Tag Archives: regionalism

Is regional devolution the way forward?

Many states around the world, such as the USA and Germany, are federations made up of relatively individual regions that enjoy varying degrees of autonomy. Here in the UK, we have devolution. Powers given to elected representatives (separate from those in the House of Commons) in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and a handful of “combined unitary authorities” in England. Each have had different successes and failures and each have their own problems and strengths. So how do we learn from these to make them, and new ones, better in the future and what form should that take?

I, for one, would advocate for the idea of more regionalisation via regional devolution. We have seen in countries like Portugal, Italy and already the UK that this can work but I would like to see it work everywhere. Manchester and the West Midlands are great examples of how giving political power to the areas closest to the action result in benefits such as better local economy, as seen in the West Midlands with the region having an economy similar to some European countries such as Slovakia, and greater political satisfaction, shown by Andy Burnham’s (relative) popularity.

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

Leaving London

Britain is one of the most overcentralized countries in the Western world. Our political and financial institutions are concentrated in London, perpetuating regional inequality and overburdening the capital’s underfunded public services.

London might be open but it’s also full: strangers share bedrooms; commuters collapse on crowded trains, gentrification ravages local communities, savings accounts stay empty and the Westminster bubble remains as tight and cosy as ever.

There seems to be no end in sight to London-centrism. Jobs flow to London without serious consideration being paid to whether or not they might be better off elsewhere. For example, in 2015 George Osborne decided …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Regional Branding: the path to recovery

Christmas looks a little more cheerful for the Lib Dems after a string of November council by-election results but so far as national opinion polls go we are bumping along the bottom.

Given such data, it would be unsafe to draw the conclusion that are resolute anti-Brexit stance is paying dividends. It may well do so when some turn of events demonstrates to the vast swathes of voters that Brexit was a catastrophic economic and political mistake, but no-one just now is holding their breath. There may well come that Iraq moment when the party’s wisdom is demonstrably vindicated but …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 44 Comments
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