Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I very rarely agree (if ever) with David Blunkett, but I too dream of a White Rose Parliament sitting in York, with HM Queen as our Head of State and Geoffrey Boycott as First Minister. Eh up, it would be grand.

Here is the relevant exchange at PMQs today:

Q2. [19519] Mr David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) (Lab): The Prime Minister sets great store by devolving decision making to ordinary people. That already exists, of course, with the Welsh Assembly—population 3 million and devolved budget of £14.5 billion—and the Scottish Parliament, with a population of 5 million and, even after the cuts, a budget, through the block grant, of £27.3 billion. Using the formula applied to Wales, the 5.2 million people of Yorkshire would be entitled to a devolved budget of £24 billion. Can he think of one single reason why the people of Yorkshire should not determine their own priorities and, mischievously, one reason why they should not have their own white rose Parliament?
The Prime Minister: I did not know that the right hon. Gentleman, for whom I have considerable respect, was making these arguments all through the past 13 years. This is a revelation. We are saying to councils in Yorkshire and up and down the country, “We’re getting rid of the ring-fences and giving you the power to spend your money in the way that you choose.” We have got rid of the bossy, centralising, interfering approach that I am afraid he was rather part of.

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