I didn't write anything about the Independence Referendum. This was in part because I was quite conflicted in my response. As an Englishmen (albeit with Scots ancestry) living in England, I didn't relish the prospect of a near permanent Tory majority. On the other hand, if I had been living in Scotland, I would have almost certainly voted Yes for much the same reason.
For me though the vote was not primarily about nationalism, but about governance, and that is why I'm posting now. There are worrying signs that the three main parties are moving towards a constitutional stitchup under the pretence of incresed develolution. I don't really believe that any of them want to give away power down the line, even as they shout about Brussels. Having only English MPs voting on matters affecting England is a fudge. It may be necessary in the short term, but it isn't the answer. We need Regional assemblies with fiscal powers on a par with Scotland - including corporation tax. These should be introduced at the same time - not as per the ridiculous Labour attempt to do it piecemeal.
Powers of the UK parliament should be broadly limited to Foreign Policy and Defence, plus a 'levelling' tax that allows for some equalisation between richer and poorer regions. It could also have arbitration powers over decisions by the regions and direction of some mechanism for considering inter regional issues such as HS2.
Basic principle should be that ugly word subsidiarity - decision making as close as possible to those affected. In practice this means that many powers exercised by governments at all levels should be rescinded.
At the time of the debate on Home Rule for Ireland it became known as Home Rule All Round. I've placed a map showing a notional division in a public folder on Dropbox here:
I think these regions need to be reasonably large to counteract London. The boundaries I show are broadly based on the old kindoms of the Heptarchy with variations for modern conditions.
Seats of the Regional adminstrations might be in York, Nottingham, Norwich, Brighton and Plymouth. I think they need to be outside the major cities in the Regions to avoid so far as possible a local version of the 'London effect'.
According to my calculations, based onm mid-year estimates 2011 the populations of these regions would be as below:
On this basis London's dominance would be very much reduced if seats in the National Parliament were allocated by population. This brings into question the role of the Lords. In some respects the national parliament could take on that role as a revising chamber in place of the Lords. Alternatively the Lords could become a 'Senate' on the US pattern, with a revising role for both regional assemblies and the National Parliament.
I would place all personal, property and business taxes at the Regional Assembly level, including the setting of rates. National Taxation should be for defence and foreign policy and a residual based on the idea of rebalancing income levels/head for poorer regions, based on something like the Barnett formula.