Oh for fuck’s sake this is just the EU regions thing again

Ed Miliband is to promise to put powerful “city-region” government at the heart of a Labour attempt to rebalance growth in the UK, claiming his plan represents “the biggest economic devolution of power to England’s great towns and cities in a hundred years”.

He will say he is willing to hand over £4bn a year of Whitehall expenditure to city and county regions that cross current local government boundaries. The sum is double that proposed by the government.

He will make the commitment in a speech in Birmingham when he reveals the interim report of a review being drawn up by former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis.

Miliband will say: “The country that once built its prosperity on the great towns and cities, like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff has become a country which builds its prosperity far too much on one city: London.”

The need for a level of government set at city-region level has been underlined by the fact that 50% of urban workers live and work in different local authority areas. There are inadequate incentives for local authorities to work in partnership, the Adonis review has found.

Yes, yes, yes. This is just that thing about splitting England up into EU approved regions again. Except this time there’ll be no referendum, as Prescott had in the NE, to allow the people to object. Same damn policy with the same end in mind. If we break up England as a political entity then we can have that regional government and the EU government and the national bit in the middle doesn’t have much to do.

And guess where all the important decisions are going to get made in such a system? Quite, the one that we can’t vote out.

16 comments on “Oh for fuck’s sake this is just the EU regions thing again

  1. More government is never the answer.

    Why does it matter that people live in one area and work in another? Are the Petty Stalins worried that people might escape from their oppression somewhere between the two?

  2. I don’t see where the EU conspiracy comes in, but the whole “give money to local authorities” seems to be a neat way to boost stupid spending without being centrally accountable.

    What we need (well, what the UK needs, I’m an outsider to this particular circus) to do is to devolve both taxing and spending. Spendthrift, business-hating authorities will run out of other people’s money soon enough, but smarter ones will get out of the way for good housing and good schools to be build, to better lure affluent families into their tax catchment areas, and they will create sensible business regulation to lure businesses into their business rate dittos. All while competing with other authorities working under the same constraints to provide the best services for the lowest cost.

    Sort of like Switzerland. All we need (ha!) is for Westminster to let go.

  3. Ah, Martin, but Switzerland isn’t in the EU. The Swiss model wouldn’t work in the EU. The EU wouldn’t allow it.

  4. I would love to see cities given more authority. Let them make their own laws, raise their own taxes, spend their own money.

    That would be a revolution worth seeing.

  5. A transfer of £4bn – that is, less than 0.6% of total government spending in 2013 – is really “the biggest economic devolution of power to England’s cities and towns in a hundred years”?

  6. @ Martin Seebach:

    I don’t see where the EU conspiracy comes in

    You’re obviously kidding, unless perhaps you were “away” a decade or so ago!?

  7. Interested – “I would love to see cities given more authority. Let them make their own laws, raise their own taxes, spend their own money. That would be a revolution worth seeing.”

    I dimly remember cities used to be able to do just this. But then Thatcher took the power away from them. Because, obviously, The People’s Democratic Republic of Sheffield. And Liverpool.

    I can see the logic of it. It is unfortunate for the decent people in places like Liverpool to be part of a city run by loons. It is unfair for their property value to be trashed just because immigration brought in a wealth of looters and parasites.

    But on the other hand, how else will they learn? See Detroit.

  8. @SMFS yes though the problem with both D Town and Liverpool is that neither had full autonomy. If the rest if us had cut the Scousers absolutely loose under Hatton et al, and really let then have the Peoples’ Republic they pretended to want, even that bunch of whining workshy wasters would eventually have come to their senses. As it was, they could blame us for not giving them enough.

  9. Interested – “yes though the problem with both D Town and Liverpool is that neither had full autonomy. If the rest if us had cut the Scousers absolutely loose under Hatton et al, and really let then have the Peoples’ Republic they pretended to want, even that bunch of whining workshy wasters would eventually have come to their senses. As it was, they could blame us for not giving them enough.”

    I am not sure that is true. It has not been true of Detroit. Where the people of Detroit are still resisting Federal control. You would hope they would come to their senses, but WASP values are only found in WASPS. And the Trots, of course, want the whole system to collapse so the worse the better.

  10. The merging of large council groups is the path to euuww regions. My local council is increasingly just an expensive rubber-stamp for the county-council scum. Once the locals have been gutted and all power is at county-level (“to save costs”–which it doesn’t) then all they have to do is merge 2 or 3 counties (“to save costs”) and there is your euuuwww region–ready to balkanise the country–and this time no votes telling Prescott to get stuffed.

  11. Milliband will say: “The country that once built its prosperity on the great towns and cities…”
    And there was I thinking it was Capitalism, Free Trade and the Rule of Law that built the prosperity of the UK. Obviously it was just the presence of towns and cities.
    Cities like Manchester and Liverpool are currently going down the shitter largely because they’ve been run , for the last 60 years or more, by Millibands own benighted Party.

  12. This may or may not be linked in with the EU regions thing, but just like the Prescott-era regional government proposal, it’s a naked attempt to put Labour in control of as much of the country as possible for as long as possible. Look at the devolutionary proposals over the years.

    Scottish / Welsh devolution – Labour heartlands, which they can then lord over forever with their Nationalist Socialist brethren, irrespective of who controls Westminster.

    Prescott’s proposal to give Labour heartlands in the North devolution, so that they can control the North forever, irrespective of who controls Westminster.

    I’ll believe they’re truly interested in devolution, localism and self-determination when they propose English devolution (resulting in the perpetual Tory English parliament that England clearly wants), or regional assemblies in the Tory heartlands.

    But they won’t, since the only way for them to have control over (Southern) England is to ensure it’s ruled from Westminster, where Scottish and Welsh Labour votes can impose Labour policy on English voters who don’t want it but are expected to pay for it.

    So running on this theme, they can control the whole country from Westminster when they’re in govt there, and they can control much of the rest of it from devolved assemblies when they’re not.

  13. If that useless shite Camoron had the brains of a gnat (or Nat even) he would have forced boundary reform thro’ instead of failing and would have come down on labour postal vote fraud. Instead–nothing.

  14. If the Tories played politics like Labour, they’d be piling in on the YES campaign for Scottish independence.

    And asking the Welsh if they’d rather not like some of that too while we’re at it.

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