Is Kezia Dugdale naively proposing war between
Scotland and England?
Kezia Dugdale’s naïve IPPR speech of the 7th December 2016 where she unveiled her proposal for a new Act of Union to save the UK could lead to ‘War’ between England and Scotland. History dictates it!
It is clear that Kezia Dugdale’s speech is putting Scottish and Scottish Labour party’s interests above the national rights of England. Parts of her speech (outlined below with responses) are interfering dangerously with the future constitutional stability of the UK by rejecting a collective voice for England in any discussions on the new Act of Union. She is following Gordon Brown’s line on English “Regions” and Brown is a Scot known for his anti-English stance.
To illustrate we need to examine what happens when other states divide. The creation of Pakistan in 1947 is a good example. How ridiculous would it have been if negotiations only occurred between Pakistanis and Pakistanis, with Indians being wholly excluded from the discussions?
Another more recent and sobering example is Tito’s Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia experienced constant weak reforms which failed to resolve key national problems.
In the end the continuation of Yugoslavia came to be seen as working against the majority nation, Serbia. Serbs became increasingly frustrated as they perceived that they were subsidising the others at the cost of their own standard of living. We therefore need to learn from the past and understand that only fair representation will stop the threat to maintaining a peaceful UK.
Eddie Bone, Campaign Director for the Campaign for an English Parliament said:-
“For a politician from a neighbouring nation to say that England should be broken-up for its benefit isn’t just naive it is beyond stupid!
The UK will not remain stable if one of the nations is broken up for the benefit of the others. Looking at history shows that the scenario Kezia Dugdale is proposing will potentially lead to war among the UK nations. For the sake of peace Kezia Dugdale must be told that she needs to respect England’s right to exist as a nation”.
Parts of Zezia Dugdale’s speech and responses
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (1)
The Act of Union of 1707 still underpins the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. In fact, it forms part of the argument that the Scottish Government will be using this afternoon in the Supreme Court.
Kezia Dugdale makes an incorrect fundamental point as the Act of Union of 1707 was between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland not the Kingdom of Scotland and “the rest of the United Kingdom”. As such her view is tainted by her own self-importance. Below is a chart outlining the evolution of the UK.
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (2)
Following the Tories’ Brexit gamble, we need a new Act of Union for this new century.
That is why the time has come for the rest of the UK to follow where Scotland led in the 1980s and 1990s and establish a People’s Constitutional Convention to re-establish the UK for a new age.
The convention should bring together groups to deliberate on the future of our country and propose a way forward that strengthens the UK and establishes a new political settlement for the whole of our country.
Kezia Dugdale’s People’s Constitutional Convention does not offer to discuss the concept of England being a nation that needs its own parliament and government. It is ‘ok’ for Scotland and Wales to be nations but England.
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (3)
This is a Convention that the Government should convene, and I have written to Theresa May today outlining Scottish Labour’s desire to see this happen. However, if the Government is not willing, as Gordon Brown has said, the opposition should convene a Convention.
So Scots will determine how England is governed!
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (4)
Some may say this is unrealistic, but it would follow the model of the Scottish Constitutional Convention which, without Government support, established the basis for the settlement that delivered a Scottish Parliament in 1999.
It would also – for the first time – provide a coherent approach to answering the question of how our country is best governed.
What country? The UK is a political construct not a Nation.
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (5)
While devolution has been positive for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we have to acknowledge that progress has been erratic and while there has been significant progress in some parts of the UK, other parts have been left behind.
Yes, is England which has been left to pay and was left without a parliament, government or a First Minister. However Kezia Dugdale isn’t proposing to correct that situation. She cannot even bring herself to mention England as a nation
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (6)
So I would not want the convention to just deliberate and report, but to produce a new Act of Union which would reaffirm the partnership between our nations and renew it for the future.
After more than 300 years, it is time for a new Act of Union to safeguard our family of nations for generations to come.
This would mean a radical reshaping of our country along federal lines where every component part of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions – take more responsibility for what happens in their own communities, but where we still maintain the protection of being part of a greater whole as the UK.
Kezia Dugdale, a Scot slowly but deliberately proposes the break-up of another nation: England – so that her ideology can be met. To propose to break-up another country is war talk.
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (7)
It would involve significant changes to how central Government operates.
I have argued before, during my leadership campaign, that the House of Lords should be replaced with a Senate of the Nations and Regions. This would rectify the anomaly that sees unelected Parliamentarians having significant influence over our laws, and it would modernise the UK’s governance arrangements.
I’ve also argued that it should sit outside of London – showing people in the rest of the UK that central Government does not need to operate in one square mile, and that power is on the move.
Kezia Dugdale reinforces her position that England should be broken-up and proposes the governmental changes required to ensure it cannot be reversed
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (8)
All of these issues would be considered by the convention, but there are two immediate key areas which have arisen because of Brexit where I believe there is a strong case for Scotland to take control, and these are both linked to the responsibilities that will soon return from Brussels.
The first are the powers over devolved areas such as fishing and agriculture. The UK Government is currently equivocating about whether these powers should be returned to London or to the devolved nations.
Kezia Dugdale now talks in terms of ‘London’ because she is implicitly claiming that it is a “Region”. She does not talk about the British government wanting to return powers.
Quoted from Kezia Dugdale’s speech (9)
Donald Dewar’s vision for devolution was that whatever is not reserved is devolved. These policy areas – clearly never reserved to the UK Government – should return to Scotland. If co-ordination is required at a UK level, it would be for the Scottish Government to make the choice about how this happens, with the Scottish and UK Governments negotiating on an equal footing.
The UK is in the middle of a historic moment in time that will determine the direction we take for a generation or more. If our ideas and values do not win out, the future of our politics is one of right wing populism and nationalism.
A settlement that not only secured Scotland’s place in the UK but secures a bright future for the UK as a whole through a new stronger union fit for the 21st century.
Kezia Dugdale here confirms the suspicion that she is talking as a Scot first and foremost – not as a British person. Her blatant hypocrisy is clear to see as she condemns nationalism but only after she declares her support for her own Scottish nation and claims that Scotland needs to be on a footing of equal importance to the UK government.