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Origins Of The First World War

1971 words - 8 pages

Devolution is an organised system where particular powers within a government are shared and put into operation by different parliaments within and around the surrounding countries, allowing for the establishment of local laws and legislation. When devolution happens, there is no loss of sovereignty or authority for the senior parliament, which still has the power to create and over rule any law in the country. Like many countries, Scotland’s plan for power sharing has been shaped by various historical and economical events, many of which are still very important in current politics.

One of the first events that influenced Scotland to want a devolved parliament was when a Scotland bill was introduced into the House of Commons just before the 1979 referendum. The Scotland bill was established because Scotland had a particularly poor network of MP’s in place within the parliament, and during the passing of the legislation, Labour MP George Cunningham made a significant change, in that all proposals would be approved by not only the majority of Scottish voters, but also by 40 per cent of the Scottish electorate. This basically meant that those at home would be classed as no voters. However, although this bill enabled Scotland to have slightly more hope when voting was concerned, the Labour government was particularly unpopular due to the winter of discontent. The winter of discontent caused major economic and industrial concerns in Britain, and because of this, it was seen as a ridiculous idea to introduce any more policies involving the Labour party. The outcome of the election therefore resulted in a win for the Conservatives, the rise of the new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979, and the establishment of a campaign called the Scottish Assembly. However, because Thatcher had been very recently elected, her government totally opposed any sort of home rule or campaigns. The campaign therefore came to a decision that a later convention would be a better option if any hope of devolution was ever to happen (Dardanelli, 2005).

When Thatcher came to power in 1979, many perceived her as being particularly apolitical and possibly even anti-Scottish. These views about Thatcher were generally fuelled by the various events that took place while the conservative government was in power, such as attacks on the working class and the closure of Scottish ship and steel factories, which resulted in a loss of the Scottish identity and an increase in unemployment. In turn, the effect of Thatcher’s government was also the catalyst for major strikes amongst the UK mining industries, the result of which turned out a disaster. With mining unions being defeated and unemployment rates increasing again, the view of Thatcher at this point had become particularly sour amongst the wide spread population. However, if things didn’t seem grim enough, the introduction of the poll tax in Scotland brought great consternation to the people and may have been the final straw....

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