Thursday, 2 February 2012

Peter Hain and Labour – ten years late!

The former Labour Government Minister Peter Hain, in a presentation at the London School of Economics, has claimed that Labour’s failure to devolve power to English regions has left a “festering sore.”

Mr Hain is reported as saying: “The English question has never been answered. And I’ve always thought that was a flaw in our approach to devolution and it’s left a kind of festering sore. My view, which fits with my own personal philosophy, is you need to decentralise power within England. England is still a very centralised part of Britain and the abolition of the regional development agencies by the Conservative-Liberal Government [has made it] even more centralised.”

Looking beyond England, he said: “I think the Celtic part of Britain is really important to what Britain is. It’s one of the main reasons why I wouldn’t want Scotland to go independent. I think the Scots would be diminished for it but I think Britain would be diminished for it.

Whatever he says now, I would remind Peter Hain that it was a Labour Government – in which he served as a Minister – that disgracefully ignored 50,000 declarations calling for a Cornish Assembly and then destroyed local government in Cornwall by imposing a unitary authority on us.

Mr Hain, all your fine words are a decade too late and an apology to the people of Cornwall would also be in order.

At this time, there needs to be a mature, respectful and wide-ranging debate about the future of the United Kingdom, and how it is governed. Government needs to address the unequal constitutional relationships between the various nations and regions of the UK, and to tackle the centralising influence of London and the South East of England.

And Mr Hain, will you be there with me making the case for the meaningful devolution of political powers to Cornwall?


Britnot said...

Dick, Given the mess he made on Welsh Devolution maybe you were lucky not to have him involved! I look forward, in the very near future to Kernow having its own parliament having learnt the lessons from the "botched" Welsh delivery!

lionel said...

Hain cares about only 100 things.

1. The Labour Party
2 His own Career
3. The Labour Party
4 The Labour Party
5-100. The Labour Party