The British Labour Party: Centralisation and Devolution
The subject of this chapter is the Labour Party’s role in integrating Scotland and Wales into the British political system and its changing attitudes to Scottish and Welsh devolution. The devolution issue was an unusual one for the party in several respects. It raised the territorial dimension in politics in a form that the party had not had to deal with for many years, and which it was ill-equipped to handle. It forced the party to reappraise some of its basic beliefs in order to come to terms with a changing political environment. It interacted with a wide range of other elements in Labour’s philosophy and cut across some traditional divisions in the party. Finally, and paradoxically, it confronted the party with the necessity of developing a policy of devolution through a centralised party structure.
KeywordsLabour Movement Labour Party Scottish Executive Senior Civil Servant Territorial Dimension
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