by Henry Hill
Wednesday, 28
April 2021

Tony Blair is still deluded about devolution

The PM won't face the realities of the separatism he helped to create
by Henry Hill

The huge damage that devolution has done to the United Kingdom is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore.

Consider the abject state of the Welsh schools and hospitals, an embarrassing Scottish election, and Northern Ireland’s endless cycle of crises. They dispel any hope that devolution might deliver better, more responsive government.

As for “killing nationalism stone dead”, well. The SNP have a stranglehold on government in Edinburgh, while Welsh Labour is running pro-independence candidates, accusing British ministers of “colonial attitudes”, and declaring that “the UK is over”.

This explains why devoscepticism is on the rise in unionist circles. It offers a simple explanation for the dynamics at play: devolution creates a class of rent-seekers whose interests are best served by demanding money and power while shifting the blame for their mistakes onto Westminster. A weaker Union is the obvious, inevitable result.

But if you’re unwilling to accept this logic for some reason — for example, you are primarily to blame for devolution happening in the first place — your options are limited. There’s the sort of magical thinking that suggests the solution to Scottish grievances is an English Parliament and a Senate… or there’s alternative history.

This latter is Tony Blair’s go-to excuse. In an interview with ITV, the former Prime Minister’s said that: “If the Labour Party hadn’t implemented its manifesto commitment to do devolution in 1997, the union would already be in tatters.”

Among committed devolutionaries, this is an article of faith. Which is not to say it is plausible. Without devolution on the New Labour plan there would have been no infrastructure for the devocrats, and latterly the separatists, to take over and turn against Britain. Nor would unionists have been reduced to trying to persuade voters to reject the nationalists’ conclusions while defending a system built on the nationalists’ central premise: that Britain is not a good, or even legitimate, political community.

But it is also an intellectual sleight of hand. The assertion that things would have been worse had new Labour held the line (rather than actively nudging the Welsh Assembly over the line by delaying voting) is unfalsifiable. Thus, accepting it transforms devolution from a thesis which can be tested against evidence into a premise that precedes evidence.

It’s important to remember this when the usual suspects are telling us that the only solution is yet another hollowing out of the British state. They are simply offering up the only answer afforded them by a set of beliefs whose primary purpose seems to be ensuring that, whatever happens, they never have to admit they got a very big call catastrophically wrong.

Even imprisoned by the need to vindicate his legacy, Blair remains perceptive. When he talks about the need to “real cultural ties and emphasise the enormous things that the different countries in the United Kingdom have in common”, he’s on the money.

But devolution has empowered nationalists and separatists to shrink the sphere of what we have in common year by year, and obscure much of the rest behind posturing and poisonous rhetoric. Only the British state can sustain the British nation. What we really need in common is a government.

Join the discussion

  • If independence was voted on in a referendum UK wide for Scotland, Wales and NI, then (England being the most populous country) all 3 would be leaving

  • Perhaps the options available in the next referendum should be a) full independence within 12 months or b) removal of the Scottish parliament to be replaced by city Mayors and full integration back into the UK with control from Westminster.

  • His party is consistent and is incompatible with England itself. Some of its member sing about keeping the red flag flying and are ashamed of our “fascist” Union flag.
    For example: The Blair Devolution was made against England, it was not universally the same, not around local populations everywhere, but England was given special treatment. England was not represented and was split and those other “nations” which could unite against England were kept intact and united. It is a recipe for disaster and nationalism, and the more it continues the less it will be possible to rescue the nation which was mistaken enough to vote for the Marxist Party, the same party which also broke up and destroyed the Empire after 1945. So many successful colonies are now failures with their populations in little boats on our shores. Labour seems to operate under the moto: “if it works, break it”.
    The British Empire unlike Marxism, and any other Empire or ideology, religious or political designed by men our Empire built real paradises to which people from other cultures and states would be prepared to die with their children to try and get in, NO OTHER IDEOLOGY can show anything like that, specially Marxism, so why are the young being taught to aspire to Marxism, it is incredible how successful the Marxists have been in turning the entire culture around.
    That yes, the Marxists left the Marxist Empires of Russia and China intact of course! I can’t understand how we can’t see what they have been doing to us.
    Some of the colonies were successful but not ready to be independent (like the former “breadbasket of Africa” Rhodesia which today can’t even feed itself!). Today we are confronted with an Empire recreated internally in our country, thanks in great measure to Blair! That “internal Empire” too will fail because of the Marxists using “critical race theory” or whatever the Marxists can lay their hands on to break us up again and again. To destroy our State.
    This shouldn’t be happening in the UK (as in France). Marxist Parties like Labour are a catastrophe for England, the 2019 Marxist objective was to brain wash the English kids against their greatness, split England and let anybody in to the country. It is hard to understand how this Marxist party of Blair can be a main UK party after the amount of damage which it has done.

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