Westminster and the three devolved governments should conclude a new constitutional settlement for pooling sovereignty within the UK, with fresh powers and competences given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to control their people’s destinies. Otherwise, it will only undermine the current devolution settlement and assume even greater central powers in the name of national (UK) sovereignty’.
‘The polls do not indicate a pro-independence surge, but after the shock of 2016 only a fool would predict the outcome with confidence. Westminster could in principle refuse to allow another referendum, but emulating Madrid’s handling of Catalonia would surely not be the right course of action.’
Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall is worried that ideological purity should be the test for becoming a Labour candidate. ‘All of the voices on the left should have a place in the Labour Party if it is to succeed. Even the voices of sad old men.’
‘Marx therefore helps us make sense of modern power relations after all. Then, as now, there is no contradiction between capitalism and crisis: it is a process of historical development and economic transition within the system.’
‘For me, the surprise is more in the way the media and parliamentary system has reacted to ‘target-gate’. We have had almost two decades of opposition parties, select communities and the media grilling governments on their failure to meet removals targets. This criticism has now been turned on its head: the fault lies in setting such clunky and unethical targets in the first place – not in the failure to meet them.’
‘With hindsight there was a poignant contrast between the generous spirit in the hall and the fearful politics brewing in the real world outside’. Fay Young on positive community activism and a general election result that ushered in Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’.
It is time that decommissioning policy be hastily re-examined in the UK. The government needs to commission a full evidence-based report into the environmental, social and economic benefits, comparing them to other options such as building more green energy stations and even spending the money on things like health or education.
‘When the UK government reneged on the Child Poverty Act 2010 with its goal of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020, Scotland dissented and set about introducing an equivalent goal for Scotland.’
‘It’s time to think what was supposed to be unthinkable in the Brexit negotiations over the last 12 months: that England will wave goodbye to Northern Ireland as a necessary price for Hard Brexit, giving Northern Ireland a special status within the UK and towards the EU….’
Is winter never going to end? Seeking hope in poetry, Fay Young finds a kind of answer in Christina Rossetti’s poem Another Spring, whose sad-sweet longing seems to capture the mood of the moment.