What barriers are there keeping the Uk from having more devolved government, like US states or Canadian or Australian provinces?It seems like a healthy way to go. I can certainly understand why there would be natural resentment to anyone outside the London orbit.
From what reading I've done (and I'm no expert on politics), the big difference between a federal system (USA, Canada, etc) and a devolved system (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but not currently England) is that in a devolved system, ultimate control still rests with the central government which has a constitutional remit to revoke devolved powers if it feels the situation calls for it. The right to have local government is written into each state's own constitution in a federal system and this is something that the central government cannot overrule.I do find it a little contradictory that Westminster on one hand is constantly pushing against giving over too much power to less local rule in Brussels while at the same time seeming to resist the expansion of local devolved powers within the UK.I've been thinking about the original question again. I'm proud to be Scottish first and foremost but am also proud of my British heritage and the part that Scotland has played in that. Much of the what made Britain "great" was after all forged from Scottish ingenuity and the blood of Scottish soldiers serving in the British army.If the referendum was tomorrow, I'd vote "Devo-max" if that was an option however if it was a straight yes or no, I think on reflection I'd have to vote "Yes" because I'd fear that a strong "No" vote would be misinterpreted as a general desire to retain as much power in Westminster as possible and could even result in a reduction in currently devolved powers. I don't think sufficient numbers would vote Yes for us to get independence but if they did, maybe it would be a sign that there might just be enough will to actually make it work.
Is there any move to an English Parliament? Where would it be? Somewhere like Birmingham or Manchester? Perhaps an ancient connection to Winchester?
I do feel that the English are getting left out of all of this and that there should be one or more assemblies that deal exclusively with local matters in England, leaving Westminster to deal with truly national issues. I don't know if the location of this is that important in this age of instant communications but I do think it should be clearly separated from Westminster. If that means siting it away from London then I'd probably suggest Birmingham or Manchester as good alternatives with decent transport links. Alternatively, how's about following historical precedent and using Winchester for a Southern assembly and York for a Northern one?
My first journey to the UK was this April, and one morning, while walking in Edinburgh, we noticed the Scottish government offices at St. Andrews house, which looks remarkably like one of the main government office buildings in SC's capital of Columbia. I suppose out of ignorance I was really surprised just how recent a move it has been to transfer some local services from Westminster to Edinburgh.
That was home of the Scottish Office since the 1930s I think. The new parliament building at Holyrood was opened in 2004 (with much controversy over its design and cost). Remember that while we've got a parliament now for the first time in hundreds of years, Scotland has always retained some amount of autonomy having for example our own very distinct set of laws and an entirely different education system to the rest of the UK.Just re-read this. Sorry for rambling on a bit over this!Pete.