Letter: Power to choose still lies with London
ALEX Orr argues that the Localism Act in England demonstrates that the requirement for permissive legislation from Westminster for a separation referendum is unnecessary (Letters, 4 April).
However, the opposite is true. The fact is that Westminster is giving to local councils through legislation the power to hold referendums.
It demonstrates that, as creatures of statute, English local authorities would not have had the power to hold such referendums without this statutory power. Likewise, despite SNP myths to the contrary, the Scottish Parliament and Executive are also creatures of Westminster statute, and so also need legislative approval to hold a separation referendum.
It is shameful though to see an SNP spin doctor giving Scotland the same status as an English council area.
Is Alex Orr really telling us that, in the view of the SNP, the future of a country and its citizens equates to the ability of a council to hold a referendum on a planning matter and, therefore, the rules should be the same?
Maybe Tony Blair wasn’t too far out with his jibe about parish-pump politics.
In the 1970s, to distract from the clamour for Home Rule, the Labour government shifted the focus on to local government. The result: regionalisation.
In the 1990s, to distract from the clamour for Home Rule, the Tory government shifted the focus on to local government again.
The result: deregionalisation.
Now, in this decade, to distract from the campaign for an independent parliament, the coalition government is trying to shift the focus … you get my drift.
Where Scotland is concerned, the UK government of every colour feels safe messing about with local government because that’s never going to affect where the real power lies: over the economy, foreign affairs, making war and maintaining the UK’s imagined status in the world.
It might be different with jokes, but where strategies are concerned, the old ones aren’t necessarily the best.
Somebody should pass the word down to Cameron’s head prefect.
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