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Boundary changes, Scottish independence and party funding reform could prevent Labour ever winning a
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Tags: Boundary Changes George Osborne David Cameron Labour
I see there are the inevitable "Little Englander" jibes.
I'd rather be a "Little Englander" than a Wee Jock.
Stephen Gash is an English Nationalist like myself but there ends any similarity. Much like I hope yourself and the ranters that appear on this site from Scotland. You are of course right about we mongrel English, I have family in Scotland and Wales and when my name was researched and was found to originate from Norman, comments were passed.
All I as an Englishman, want is equality with Scotland and Wales and if the Scots break up the Union with Independence it won't worry me at all. Much like the majority of the English.
But no objections to the lower ratio of constituents to MP built in to the traditional Labour areas? These changes don't fix it for anyone: they LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD.
Funny how abolishing gerrymandering is attacked as gerrymandering by the gerrymanderers in chief.
twaddle, in 1997 teh Union smade up 30% of laoburs money, even with them not being able to give half as huch its still a large amount they'd have had then, scottish Independence was even more popualr in 1988 with a rogue poll saying that 50% wnated it ,not quite liked the idea, And the boundary changes still give labour a (small) elelctoral advantage, like they had in 1974, Not as much as 2001 where they could have got less votes than the tories and stil won, But still a small advantage,
I see the card carrying fascists are back at it again spreading discontent, lies and racist bile.
Yes, Mr Stephen Gash, take a bow!
As a non-Labour supporter what is most noticeable is that nobody seems to be asking "Does the Labour Party DESERVE to return to power?".
The Conservatives may well have a long-term future in power but that's because most people in England agree with their idea of how a country should work and their policies on issues like immigration.
What exactly is Labour offering? Tory-lite but without the fiscal expertise? A party that has "better intentions" than the Conservatives when it comes to social mobility et al, but whose delivery based on the experience of the Blair/Brown years will be no better and in the case of civil liberties almost infinitely worse?
What exactly does Labour have to offer? If it is not what people in England want, then why should they vote for you?
The Queen wouldn't have to hand back Balmoral by the way (the tussle is over the ownership of the seabeds of the Crown Estates, currently generating revenue as well as renewables which common law gives to the crown but scots law gives to Scotland). We'd just go to a commonwealth model of governor-general & independent parliaments like they have in Australia/NZ/Canada).
DeanB: Scots law on divorce says debts, like assets are divided 50/50
Not wishing to be crude, BUT... in the Scots vernacular, "Gash" is a highly appropriate surname for a racist (look it up Stevie)!
It couldn't be more apt.
Bit patronising, Lusina. You think the Scots are "too clever" to consider breaking up the union? But we will break up the union-not out of cleverness or stupidity, but out of confidence and realism.
What is it with you Fabians and your obsession with the Britannia cult?
The Tories won a substantial majority of English seats at the general election. Many English people voted out Gordon Brown because they objected to an MP elected in Scotland being England's de facto First Minister and because they objected to Labour's continued committment to the balkanisation of England through regional government. The Labour British government tried to ignore the 78% NO vote in the NE England referendum.
Until Labour decide to offer England the same deal as Scotland Wales and N.Ireland ie our own English Parliament, English Government and English First Minister I suspect that most English people will exercise their democratic right to continue with the less dangerous (to England)Tories.
Helen Wright, I wonder if you've the brains to see what's funny about a sentence saying Celts are racist.
Crawl back to your bungalow, you cretin.
didn't new labour try this by importing voters?
that didn't seem to alarm any one.
that wasn't just gerrymandering, it was an outright attack on parliamentary democracy and the British peoples right to self determination.
but it was new labour, so it was alright.
Interesting article, even more interesting comments...
Scotland no longer behaving like an obedient puppy and not before time the country is recognising what a crap deal the union really is!
Still in bed with an elephant, but for how much longer?
@Aaron Bowers & Lox
Helen Wright is correct. Celts are racist. The very fact Scots, Welsh and Irish call themselves Celts is a racist act. "Celt" is a four-letter word that they bellow to the world in order to say they are not English. They have lumped themselves together into this mythical race in order to portray themselves as mythical victims of the English. Every utterance they make about the UK is to compare themselves favourably to the English and laying the blame for absolutely everything on the English doorstep.
If all the iniquities dumped on the English by devolution is not racism I'd like to know what is.
The LibLabCON are united in their Anglophobia, as are Scots, Welsh and Irish. They give every impression that the only reason for them existing is to hate the English.
Bizarre Observer article!
Never having had either Labour's huge Union funds nor the Tories' vast business lucre [with one criminal exception], the Lib Dems have no interest in any Party funding policy that makes their own financial situation relatively even worse c.f. either of the big two Parties. A £50,000 per person per year cap is not therefore a runner. £1000 might be.
The article I mentioned above is now online.
Size doesn’t matter: A new book reveals that redrawing constituency boundaries will not address any bias in the electoral system
Take away votes, bring in violence.
There is a Big Conservative majority in 'England', if thats not palatable than thats just too bad, the Scottish, Welsh and N Irish EU Regions have all voted for a degree of separation, and will continue to do so, these Regions should have no say over England whatsoever, the laughably titled "United Kingdom" is a total sham! English Parliament and Government NOW!.
^ Errr, no...
Can't the Tories be challenged in the courts for their jerrymandering?
Livers: Removing an unfair advantage is not gerrymandering. It is anti-gerrymandering.
Have the Tories given up on the idea of winning a majority by governing competently? George Osborne should spend more time thinking about how he's going to get the UK economy growing again instead of fantasising about a permanent Tory Government.
Worrying. I'm praying for an (unlikely) election before 2013. Otherwise we could be heading towards perpetual Tory hegemony. A sort of Victorian-era dystopia :(
Scottish independence is a pipe dream, when Iceland went belly up, the Scottish nation dream died.
Im really pleased that Scotland will finally get independence.
As an Englishman who has no interest in that foreign land I am often mystified by Scotland's obsession with England.
To most English, Scotland is of little consequence. To Scotland , England is their major trading partner.
Following Scottish independence, England will have no incentive to buy Scottish goods, Whiskey, Salmon, et al.
I sopped awhile ago - come on English peoples wheen yourself off anything Scottish and buy your goods from elsewhere -show OUR independence immediately
With regards to the boundary changes:
It's one thing to equalize the constituency sizes, but why reduce the number of MP's?
How is increasing the number of people in a constituency - and thereby increasing the workload of an MP- good for democracy?
In this increasingly globalized world, there is strength in numbers both in terms of people and other resources a country can bring to bear to the global arena. I for one believe the system in place for the UK has the ability to correct any inequities making separation an unnecessary exercise. Whether in the reduced domain, tory or labour will have an advantage is but a shortsighted political calculation.
Am I alone in thinking the donation cap is is a good thing? If anything the proposed £50,000 cap is still too high, it should be more like £50!
Why should somebody be forced into giving their money to the Labour Party just because they want to be in a union?
Plus Labour can't complain about gerrymandering as they currently have an unfair advantage (They had a majority of MPs from 1997-2010 despite never winning a majority of votes) so it's already gerrymandered in their favour, and if they really are opposed to gerrymandering then why didn't they bother try and bring in a proportional system whilst in power? The fact is they aren't, it's just a case of them not minding it when it's to their advantage.
And as for the possible demise of Labour... So what? Why should Labour have a monopoly over progressive politics?
PS... UK - Scotland =/= England!!!
Our MPs have far fewer constituents than most other democracies.
@Nick Reducing the number of elected MP's while increasing the number of unelected appointees in House of Lords. It's nothing to do with democracy, it's about seeking party political advantage.
Lusina,you think Labour will never be deprived of the Scottish vote.They emphatically were a few weeks ago when they lost their second Scottish General Election on the trot.Most of the Labour Central Belt heartland seats in Glasgow,Lothians,Lanarkshire,Ayrshireand Renfrewshire have gone,yet you think we're just having a laugh and those reliable Labour supporting Jocks will be back onside at the next 'national' election.Labour are now getting their reward for their hubristic manipulation of Scotland over many decades.The SNP offers Scotland the chance to progress socially,culturally and economically as well as becoming the renewable energy capital of Europe.Labour,with utterly disgusting cynicism,wants to keep Scotland under the London Establishment thumb in the hope of retaining parliamentary seats.A paradigm shift has taken place in Scottish politics.Labour might yet win the odd skirmish in Scotland, but it'll be fighting a rearguard action from now until the iniquitous Act of Union is dissolved.
That's right, because the period 1837-1901 was wall-to-wall Tory rule with no radicalisation of politics whatsoever. My big colour book of Victorian England also tells me that the Victorians covered up piano legs because they were too arousing, because there's a ton of evidence that that really happened.
Sorry, I get annoyed whenever someone spouts the repressive Victorians/liberated moderns line. It is, ironically enough, a very Conservative model of history.
So anyway... yes, this is worrying, but isn't it also rather illiberal to oppose the independence of a country because we won't like the political consequences for ourselves? And as for the donations cap - isn't this actually quite a good idea? Labour may have their trade union income, but how does this compare to the Tory offshore millionaires fund? (I'm not being sarcastic; I don't know how the figures compare). Or is the New Statesman really arguing that parties should have disparate influence according to how much money they have?
Are you showing your independence from any trace of intelligence, Simon?
Really Ehtch Tee, on the happy pills a bit early aren't you? A bit typical when you lose an arguement to start accusing me of being a bit Hitler like. Is it because you are all bitter and twisted because my lads used to throw you out of Golddiggers all those years ago on a regular basis, yes it was I.
It would be great to think that the Tories were plotting to dump Scotland, but sadly that is not credible. We will just have to hope that Alex Salmond succeeds in his plan to set England free.
They aren't forced. Union members can opt out at any time if they do not wish any percentage of their membership fee to contribute to a political party.
Sepp Blatter just elected as the only candidate, bit like Gordon Brown farky. Who do you think you are kidding, the last three Prime Ministers of this busted Union have all been Scots! It's the English who have been behaving like obedient puppies but not much longer. Thats why we want to vote in the Scottish Referendum on Independence, just to make sure you go!
Matthew Fox is absolutely right. In Scotland we only have 30% support indepedence, even while there's majority support for the SNP.
Depending on the how the referendum campaign is run, I can't imagine there being a Yes vote (although it would split into a SNP vs Lab/Lib/Con race, and it's been all too proven how much more popular the SNP are than all of those three).
To say that the SNP winning a majority in the Scottish Parliament, making the referendum/independence more likely, was part of Conservative strategy is ridiculous.
There may be some, like Portillo, who don't necessarily see it as a bad thing, but if it is part of their strategy means that they have been trying to bring it about, and I don't believe there are many conservatives who tried to give the SNP a boost in the elections.
It is no doubt Scotland has been suffocated to a degree in being governed by Westminster, as symbolised by such small minded uneducated comments in certain comment posts somewhere above. Incredible amount of scientists and engineers sprung from Scotland, and their maths abilty is impressive, on average. May it long continue.
And further to my Tiger Bay reference above, this is a marvellous clip from there from the early 1960's by the marvellous Gwyn Thomas. I like his comment when he said that when children of different races get together, civilisation grows an inch,
Also, Ricardo's got a very valid point. If Labour are so worried about this, then why didn't they bring in any kind of electoral reform while in power, which they promised in '97?
Because they're about as progressive as Thatcher at Wimbledon, that's why.
I "lol" heartily at all the sound and fury on display in this thread.
Last gasps of an angry failure, raging against the inequities of life....
Do the Scottish people really want to end up like Iceland and Ireland?
The romantic notion of independence always gets washed away with cold hearted economics.
Ireland has been bankrolled by the EU, and the British Taxpayer, is subsidising Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate.
31 May 2011 at 23:35
"Incredible amount of scientists and engineers sprung from Scotland, and their maths ability is impressive, on average. May it long continue."
if they are that good at maths, they could tell me, how many Scots pay more into the system than take out of it and, therefor, how long will it be before England, via Europe, has to bail out Scotland due to insolvency.
see what I mean? Jeez!
Oil and gas my friend, oil and gas. Ok, financially it has been manipulated that is on The City's books, but if it was always on Hollyrood/Edinburgh books, they would be coining it for the last forty years. There is only 5.2 mill people there they have got to look after, after all.
I've never understand how Salmond got away with his opportunist economic neoliberalism until this election but now I see why.
Basically Labour didn't offer any vision of devolution to combat it.
In order to defeat the SNP (which will be horrendously difficult), Labour will have to play an extremely canny game to combat it.
Labour should probably team up with the SNP to demand new economic powers but team up with the Greens and oppose the corporation tax cut.
Apologies, I was under the impression that the unions gave a lump of the money that they raised from membership fees to Labour, as opposed to acting as a middle man and passing on their members' monies to the party with their permission. (My union is not associated with Labour, hence why I'm not clued up on all this)
If that is the case then I don't see why that should be a problem under the new rules, as they are clearly each a donation for each member is under £50,000.
But out of interest, if a Union gives £20 per member per year to Labour (I apologise if that figure is way out!) and Membership fees cost £120 per year including that donation, does that mean fees for those who don't donate cost just £100 per year?
@ Matthew Fox - would you rather live in a nice big country like Spain or Britain, or in one of those tiny basket cases like Norway and Finland?
Furthermore we don't know what the actual referendum question will be as the 'debate' about independence is becoming more nuanced and complicated.
Apparently Salmond is going to design a question he thinks it'll win.
Certainly the role of the Murdoch press is extremely worrying in all of this (supporting the SNP and the tories in England), it seems like a classic 'divide and rule' strategy as far from an independent Scotland shifting things to the left (for miconceived anti imperialist reasons), corporations could end up with more power etc with both England and Scotland shifting rightwards.
@Stephen Gash, ALL Celts are racist? Do you realise how imbecilic that sounds?
I don't call myself a Celt, and nor does anyone else I know. I'm Scottish: racially I'm white, of Irish ancestry, and judging by my pigmentation there's probably some Mediterranean/Southern European blood in there too. I'm happy to be a mongrel: how about you? Or do you see yourself as being racially "pure"?
Scottish Independence. I wonder what the SNP would think of an English Independence vote, where the English decided to cut free Scotland, I suspect there will be more than a few squeeky bums, when the English parliament took back the £billions invested in keeping the RBS afloat, and no longer bankrolled their spending. North Sea Oil, by all means, keep it, once the investment by the rest of the UK is paid back.
Cant wait for independence for England!
George Eaton (@georgeeaton) is editor of The Staggers blog