Metro Mayors and Trumpton Politics

This interview is so beautiful in so many ways.

Apart from Ruth Davidson omitting to explain to Andy Street that the Scottish Conservatives bitterly opposed devolution for decades and never lose an opportunity to run down and undermine the devolved settlement at every turn, I love the fact that both ignore the fact that the Conservatives never have been, nor ever will be elected to office in Scotland.

But the other thing that’s going on here – and this is something that the Spectator and the Telegraph have been strong on – is to pretend that somehow the six or so directly elected Mayors in England was somehow akin to devolution and a sign that the British State was evolving and handing back/down powers. They’ve developed an idea that this part of some new Brexit settlement.

In 2017 elections were held for Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, the, Tees ValleyWest of England and the West Midlands as part of the ‘Metro Mayors’ deals allowed by the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. The delayed election for the Sheffield City Region followed in May 2018.

But elected Mayors are not the same as the previously proposed (and rejected) Regional Assemblies, nor are they anything like devolved parliaments. Britain remains one of the most centralised states in Europe. So there’s more than a little constitutional sleight of hand at work here:

 

Comments (6)

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  1. Torry Joe says:

    A bit like the UK msm appearing to think that the ‘mooth’ and her few cohorts make all the decisions at Holyrood for Scotland.

  2. Welsh Sion says:

    – not all politics happens in the House of Commons
    – it’s about getting things right for communities
    – people like the idea they’ve got ownership
    – they feel they’ve got the power to change it
    – 99 people out of 100 could name the Scottish Health Minister but wouldn’t have a clue about the Secretary of State for Health in London
    – people look first to Edinburgh then to London

    Has Ruthie just laid out the case for independence? 🙂

    1. Stephen McBride says:

      Going on the coverage on the tv after the last Scottish elections. She was never off the news with her big fake smiley coupon, talking as if they had won said election. Both BBC and STV had her fizog plastered everywhere backing up her victory as if the tories had actually won.

  3. Graeme Purves says:

    Metro Mayors (or should that be Metro Lord Provosts?) may be coming this way soon given the Scottish Government’s preference for City Region Deals over our established framework for strategic regional planning.

  4. Crubag says:

    “I love the fact that both ignore the fact that the Conservatives never have been, nor ever will be elected to office in Scotland.”

    Weren’t the Unionist Party the major centre-right, and often the largest party (by seats and percentage of vote) in Scotland from the 1920s through to the 1950s? Their merger with the Conservative Party to form the Conservative and Unionist party has, I admit, been less successful?

    But Boris (only one name necessary!) shows that at a local level a Conservative politician could win such a post. I agree that like the Police Commissioners, they are largely presentational, and not the expression of a grass-roots democracy. However, both Scotland and England suffer from overly large local authorities, that often lack roots in their communities.

  5. Hodd says:

    Always remember the Scottish Tories opposed Scottish devolution.

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