A Devolution Enabling Act

Posted: December 13, 2009 in democracy, devolution, english question, unlock democracy

A transcript of Peter Facey‘s speech to the Campaign for an English Parliament’s Future of England debate can be found here on the –English Parliament online– website.

Without any surprise whatsoever the first comment left at the bottom of the article is an attack directed at Facey for his use of English and Cornish as equal national identities when describing his own family heritage. Thank god some things, swivel-eyed English nationalists for example, can be relied upon in this chaotic world of ours.

Although Peter Facey, director of Unlock Democracy, is clearly not in his right mind either, as evidenced by the “people of Devon know that they are equal if not better than the people of Cornwall” comment, his idea of a Devolution Enabling Act should still interest a few here.

An extract of the transcript can be found below.

We should have two principles.

Firstly, it should be driven from the bottom not the top, so that either local authorities or people via petition can trigger it. That would encourage competition between rival campaigners. Those of you who campaign for an English Parliament would have an opportunity to trigger a referendum, pull down power, and have an English parliament, if you persuade the people of England that that is what they wanted. But also other people, like the campaigners in Cornwall – who have raised 50,000 signatures for a Cornish Assembly – could actually have a Cornish Assembly, if they could get it.

And the second principle would be that power, once devolved, could not be taken away and back to the centre without the consent of the people in that area.

To me, that seems like it could be a step in the right direction towards respecting the right of both the Cornish and English nations to greater self-determination. A vital missing ingredient however is our actual de jure constitutional position. For the Cornish to have a just settlement this too must be figured into the equation.

Whilst on the subject of Unlock Democracy they are in the process of re-launcheding their Democracy and Human Rights Hub with its regular e-mail newsletter. Full details can be found on their website. In the past they have featured the DOCHA website as well as articles from CoSERG and the Constitutional Convention. Please do get intouch with them if your organisation produces anything you think may be suitable for inclusion.

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