“I’m all for ditching FPTP and had thought PR could be better but can you tell me about regional devolution and how it will affect the way things work?
I’m aware we have lots of ducks to get in a row before we can have a sensible democracy (the media and factual responsibility in Parliament etc) but I don’t know about how regional devolution works.”
Well, modern democracy is delivered pretty much everywhere through a federation of smaller states, regions, nations or whatever they are called.
You can look at Germany and Spain for examples. USA, Canada, Australia, Italy too.
Even in GB, Scottish and Welsh residents have TWO chances to select their politics AND they have STV for their local parliaments already.
So, more or less, we’re talking about 9 English regions, each with similar powers to Scotland and Wales – and there is a UK federal chamber with equal representation from each region or nation.
Basically, this reform is 90% of the reform we require and it enables other reforms like rejoining the EU, PR, “leveling up”, written constitution, etc.
This is a developing policy – the British have for so long been in a kind of empire-system, many here, on both left and right, just don’t get it. Like Stockholm Syndrome.
But the stars are aligning. This is how the northern English regions finally gain sovereignty and how Scotland can exist in UK. It’s both a Corbyn and a Starmer idea and the other non-Tory parties will get on board too.
“Yes Northern English regions have historically and recently been extremely short changed in terms of investment for sure. Would we then need something like the Barnard formula for each area? I can’t see Westminster ever giving up their power”
Something like the Barnard formula. Germany, Spain, USA, etc will have ways of allocating federal funds. We don’t need to invent much really!
The key thing is not so much northern English regions starved of investments. They are starved of the democratic POWER to attract or allocate any investments. The only regions in Europe with no direct say over how to spend EU regional funding, for example – not a coincidence that these regions voted for Brexit.
But the good thing about this is that all the parties can profit from it. With a Labour federal coalition government, the Tories, for example, might still control the South England region, and deliver some Tory policies for their supporters there.
If you look at Germany and Spain, parties on both sides have profited from a devolved system. In Germany, the Greens and AfD both started at state level. The Greens went on to federal level but AfD less so. In Spain, the same with Vox and to a lesser extent Podemos.
It’s almost like the people can try out a new party, see how it goes and then deploy it nationwide. Grown up, sensible politics.
You can even say that UKIP profited from having a non-Westminster parliament to evolve in – the EU Parliament.
It is really a party-neutral idea – it is better democracy for everyone, more options, more control, more enfranchisement, and if anything helps the Westminster machine focus on those UK-wide and international issues.