Sunday, 30 October 2011

A few political predictions few will believe...........

The conventional political wisdom is that some ideas are dead and unlikely to to see the light of day for a generation. So just for the record and so I can claim mystical powers when my predictions come true:

British Membership of the Euro
Electoral Reform
Federalism within England/UK (and Europe for that matter


At the at Conference in September I suggested to Jon Ball -late of this Parish and now resident in Ealing- that the Euro would be back on the political agenda. He did not agree! Now is not the time to go into great detail  in support of my view but basically I have always thought that the Eurozone countries would always land up doing what ever it takes to sort the crisis and that post crisis economic growth would return to those countries. The single market and the high proportion of UK trade with zone will mean that we will inevitably be tagging on behind with no authority and no choice-much like the Irish Pound used to do with Sterling. I know it is unfashionable view decades of euro sceptic propoganda from Murdoch etc have poisoned the debate -but as Will Hutton notes in his Observer column this morning:

................ England will dissociate from the EU and try to build an economy as an offshore financial and tax-avoidance centre. Scotland, horrified by the options offered by England, will vote for independence and join the eurozone, leaving England as the country of Little Englanders.

But there is another future – holding Britain together as a federation, building a high innovation economy and aiming eventually to be in the same political club, with its currency, as the best in Europe. I know my preferred option and I suspect, if ever spelled out in these terms, it would be shared by most of Britons. But the chances of that are negligible. To get there, we may have first to drink deeply from the eurosceptic cup of failure.

Electoral Reform
The Labour Party will belatedly wake up to political reality. Boundary reform will lead to fewer MP's in Wales and the same in  Scotland and more of what is left from SNP.   (that's if they don't win the Independence Referendum) means that there will a permanent Tory majority  in Westminster. 

Regionalism UK federalism
The distaste for elected Big City Mayors clearly evident in this part of the world and echoed in Birmingham means that England is the most grossly over centralised nation in Europe. We need the benefits of devolution clearly evident in Scotland and Wales-and even London. Just because Pescott screwed up English regionalism by incompetence doesn't mean that the status quo is acceptable.  

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