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This page will feature Articles, Speeches and Papers on particular aspects of the Union

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Published 12/09/2020

The Abolition of Devolution is the Next Big Idea to Pursue.


Rise of the devosceptics: The anti – devolution revolution is coming An examination of the processes that drove Brexit and which are currently driving attitudes towards legislative devolution reveal striking similarities. In

1991, an obscure Cambridge academic, Dr Alan Sked (a Scot), founded a political party called ‘The Anti – Federalist League’, later to become ‘The United Kingdom Independence Party’ (led by Nigel Farage) which aimed to

get the UK to withdraw from the then European Economic Community (today’s EU) as he said that the bloc controlled us and we weren’t an independent country anymore. He was virtually unanimously vehemently sneered

at and derided by most of this country’s population as holding non-mainstream views and of being extremists. Fast forward to today and his views have been completely vindicated and are now those of the majority of the

population. His views have been revealed to be the truth. This mirrors the experience of Tam Dalyell, who correctly asserted during the debates on devolution in the mid-late 1970’s during the Callaghan Labour Government,

that devolution would be a ‘one way motorway to independence, with no turnoffs or roundabouts.’ He has been similarly vindicated by subsequent events. The same process can happen with abolishing the devolved

legislatures. What is perceived as the views of a minority can, if the positive case for abolition is consistently and assiduously put to the public, with objective empirical evidence to support it, gradually be accepted as being the

truth by the majority and one day in the near future the UK will stand on the brink of ‘Re-Unification day’ as we become a unitary whole again. Just as the Eurosceptics employed persistence and determination in the face of

hostility from all corners, including the establishment, people who are sceptical of legislative devolution and the clear and present danger it presents to the Union, the devosceptics, must show similar persistence and

determination in pursuing the goal of securing the existence of the U.K. into the future by persevering on a path towards reuniting our country by consistently presenting the case for the Union. Like Brexit, it won’t happen

quickly, but the end result is definitely worth the effort. The famous victory of Brexit can be that of the devosceptics.

In June 2016, the long journey of the Eurosceptics, largely led by an initially small, but gradually larger, UKIP, triumphed after all those years of campaigning led to the majority of the UK backing leaving the EU in the

referendum of that year. UKIP had won a famous victory against what had appeared to be insurmountable odds and an establishment that was solidly and viciously against them by consistently presenting the case for leaving

with much patient persistence. It had taken a long tough struggle, but the end result had undeniably been worth it. An initially small, marginal party viewed by the vast majority of the public as eccentrics (‘cranks and

gadflies’ as David Camron sneeringly referred to them) had won a famous victory. This CAN happen for people who want to abolish Holyrood, the Welsh ‘Parliament’, Stormont and the London Assembly, the devosceptics.

If we employ the same tactics as the Eurosceptics and patiently and consistently present the case for abolishing devolution, after a journey that might be arduous at times, we CAN emerge victorious after winning a famous
victory against apparently insurmountable odds. When Brexit has been achieved in December, all Unionists who desire to maintain the Union should begin to vigorously and robustly strive to advocate at every turn the case
for abolishing Holyrood, the Welsh ‘parliament’, Stormont and the London Assembly to those in power and to the wider general public as a matter of extreme urgency. Surveys in Scotland and Wales that consulted as much
of the poulation as possible carried out earlier this year have determined that disillusionment with Holyrood, the Welsh ‘parliament’, Stormont and the London Assembly is gaining traction as their manifest failure to improve
the living and working conditions of ordinary citizens or provide good governance becomes ever more manifest and now stands at around 20%.
(c) 2020 Stephen Bailey



Published 10/06/2020

Who Cares About The ‘Wee Pretendy Parliament?’

Who cares about the ‘wee pretendy parliament?’ Answer: Anybody who wants to maintain the Union. It is often asserted by certain people, from nationalists, the pro - legislative devolution left and even some Unionists, who keep trying to mollify concerns about Holyrood and its increasing role in enabling nationalism to break up the U.K. that Holyrood is nothing but a powerless irrelevance - a 'wee pretendy parliament.’ When arguments for abolition are presented they often assert in a dismissive tone 'Surely you're not really worried about that 'wee pretendy parliament that you (the English) allow us to have.’
A look at the current extent of the powers possessed by Holyrood shows it clearly isn't just a powerless irrelevance. At its inception, twenty years ago, the proponents of legislative devolution assured us that devolution would be a one of event. The devolved legislatures, Holyrood, the Welsh Assembly and Stormont, would receive a limited set of powers over their local affairs and that would be the end of it. In reality, there has been a devolution process in which a stream of powers have been passed from Westminster to the devolved legislatures. In the case of Scotland this transfer has been very substantial and Holyrood is now the most powerful devolved legislature in the world.
A ‘wee pretendy parliament?’ No. An exceptionally powerful tool for nationalists to use to pursue their independence obsessions as clearly shown by the actions of the S.N.P. since they eclipsed Labour as the dominant power in Holyrood in 2007. An added element of concern is added to this when it is realised that this process could (and probably will) lead to a situation where the devolved legislatures have accrued so many powers and competencies that they achieve de facto independence as the devolved regions will have enough powers to govern themselves and nationalism could use this situation to achieve independence by unilaterally declaring independence. This shouldn’t be dismissed as unlikely. Nothing should be put past nationalists, who have clearly shown that they will use every and any method to achieve their ends. It is a self evident fact that, under the nationalists, Holyrood has been steered in the direction of becoming a sovereign national parliament, not just a junior tier of devolved administration. Nearly every day there is a continual stream from Holyrood of interferance in matters that don't affect it on several matters, but most worryingly the Constitution and Brexit.
This interference is increasing, not decreasing and shows no signs of stopping It's time to take our heads out of the sand and wake up. Holyrood is not, and never will be just a 'wee pretendy parliament' but a serious threat to a unitary U.K. and should be abolished. What’s more, this ongoing process of the accretion of powers and competencies by the devolved legislatures from Westminster is happening in Wales and N. I. as well. Looking at the example of Scotland, the concern is that this trajectory will lead them to the same destination - a nominally limited power local executive that in reality is an extremely powerful instrument that can be utilised by modern aggressive nationalism, as personified by the S.N.P. to break up the U.K. Legislative devolution is a failure of containment.
The main objection to legislative devolution is that it doesn't work. It's had twenty long years to be fine tuned and it's still just a mess - the S.N.P. in Scotland are using it as a vehicle to pursue independence, Plaid Cymru in Wales are increasingly becoming a bellicose and aggressively separatist party (which wasn't the case in the past when it pushed a cultural nationalist agenda like spreading the speaking of Welsh and re-instating the Eisteddfod) and Stormont in Ulster has been a complete mess with legislative devolution making the Province politically unstable with shaky coalition governments coming and going every five minutes and terrorists in governments (plus, did you know that during the last twenty odd years of devolved government in Ulster, Stormont has broken down and the Province has been ruled directly from London for five of those years? Hardly inspires confidence does it?) The intent behind legislative devolution was to create a layer of regional government below that of the national Parliament, the Commons. It's remit was purely to deal with regional, or local matters, I.E. purely Scottish, Welsh or N. I. matters, not larger issues like the constitution.
It was supposed to be 'autonomy within the U.K.’ and was meant to counter nationalist sentiment. Indeed, it was supposed to ‘kill off nationalism for ever’ as one of its original proponents, George Robertson, put it. In reality, it had the exact opposite effect of enabling modern aggressive nationalism to rise to power in the devolved executive, displacing Labour, and pursue independence. This has undeniably been the case in Scotland. This is simply not what's happened.
As often happens in real life, theories don't always work as they're meant to in practice. The reality has been that legislative devolution has enabled the U.K.’s nationalist parties to use their executives as vehicles for pursuing independence and the idea that the devolved bodies are just local executives is dead. In Scotland, the S.N.P. openly admit that they will just keep holding one referendum after another until they get the result they want (one senior S.N.P. M.S.P. publicly admitted as much.) The nationalists in the other parts of the U.K. are adopting an increasingly aggressively separatist approach, ignoring the point of devolution and pushing for independence.
To those Unionists who still believe that they can cure this problem by repealing all the devolution acts except the ones that set it up originally (I.E. keep the 1998 Scotland, Northern Ireland and Government of Wales Acts, but repeal all other devolution acts) so as to leave the executives to deal with only local matters I say that the last twenty years have proved that devolution is a continual process of powers being transferred from the Commons to the devolved legislatures that will end in independence and that the nationalist parties have proved time and time again that they won't stay within their devolved remit. It's impossible to contain legislative devolution as purely just local executives dealing with purely local matters and that leave the larger issues to the national Parliament. Modern aggressive separatist nationalism is a rampaging monster that can't be contained and it's time to admit this is the reality.
It's time to admit to this failure of the legislative devolutionary model to work as originally intended and stop pretending all is well, or capable of repair and realise that the devolved executives present a clear and present danger to the existence of the Union. The only practicable solution to the current constitutional chaos is to completely repeal legislative devolution in all parts of the U.K. and replace it with a better system that keeps power localized to the regions but guarantees the Union such as administrative devolution.
© 2020 Stephen Bailey



Published 16/03/2020

Westminster is the UK’s Sovereign Parliament.


In the UK, the people (IE the electorate) are sovereign. They authorise their representatives (MP’s) to carry out a programme of policies that they approve of (laid out in the MP’s manifesto) by voting for them in an election. Under UK constitutional law, the House of Commons holds ultimate sovereignty (on behalf of and authorised by the electorate) and in a unitary state like the UK therefore, the HoC, and not the devolved legislatures, is the supreme sovereign body. Holyrood, the Welsh Assembly and Stormont (or the London Assembly for that matter) are NOT sovereign parliaments and the UK is a single (or unitary) country with constituent parts that pool their resources for the common good, not a ‘union of sovereign nations’. It is also important to note that, in a unitary state sovereignty ultimately lies with the central political power, (the Commons in the UK’s case) and remains there, even after powers have been devolved to parts of that unitary country. Furthermore, In a unitary state, the central authority can devolve any amount of power it chooses to any number of regions of itself, but ultimate sovereignty remains entirely with the central authority, which can revoke, in part or full, those powers simply by repealing the Acts of Parliament that set up the devolved powers in the first place.


There is absolutely no need under the UK Constitution for the House of Commons to seek or secure any kind of confirmatory vote from the electorate of the devolved region or from the devolved legislature before doing this, though in practice, this would be seen as undemocratic and heavy handed. If a pro-Union party included the abolition of the devolved legislatures (legislative devolution) and their replacement with administrative devolution in their manifesto for a General Election and won a majority on such a manifesto pledge then that would give it a cast-iron democratic mandate to do so. No referendum would be needed. Once a future government wins a mandate for abolition through gaining a majority in a General Election based on a manifesto pledge to do so, the path to ending devolution is straightforward and clear.


Under constitutional law, all that is required to end the existence of the devolved legislatures is to introduce an act into parliament that repeals the original Parliamentary acts that set up devolution in the first place and that would be it- no more Holyrood, Welsh Assembly, Stormont or London Assembly. Administrative devolution keeps power and democracy localised to the parts of the UK as they control their own purely local (Scottish, Welsh, Ulster and London) affairs. Anything that affects the entire UK would remain within the remit of the House of Commons. The Union is 100% guaranteed as there is no devolved legislature through which modern aggressive nationalism, as personified by the SNP, can push for independence referenda, the fatal intrinsic flaw in legislative devolution.


This is emphatically not just a reactionary lurch back to the pre-1997 status quo. The act of devolving powers to a region of itself in no way confers or transfers sovereignty to that devolved region (as is the case under federalism). The principle of the ultimate sovereignty of the House of Commons is confirmed even by the website of the Scottish Parliament, which states: ‘Under this system of devolution Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom and the UK Parliament in Westminster is sovereign (has ultimate power).’ We all live in a country called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


© 2020 Stephen Bailey




Published 30/11/2019
The UK Is A Single Country

The UK is a unitary state, a country, not a ‘Union of nations’. We all live together in a country called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which shares a common British identity, culture and outlook with some regional variations that should be respected and cherished. It has become common even for people who should know better (like various UK Prime Ministers such as David Cameron and Theresa May) to describe the U.K. as a ‘Union of nations’. This is simply factually incorrect under UK constitutional law. The UK is a unitary, or single, country with four constituent parts-Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. NONE of these constituent parts are sovereign countries anymore (Scotland and England since 1707, Wales since the Sixteenth Century and Northern Ireland for about 800 years). Calling the UK’s constituent parts ‘countries’ is factually incorrect and legitimises and bolsters the SNP’s claims that Scotland is a separate country It also buttresses the idea in people’s minds that there is no such thing as Britishness as it re-enforces the idea that there are four countries on the British Isles instead of just one (plus Eire, obviously). Scotland is an integral part of a country called the UK. It is often said to me by nationalists, and even many Unionists, that Scotland is a sovereign country, not a region of the UK. This is not the case.

After Union in 1707, Scotland pooled her sovereignty (and resources) with Wales and England (and Ireland after 1801) to became a constituent part of a country called Great Britain (the UK of GB and Ireland after 1801 and the UK of GB and NI after partition in 1922) with national sovereignty residing solely in the House of Commons. The same is true of the other constituent parts of the UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. Both these constituent parts of the UK enjoy their own distinctive culture and traditions but have also pooled their sovereignty and resources with the other parts of the UK to form a single polity that works together for the benefit of all, but still retain and practice their own distinctive culture and traditions. Nationalists, and even some Unionists, might object to this on the grounds that it somehow diminishes their part of the UK, or demotes it to the status of a province of England. This is simply not the case, however. A unitary state doesn't necessarily have to be a centralised, out of touch, state. One criticism certain people, even many Unionists, have of the concept of the UK being a unitary state is that this would make her highly centralised and therefore the regions of the UK would be controlled by far away, out of touch, London and local culture and character would be lost as the regions become submerged in one large bloc with England. However, this doesn't have to be so. Within a unitary country, you can still have regional variations that support local democracy, character and culture. Administrative devolution, whereby all power that is relevant to the running of local affairs is devolved to local councils, organisations and individuals and everything else resides within the remit of the House of Commons (no Holyrood, Welsh Assembly or Stormont) ensures that democratic accountability is kept at the local level and that decisions on local political issues are taken by local people who know far better than far away London what's best for their own locale. Decisions on other issues of localism (such as culture ETC) are also taken by well-informed local people and not some apparatchik in London. Under a well thought out and thoroughgoing system of administrative devolution, a unitary UK can serve local democracy, localism and a strong, one hundred per cent secure and stable Union.

Under administrative devolution there are no devolved executives (no Holyrood, Welsh assembly or Stormont). Any powers that are relevant to the governance of local matters are devolved to local councils and any that relate to national issues are the remit of the House of Commons. This way, power is kept localized to the regions of the UK and democracy is kept close to the people as local councillors know what's best for their region far better than MP's, MSP's or MLA's in faraway London, Edinburgh or Cardiff. The one hundred per cent guaranteed as there is no 'national' parliament through which modern aggressive nationalism, as personified by the SNP (but also the increasingly by the increasingly bellicosely vocal for independence/re-unification Plaid Cymru, SDLP and IRA/Sinn Fein) can pursue independence referenda. This way, the regions of the UK are fully able to control local conditions within a one hundred per cent secure unitary United Kingdom.

Being in an incorporating Union DOESN'T mean that its constituent parts have to become submerged in an all-encompassing bloc and lose their ability to govern their own local affairs (or lose local cultural identity either). It is often.m argued, even by many Unionists, not just nationalists, that a major drawback with the Union is the fact that their particular part of the UK (Scotland, Wales or NI) becomes submerged into a monolithic bloc with England, losing its local democracy and even its local culture and identity. 'We become just a part of England' they claim. However, it is one hundred per cent possible for the constituent parts of the UK to retain both localism in political matters and their local characteristics and culture whilst still one hundred per cent maintaining a homologous incorporating Union. It is often claimed by nationalists that legislative devolution is not a danger to the unitary nature of the UK (despite the glut of evidence such as the independence referendum they made happen in 2014 even though at the time only twenty eight per cent of people supported independence and also despite the fact that the constitution is a reserved matter and their subsequent constant pushing for another one to be held) and that they are simply trying to secure some autonomy for Scotland, some local control over Scottish matters as a counterbalance to the House of Commons. This is shown up for the nonsense that it is as if this was the case then they would accept administrative devolution, as this provides full local control for the constituent parts of the UK.

The real reason they insist on legislative devolution is that they want to utilise their devolved executive to grab control of then utilize it to push for independence referenda. This is backed up by the events in Scotland since the SNP seized control from Labour in 2007. There has been a succession of events in which the nationalists have made one attempt after another to transform their devolved executive into a proto-national government, including re-styling Holyrood as the ‘Scottish Government', rather than just the ‘Scottish Executive'. Central to the concept of the UK being a unitary state is that there should be a common UK Parliament with all MP's enjoying the right to vote on issues that arise from across the UK. Legislative devolution has created a multi-layered system of executives and a national parliament which has created much inequality between the constituent parts of this country. One of the biggest problems with legislative devolution is the famous West Lothian question. The creation of separate devolved executives for the constituent parts of the UK has led to Scottish MP's being allowed to vote on matters that affects the other parts of the UK, but MP's from England, Wales and Northern Ireland can't vote on Scottish matters. This was extremely unfair and led to much resentment against the devolutionary settlement, and rightfully so. In order to counter this, the government of David Cameron introduced English Votes For English Laws (EVEL). This stripped Scottish MP's of the right to vote on English matters. This may seem fair, but the reality was that all it does is highlight the escalating madness of the legislative devolutionary process.

Legislative devolution has introduced a self-propagating process whereby the UK is increasingly pulled apart by the inherent flaws and unfairness of the system. Administrative devolution neatly gets around this by ensuring that the regions of the UK are capable of governing their own local matters, whilst ensuring that the UK isn't destroyed by such processes. Re-stating that the UK is a unitary country is necessary, every once in a while, as it has become increasingly clear in the last twenty years since the introduction of legislative devolution that this principle is under attack from all sides, even the so-called 'Unionist' parties such as the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal democrats. There are currently no mainstream political parties that support the concept of the UK as a unitary country with a common British culture and outlook or believe in a common British Parliament with British votes for British laws. For the last fifty years, the UK has gone down a path of de-constructing the last three hundred years of our history and replacing it with a narrative of the UK being four separate sovereign countries only loosely held together by the House of Commons. This path that the UK has been set upon has a trajectory that will eventually lead to the complete disintegration of the UK as a nation state, unless authentic Unionists, work together to stop it happening.

© 2019 Stephen Bailey.




Published 27/10/2018

Separation by stealth?Could the SNP simply declare U.D.I?

It has been an incontestable fact amongst honest observers of the reality of legislative devolution that the various UK executive have,virtually since the beginning,been engaged in a process of illegally expanding the limits of their devolved remit by demanding,and getting,more and more powers transferred to them from the House of Commons.It’s now got to the point that Scotland has the largest amount of power of any devolved region anywhere in the world now that the 2016 Scotland Act has been passed through the Commons.The province of Northern Ireland is on a similar,though slightly less accelerated,path of illegal expansion of its executive power.Wales too has seen a large increase in powers being transferred to its Assembly in the Bay.All these alleged ‘limited power’ assemblies are engaged upon a stealth programme of the incremental increase of their executive power.

Why?What’s the real agenda?It would probably seem to most observers that the obvious danger to the UK’s integrity comes from the nationalists holding,and winning,an independence referendum.After all,real experience would appear to bear this out as there was such a poll in Scotland in 2014.Of course,there is a very large degree of danger from such polls and Unionists would obviously be very well advised to prepare to counter this threat.Eternal vigilance (of nationalist attempts to break up the UK) is the price of maintaining the Union.We,as true Unionists,must never forget this or become complacent.

However,a deeper look into this matter reveals another,more worrying,reason behind all this.You have to think outside the box and more deeply about their motives.Of course,the nationalists will always attempt to force their part of the UK towards independence by the obvious referendum route.But if you examine history,certain parts of countries have become independent from each other by simply declaring themselves to be so,without being formally granted this status by the other part of the country they are splitting from.In other word they could made a Unilateral Declaration of independence:they could declare U.D.I.

There’s a substantial danger of this happening in the UK.By far the greatest threat of this comes from Scotland.Legislative devolution was always presented by it’s supporters as just a one off event.Scotland would be given a parliament that had certain limited powers devolved to it by the House of Commons.However,reality has been very different.In the intervening years since devolution has been enacted a more or less continuous process of various powers being devolved to Holyrood has occurred.Indeed,Scotland has the highest amount of autonomous power of any devolved region anywhere in the world.This includes Catalonia in Spain.

However,that’s not the end of it.There doesn’t appear to be an end to this process.There is no will in Westminster to ensure that the Scottish executive acts with propriety.It's now clear that what happens in reality is that Holyrood asks for power to be given to it and it is simply granted to them without any thought being given to the constitutional ramifications of doing so.It’s makes no difference who is in control in Holyrood,Labour or the SNP,both abuse their remit and attempt to grab power away from the House of Commons,although the SNP are particularly bad in this respect.

With this in mind,it is easy to countenance a very likely scenario where the SNP don’t have to bother winning an independence referendum.All they’d need to do is to continue to pursue this policy of accreting more and more powers to Holyrood until it effectively has all the necessary powers needed to rule independently.The SNP,or whoever was in charge at that time,could simply declare UDI:a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.Scotland would just declare itself an independent country and as it would have all the powers necessary for self-government,there is nothing that could be done to prevent this.

An unlikely scenario?There’s increasing evidence that this is a distinct danger.The most obvious piece of evidence is the lack,in both the UK Government and the Scottish executive,of any real political will to halt the process of power transferal.Holyrood just asks for powers to be transferred and it gets them.There’s no attempt by Westminster to question Holyrood as to why they need to get so many powers transferred to them.If devolution was just supposed to be 'autonomy within the UK' as its supporters have always claimed,then why does the Scottish executive need so many powers?It seems increasingly likely that this is a deliberate policy on the part of the SNP.In their hearts,they know that the Scots are too intelligent and sensible to fall for their ill-conceived plans for independence and won't vote ‘yes’ in any formal referendum.The SNP have no concrete plans for an independent Scotland and they know that they’ve been rumbled by the Scots public.This was amply displayed by the thorough rejection of separation in the 2014 referendum. Realising this,the nationalists decided to pursue an alternative course to force through their agenda:independence by stealth.

The establishment at Westminster has written off the Union and has embraced federalism.This is an extremely alarming development as federalism is,like legislative devolution,a stepping stone towards further fragmentation and would lead to independence.Indeed,the lesson of legislative devolution is that power corrupts and makes its holders hungry for more and more.It can't be contained and mushrooms in an out of control manner towards independence.All the leaders of the major Westminster parties have shown by their actions that they are not really Unionists.Theresa May,whilst making insipid public pronouncements supporting the Union,has not really displayed any real fight in her efforts to oppose nationalism.In fact,far from this she has aided the cause of independence by letting it be known that Whitehall is minded to issuing a Section 30 Order granting Holyrood the power to hold a referendum.She knows she has the legal authority under the original devolution acts and the Smith Commission recommendations to simply deny Sturgeon any future referenda and that all the recent opinion polls show that the Scottish public simply doesn’t want independence,but she won’t emphatically and unequivocally rule out another poll for at least eighty years, as is fair considering the 2014 referendum was won on an agreement that it was a once in a generation vote.May appears to be far too timid in the face of aggressive nationalist tactics. Walking disaster Jeremy Corbyn,the Labour leader,has admitted that he is not a Unionist:

'I am not a Unionist' he is quoted as saying .Added to this,his party is known to contain Irish republican supporters in the rank and file and the top echelon who can hardly inspire confidence that Labour would maintain the Union.Let’s not forget also that it was Labour that began the process of national disintegration by granting legislative devolution to Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland in the first place.Labour definitely can’t be trusted on constitutional matters.The Liberal Democrats are just as useless at constitutional matters as they are on everything else.They profess to be Unionists, 
but in practice they subscribe to the federalist agenda.They can be discounted.Irrefutable proof of Westminster's rejection of Unionism and embrace of federalism can be found in the fact that the 2016 Scotland Act contains a clause that states emphatically that the UK Government accepts unequivocally that legislative devolution is permanent.There is no real Unionist party in Westminster and one is sorely needed.

This is severely compounded by the lack of any real opposition to the SNP’s agenda in Holyrood.The traditional political power in Scotland,Labour,was wiped out in the 2015 general election by the SNP.They’re now impotent and can be discounted as any credible opposition to the nationalists.Turning to the so called ‘Conservative and Unionist’ Party,under Ruth Davidson,there appears to be an equally alarming lack of will to (effectively) oppose the SNP.The problem here appears to be with the leadership.Whilst there has been a slight increase in both voting for and membership of the Conservative Party under Davidson,this hasn’t led to any really effective opposition to the nationalist agenda.A confused and confusing policy towards the SNP has been adopted by Davidson.She's talks the talk,but rarely walks the walk.She often issues strong condemnations of SNP policies then just falls back into inaction.In some cases,she actually cooperates with Sturgeon,standing shoulder to shoulder with her and aiding the SNP cause.

A good example of this was the call by Sturgeon for the power to initiate referenda to be devolved to Holyrood.This idea is utter madness.Surely if devolution is just ‘autonomy within the UK’ then why do the nationalists want this power?It would appear obvious that the starting point of the SNP is independence,despite their repeated denial of this.Did Davidson fiercely oppose this as she repeatedly claimed?No,she didn’t.Her response was to immediately issue a statement in which she stood shoulder to shoulder with Sturgeon in demanding that Holyrood is handed the referenda enabling power.If we can’t trust Davidson's Tories on such an important matter then how can we be expected to trust her at all?On several other matters,Davidson has proved to be weak and unable to oppose the nationalists.She,or her party, can’t be trusted to provide a strong,positive case for the Union.The Liberal Democrats are a useless rump in Holyrood so they too can be discounted.As it stands,there is no effective opposition to the SNP in Holyrood.The only cure for this is the abolition of legislative devolution.

This depressing state of affairs doesn’t look like coming to an end any time soon.Complacency is not an option.The SNP have proved to be ruthless in their pursuit of their goal of independence by any means,irrespective of the cost to the livelihood of ordinary Scots.Ignoring this problem won’t make it go away.Whether it’s directly through a referendum,or indirectly through the accretion of powers,there is a great danger to the Union.The established parties have accepted devolution as a permanent fact and can’t be relied upon to oppose the nationalist agenda.We need a new force to stand up for the Union.

© Stephen Bailey 2017.

Published 8/09/2018
The UK is sleepwalking towards de-Unification.

Another much-needed wake up call to the United Kingdom’s Unionist majority.

It has been the overwhelming impression of honest observers of the effects of legislative devolution that over the last twenty years the UK has been subject to a prolonged,creeping and covert campaign by anti-British elements to destroy it.This campaign consists of a barrage of deceit and half-truths.The worrying thing is that it has gone some way towards achieving it's goals.

The Anti-British Revolution (as it should be christened) has succeeded the most in Scotland.Here,the SNP have displaced the Unionist Labour party as the main power in the land and have proceeded to pursue their mad plans to force through independence against the manifest will of the majority of the population (remember the fifty=five per cent 'no' to independence in the 2014 referendum).They've flagrantly ignored the terms of the original devolution acts and interfered in constitutional matters and foreign affairs (Brexit),both of which are reserved matters and so aren’t within their remit.It's quite clear to any reasonable observer that devolution is not 'autonomy within the UK' as was touted by Blair at the beginning of devolution,but a slow,inexorable process of going towards independence.It’s also perfectly clear that independence was the intended result of devolution all along,not just autonomy.

Wales is a slightly different case.Whilst recent years have seen an increasing demand from Plaid Cymru for independence,this call has been much more muted.The danger of independence in Wales is still there,but is considerably less than in Scotland.

The development of legislative devolution in Northern Ireland has followed a very similar path.After several decades of stalwart Ulster politicians like Ian Paisley,Airey Neave,Ian Gow and David Trimble (Et Al) solidly and diligently maintaining the Union against the assaults of both nationalist terrorism and ideological assault from various sources that hankered after re-unification with the Republic (against the overwhelming desire for Union with Britain by the vast majority) there came the great collapse of the mid 1990's.

In the period from roughly the mid-90's to the present the Province has witnessed an on-going agenda of de-Unification.This consists of the gradual removal of British symbols from public display in Northern Ireland,like Union Flags and oaths to the Queen,at certain universities (as a sop to nationalists) as part of a wider assault on British culture in Northern Ireland.This campaign goes hand in hand with a simultaneous effort to slowly push NI out of the Union. and into the arms of the Republic,against the will of the majority.In NI too,devolution is not about autonomy within the UK,but an insidious,covert (and sometimes even overt) scheme by those that hate Britain (IE the Irish,some Americans and even elements in Britain itself) to disband the UK.

Once again,the so-called 'peace process' is in trouble in Ulster.From the beginning,the story of legislative devolution in the Province has been a sorry one of failure and instability.

Whilst peace was completely laudable in theory,the practice of legislative devolution has never lived up to its promise.Apart from the odious fact that decent Unionists have been forced to share power with terrorists who obviously have never really given up their terrorist and republican beliefs,it has more or less completely failed to deliver stable good government for Ulster.Recently it hasn’t even been able to provide an actual administration.

The Province has lurched from one political crisis to another,never really working properly.When this is pointed out,it's proponents,who are ideologues blind to its defects,simply bleat 'make it work' and yet another haphazard coalition government is sworn in only for it to fail shortly after and Ulster is back to square one.Out of the last twenty years of legislative devolution,devolved arrangements have broken down and direct rule been reverted to for a total of five years,if you add up all the periods of break down in Stormont administration together.Hardly inspires confidence in Stormont,does it? 

The whole 'peace process' has been propelled along by the interference of the strongly pro-republican Americans,especially Bill Clinton, who cynically used it as a vehicle to garner popularity with the American Irish vote.The British Government's role in this has been a sorry story of selling out the best interests of the majority Unionist population and lack of moral backbone in standing up to American bullying over the issue.Added to this,certain anti-British elements in the British government have connived to manipulate the natural desire for peace to their own ends,with the result that the Good Friday Agreement that followed was grossly skewed in favour of the minority nationalist population.The Americans helped them in this endeavour.

The lamentable narrative of the effects of legislative devolution in Northern Ireland,as well as in Scotland and Wales,is Irrefutable proof that legislative devolution has completely failed.

Recent events in the Province of Ulster have finally proved the case against legislative devolution.Even in one of its heartlands like Ulster,the Union has been severely undermined by the introduction of legislative devolution.People who can remember even fifteen to twenty years ago will find it completely incredible that such events have come about in the Province.Ulster has gone from being a rock-solid Unionist bastion to being on the verge of being overrun by the forces of nationalism in under 20 years of legislative devolution being introduced.

How has this come about?The major factor has been that legislative devolution has allowed previously fringe nationalist extremists like the IRA,the SNP and Plaid Cymru to rise to power,something that wouldn't have happened before its introduction.Minor factors include a greater nationalist birth rate (in Northern Ireland) and a greater success at indoctrinating their young with their values so they will vote for them by the nationalists.

There is no viable,practical solution to this except the complete abolition of legislative devolution.The last twenty years have proved that just tinkering with the devolution 'settlement’ and the so-called 'peace process' and trying to 'make it work' have failed to cure the problems.A radical solution is needed.Replacing legislative with administrative devolution is by far the most likely to produce a durable settlement.This would keep power localised in the constituent parts of the U.K. and guarantee the Union.

Northern Ireand’s devolved executive,Stormont,is a complete failure and should be got rid of and a thoroughgoing system of de-centralisation by administrative devolution introduced.

It's quite clear that legislative devolution has failed in Northern Ireland and across the other two parts of the UK into which it has been introduced.It has turned Northern Ireland (and also Scotland and Wales) into an unstable mess,with one useless coalition government after another stumbling along incompetently before falling.

We are sleepwalking towards the de-unification of the U.K.We all need to wake up and fight back.Legislative devolution has enabled modern aggressive nationalism,as personified by the SNP,to rise to power,ignore its devolved remit and endanger the unitary nature of the UK by aggressively pushing for independence referenda.What's needed is robust counter argument against this anti-British agenda for the scrapping of legislative devolution and its replacement with its administrative variant.The alternative is to lose the Union,which none of us wants.

© Stephen Bailey 2018.

Published 3/06/2018 

It Is Still Completely Possible To Reverse Devolution


It is still completely possible to reverse devolution.
The current debate in the UK on how Brexit should be achieved had thrown up some very salient questions as regards the devolution process.It is often the contention of supporters of remaining in the European Union that,as we live in a liberal democracy,it is the right of every UK citizen to campaign against the result of a democratic vote if they disagree with it.Of course it is true that in a free country,like the UK,each citizen has a perfect right to say what they want (as far as political correctness will allow them to anyway) and that is as it should be.However,this raises certain valid questions about the devolution process.If it is valid for a group that has lost a vote on an issue to campaign to change the minds of the public with an eye to getting that decision overturned at a later date (as Remainers seek to do),than surely it is valid for anti-devolutionists to campaign for the abolition of the devolved executives?
In a majoritarian democracy the decision of the majority of the public in any election should be followed.Many people in the UK nowadays believe in socialist democracy.Under this,the views of losing minorities (of voters) are taken into consideration and can modify the result chosen by the majority.
This is totally wrong,as it is invariably used by disgruntled losing minorities to overturn a disliked majority result as is clearly happening with the EU referendum result today.What's the point of having an election if the result can just be subsequently overturned by bitter losers at a later date?This is unfair and defeats the point of democracy.
It is still one hundred per cent possible for the UK Government to simply reverse Blair's legislative devolution 'settlement' (even though it's been going now for twenty years) by simply abolishing the House of Commons acts that set it up in the first place.Under constitutional law the Prime Minister can do this perfectly legally and there is no need to consult with,or get the approval of,either the devolved legislatures or the population of the devolved region.This would permanently stop the independence neverendum.This is an objective fact of UK constitutional law as the following except from a briefing paper from the House of Commons library lays out:
‘Devolution is the process of devolving power from the centre to sub-national units.It is different from a federal system of government,since under the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty devolution is in theory reversible and the devolved institutions are constitutionally subordinate to the UK Parliament.The legislative framework for devolution is set out in the Scotland Act 1998,the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998.’Research paper 03/84,’An introduction to devolution in the UK’,’Summary of main points’,lines 1-4,17th November 2003,House of Commons Library
As this passage highlights,it is not too late to reverse legislative devolution.even though it has been running now for twenty years.
It is often asserted in debates that legislative devolution has gone on for too long now for it to be successfully abolished.It's been running for twenty years and is irreversible,it's proponents always throw back at Unionists when they propose it's abolition.
This simply isn't true.The intention is not to return back to the pre-1997 status quo with the constituent parts of the UK run by various committees of the Commons,though even that is still possible to do,The re-establishment of the pre-devolutionary status quo with all power re-centralized in the Commons is not the best option for a new constitutional settlement.The best choice is for legislative devolution to be replaced with a system of administrative devolution whereby the powers that used to reside with the devolved executives are transferred to local authorities,or combined authorities for larger areas.(this is very much in the tradition of the old Unionist Party that ruled Scotland for most of the last century).
It has been a tendency for nationalists,especially the SNP in Scotland,to claim that they support legislative devolution because it grants them a degree of autonomy from the UK government and has nothing to do with trying to achieve independence.However,you don’t need a separate devolved executive to be able to control purely local affairs.This can be achieved through administrative devolution.The real reason the nationalists insist on having a separate executive is that they wish to utilise it as a mechanism to achieve independence. 
Administrative devolution is democratic,fair (even to nationalists) and a guarantor of the Union.Legislative devolution has the fundamental flaw that it leaves the door open for nationalists to make a subsequent comeback after losing power in the devolved 'national' executive at a later date after being voted out of office and begin again trying to break up the UK.Indeed,the SNP,and other UK nationalists,can be voted out of office,but this might only be temporary and they can inveigle their way back into power at a later date and begin the neverendum all over again.This process of the nationalists continuously getting back into power could end with them eventually succeeding in their aim of independence.It is foolish to keep endangering the UK by playing dice with the Union in letting this dangerous process,enabled by legislative devolution,go on and on until it succeeds.The ONLY safe way to permanently stop the nationalists neverendum is to disable their ability to pursue it-abolish the devolved executives
But this is undemocratic people may say.There is a way that you can both guarantee the Union and solve any democratic deficit issues.Under administrative devolution,in which the devolved ececutives (Holyrood,the Welsh assembly and Stormont) are abolished and power over local matters (that is purely Scottish,Welsh and Ulster affairs) is given to local councils,it is still possible for the SNP,or any other nationalist party,to get into power in an area if the majority vote for it.They will still control that area if they win a majority of the council seats.Similarly,it's possible that nationalists could still control their part of the UK (IE Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland) if the electorate vote them in in all of the local councils in Scotland,Wales or Northern Ireland.Therefore,administrative devolution is PERFECTLY democratic.
What they CAN'T do is abuse their devolved remit and use their 'national' devolved executive to push for independence,as it is undeniable that the SNP have been doing with Holyrood over the last eleven years they've been ensconced in power.Thus the Union is one hundred per cent guaranteed.Administrative devolution is democratic,fair to all and a guardian of the UK and is authentic autonomy within the UK for her constituent parts.Administrative devolution is the best way to ensure that the constituent parts of the U.K.,Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland,are able to control their own local matters whilst the Union is one hundred per cent guaranteed.
The devolved executives,Holyrood,the Welsh Assembly and Stormont,would be completely abolished.Power would be devolved to local,IE Scottish,Welsh and NI,
 bodies (like councils),organisations and individuals.This way these parts of the UK do not become just a part of England and are not being controlled by far away London.At the same time, all powers relevant to the governance of the entire UK are the remit of the Commons.This one hundred per cent guarantees the Union as there is no ‘national’ parliament or assembly through which nationalists can push for independence referenda.
Another major flaw in legislative devolution is that modern aggressive nationalism just ignores its devolved remit and uses its devolved executive to hold independence referenda.This has clearly been the case in Scotland with the SNP,but is increasingly becoming so with Plaid Cymru in Wales and Sinn Fein and the SDLP in Ulster.Administrative devolution neatly avoids this whilst still offering the parts of the UK wide autonomy over local matters whilst completely safeguarding the Union.Administrative devolution is REAL autonomy within the U.K..It is devolution done properly and is not just a reactionary return to the pre-1997 status quo in which all power is centralised back to London.
Devolution has gone on for twenty years now.During this period it has been manipulated by modern aggressive nationalism as a tool for attempting to gain independence,especially since the SNP domination of Holyrood from 2007 onwards (this is also the case in Wales and Northern Ireland).It is clear that nationalist claims that devolution is just about autonomy within the UK have been proved to be false by their continued efforts to transform Holyrood into a national parliament,rather than just a devolved executive dealing with purely local matters.If this is allowed to go on it could lead to a disastrous decent into the complete break-up of the UK.The most practicable and sensible way forward is to replace legislative devolution with its administrative variant,something that is still one hundred per cent possible and desirable.
© 2018 Stephen Bailey,


Published 10/02/2018

Unionism: What’s Next?

Unionism: What’s Next?




At this juncture in the current political life of the UK,there appears to be something of a dichotomy of opinion between Unionists in what approach and tactics to adopt towards the increasingly divisive and corrosive effects that the process of legislative devolution has had on national unity in the UK.On the one hand, some Unionists think that what could be described as a policy of electoral defeat is the best approach.This approach entails simply marshalling the case against nationalism and trying to persuade the electorate of the devolved regions to see through nationalism and consequently vote them out of office.On the other hand stands those who believe that such a policy can only be a temporary measure and that the only way to permanently cure the nationalist neverendum is to cut off their ability to abuse their devolved remit and use their ‘national’ parliaments or assemblies to push for independence referenda-abolish legislative devolution completely.


It should be pointed out,just for clarification,that Unionism is a very broad idea,and everybody’s views are welcome within it.By defining what one Unionist believes to be a valid approach to the topic in no way invalidates the ideas of other Unionists.Everybody is welcome in Unionism.There is no such thing as THE Unionist point of view,but rather Unionist POINTS of view.You’ll rarely find two Unionists who hold exactly matching views on the topic of Unionism.However,certain broad themes that can unite all Unionists are necessary in order to provide a broad,general,but coordinated,structure to help advance the Unionist cause.


One group of Unionists,who like to label themselves as ‘progressive’,accept the advent of legislative devolution and it’s various regional parliaments and assemblies and advocate that the correct way forward for Unionism is to embrace this and challenge and defeat nationalism by working through the electoral process to convince people by marshalling counter-arguments to vote for pro-Union parties in the devolved executives.Indeed,in Northern Ireland,such people (a sizeable minority) have advocated governance through a regional parliament for many years and some Unionist parties there even actually use the word ‘progressive’ in their name (IE The Progressive Unionist Party of the late David Irvine).In the other devolved regions of the UK (Scotland and Wales) the narrative is different,mostly for historical reasons.Northern Ireland was ruled from just after partition in 1921 to 1972 by its own parliament and even had its own ‘Prime Minister’.Direct rule from London was brought in after the Provisional IRA began their terrorist campaign.Thus,people in the Province are more used to devolved democratic constitutional arrangements.However,this is not the case in Scotland and Wales,where devolved executives have only existed for twenty years.In these two regions of the UK governance was conducted entirely through the relevant Secretary of State and his or her office (I.E. the Scottish and Welsh Office).


In the other constituent parts of the UK,Scotland and Wales,after the advent of legislative devolution in the late 1990’s there grew up a section of the Unionist community who,over time,began to accept the new constitutional arrangements.At the same time,there also existed a group of Unionists who,like their compatriots in Northern Ireland,has always adhered to the view that their part of the UK should have it’s own assembly,though it should be pointed out that they still believed in the Union,but thought that their region of the UK should have it’s own local assembly that only dealt with local affairs.Also,it should be noted that these Unionists were never the majority strand in Unionism anywhere in the UK and they were more prevalent in Scotland than in Wales,where the idea of a Welsh assembly was rejected massively by a 79% margin in the 1979 referendum on devolution under the then Labour government of Jim Callaghan.This group of Unionists,who like to style themselves as ‘progressive’ (Infact a misnomer as you don’t have to believe in regional assemblies to be progressive) came to believe that,as they either wanted the regional assemblies to exist or had come to accept them as a fact of life,the way to deal with the monster of modern aggressive nationalism was to pursue a policy of endeavouring to defeat them at the ballot box and get them out of office,thus removing the threat that they posed to the Union.


Another strand within Unionism rejected this approach and believed that legislative devolution was a grave error that would be terminal to the existence of a unitary UK and would simply be the precursor to the complete dissolution of the Union.This group saw the ominous potential for regional assemblies to be utilized by modern aggressive nationalism, las personified by the SNP (but also by the other UK nationalist parties,Plaid Cymru,the SDLP and Sinn Fein/IRA),as a vehicle for pursuing an anti-UK agenda of independence (or re-unification in Northern Ireland’s case) and also saw that the only viable way of combatting this was to eliminate the mechanism that enabled nationalism to pursue this course in the first place -the devolved executives.


The irrational and excessive hankering of 'progressive' Unionists after local assemblies that would simply deal with local (IE Scottish,Wales and NI) matters and never touch national issues has been completely discredited by the practical experience of the last twenty years of legislative devolution.


The idea of local executives contained by reserved and devolved remits that some 'progressive' Unionists seem to be fixated on having,despite all the evidence of its results in real-world operation,is now completely dead as a valid form of maintaining the Union.


Modern aggressive nationalism has hijacked these local executives and transformed them into proto-national governments.


We simply wouldn't be in the current mess we are today if it wasn't for 'progressive' Unionism gifting nationalism the opportunity to rise to power and begin the process of breaking up the UK through the constitutionally illegal expansion of legislative devolution as a vehicle for independence.Legislative devolution was simply a mistake that is endangering the unitary nature of the UK that needs to be abolished.


In early November 2017,ex-SNP leader Alex Salmond,attempting to stoke up support for another independence referendum amongst his supporters,proclaimed that;


'The British state has never been weaker.'


The sad fact is he's right.The UK,a once stable and mature country and democracy,is now an unstable, balkanised political joke,teetering on the edge of becoming a failed state.If you examine the events in the devolved regions in the last twenty years it is seen that it is legislative devolution that has brought us to this state of affairs.Legislative devolution has enabled modern aggressive nationalism to rise to power in their devolved legislatures,ignore their devolved remit,interfere in reserved constitutional matters and push very aggressively for independence.


It is also partly the fault of the so-called 'progressive' Unionists who cling to the obviously discredited belief that legislative devolution can be contained as just local executives dealing with purely local matters and the Commons dealing with national issues.It is the manifestly obvious conclusion of any dispassionate observer that legislative devolution has failed to fulfil its original purpose of just being 'autonomy within the UK' and has been utilized in the way described in the above paragraph by modern aggressive nationalism,as personified by the SNP,to turn the devolved executives into proto-national governments.This is undeniably true in the case of Scotland.,and is becoming increasingly so in Wales and Northern Ireland.


Once again,it needs to be stressed that legislative devolution CANNOT be contained as merely local executives dealing with purely local matters and that there is now an extremely pressing need to abolish all the devolved executives and replace them with a thoroughgoing policy of administrative devolution which will keep power localized and close to tbe public and one hundred per cent guarantee the Union as there is no 'national' executive through which modern aggressive nationalism can push for independence.


Legislative devolution has the fundamental flaw that it leaves the door open for nationalists to make a subsequent comeback after losing power in the devolved 'national' parliament or assembly at a later date after being voted out of office and begin again trying to break up the UK.Indeed,the SNP,and other UK nationalists,can be voted out of office,but this might only be temporary and they can inveigle their way back into power at a later date and begin the neverendum all over again.This process of the nationalists continuously getting back into power could end with them eventually succeeding in their aim of independence.


It is foolish to keep endangering the UK by playing dice with the Union in letting this dangerous process, enabled by legislative devolution,go on and on until it succeeds.The ONLY safe way to permanently stop the nationalists neverendum is to disable their ability to pursue it-abolish Holyrood and the other devolved executives.


But this is undemocratic some people may say.There is a way that you can both guarantee the Union and solve any democratic deficit issues.Under administrative devolution,in which the devolved executives are abolished and power over local matters is given to local bodies (like councils),organisations and individuals,it is still possible for the SNP,or any other nationalist party,to get into power in an area if the majority vote for it.They will still control that area if they win a majority of the council seats.Similarly it's true that nationalists could still control their part of the UK (IE Scotland,Wales or Northern Ireland) If the electorate vote them in all of the local councils in Scotland,Wales or NI.Therefore,administrative devolution is PERFECTLY democratic.


What they CAN'T do is abuse their devolved remit and use their 'national' parliament or assembly to push for independence,as it is undeniable that the SNP have been doing with Holyrood over the last 10 years they've been ensconced in power.Thus,the Union is one hundred per cent guaranteed.


Administrative devolution is democratic,fair to all and a guardian of the Union.


The complete abolition of Holyrood (and the Welsh assembly and Stormont) is the only viable solution to modern aggressive nationalism.


Some Unionists are of the opinion that they can work with their devolved executive and that the monomaniacal,pathological push for independence that legislative devolution has enabled the nationalists to undertake can be contained as all the Unionists will get together and vote down any independence bid.This idea doesn't stack up in practice .


This approach may succeed for a while,but we now know that the SNP are simply going to hold one referenda after another until they get the result they want-one SNP MSP admitted as much a while back.In the end the SNP could easily snatch a surprise victory due to some random variable that can't be predicted.I,for one,am not prepared to play dice with the Union and leave its future to chance of any kind.


The matter of democratic deficit in Scotland can be addressed by replacing legislative with administrative devolution.Under this system power is given to local bodies,organisations and individualsThis way power is kept localized in Scotland,Wales and Ulster and as the electorate of these regions directly vote these councils in the democratic deficit issue is solved.Also,the Union is guaranteed as there is no devolved parliament to initiate independence referenda.


The complete abolition of legislative devolution is the only practical solution to the problem of modern aggressive nationalism.



Taking all factors into consideration,the safest and wisest policy for Unionism to adopt going forward into the future is to work together as an effective and coherent group to secure Unionism's future.The most effective way to permanently remove the divisive cycle of the nationalist neverendum is to work for the removal of the mechanism that has enabled them to pursue their anti-UK agenda-completely abolish legislative devolution.



© 2017 Stephen Bailey.

Domino Effect

Published 18/11/2017

Legislative devolution’s domino effect.


It was a common political theory during the Cold War period when anxiety about Communism’s real intentions In Europe and the wider world was at it’s height that it spread like a virus,contaminating  countries and whole territories one by one in a kind of domino effect-one country became controlled by it then inevitably by a process of contamination states bordering it will also fall under it’s domination.This theory was behind the formation of several countries' foreign policy and indeed it was the root cause of serious armed conflicts in the post-1945 period.

Even though the Domino Theory proved to not particularly hold water in respect of Cold War foreign policy,it is a good analogy for the current Balkanization of the UK that has occurred as a result of the introduction of legislative devolution.It’s quite clear from the evidence of the observed reality of the last couple of decades of the practice of legislative devolution that a domino effect of nationalist extremism has been created in the UK and that even though the recent 2017 General Election has seen a substantial decline in nationalist support (which is very welcome),a pattern has emerged whereby any degree of success that a separatist party enjoys in a devolved legislature provides succour to and encourages fellow nationalists in adjoining parts of the UK to adopt their unreasonable tactics, even if there is no call from the general public for such policies.Hence, legislative devolution has the unwarranted effect of setting up a chain of events that lead to extremist separatist nationalism spreading and magnifying itself throughout the UK despite a lack of substantive support from the general population.

This idea is not just a fanciful academic theory like it was in the case of the Cold War.It has been clearly observed happening in the UK since the introduction of devolved legislatures.After the introduction of the Scottish executive in 1999 there was a period of relative stability as the Labour led executive managed to more or less carry out their duties as a devolved tier of local government.However, the SNP had began their attempts to force their separatist agenda on Scotland and they had succeeded In grabbing control of the executive by 2007.It was at this point that the conditions were set for the domino effect to ripple through the UK later on.Unfettered by the constitutional checks and balances that has stopped them foisting their minority views on the UK public in the pre-devolutionary period they began a concerted programme of trying to force Scotland out of the UK by ignoring their devolved remit,getting involved in constitutional matters, and synthesizing any excuse to hold independence referenda.This was carried out with extreme aggression and led to a failed independence referendum in 2014 and sweeping electoral success in the 2015 Commons General Election.

This success didn't go unnoticed in other parts of the UK in which devolved legislatures had been set up. Wales is one such example.The Welsh nationalists,Plaid Cymru, had existed since 1925 (nine years before the formation of the SNP) but in their early years had been more of a cultural nationalist movement,trying to promote Welsh language and culture. They had promoted the speaking of Welsh and other Welsh cultural phenomena.They had desired independence from the UK, but this was very much a longer term objective.After the introduction of legislative devolution in the late 1990's and influenced by the SNP's aggressive extra-constitutional campaign for independence this stance began to change and Plaid began to adopt a much more militantly pro-independence agenda.The domino effect was beginning to come into play.

They pushed for new referenda on granting the Welsh Assembly more and more powers,including one in 2011 that substantially increased the areas of it's legislative competency.Emboldened by the successful attempts of the SNP to hold a constitutionally illegal independence referendum,Plaid began trying to jump on the bandwagon and have intimated a few times now that they would push for an independence referendum in Wales if they felt the conditions were right (IE they felt they would win).In an ominous echo of the 2007 re-naming of the Scottish executive to Scottish government by the SNP in 2017,the Welsh assembly announced that it now wished to be known as the Welsh parliament, a further ominous step in the direction of independence.All of this resurgence of aggressive pro-independence nationalism has only come about as a knock on effect of the SNP's machinations in Scotland.Events would not have developed in this direction if legislative devolution hadn’t been introduced into Scotland.

Northern Ireland is a slightly different case to the other parts of the UK as concerns the constitutional question as it has always had very,indeed violently,aggressive nationalists to contend with.From the Fenians of the Nineteenth Century through the Official IRA of the early Twentieth Century and the Provisional IRA from the late 1960's and the deniable organizations that remained in existence after the Good Friday Agreement, nationalism in the Province has always posed a serious threat to peace and the existence of the state.

Constitutional nationalism in Ulster since the introduction of legislative devolution in June 1998 and the setting up of the Stormont Assembly has had a very chequered and unsettling history.The good intentions  that led to the setting up of a legislature have not,like many matters based upon good intentions,led to a workable practical situation in reality.Stormont has had a storied history of instability,scandals and ultimately periods of failure in which the power sharing arrangement has completely broken down and direct rule from London has been restored.Out of the 10 years that it has been in operation,power sharing at Stormont has completely broken down and direct rule from London restored several times adding up to a combined total of just over five years of that period.

The Province of Ulster's constitutional nationalists, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have,by and large,eschewed attempting to separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and have not really pursued holding a referendum on re-unification with the Republic of Ireland.For most of Stormont's operational life there has been a pattern of Unionist First Minister and nationalist Deputy First Minister (usually from the SDLP,or most recently Sinn Fein) heading the administration (Northern Ireland's devolved political system was deliberately designed to create this type of arrangement so as to ensure that both the largest voting blocks in the Province participate in governing).For a long time after it's inception, the breakdowns notwithstanding,Stormont concentrated on the devolved matters it was supposed to-running Northern Ireland's domestic affairs and largely left constitutional matters alone, unlike it's counterpart in Scotland.

This situation didn't last,and it was events in Scotland that triggered the change.As discussed above,the SNP abused their devolved remit and began a programme of aggressively pushing for independence,ignoring their devolved remit in order to hold constitutionally illegal independence referenda.They succeeded in this programme and they successfully held a referendum on separation in 2014,which they lost by a substantial margin.Observing their Scottish compatriot's success (in getting a referendum held),the Ulster nationalists felt encouraged to adopt a much more militant approach to constitutional affairs and have recently began making noises about holding a referendum on re-unification with the Republic.A third domino had fallen as a direct consequence of the SNP's aggressive nationalist abuse of their devolved remit.This rise in nationalist unconstitutional extremism in Northern Ireland is particularly worrying as under little known protocols attached to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement a nationalist dominated Stormont could hold a referendum on re-unification with the Republic of Ireland every seven years.This means that they could simply keep holding one referendum after another until they get the result that they want (a 'yes' to re-unification).This scenario has become frighteningly close to becoming real recently when Shinn Fein,the political wing of the IRA,made significant gains in the 2017 local elections and were only just eclipsed by the Province's Unionists.

It has become apparent that this domino effect has began to England.Even though the idea of English regional assemblies was conclusively defeated in a referendum held in North-East England on 4th November 2004 by a margin of 77.9% to 22.1% (on a massive 48% turnout),the knock on effect of legislative devolution in Scotland,Wales and Ulster has led to a re-surgence in the concept of English regional government.This idea was resurrected in 2012 when certain Northern MP's wrote a letter to The Observer newspaper and openly stated that it was time to reconsider having Northern regional assemblies (in England).They were clearly inspired by Scottish devolution.Huddersfield MP, Barry Sheerman wrote;

'The North has a much larger population than Scotland[which has an assembly]...we don't have a body to deal with strategic problems and issues for the North[of England].'

The public in these areas of the North started to have concerns that devolution had left the Northern regions(of England) as the poor relations of Scotland in terms of economic and political clout.These concerns were even more magnified when Holyrood got more powers in 2016 and would be further exacerbated if(or it would be more correct to say 'when') more powers are added in the future.The continual granting of new powers to the Welsh assembly has,and will continue to have,the same effect on England.

The extreme South–West of England has added another domino to the chain.The Duchy of Cornwall has,for a long time,had a history of a small minority of residents asserting that they have a separate cultural identity to the rest of England.They had a different language and certain elements considered themselves to be of different ethnic origin.However,Cornish became a dead language by the end of the Nineteenth Century having essentially ceased to be used by the vast majority of the population and the concept of a separate Cornish identity as a political issue declined and fell into abeyance as a result.

Modern Cornish nationalism was given impetus,ironically,by the failure of Gladstone's Irish home rule devolution policy.In order to make his devolution idea more relevant and viable Gladstone advocated the idea of home rule all round(IE to Scotland and Wales),but in doing so opened the door for Cornish nationalists to begin a campaign for Cornish autonomy.One area of long term support for Cornish autonomy was from supporters of Welsh self government,who saw the Cornish as fellow Brythonic Celts,a very old canard as interbreeding with and the movement of Anglo-Saxon (and other) peoples from the rest of England had thoroughly reduced the Celtic predominance on the Cornish peninsular by this time.So, in summary,up until the post Second World War period, the concept of Cornish autonomy existed as a nebulous intellectual concept,but had no real substance and the issue rested (more or less).

Despite Mebyon Kernow,'The sons of Cornwall',a political party that pushed for Cornish autonomy (IE a Cornish assembly) being formed in 1951,it was the introduction of legislative devolution in the late 1990's that really sparked interest in devolution in Cornwall.The Cornish Constitutional Convention launched a campaign for a devolved Cornish legislature on the back of the referenda in Scotland,Wales and Ulster that led to the setting up of devolved institutions in these areas. In October 2007,Andrew George, a Liberal Democrat MP stated;

'If Scotland is benefitting from devolution then Cornwall should learn from this and increase the intensity of it's own campaign for devolution to a Cornish Assembly.'

Clearly,the domino effect was spreading further in England, thanks to devolution in other parts of the country.In 2009,Liberal Democrat MP William Rogerson presented a 'Government of Cornwall' Bill before the House Of Commons which argued for a devolved Cornish assembly that was very similar in set up to the Scots and Welsh legislatures.The domino effect like influence of Scots, Welsh and Ulster devolution is clear from the following statement made by Rogerson

'Cornwall has the right to a level of self-Government. If the Government is going to recognise the right of Scotland and Wales to greater self-determination because of their unique cultural and political positions,then they should recognise ours.'

There is a clearly discernible pattern of legislative devolution in one part of the UK,IE Scotland having a knock on effect on other parts in a domino like effect.The SNP in Scotland set the ball rolling by aggressively ignoring their devolved remit and this clearly encouraged other devolved regions like Wales and Ulster to follow suit and become more bellicose in their demands for more and more autonomy and even to push for full independence.Moreover,this phenomena has spread to England,as seen in the North-East and the South-West of the country.Legislative devolution has unleashed an uncontrollable wave of copycat aggressive nationalism that threatens to throw the British Isles back to the early Tenth Century days of being a disunited, warring  hodgepodge of fiefdoms and kingdoms.


© 2017 Stephen Bailey.



Stephen Bailey argues the case that Unionists need to stop being complacent over the Union's future.

Published 27/5/2017

Between it’s inception in 1707 and the Twentieth century the sources of threat to the Union came from a variety of sources.In the Eighteenth century the major source of danger was military.The Union faced two major military threats,in 1715 and 1745 – the Jacobite uprisings.These military threats were defeated and the new British state began consolidating and strengthening itself.Discontent remained in some quarters of Scotland,but after the defeat of Charles Edward Stuart,the Young Pretender,at Culloden in 1745 Unionists nethe Jacobite threat to the British state was effectively ended.His son,Henry Stuart(‘Henry IX’) died in exile abroad in 1807 after never having attempted to seize the British throne by military means.With his death,the Stuart claim to the throne passed into history and there were no other military threats from other sources to the Hanoverians from rival royal houses that came to anything substantial.

Just as the military threat from Scotland was diminishing by the turn of the Nineteenth century,a new source of danger to the Union opened up after the 1801 Acts of Union with Ireland.Throughout the century various nationalist paramilitary groups posed a very clear and present danger to the newly united kingdom.By far the biggest of these groups was the Fenians,an umbrella term for the Fenian Brotherhood and the Irish Republican Brotherhood which used terrorist tactics to try to coerce the British state into leaving Ireland so that an Irish republic could be established.These Irish paramilitary terrorist groupings continued to pose a grave danger to the UK well into the Twentieth century,being later replaced by other factions with the same purpose and using the same terrorist tactics.

By the advent of the Twentieth century,with the exception of the aforementioned Irish paramilitary problem,nationalism in the UK had adopted a constitutional approach towards achieving it's objectives.In Scotland,a process of administrative devolution had been evolving since the later part of the previous century.In 1885 the Scottish Office had been set up and the position of Secretary for Scotland established.In 1926,this post was upgraded to full Cabinet membership and the title became Secretary of State for Scotland.In May 1913,the then Liberal government passed the Government of Scotland Bill by a narrow margin,despite the fact that it was not actually supported by the Unionists.The advent of the First World War killed the bill off.The 1920's and 30's were a tumultuous period in many ways and for many reasons,but in relation to UK politics,they are significant for the formation of Plaid Cymru in 1925 with the purpose of establishing a Welsh government and the Scottish National Party in 1934 with the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party.Both the SNP and Irish nationalism thoroughly disgraced themselves by establishing strong links with Germany during the Second World War.Indeed, Douglas Young,SNP leader from 1942-45,was imprisoned for undermining the British war effort after the SNP advocated that Scotsmen should refuse conscription into the armed forces.Young and the SNP were virtually completely ignored by their fellow countrymen and Scottish regiments went on to establish a glowing record in all theatres of the war.

The late 1940's and 50's saw the establishment of the Scottish Covenant Association,which was a political organization that campaigned for the establishment of a devolved Scottish assembly.The next major development came with the 1973 Kilbrandon Report.The Royal Commission on the Constitution,also referred to as the Kilbrandon Commission (initially called the Crowther Commission) or Kilbrandon Report,was a long-running royal commission set up by the Labour  government of Harold Wilson to look into  the structures of the UK constitutionand the British Islandsas well as the government of it's constituent countries,and also to consider whether any changes should be made to those structures.It began under Lord Crowtheron 15 April 1969,Lord Kilbrandontook over in 1972,and it finally reported back on 31 October 1973.


Various models,devolution,federalismand confederalismwere looked at by the Commission,as well as the division of the UK into separate sovereign states.The core issue of Scotlandand Wales were dealt with separately from Northern Ireland,the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

All in all a total of 16 volumes of evidence as well as 10 research papers were published by the Commission between 1969 and 1973.The final report was delivered to the Conservative government of Edward Heath,which had come to power at the general election of 1970.The report's conclusions rejected the options of independence or federalism,in favour of devolved,directly elected Scottishand Welsh assemblies.Two Commission members,Lord Crowther-Hunt and Professor Alan Peacock,refused to sign the report as they disagreed  with the interpretation of the terms of reference and it's conclusions.Their views were published separately in the 'Memorandum of Dissent'.The Callaghan government of the mid-late 1970's pushed ahead with a policy of devolution introducing bills into Parliament for devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales.Referenda were held in both these  parts of the UK in 1979.In Scotland,the vote failed to reach the 40% required to pass and in Wales devolution was massively and virtually unanimously rejected by 80% of the vote and as a result,devolution was abandoned.


Then came the 80's and 90's and the Conservative governments of Mrs Thatcher and her successor,John Major.This was a seminal period in many ways,but primarily In the effect that the politics of the period had on the Unionists of that era.Mrs Thatcher was  a Unionist at heart.At the very beginning of her premiership,she was surrounded by strongly pro-Unionists advisors like Airey Neave,who had captured the public's imagination with his daring escape from Colditz in the Second World War.This stout hearted ex-serviceman helped give Thatcher much solid advice and support on the tactics necessary for the strong defence of the Union,primarily on a strong stance against the IRA in the Province of Ulster,but also in strongly defending Unionism in general in all part of the UK.As a consequence of this strong pro-Union advice from Neave,but also from several other strong Unionist sources like Ian Gow,for instance,Thatcher's government adopted a very strong Unionist line.It wouldn't even consider any kind of devolution,far less independence.It reasoned,correctly,that devolution would just lead to full independence and,as Unionists,they viewed this prospect with horror,knowing full well from all the empirical evidence that independence was little more than a ticket to severe impoverishment for the constituent parts of the UK.Although Thatcher's attitude to Unionism in Northern Ireland softened in the mid-80's and she signed the disastrous Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985 (which had a severely deleterious effect on the Province's Unionist community as it gave the Republic a say in the running of Ulster) she continued to maintain a resolutely pro-Union,anti devolution and independence,stance as concerned the rest of the UK up until her departure from office in 1990.

Thatcher's successor,John Major,continued his predecessor's strong Unionist stance throughout his tenure as Prime Minister,strongly opposing devolution up until he lost the 1997 election to Tony Blair's New Labour.

However,herein laid the seeds of a problem for Unionism that was to provide severe difficulties from the late 1990's onwards.During the long 18 odd years of Conservative government,many Unionists in the UK,encouraged by this prevailing political atmosphere of rock solid certainty that the Union was absolutely safe,began to become complacent.They observed that the governments of the day were 100% solidly behind the Union and that there was just as big a certainty that this was how things were going to stay and this bred a strongly pervading sense of complacency in them.Added to this,many Unionists lost,either partially or wholly,the ability to struggle and fight to maintain the Union.They simply lost these instincts and skills as they didn't have the need to exercise them due to the prevailing certainty over the status of the Union.This malaise affected virtually all sectors of the Unionist community,even in it's heartlands of Scotland and Ulster.The political class at the Houses of Parliament(the Commons and Lords) also became affected by this malaise and this was to prove extremely dangerous to the Union when Tony Blair began his assault on the United Kingdom constitution after his defeat of the hapless John Major in 1997.

All this came to a head during the attack on the constitution of the UK that was begun under the New Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.Whilst many elements in the Unionist community had become complacent,as described above,New Labour suffered from no such problem and,having observed the relative weakness in their Unionist opponents began to utilize it to advance their devolutionary agenda.John Major's successors as Conservative Party leader,William Hague,Ian Duncan- Smith,Michael Howard and David Cameron whilst holding to nominally Unionist positions had all been affected by the malaise that had been bred in the 80's and 90's and New Labour had very little difficulty in getting their devolution policies through Parliament.The rest,unfortunately,is history.After referenda in 1997,a Scottish Parliament was set up and a Welsh assembly was opened in Cardiff.

Initially,these devolved bodies had minimal powers devolved to them from the House of Commons(though it is important to note that they still has substantially more powers than the proposed assemblies that would have been set up after the referenda of 1979).But,contrary to the line put out by New Labour at the time,this was a process of more or less continuous devolution of powers from the House of Commons to Holyrood and Cardiff Bay,not just a one-off event.More and more powers were devolved to the devolved executives.Did the Unionists at the House of Commons try to stop this flow of powers away from Westminster,as was best for the Union? No,they didn't,because they had become just as complacent as many other sectors of the Unionist community.They had lost the will,and the ability,to oppose the tide of New Labour's pro-devolutionary assault on the constitution of the United Kingdom.

This failure of the political class,allied to the complacent malaise in the wider Unionist community,to stand up to New Labour and it's attack on a unitary UK had serious knock on effects that are still being seen to this very day.Tam Dalyell, the great anti-devolutionist of the 70's and 80's warned that devolution would just be an unstoppable highway towards independence with no turn offs or roundabouts.Subsequent events have proved him right.The SNP continue to agitate for independence very aggressively,despite the fact that they have been very convincingly told by a very substantial majority of the Scottish public that they simply don't want it in a referendum held in 2014 and the fact that poll after poll shows absolutely no desire for independence.Other nationalist groups continue to wage aggressive campaigns to break up the UK.This ongoing campaign by extremist nationalism shows no sign of abating any time soon and this makes the complacency and lack of fight in the Unionist community even more alarming.

So what's needed to counter this lack of vigour in the Unionist community's defence of the Union?The obvious answer is for that group of Unionists who have identified this problem to do whatever they can,with all the strength they can muster,to push their complacent Unionist brothers and sisters out of their funk and show them the dangers that still lay ahead from this new strain of aggressive ultra-nationalism.If this is not done the consequences are too dire to even contemplate.One thing is for sure,the extremists in the UK's nationalist parties aren't going to stop in their pursuit of their goal of breaking up the United Kingdom by any means they can,fair or foul,despite the glib assurances of the pro-devolutionary left.It is the urgent task of all real,committed Unionists to ensure the Union by re-awakening the fighting spirit of the wider Unionist community.


© 2017 Stephen Bailey.













The first purpose of election is to determine where power lies.


 For many years, in most of the constituencies across the United Kingdom electors have not had to dwell upon the

the unity and integrity of the Nation or their place in it.







The matter of authorising our MP's to go and sit in the House


of  Commons or authorising them to abstain and go and sit


somewhere else has not been at the forefront of electors


thoughts as they cast their votes, although in the Province of


Northern   Ireland our fellow countrymen have had to have that


matter at the forefront of their consideration when they cast


their vote.



On the mainland electors have been able to, generally


speaking,  focus on the other matter's of our national life:


Economy, Education and Health among the rest.



In other times this is not a bad thing. It has been a mark of the


breadth and depth of our historical national cohesion, integrity


and security - our identity - that the matter of our national


unity has not been at the forefront of our politics.



However for too long it has been taken for granted that our


unity is secure and that power lies in safely and securely  in our


British Constitution, it lies in our Parliament, and it lies in our


representative traditions and institutions therefore  the


integrity of our British Nation need not bother


us too much especially in the privacy of the ballot booth.









Since the introduction of legislative devolution, the unity of the


Nation has been in great danger.



This day has been coming since the 1st of May 1997.



British General Election's decide the Union as they have done


for centuries.


In the British General Election of 6th of May 2010 the


electorate's in 59 out of 59 constituencies in Scotland instructed


their MP to go and sit in the British House of Commons to be


part of the whole.



To be part of the British Nation. No abstentionist candidates


where elected.



In the 2010 General Election none of the Conservative and


Labour or Liberal manifesto's contained any commitment


to a separation referendum.





The Union itself was not a principle matter in the 2010 General


election campaign. Even though the continuing slow motion


car crash of legislative devolution - which has created a four


tier electorate across the United Kingdom and in the House of


Commons, continues to disintegrate the Nation and demands


equitable resolution. On this point I would simply say that a


common Parliament demands common representation.



The anti-devolutionists of the 1970s and 1980's have been


proved right. William Ross, the former Labour


Scottish Secretary and Enoch Powell among others


warned us. Many, too many did not listen or did want to listen


to the dangers that would come with legislative devolution


rather than administrative devolution which poses no threat to


the Union.








Now, in only 15 years after it's introduction, legislative


devolution has brought us to the edge of complete National





It is the Conservative and Labour parties that have brought us





It is the Conservative and Labour parties that through the


Better Together trojan horse continue to do damage to the


Union and have entered a bidding war in promising to do yet


even more damage to the Union should there be a No result in


the referendum.















In May 2011 the SNP won a majority of seats in the


devolved Scottish Parliament election.



On that day like all other days since it's entry into law


the Scotland Act 1998 was still in force and it's Schedule 5


continued to declare to allcomers that the Union and United


Kingdom Parliament were reserved matters and that they were


only mandateable by a British electorate at a general election


or a by-election. They are not devolved to a devolved





The SNP won a devolved mandate on devolved matters such as


Education, Police and Fire Brigade but no mandate was




on any of the Reserved matters including the Union, the UK



Parliament, Defence and Social Security among them


regardless of wether they were printed in the SNP manifesto or




The Union was simply not at issue in the Scottish Election. It


could not be. The rule of law prevented it.



If the devolved Scottish election result as the Conservative  and


Labour parties claim crossed a


rubicon and provided a mandate for quote the "Greatest


decision in over 300 years" then surely that rubicon would


have been declared at the highest level in government and with


the loudest volume and clarity with immediate effect?



On the 6th May 2011 the day after the Scottish election did Mr


Cameron recall Parliament or make a National Emergency


broadcast? No.


Did Mr Cameron perhaps make an historical declaration the


next day on May 7th 2011? No.


Perhaps he was busy that week, maybe the next week ? No


nothing the referendum did not exist.







Maybe June before the Summer Recess ? No nothing.



Perhaps August before the start of the new political year ? No.



In October then with an ideal forum to speak? Mr Cameron


would surely bring the matter to the attention of the Nation at


Conservative Conference. No Nothing.



Only after seven months after this alleged historical rubicon


had been crossed was the referendum finally initiated.



On  8th January 2012 Mr Cameron launched the referendum -


the quote "greatest decision in 300 years" on a Sunday


morning TV show .



It is clear that from May 2011 through the Autumn and


Winter 2011 an assessment and a decision was made by the


Conservative Party that a referendum in Scotland (a Breaking


Up Britain referendum) would assist the Conservative Party in


securing a softer landing on the other side of the next general


election - regardless of it's impact on the unity or


Parliamentary constitution of our country.



The ejection of Scotland would remove at a stroke 59 seats that


the Conservative Party has no interest in or even less chance of





If the result is a no vote, Cameron will claim he defended the


Union. Such a claim would be false.



Since the 8th of January 2012 the Union has been divided,


weakened and distracted by the fact of the existence of the





The purpose of the referendum - an "alien device" to use the


words of Clement Attlee is to provide an artificial authority to


the 59 MP's from constituencies in Scotland to withdraw from


the House of Commons while still being mandated by their


constituency electorate to be in the House of Commons.

A No result and the continuation of legislative devolution will


ensure that the second referendum is not too far





On the 15th of  January 2013 the Scotland Act 1998


(Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013  entered the House of




This is the legislation that legally set up the referendum and


it's logistics.


For the quote "greatest decision in 300 years" - there has




No Green Paper,


No White Paper,


No Constitutional Bill,


No constitutional debate on the Floor of the House of


Commons - the usual method for legislation of the highest


constitutional importance,


There is no Act of Parliament


but still the referendum Order was passed and passed


unanimously in a few hours. No vote took place.




Previous legislation of the highest constitutional importance


has taken months, years sometimes even decades of debate and


votes in Parliament this Order was done in less than a day.


The next day the House of Lords did exactly the same thing.



Our British Parliamentary constitutional authority is


being challenged.


There can only be one authority in the Nation at one time.


The referendum cannot contain authority (secondary or


alternative or superior to constituency electoral authority)


Authority can only be in one place at one time it cannot be in


the referendum and in the 59 MP's from Scotland at the same








In January 2014 Mr Carmichael finally conceded that the


Modification Order "does not contain any provisions relating


to Scottish constituencies in the UK Parliament."


In other words the referendum is a survey.


It contains no provisions to reverse the 2010 constituency


mandates of the 59 MP's in Scotland who remain tied to their


mandate regardless of the result of the referendum.


The withdrawal of the 59 MP's from Scotland from the House


of Commons - can only occur through constituency election of


a candidate on an abstentionist manifesto.



Any MP in Scotland wishing to negotiate withdrawal or


withdraw from the House of Commons must abide by the rule


of law. They must seek a new abstentionist mandate in the


general election or if they do not want to wait that long must


resign and trigger a by-election were they can stand as an


abstentionist candidate and seek a majority in the constituency


not to sit in the British House of Commons.



If MP's attempt to negotiate withdrawal or withdraw their


constituency from the House


of Commons without a new mandate then quite


simply they will be in breach of their existing mandate the one


that made them an MP and they will be acting


outside the rule of law.


In the United   Kingdom, we are governed by the rule of law not


the rule of MP's.



The referendum is an attempt to break up the United Kingdom


without asking the British People in a general election. That is


why it is happening now. After a general election and before a


general election. The Conservative, Labour, Liberal and SNP


all agree that the question should not be asked in the one place


where it should be asked and is always asked even though we


may not think about it - a general election.






Tonight, our enemies are ranged across a broad front.


Our enemies know that to break the British you must


break their Parliament.



Our Nation is in Peril.


Over the past fifty years, the Conservative and Labour Parties


have brought us here - To the Hour of our Test.


On the Union and on other matters: Immigration, Europe,


Social breakdown, National infrastructure, Economy and the


rest the Nation is in ruins.



National resistance and leadership will not come from either of


these parties.



Unionists will not stand by and watch centuries of National


effort and Sacrifice




Our Unity, Identity, Authority, Freedom, and Territory




Neither will we allow our constitutional Bulwarks be removed:


Our Established Religion,


Parliamentary Government,


Limited Constitutional Monarchy,


Freedom of Speech,


The Rule of Law,


Trial by Jury,


The Freedom of Religion,


The Freedom of Association,


The Freedom of the Press,


The Toleration of Dissent,



We will not let our Nation descend into the darkness again.






Words 17769 (c) Copyright Stewart Connell. The BBC were fully aware of the limited legal character of the Modification Order but refused to broadcast the information as this would expose the Conservative and Labour position as false and illegal as well as expose the BBC narrative and expenditure on the matter  .  A challenge to the BBC refusal to broadcast the information was made to the BBC Board of Governors now called the BBC Trust. The Board of Governors refused to answer the charge and instead diverted their response into other unconnected matters associated with the referendum.  You can read the BBC Board of Governors here......The challenge can be found at the BBC website Complaints and Appeals Board Findings Appeals to the Trust considered by the Complaints and Appeals Board January & February 2015 issued April 2015  PAGE SIXTYONE      


Published by 13 January 2016


A View From Unionist England.





Devolution and separatism have failed and need to be abolished.

By Stephen Bailey

By the mid-1990's it was obvious to anybody who could see that the proposed constitutional reforms of the Labour Party were a recipe for disaster. Whilst in no way reactionary, backward looking of hankering after some past golden era(real or imagined)it was completely apparent to the informed observer that Blair's reforms were unworkable, impracticable, extremely unfair and simply designed to bolster Labour's political power in Scotland. Labour's whole approach to constitutional reform was naive and far from 'killing off nationalism for good' as one Labour politician put it they would be used as a mechanism by anti-British elements to break up the UK.

It is now perfectly clear that the people of the UK have, by a substantial majority, rejected the concept of separatism. In Scotland the SNP's independence referendum was rejected decisively in September 2014.The Scots clearly saw through Alex Salmond's mad plans. If you analyze the voting patterns it can be discerned that independence was unpopular across the social spectrum from the young to the old. But did the SNP accepts this? Some chance. After initially accepting the decision and saying that settled the question 'for a generation', Alex Salmond (remember him?) reverted to type and simply began pushing his separatist agenda, saying there would be one referendum after another until they got the result they wanted. The SNP needs to listen to the electorate and accept their settled will, expressed through the ballot box. This highlights the flaws in referenda in general and shows that they can be manipulated by politicians who only use them if they back up their desired result. Parliamentary democracy is a far better device to deliver the will of the population.

Turning to England, it must be remembered  that separatist constitutional arrangements  have also been massively rejected, as amply displayed by the huge 'no' vote to the setting up of English regional assemblies in the referendum held in the dying days of the last Labour government.

During the last ill-conceived attempt at constitutional change during the Callaghan Labour government of the mid to late Seventies there was a referendum in Wales for a devolved assembly with limited powers. The idea was virtually unanimously rejected by the Welsh by an 80%+ 'no' vote and the plans for devolution were dropped. When asked why they had voted 'no', most of the voters stated that they didn't want yet another layer of administration but more efficient and responsive governance. Given the chance. the evidence from various sources is that the Welsh still feel like this and, if given the chance, would vote to abolish the CardiffBay assembly. There's even an 'Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party' who's aim is to do just that.

The current devolution 'settlement' has created a complete mess. It's created more problems than it's solved and bred inequalities between the constituent parts of the UK. One of the most infamous of these is the West Lothian question, whereby Scottish MP's can vote on matters solely affecting England, but English(and Welsh and NI) MP's are barred from voting on Scottish matters. Devolution's supporters just ignore such problems and insist that we must 'make it work'. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. And this is just one problems making devolution untenable.

In recent years the people of the UK have expressed their settled will against  foolish, ill-conceived changes to the constitution of this country. Separatist constitutional change has been decisively rejected. It is now crystal clear what the correct path to take is. The UK  has demonstrated that it desires more unity, not separatism and that the devolution experiment has failed to deliver good government. As a consequence, Blair's constitutional reforms need to be scrapped. Legislative devolution should be abolished and a better system put in it's place. A system that delivers localism and decentralization of power(where necessary) but maintains the integrity of the UK.

One way of doing this would be to replace legislative devolution with administrative devolution-abolish the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies and give their powers to local councils or create new sub-national bodies. This way such bodies have powers relevant to their area de-centralized and localized to them but the integrity of the UK is safeguarded as they would have no power over constitutional matters so they would have no ability to break up the UK as the SNP have abused their devolved powers by doing. It also avoids the travesty of unrepresentative, minority extremists gaining power and forcing through their unwanted agenda against the manifest will of the majority(the SNP gained 17% in the 2011 Holyrood elections-hardly a democratic mandate in anybody's book).

Unity and shared values are the key to framing a successful, viable, practicable and fair UK constitution. Separatism and nationalism, whilst appealing to the short sighted and selfish aims of pedagogues and extremists(like the SNP and Paid Cymru) never produce anything of enduring value. We can make the governance of the UK much better by making it smaller and more efficient and responsive to it's citizen's needs, not by adding more layers. Bloated administrations lead to slow to respond, inefficient, overly bureaucratic and sometimes even corrupt government. Look at the EU.

Whilst emphatically not advocating the centralized imposition of values from one part of the UK, there has to be certain shared values between all parts of the UK. Not the values of one dominant group but certain values that can be subscribed to by the reasonable consensus of the majority of UK citizens, based perhaps on shared history and the outlook that follows from that shared narrative. Within that set of shared values the various traditions of the UK can co-exist. There is a great danger, inherent in regionalism of breeding an insular attitude, which leads to the much greater danger of balkanizing the UK and encourages national fragmentation. Local traditions are important, but not to the point that they sponsor antagonism toward other parts of the country as this promotes national disintegration. Regional devolved  assemblies would greatly promote such balkanization. Third, regional devolved assemblies lead to overly ambitious politicians abusing local issues to make a name for themselves(like Salmond and Sturgeon have).They only interest themselves in local matters that further their careers and ignore other important issues, leading to a decline in shared national values, aiding the break up of the UK. All in all devolved regional assemblies create problems and promote division.

It's time to realise this and remedy the situation by abolishing the root cause of the problem-devolution.


Stephen Bailey is a History graduate and lives in Surrey.





Article 1

Published by 27th May 2015

 The General Election

Decides the Union Not a Referendum.


The unity or separation of the United Kingdom is decided legally and peacefully at every General Election.

In Scotland 59 out of 59 MP’s took their seat’s (including 6 SNP MP’s). To go and sit in Parliament is to accept the valid and binding

authority in law of the British Parliament.


It is not open to MP’s who have been sent by their constituency electors to sit in the British parliament to then embark on a

referendum and then claim the referendum is a counter authority even a superior authority to parliamentary authority. The

referendum is a blatant attempt to bypass the electors authority expressed at the previous general

election. The Union must be decided by the electorate. It is always open for MP’s who change their political opinion (become

abstentionist) to offer themselves as  abstentionist candidates at a by election or the next general election.


 At a general election electors in each constituency must decide first and foremost if they wish to be part of the whole – the United

Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, if they do then they elect an MP from those candidate’s who indicate that they will

take their seat’s in the British Parliament. For most of the electorate, this decision is largely taken for granted but for many across the

United Kingdom it is matter of high importance, and rightly so. If they do not wish to be part of the United Kingdom then

they must give their vote to an abstentionist candidate and if that candidate wins then the new MP can refuse to sit in the British

Parliament in the knowledge that he represents the expressed electoral authority and political will of his constituents.


Abstention is the price that a separatist must pay (willing pay) in order not to belong to the whole. Abstention provides a

parliamentary, representative, democratic and peaceful means for those opposed to the unity of the nation to legally campaign for the

reconfiguration or complete ending of the nation. Representation and abstention are the opposite sides of the same parliamentary

democratic coin. It allows those who favour union and those opposed to union to use a common singular authority (parliamentary

representation/abstention) in order to measure legally and peacefully where power should be exercised (London or Edinburgh). The

referendum mechanism cannot represent an elector as the elector has already exercised their authority in the previous General

Election by placing their authority in their MP. No second authority exists or can be invented for a referendum.


Those who wish a referendum on the Union are advocating the existence of two authorities in the United Kingdom: Parliamentary

authority versus referendum authority. This is a dangerous road, one that eventually leads to ruin. Our parliamentary nation

state cannot contain two separate claims of authority. Such a contest leads to political decay and public disorder. We need not and

must not travel that road. 


Our British Parliament must confirm it is the exclusive authority in this nation and that the British people as recently as last May, will

together a whole nation as Edmund Burke MP for Bristol in 1774 said “…Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors

from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and

advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole….”.


Parliamentary Election is the method the British people recognise, accept and exercise as the valid and binding authority in our

nation and the foundation of the rule of law. It is the means of how we govern ourselves.


(c) Copyright 2012 Stewart Connell









A New Unionist Party.



The General Election of May 2015 saw an historic shift in political opinion and in votes not seen in 100 years. 

It was a 100 years ago that the newly formed Labour Party emerged and began to push the Liberal party to the political

margins and then replace it as one of the two principal parties of state.


The General Election result must not pass without comment. For 50 years the Conservative Party and the Labour Party  

have taken the British people down the road to national ruin.

The General election result is a signal from the British people that they have had enough. From 1945 until the early 1960's the United Kingdom worked,

it worked well, it worked very well: morally, economically, socially and politically.


There was a solid common identity and cohesion that bound the British people together in our common national endeavour

to rebuild, in peacetime after wartime.

This could be seen in an outward way, simply in the roll call of our great and mighty industrial organistion's:

British Railways, British Steel, British Shipbuilders and British Airways to name just some.


Then in the early 1960s - one generation after the end of the second world war, the Conservative and Labour

parties both began a revolutionary journey, one that would take us away from the elements that had made us a Great

Nation including our established Christian religion the foundation of our country.



It was a journey that would demolish large parts of the old British way of life: our steady, rough and ready way of getting

on with it, a working compromise between: the old and the new, order and dissent, stability and eccentricity, tradition and



Even into the 1980s, this common British bond and it's reach delivered a strong imprint across our national institutions and

life in general even though by then substantial parts of our industry had gone.


By the early 1990s the bonds were let loose and the fabric torn.  Today the Nation is in ruins.

For many British people across the United Kingdom there is a familiar sentiment, that the country's "gone to pot" - "the

country's going down the drain" or "the country's in a mess, I want to get out. If I had the money I would go to Spain or

Canada or perhaps Australia."



Today our established church is in full retreat from an aggressive secular movement. The latest social fads and

fashions are now endorsed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the General Synod of the Church of



Our national public infrastructure and our heavy industry has been shut down or sold to foreign powers and our coal pits and

our coal fired power stations (our natural sources of power) have been closed or are closing. We use about 60 million tonnes

of coal a year in the United Kingdom - today, we import about 50 million tonnes of it. In 1985 after the strike we still

produced about 100 million tonnes with about 100,00 miners.


British men have been pushed out of serious work and activities while British mothers are pushed into work while

their children are sponsored by the state to be placed into the "childcare industry".

Meanwhile our Nation is ripped apart and one part set against the other through devolution, our island fortress is opened up  

to mass immigration and our ancient  liberties are surrendered to the Eurostate.


How did we get here ? To national decay and dis-integration? Why did we not continue on the steady road of renewal that we


were on in the late 1950s? Why did we divert and go down the road to ruin?


 Some historians say it was the carnage of the Somme and the  Great War - the first industrialised, mechanical war that

 claimed thousands upon thousands of young men from across the United   Kingdom, from all classes, from all walks of life,

 from all trades and all professions. A generation of British youth, character, loyalty and dedication was lost.


They never came back and had families and passed on and transmitted their courage and traits and talents into our

national British Story of the 20th century. Perhaps if they had came back we could have stayed on the right road.



Others say the loss of Empire, the rise of America and the bankruptcy of the United Kingdom at the end of the second

 world war led the political class to doubt our very existence as a Nation.

 Some say we just took our parliamentary democracy for granted, preoccupied with material wealth we couldn't be

 bothered tending to our history and our most precious possession, our British Parliament and the rule of law. We neglected it.


Other recent contributions suggest that the first generation after the second world war, growing up in relative 

peace and prosperity went "overboard" and they became addicted to selfishness and then sought to break down

national authority which emphasises the opposite of  selfishness: it emphasis's selflessness, personal sacrifice for the

common national good.


Day in, day out we are told (not least by the BBC) that the British way of life, our ways, our traditions, our methods and

systems must be replaced by the new, a new morality, a new economy, a new social dispensation and a new political system,

not British, not Christian, not united, not purposeful, not independent, not territorial, not free, not ours.


I take the view that all these factors played some part in the country going down the road to ruin.


It is now 50 years since we started the journey, the  passage of time allows us to look back and examine the effects.

The revolutionary policies of the 1960s have failed. There can be no doubt they have failed.

The evidence of failure is in front of us today in every area of policy.


Nothing is working.  The Nation is dissolving before us. There is an almost tangible sense that the United Kingdom is

closing down. That is because it is closing down.


The 2015 General Election has given us a last chance. One chance. A chance that will not come again.

The Conservative and Labour parties have torn our country apart. We must put it together again.


This can only be done through political action. I believe it can only be done through the formation of  a new United Kingdom wide unionist political party.


It can only be done by such a party offering a broad manifesto of national restoration.


We must do it.


We must do it now.



(c) Copyright 2015 Stewart Connell