laws will continue to resonate.


wonkotsane said...

Good to see opposition to No Mandate Brown's self-serving regionalisation agenda but what are you going to do about it?

Too often I hear "I'm opposed to regionalisation" but when asked what they're going to do about it they say "we can't do anything until we're in power".

There's a reason why Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition are paid an MPs salary and that's to oppose the government. No point employing them as HM Opposition if they can't do the job.

West Midlands NO! Campaign

Steve Horgan said...

What we do is, publicise the issues, put pressure on the Government and support the Conservative opposition when have a policy to abolish all of the English regional structures and devolve power back to elected local authorities as soon as they can.

Good site, by the way