Posted by: secretperson | January 4, 2008

Secretary of State for the Nations?

A hint today in this Telegraph blog that Brown might be thinking of introducing a Secretary of State for the Nations, presumably replacing the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Secretaries whose jobs have been rather overtaken by the various degrees of devolved national government in those provinces. Some googling has only turned up some old chat from the 2001 election is a hint in yet another Telegraph blog. Does anyone know any more?

It would make sense for these part time jobs to be removed or merged rather than taking time from full time roles like the Defence Secretary. I think the plan is for junior ministers for each nation under a Secretary. It would also make sense in any reorganisation for England to be taken into account. We are already deprived of a parliament, are we to be ignored on cabinet level for any longer. Why do Scotland and Wales need both a minister and a directly elected assembly and England needs or deserves nothing?

The other option is of course that it would be a minister for Nations and Regions. Would each of the English regions have a junior minister or would it be yet another title designed to convince us England doesn’t exist as a nation?

Either way, this plan fails to address any of the English concerns about devolution.


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