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  • Writer's pictureBritish Unionist Admin

It's Time to Escape the Devolved Echo Chambers

Devolution has been a disaster for the United Kingdom. Scotland has been saddled with over sixteen years of SNP mis-government at Holyrood; Wales has been similarly mismanaged by the petty, third-rate Labourite bureaucrats at Cardiff Bay; and repeated collapses of power-sharing at Stormont have left Northern Ireland without a functioning assembly for years at a time.

               These failures of legislative devolution are well known and well documented. There is, however, something far more pernicious and far more subtle about devolution, and that is its propensity to mould people into a certain way of thinking. Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish politics have increasingly become isolated echo-chambers, in which their own political talking points completely dominate over national, British-level issues.

               Indeed, the most notable feature of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish politics in the devolution era is that they are so utterly self-contained, insular and divorced from the mainstream of British political life that they have taken on an entire life of their own in a way that was unknown prior to devolution. They have become obsessed with the petty policies passed by the limited legislative capacities of the devolved assemblies, and blind to the major issues that the entire British nation, in common, faces. Most tellingly, and most troublingly, this insularity and separation from the British mainstream is displayed every whit as much by unionists as it is by their nationalist opponents, whether they be of the Scottish, Irish or Welsh persuasions.

                The Scottish unionist Twitter-sphere is permanently saturated with headlines about various SNP debacles at Holyrood, from their recent hate crime law, to the Calmac ferry fiasco, to the latest gender silliness, to endlessly fussing over incremental differences in Scotland’s tax rates and economic performance compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, and so on. This singular focus on parochial devolved politics is similarly evident in the Northern Irish and Welsh political Twitter-spheres, which have an almost totally independent existence from the main thrust of British political debate.

               Any sense of a bigger British picture seems to be severely marginalised, if not entirely absent in these echo-chambers, because a quarter-century of devo-rule and separateness has pushed people into this mould. They have been totally kettled and contained within the confines and accepted talking points of the devolved echo-chambers; many end up being pushed down the ultimate road of impotence and self-destruction: so-called ‘tactical voting’ for the Labour and Conservative parties. It is utterly absurd that discourse in the British regions should be almost totally focused on the petty legislative tinkerings of the devolved assemblies, at a time when the British nation is collectively undergoing constitutional, demographic, social and economic changes of fundamentally existential significance. The SNP at Holyrood, and the other devolved ‘governments’ are little more than glorified branch managers in the hollowing out of Britain that is being implemented, first and foremost, by successive Labour and Conservative governments at Westminster.

We have witnessed year-on-year record levels of immigration equivalent to the population of a small city every twelve months entering and settling in the United Kingdom under successive Labour and Conservative governments. We have witnessed Britain’s transformation from a unitary, parliamentary nation state with a single national parliament, to a federalised patchwork of self-governing ‘home nations’ through legislation passed by successive Labour and Conservative governments. We have witnessed Britain’s transition from a serious, industrial economy supporting stable, skilled jobs to a low-pay, low-skill, service sector gig economy under successive Labour and Conservative governments. We have witnessed Britain’s transformation from a socially coherent and homogenous population to an atomised, multicultural and fragmented patchwork of minority communities under successive Labour and Conservative governments; indeed the British people themselves are a minority in some of our largest cities.

Immigration; devolution; de-industrialisation; social decay and atomisation: these are the defining challenges that the British nation faces today, and they are the issues that those who care about Britain – that unionists – should be talking about. They must break out of the confining mould that insular, parochial politics has pushed them into, rise above the devolved echo-chamber, and take a stand on the real issues that are definitively shaping the destiny of the British nation and the lives of British people whether they live in Glasgow, or Glamorgan, or Sheffield, or Swansea, or Hull, or Belfast or Birmingham.

               Britain’s fate will not be decided by the talking shops at Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont. It will be decided by the British people, and they have a real choice: to vote for the continued dissolution of Britain by the Labour and Conservative parties, or to vote for something else. Those who remain contained in the ‘tactical voting’ devo-politics echo-chamber will choose the former; the British Unionist Party chooses the latter. You too, will soon have a choice to make when you go to the polling station.


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