All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Decentralization: An Institutional Strategy of Appeasement
Unformatted Document Text:  27 Devolving power to the English regions thus would not increase Labour’s seat totals. And, worse, it would have resulted in increased electoral problems for Labour, given that 57% of 1979 Labour voters in English districts (and nearly that same percentage in its English Northern strongholds) supported “keeping government as it has been” as opposed to only 7% of English Labour voters (and 10% of Labour voters in Northern England) who were in favor of regional assemblies. 46 Similarly, it would have led to the defection of anti-devolution Labour MPs and the possible turnover in support in those necessary Westminster seats. 47 Cognizant of this situation, the Callaghan government employed economic concessions rather than make any changes to the governing structure to appease those Northern Labour MPs who saw devolution as a solution to regional inequities (Guthrie and McLean 1978: 198-9). The topic of English regional assemblies was raised again by the Labour Party in 1995 and 1996, again in response to the threats by Northern English Labour MPs to rebel over Scottish devolution (Morgan and Mungham 2000: 40). And a bill on the decentralization of largely administrative powers to directly elected regional bodies was presented by the Labour Government in 2002. Consistent with the ideas that central governments do not give away power unnecessarily and that decentralization is an electoral strategy to appease regionalist threats, the bill proposed the creation of assemblies in only certain regions – specifically, Labour strongholds of the North – and then only if there was sufficient public demand for the initiative. 48 46 Calculations from British Election Study, 1979. 47 In addition, English devolution, like all devolution, could result in the creation of subnational assemblies that Labour would not control. Ronald W. Brown, Chairman of the London Group of Labour MPs, noted this cost in his July 16, 1981 letter to Labour leader Michael Foot: “English Regional Government would mean a South East Government in our Region and Labour control of London would be lost.” LPA, Foot Papers, Letter from Ronald W. Brown, Chairman of the London Group of Labour MPs, to Michael Foot, MP, Leader of the Labour Party, 16 July 1981. 48 Referenda on the creation of regional assemblies were initially planned for three regions: the North East, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber. According to Governmental Task forces, there was significant demand for decentralization to warrant assemblies and referenda in each of these regions. However, MPs and scholars were quick to point out that these were not the only areas pushing for decentralization (see the discussion of Cornwall by

Authors: Meguid, Bonnie.
first   previous   Page 28 of 43   next   last



background image
27
Devolving power to the English regions thus would not increase Labour’s seat totals.
And, worse, it would have resulted in increased electoral problems for Labour, given that 57% of
1979 Labour voters in English districts (and nearly that same percentage in its English Northern
strongholds) supported “keeping government as it has been” as opposed to only 7% of English
Labour voters (and 10% of Labour voters in Northern England) who were in favor of regional
assemblies.
46
Similarly, it would have led to the defection of anti-devolution Labour MPs and
the possible turnover in support in those necessary Westminster seats.
47
Cognizant of this
situation, the Callaghan government employed economic concessions rather than make any
changes to the governing structure to appease those Northern Labour MPs who saw devolution
as a solution to regional inequities (Guthrie and McLean 1978: 198-9).
The topic of English regional assemblies was raised again by the Labour Party in 1995
and 1996, again in response to the threats by Northern English Labour MPs to rebel over Scottish
devolution (Morgan and Mungham 2000: 40). And a bill on the decentralization of largely
administrative powers to directly elected regional bodies was presented by the Labour
Government in 2002. Consistent with the ideas that central governments do not give away
power unnecessarily and that decentralization is an electoral strategy to appease regionalist
threats, the bill proposed the creation of assemblies in only certain regions – specifically, Labour
strongholds of the North – and then only if there was sufficient public demand for the initiative.
48
46
Calculations from British Election Study, 1979.
47
In addition, English devolution, like all devolution, could result in the creation of subnational assemblies that
Labour would not control. Ronald W. Brown, Chairman of the London Group of Labour MPs, noted this cost in his
July 16, 1981 letter to Labour leader Michael Foot: “English Regional Government would mean a South East
Government in our Region and Labour control of London would be lost.” LPA, Foot Papers, Letter from Ronald W.
Brown, Chairman of the London Group of Labour MPs, to Michael Foot, MP, Leader of the Labour Party, 16 July
1981.
48
Referenda on the creation of regional assemblies were initially planned for three regions: the North East, the
North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber. According to Governmental Task forces, there was significant demand
for decentralization to warrant assemblies and referenda in each of these regions. However, MPs and scholars were
quick to point out that these were not the only areas pushing for decentralization (see the discussion of Cornwall by


Convention
Need a solution for abstract management? All Academic can help! Contact us today to find out how our system can help your annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 28 of 43   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.