1 THE POLITICS OF DEVOLUTION: INSTITUTIONALIZING SUBNATIONAL LEGISLATURES IN SCOTLAND AND WALES By LANCE WILLIAM BARDSLEY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Lance William Bardsley
3 To my Father and Mother
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee mem bers and especially Dr. Larry Dodd and Dr. Beth Rosenson, my two Co-Chairs for their pat ience and encouragement. I am most grateful to my friends in Wales and the Welsh Assembly who provided the original motivation to pursue a study of devolution in the United Ki ngdom. I am also grateful to the Hansard Society, which gave me the opportunity to do research in London and Edinburgh. I would also like to recognize the Rt. H on. Bruce George MP, who graciously opened many doors for me during my time in England. I also thank my family for tolerating me and especially my loving wife, Jean.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS .................................................................................................. 4 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUC TION ...................................................................................................... 9 Methodolog y ........................................................................................................... 10 Thesis ..................................................................................................................... 12 2 A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE CONQUEST AND COLONIZATION OF WALES, SCOTLAND, AND IR ELAND BY EN GLAND ........................................... 31 The Initial Invasion and Conquest: Wa les, Scotland, and Irel and ........................... 31 Scotland: The Path to Union ................................................................................... 35 Wales: The Path to Union ....................................................................................... 39 Ireland: The Path to Union ...................................................................................... 40 3 INTEGRATION: SCOTLAND AND THE PATH TO ADMINISTRATIVE DEVOLUTION ........................................................................................................ 48 The Incorporation of Scotland ................................................................................. 48 The Path to Administra tive Devolu tion .................................................................... 51 Institutionalizing the Sc ottish Offi ce ........................................................................ 59 4 INTEGRATION: WALES AND THE PATH TO ADMINISTRATIVE DEVOLUT ION ........................................................................................................ 73 The Incorporation of Wale s..................................................................................... 73 The Path to Administra tive Devolu tion .................................................................... 75 5 HOME RULE AND THE RISE OF THE NATIONAL ISTS ....................................... 98 Scotland ................................................................................................................. 98 Wales ................................................................................................................... 107 6 DEVOLUTION, THE NATIONALISTS, AND THE LABOR PARTY 1960-1979: SCOTLAND AND WALES .................................................................................... 110 Wales: Labor and the Nationalists ........................................................................ 113 Scotland: Labor and t he Nationali sts .................................................................... 119
6 Labor and the Royal Commissi on on Devolu tion .................................................. 121 7 LABOR AND DEVOLU TION 1974-1979 .............................................................. 130 The 1974 Elections, Labor, and Devoluti on .......................................................... 130 LaborÂ’s Devolution Policy and Parliam ent ............................................................ 145 The Referendum Campaign 1979 and Defeat: Scotland and Wales .................... 157 8 FROM Â“OLDÂ” LABOR TO Â“N EWÂ” LABOR, 19 59-1997 ......................................... 177 9 TOWARD HOME RULE AGAIN: SCOTLAND AND WALES ................................ 227 10 THE FINAL ROAD TO DEVOLUT ION: SCOTLAND AN D WALES ...................... 249 11 CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 271 Integration, Path Dependence, and Asymmetrical De volution .............................. 271 Some Speculation about Nationalist Pa rties in Democrat ic States ....................... 278 Devolution and the Dimensi ons of Disor der ......................................................... 282 LIST OF REFE RENCES ............................................................................................. 307 BIOGRAPHICAL SK ETCH .......................................................................................... 327
7 Abstract of Dissertation Pr esented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for t he Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE POLITICS OF DEVOLUTION: INSTITUTIONALIZING SUBNATIONAL LEGISLATURES IN SCOTLAND AND WALES By Lance William Bardsley December 2012 Chair: Larry Dodd Cochair: Beth Rosenson Major: Political Science This study utilizes two different t heoretical approaches to analyze the institutionalization of subnationa l legislatures in two regions of the United Kingdom. The first approach examines the hi storical legacy of the incor poration process of Scotland and Wales into the English state using a path dependency model. T he argument states that the failure of incorporation to achieve to tal assimilation of both regions is a critical juncture; this failure left a re sidual element of national ident ity that in the nineteenth and twentieth century provided the foundation fo r a national resurgence. The response of the central government in London was to implement an administrative devolution as a means to placate national concerns, the sec ond critical juncture, which institutionalized the recognition that both regions required se parate policy consider ations that were different from the larger Eng lish state. Later, this nationa l resurgence was captured by newly established national parties that c hallenged the electoral dominance of the twoparty systems in both Scotland and Wales. The second theoretical approach utilizes Li ebermanÂ’s dimensions of disorder to explain how the Labor Party c onfronted the rising challenge of the national parties in
8 regions that had become parliamentary party strongholds by the 1950s. The analysis demonstrates how short-term electoral inc entives eventually forced a reluctant Labor Party to support further devolution to the two regions despite considerable resistance from the partyÂ’s elites and rank and f ile members during the 1974 parliamentary elections. The result was an uncoordinated poli cy process that failed, causing the Labor government to lose power and be banished to the electoral wilderness for eighteen years. Only after considerable reform philos ophically and organizationally did the Labor Party remerge as electorally competitive and finally embrace devolution as a policy repackaged as constitutional change. What the study demonstrates is how macr o-level political and social processes influenced the long-term political environment, which placed considerable pressure on existing political institutions. This pressure, in turn, forced key political actors to make micro-decisions within those institutions, producing intended and unintended political outcomes that resulted in revised inst itutional arrangements and a new level of institutional structure within Scotland and Wales.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In Prime Minister GladstoneÂ’s attempt to bring home rule to Ireland in 1886, he searched through British political history to inform his understanding of home rule within the context of the exis ting British Empire. As a result of this search, he discovered the ideas of another great imperialist and British parliam entarian: Edmund Burke. Burke insisted that home rule, or, in contemporar y terms, devolution, did not threaten the established British state or its empire but actually strengthened it by granting limited authority to the devolved legislat ures of its white colonies to conduct local business. The success of the British North American Act 1867 in Canada was evidence of this benefit. In his defense of the American colonies ov er the issue of taxation, he argued that Westminster, as the empireÂ’s imperial parliament, served two functions. The first was as the Â“local legislature of this islandÂ”; the second was as the imperial parliament of the empire, Â“in which as from the throne of heaven, she superintends all the several legislatures, and guides and controls them a ll without annihilating anyÂ” (Rhys, 1961, pp. 59-60). Burke understood these functions to be separable; thus, the colonies could assume responsibility for local legislation. Therefore, the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty could remain in tact because the imperial function did not require the centralization of a ll local functions in Westminster. According to Burke, two political communities could coexist, one being supreme and the other subordinate (Bogdanor, 1999, p. 23). In fact, the nineteenth century would witness similar arrangements implemented in Scandinavia and the dual monarchy in Aust ria-Hungary. But closer to home, British governments would establish si milar institutional structur es in Canada, Australia, and
10 South Africa that would be seen as strengt hening the empire, acknowledging BurkeÂ’s original understanding of devolution, or Home Rule, as Â“just the most reconcilable thing in the worldÂ” (Rhys, 1961, p. 60). The following question thus emerges: why did the issue of devolution suddenly appear on the political agenda for Wales and Sc otland nearly two hundred years after Burke uttered his thoughts on the topic, leadi ng to the greatest constitutional change in the United Kingdom since the Great Reform Ac t of 1832? The focus of this study is to discover the answer to this question by examining the interaction between ideas, institutions, and political change. As J ohn Kingdon (2002) so succinctly asks in Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies Â“What makes an ideaÂ’s time come?Â” (p. 16). Methodology The methodology applied in this study is Most Similar Systems Design (MSSD) because it allows for a comprehensive compar ison of the devolution process in Wales and Scotland. Both entities are regions of the United Kingdom that at some time enjoyed independence or a certain level of autonomy before being in tegrated into the United Kingdom. The variables important to this com parison are nationalism, the regional Labor Party, and the impact of t he Thatcher and Major governments on the economic well being of the two regions. MSSD provides a means to focus on the three variables and their impact on the devolution pr ocess during the twentieth century. This application is particularly us eful because devolution is an asymmetrical form of government, unlike the symmetrical form of se lf-government found in the federal system of decentralization. Because many scholars who study devolution tend to view its implementation as a Â“slippery slopeÂ” to independence and the eventual disintegration or
11 weakening of the stat e, why the Labor Party chose an asymmetrical template remains an interesting source of debate. Most asymmetrical devoluti on literature focuses on union states such as Canada and Spain, which still have strong movem ents for independence despite being granted asymmetrical autonomy in some specific r egions. The reason the Labor PartyÂ’s choice is unexpected is that asymmetrical soluti ons are inherently unst able (Tarleton, 1965). Scholars have emphasized the issues t hat arise from the implementation of asymmetrical devolution and the ensuing proble ms they create for state stability. These arguments revolve around the conc ept of sovereignty, parti cularly in relation to autonomy, equality of right s, issues of representation, influence and access, and issues of fiscal equity and economic competiti on (Keating, 1998). The current study demonstrates that despite these particular issues, asymmetrical devolution can be a positive constitutional change for a union st ate because a union state is created by treaty and negotiation. A constitutional move creating devolved governments is a reflection of the need to accommodate chan ging environments and to renegotiate the original agreement that creat ed the union in the first place. As Burke suggested two hundred years earlier, dev olved government can actually strengthen the empire or the state. Furthermore, the historical focus on decent ralization, federalis m, or devolution has tended to center around a core-periphery debate rooted in identity issues, such as nationalism, language, and ethnic or religious diffe rences. This study aims to show that decentralization in post-industrial states is nec essary not only to satisfy identity issues but also, now more than ever, to distribute the workload in volved in governing a robust
12 social welfare state. As government has in creasingly become responsible for providing numerous services, from garbage collection to water access and medical care, the workload of central legislative bodies has increased significantly. By creating devolved governments in unitary systems, the une xpected and probably unintended consequence is a reduction in workload that would otherwis e overwhelm a central legislative body. An example of this diffusion of effort can be found in the U.S. Congress, where the complexity of legislation has increased the need for the multiple referral of a bill to a number of committees and decr eased the number of important bills considered in each Congressional session. In fact a primary analysis of the di fferences in Scotland bills from 1979 and 1998 demonstrates how the Labor Party recognized, by 1997, that giving Scotland her own parliament would help clear the legislative calendar and lighten the workload in numerous areas of domestic legislation (Deacon, 2007). This phenomenon is somewhat confirmed by the creation of r egional governments in Italy in the 1970s and in France in the 1980s, the strengthening of adm inistrative federalism in Germany in the 1990s, and finally, the Republican devolution revolu tion in the late 1990s in the United States. Thesis Although devolution has appeared on t he agenda throughout the constitutional history of the United Kingdom, it has historically been seen as a solution to the unique relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland. Again, following BurkeÂ’s reasoning, devolution was for Ireland, at least until the 1800 Act of Union, a practical response to the issues of local governance in civilized colonies, which need not interfere with the governing of the imperial empire. So why does devolution appear again on the
13 political agenda for Wales and Scotland nearly fifty years after ParliamentÂ’s apparent resolution of the Irish problem? Th is question is relevant, first of all, because the idea of devolution was always there but never prom inent enough to challenge the concept of parliamentary sovereignty and the deeply ingrai ned Unionist perspective of the state. Second, the incremental institutional c hange manifested in the implementation of administrative devolution had appeared to sa tisfy previous demands for autonomy, reinforced by the recent reform of local gov ernment institutions. Third, the political aspirations of the nationalists were mini mal in the electorate and did not pose a challenge to the political status quo, whic h was dominated by a very solid two-party system based on class divisions. Given these conditions in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, the call for devolution a ppears to be a strange move. The answer is that devolution represented what appeared to be a straightforward solution to the political problems the Labor Part y started confronting in the 1960s. First, the party began to witness a challenge to its political support in the Celtic fringe because of an emerging lat ent nationalism. This re -emergence of nationalism manifested itself politically in the Scotti sh National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru (PC), both posing a threat to w hat had traditionally been Labor seats in parliamentary elections more often than Conservative seat s. Second, there was a growing sense of frustration amongst the electorate because of a perceived democratic deficit in the way the regions had been administered by previous Westminster governments. The concept of administrative devolution was no longer vi ewed as an acceptable or adequate form of governance. Third, devolution eventually came too been seen as an institutional safety net against unpopular policies impl emented from the ce nter. The idea of governing from
14 the center had historically bee n the centerpiece of Labor po litical strategy but would later be recognized as inadequate after t he economic policies of the Thatcher government proved to be disastr ous in the Celtic fringe. A ll of these issues created structural friction for the Labor Party, both inte rnally and externally, requiring the party to adapt to existing political arrangem ents. As Robert Lieberman argued, Political actors in such circumstances will often be induced to find new ways to define and advance their aims, whether by finding a new institutional forum that is more receptive to their ideas or by adapting ideas to take advantage of new institutional opportunities. When stable patterns of politics clash, purposive political actors will often find themse lves at an impasse, unable to proceed according to the Â“normalÂ” patterns and processes that hitherto governed their behavior. (p. 704) The current study demonstrates that devolution and constitutional change were eventually recognized as strategic ways to re define the Labor Party. Initially, devolution was implemented to overcome t he nationalist threat, which wa s viewed as a short-term challenge to LaborÂ’s status as a party and government. At the same time, party leadership, in order to protect its interest s, possessed a short-term time horizon with regard to devolution as a policy choice; they lacked a concrete understanding of where devolution would take them. Nevertheless, la ter, the move would eventually be seen as a way to redefine Labor as a party and to capitalize on the mounting discontent of the electorate with the Conservative Party in t he Celtic fringe, although this outcome was never the original intent. This strategy woul d contribute to a revitalization of the party, propel it to its first electoral vi ctory in eighteen years, and plac e it in a position to initiate the greatest constitutional change in the Unit ed Kingdom in over 127 years. However, the road to devolutionÂ’ s implementation in the regions of Scotland and Wales at the end of the twentieth century was not an endpoint that coul d have been envisioned at the
15 beginning of the century or even in the early 1970s. The entire process was haphazard, lacked clarity, and was filled with unexpected consequences along the way. Therefore, the road to devolution demonstrates that political chan ge is not necessarily a cut-anddry application of cause and effect bas ed on the rationality of the players. Rather, political change is a process and not the product of coherent connections between ideas and institutions. For when soci eties are confronted with problems, their resolution is the product not of straightforwar d scientific analysis but of political clashes within the historical and inst itutional context of the ti me (Thelen & Steinmo, 1992). Kingdon (1984) reinforced this view by argui ng that policymaking is not the rational process of optimal choice, as one woul d expect, but a pushi ng and pulling among competing interests vying for influence. In his analysis of social movements, Tarrow (1994) stated that institutions create strategic opportunities for political actors to pursue their goals while creating opportunities for th e mobilization of soci al interests. The constitutional shift that occurred in 1998 was not the result of a coherent process. In fact, it was initially seen as strategy to def lect the nationalist challe nge; only later did it represent a solution to other emerging problems because of structural changes occurring within the United Kingdom. The focus of this study is consti tutional change in the United Kingdom, specifically the inst itutional change that emerged bec ause of the implementation of devolution for Scotland and Wales in 1998. On the surface, the dev olution legislation offered at the time by a ne wly elected Labor government seem s rather straight forward; in actuality, the result was a much more pr otracted affair that traces its intellectual origins as far back as the time of the great Irish parliamentarian Edmund Burke. If the
16 idea of home rule was present in late ei ghteenth-century political debate in Great Britain, why did its implement ation as a full-fledged government policy take almost two centuries to become a reality in the clos ing days of twentieth-century Britain? To discover the answer to this question is the pr imary function of this study. Providing a closer examination of the proc ess of political change in a soci ety, this political analysis is based on two complimentary perspective s. One is the pat h dependency approach used to examine political development, and the second is the idea of critical junctures found in American Political De velopment (APD) literature. The path dependency approach figures promi nently in Alexander GerschenkronÂ’s important study of Eur opean industrialization in his essay collection Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective This work influenced Barrington MooreÂ’s Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy which suggests that the road to modernization did not necessarily follow one developm ental path. The pat h dependency model is certainly not new to research in comparat ive politics. Lipset and RokkanÂ’s analysis of the European party system is a classi c example. Later, CollierÂ’s (1991) Shaping the Political Arena a cross-national analysis of Latin AmericaÂ’s labor movement, used a similar approach, highlighting cr itical junctures as departure points that set the stage for the course of future political development. Th is second perspective, covered later in the development of the analytical model used in this study, figures prominently in more recent American Political Develo pment literature, which traces some of its ideas to the field of comparative politics. The model developed for this study operat es on two distinct levels. The first follows the development of an idea or institut ional concept as it unfolded over time in
17 British political histor y. The second examines the clash of various political interests as they came to grips with the changing environment of British so ciety. The first level is an analysis of the long process through which an idea developed within the context of a changing political environment. The second level focuses on the particular points in time when events presented an opportunity for in stitutional change to occur within the context of the immediate social environm ent. A somewhat similar approach was used in Brandon OÂ’ConnorÂ’s A Political History of th e American Welfare System a contemporary work within APD literature. O Â’Connor demonstrated how the concept of liberalism changed over the course of Amer ican political history and how these changes impacted the national governmentÂ’s policy in itiatives concerning welfare support. He particularly focused on how liberalism becam e linked to welfare support during the F.D.R. administration and how this connection drove future policy initiatives concerning welfare policy in the Kennedy and Johnson admin istrations. In turn, conservatives used this connection to to attack the liberal polit ics of the 1960s; they linked the so-called failed welfare policies to the liberal po litical movement, changing the debate about the nature of liberalism and the focu s of future welfare policies. Based on the path dependency approach, trac ing devolution as an idea of governance demonstrates how the concept origin ally evolved as a solution to governing the British Empire. However, once this so lution appeared successful, it became a road map for solving an in-house governing problem in the mother country. Of course, as devolution became an embedded idea for gover ning, it proved successful when used to deal with problems in various regions of the United Kingdom. Finally, it would be embraced as a solution to further governi ng issues as the British political system
18 confronted enormous pressures emanating from the changing political environment in the second half of the twentieth century. The second level of the model focuses on the Â“dimensions of disorderÂ” by examining the events of the two separ ate devolution periods of 1978-79 and 1997-1998. This le vel emphasizes how long-term processes shaped the Labor PartyÂ’s strategic choices during bot h periods and the unintended consequences these choices generated for the future of the party and other political actors. The following discussion highlights the specific aspects of the path dependency approach and the dimensions of disorder. Orren and Skowronek (2004), in their book The Search for American Political Development defined APD as substantive analysis that covers the full range of politics in the United States: past politics and present politics, political action and political behavior, political thought and political culture, movement politics and institutional politics. Th e theoretical precept is this: because a polity in all its different parts is constructed historically, over time, the nature and the prospects of any single part will be best understood within the long course of political formation. (p. 1) This definition provides a basis for analyzing devolution in the United Kingdom; in fact, some of its more precise approaches sugges t how to place the origins and eventual implementation of devolution within the contex t of British political history. They argued that APD researchers want to go beyond t he Â“thick descriptionÂ” of Â“what happenedÂ” to capture the Â“processes of change conceptually in general terms, and in considering their broader implications for the polity as a wholeÂ” (p. 6). Although the work of the authors clearly focuses on American political development, they recognized that the historical construction of politics lends itse lf to a Â“strong comparative bentÂ” and owes an Â“intellectual debt to comparativ e historical theoryÂ” (p. 6). The current studyÂ’s analysis of the devolution process utilizes a comparat ive methodology by examining developments
19 in Wales and Scotland while simultaneous ly applying some of the theoretical approaches from the APD traditi on. It examines the politic al development of devolution in the United Kingdom by dissecting the Â“b ig picture,Â” by placing events within the context of a dynamic and changing politic al environment. The hope is to identify patterns that highlight key events and actors and locate meaningful points of change before, as opposed to after, institutional change. The comparative analysis of the road to devolution in Wales and Scotland is the first step to providing a clear view of the pr ocess of political change. In particular, it builds a window from which a closer examin ation of the how and why political change actually occurs in a democratic society c an be understood more clearly. Past studies of political change have examined ev ents that occur when a stable political environment faces some crisis and eventually adapts; t hese events result is a new and improved form of the old structure t hat will function adequately until the status quo is eventually confronted by a different challenge. However, the weakness of this approach is that it is one-dimensional and lacks any conceptual insi ght into patterns of change over time. This focus has historically been seen as Â“episodic and containedÂ” (Orren & Skowronek, 2004, p. 14). However, change itself is not st atic; it lurks beneath the surface waiting for the circumstances necessary to propel it upward and offer itself as a solution to a current political problem. APD literature of fers re-conceptualizes change as something Â“inherent in politics,Â” and Â“understanding cha nge this way means the alternative to a search for order need not be a capitulation to chaosÂ” (Orren & Skowronek, 2004, p. 14). This idea of change implies that there are mu ltiple orders reinforcing one another at
20 times, creating tensions at others, in a constant pulling and pushing in the political environment. Current APD literature provides many theoretical approaches to understanding the process of political change, but capturing the interacti on of ideas, institutions, and political change as a process related to Brit ish political development requires a much more robust theoretical model. To apprecia te how the thoughts of an eighteenth-century parliamentarian such as Burke came to be the origin of a solution to a late nineteenthcentury political problem confronting Gladst one in 1886, a solution that finally became the only recognized policy alternative to a la ter twentieth-century issue of governance, requires an in-depth analysis of the devolution issue across 200 years of British political history. APD literature provides a lens through which scholars can better understand how any political change is really a reflec tion of events as they move through the context of a particular environment over ti me. To be precise, Paul Pierson (2004) suggested that Â“micro mode ling exercises centered on the interactions among individuals encourage a highly restricted field of visionÂ” that misses issues of Â“macro structure, the role of temporal ordering and sequencing, and a whole host of social processes that play out over extended periods of timeÂ” (p. 9). Exam ining devolution as a process played out over time helps clarify not only what happened at a specific point in time but also the social processes that guide and direct political change within the macro structures of a society. The outcome is a more precis e explanation of institutional origins and change over time. While Pierson (2004) focused on the impact of macro structures and the ordering and sequencing of policy choices, Orren and Skowronek (2004) isolated change and
21 order as essential not merely to under standing what happened in a descriptive sense but to Â“grasping processes of change concept ually, in general terms, and in considering their broader implications for the polity as a wholeÂ” (p. 6) For them, change is not the Â“interlude between relatively permanent settlem ents, but a normal aspect of all political arrangements,Â” and APD is a move away from Â“politics as series of settlements to politics as the current configur ation of conflictsÂ” (p. 20). By Â“the current configuration of politics,Â” they mean that all Â“ political change proceeds on a site which is a prior political ground of practices, rules, leaders, and ideas. The sites themselves can be any definable political expanseÂ—a geographical area, a policy network a political institutionÂ” (Orren & Skowronek 2004, 20). Th is understanding of sites helps political scientists look more carefully at the existing political un iverse because it forces forces them to recognize the multiple order s operating within that univers e. Eric SchicklerÂ’s (2001) theory of disjointed pluralism, as it applie s to his study of institutional change in Congress, applies this concept of multiple orders to demonstrate how five different coalitions of collective interest push and shov e each other as they strive to obtain their goals; he recognizes that institutional change is not clear-cut, but a reflection of Â“the interactions and tensions among competing coalitions promoting several different interestsÂ” (p. 4). The result is that Â“insti tutions typically develop through a tense layering of new arrangement s on top of preexisting st ructuresÂ” (p. 15). Orren and Skowronek (2004) clearly stated that Â“no political transaction is complete and that nothing follows on a clean slateÂ”; from this point of view, in stitutional change is not necessarily an actor-oriented event focused on finding a rational solution to a specific dysfunction (p. 22).
22 Pierson (2004) provides some insight into the limits of institutional design; what he labels Â“actor-centered functionalismÂ” or Â“rat ional choice approaches to institutional changeÂ” claim Â“that a particular institution exists because it is expected to serve the interests of those who created itÂ” (p. 105). The criticism of this theoretical approach is that it focuses on instituti onal effects based on the assumption that choices are made in a vacuum devoid of other political actors and outside a broader social environment. The result is that this type of analysis misses t he bigger picture of inst itutional development by downplaying institut ional causes. Pierson (2004) high lights half a dozen limitations to actor functional theories, including the fact that actors havw short time horizons, the unintended effects of instit utions, and institutional cont inuity and environmental change (pp. 107-122). For example, his problem with s hort time horizons is that they narrow the focus of cause and effect analysis of institut ional change to short-term impact, clearly missing the long-term impact and some uni ntended consequences of change. Another objection is that functional theories tend to ignore changes in the broader social environment that can evolve over the long term, creating unpredictable future pressures on institutions. Pierson (2004) reminds us that to concentr ate on immediate political and policy outcomes ignores the long-term potential of institutions to Â“take on a life of their own and become genuinely independent causal forces in shaping further institutional developmentÂ” (p. 131). Pierson (2004) emphasizes temporal c ontext because, in contrast to the assumptions of functionalist theory, change does not occur in a vacuum. Rather, it is subject to long-term processes usually ignor ed or missed by rational choice theorists, who favor parsimony even at the cost of failing to see the larger pict ure of institutional
23 development. Accordingly, the author offers an approach that captures political change in the context of two concepts: posit ive feedback and path dependency. Positive feedback is a self-reinforcing tendency to push political actors along a particular path to institutional development, in some cases clear ly limiting the choices open to them at a specific point in time. Pierson acknowledge s that Â“each step in a particular direction makes it more difficult to reverse course Â” because Â“the probability of further steps along the same path increases with each move down the pathÂ” (p. 21). The cost of switching direction or choosing a new option becomes too costly over time. Thus, actors are propelled down a certain path, limiting their ability to control events. Pierson suggested that Â“in path dependent processes, positive feedback means that history is Â‘rememberedÂ’Â” (p. 45). In other words, path-dependency analysis suggests that early events can push particular aspects of a polit ical system onto a dist inct path that is reinforced over time and, consequently, limit opportunities to branch in alternative directions. Path dependency is an analytical approach t hat calls attention to Â“historical causationÂ” by acknowledging that parti cular institutional arrangements, once established, have a tendency to reinforce them selves and resist attempts to alter the path of development. The assumption is that once particular institutional arrangements have been established, Â“patterns of political mobilization, the institutional Â‘rules of the game,Â’ and even citizensÂ’ basic ways of th inking about the political world will often generate self-reinforcing dynamicsÂ” (Pierson, 2004, p. 10). Pierson (2004) calls this selfreinforcing dynamic Â“positive feedback,Â” wh ich refers to the entrenchment of vested interests, whether in ideas, ideology, or uses of power by specific political actors, all of
24 which make reversing course very difficul t. As economic theory hi ghlights, the startup costs of initiating new directions in po licy or fundamental changes in institutional structures become too high, and Â“political alternatives t hat were once quite plausible may become irretrievably lostÂ” (Pierson, 2004, p. 11). This reinforcing tendency underscores the importance of temporality. Thus, the timing and sequence of events might fundamentally change the choices that are made or can be m ade at a particular point in time. The eventual outcome in any political choice, then, is limited and not a clear-cut result of optimal choice, as functional theorists would assert. The benefits of the path depende nt approach are clearly spelled out by Pierson (2004). First, he states that path dependent arguments Â“pro vide a useful and powerful corrective against tendencies to assume functi onalist explanations fo r important social and political outcomesÂ” (p. 11). Second, initial political or social events occurring at one point in time reproduce themselves later, thus shedding light on the cause(s) and process of institutional c hange. Lastly, focusing on positiv e feedback draws attention to the importance of temporal ordering, for the order of events c an make a fundamental difference (p. 11). Furthermore, the use of a path dependency model is certainly not new to research conducted in t he field of comparative politics. The first level of the model is to exami ne, using the Â“critical juncturesÂ” envisioned by Collier and Collier (1991), events along the road to devolution that highlight aspects of timing and sequence. In the context of t he current study, some of these Â“critical juncturesÂ” occurred early, before the issue of devolut ion emerged on the political agenda. The first critical juncture was the process through which both Scotland and Wales were integrated into the dominant Englis h state. This juncture set the conditions
25 for whether national identity would remain durable after incorporat ion and whether that identity was unifying or divisive, laying t he foundation for the way devolution would be viewed as a policy alternative in the futu re. The second critical juncture was the adoption of administrative devolution as a poli cy solution to rising nationalist sensibilities that emerged in the late ninet eenth century. This critical juncture not only recognized that Wales and Scotland were unique and institutionalized a governance process that recognized this necessity but also reinforc ed this sense of difference and provided the means for further adaptation as time progress ed. Both of these j unctures set the stage for the eventual challenges that the cent ral government confront ed beginning in the 1960s, challenges that molded the political landscape prior to the episodes of 1979 and 1998, when political expediency or incent ives pushed institutional change to the forefront. Collier and Collier (1991) defined a crit ical juncture Â“as a period of significant change, which typically occurs in distin ct ways in different countriesÂ” and Â“is hypothesized to produce distinct legaciesÂ” (p. 29). They further identify three components of critical junctu res: (a) a significant change takes place, (b) the change takes place in distinct ways in different ca ses, and (c) the explanatory hypothesis about its consequences (p. 30). The authors provi de a mechanism to substantiate whether an event is a critical juncture. In the model for the current st udy, critical junctures help explain how home rule came to the forefront of British politics as a policy solution to a rising nationalist fervor that most had thought long submer ged beneath the dominant British identity. Finally, a third critical juncture was the referendum campaign and its outcome in 1979. It provided the foundation fo r the way devolution, now established as a viable policy alternative by a Labor governm entÂ’s referendum and legislative bills, will
26 be pursued in both Scotland and Wales. The second level of the model examines the Labor PartyÂ’s eventual commitment to a policy t hat contradicted the tenets of its political goals for Britain. To do so, the model tu rns to LiebermanÂ’s ( 2002) Â“dimensions of disorderÂ” as a means for testing the component s of a critical juncture; he argues that acknowledging the perspectives of both ideas and institutions Â“sheds light on the points of friction, irregularities, and discontinuities that drive polit ical changeÂ” (p. 698). Applied to the analysis of devolution, LiebermanÂ’ s approach further illuminates the critical junctures already identified: its emergence as a political policy choice through its implementation as a concrete policy outcome. Lieberman (2002) provides a template fo r verifying the validity of critical junctures. Indeed, Collier and Collier (1991) argued that essentia l to understanding critical junctures is examining the Â“anteceden t conditionsÂ” that precede the crisis, which Â“emerges out of the antecedent conditions and in turn triggers the cr itical junctureÂ” (p. 30). This event produces a legacy or outcome different from what preceded it, such as a new institutional arrangement or policy choice. The dimensi ons of disorder provide a way to analyze events in view of the entire po litical environment as it existed; thus, a comprehensive and precise image of polit ical change comes into focus within the context of a dynamic po litical environment. Divided into three clusters, the Â“dimensions of disorderÂ” are the multiple political orders in a society that combine and event ually clash to produce change (Lieberman, 2002). The first cluster consists of the gover ning institutions, such as legislatures, executives, and other institut ions. The next category is the organizational environment, shaped by political parties and interests groups. Finally, the third cluster is composed of
27 the ideological and cultural perspectives that organize and legitimize political discourse (Lieberman, 2002, p. 703). Each dimension generates incentives and opportunities for political actors while defining t he moves those actors can make. In some cases, however, friction arises to create competing pressures that challenge the normal behavioral patterns of political actors. Friction, generated when choices pull in different directions, present s political actors with conflicting pressures that make conventional moves untenable. Thus, friction poses acute dilemmas, providing political actors more incentive to initiate political change (Lieberman, 2002, p. 703). Applying this idea to the devolution proc ess highlights the presence of friction from the decade preceding the 1979 re ferendum until its implementat ion in 1998. Measuring Â“frictionÂ” requires a thorough ex amination of the devolution pr ocess, Â“a matter deriving, from the historical record, a ccounts of the incentives, opport unities, and repertoires that arise from multiple sources of political order and imping e simultaneously on the same set of actorsÂ” (p. 703). Lieberman (2002) contributes the notion that ideas and institutions are not necessarily connected in a coherent fashion. First, political arrangements are not products of a total vision Â“that informs instit utions and ideas and knits them together in a unified wholeÂ” (p. 702). He proposed that new institutional arrangeme nts or policies do not replace existing arrangements but are laye red on top of them. Fi nally, he stated that those institutional arrangements or ideas are products of prio r historical circumstances that continue to linger long after the initial need for their creation, even if they might prove dysfunctional (p. 702).
28 This model proposed in the current study provides a means for understanding the process of political change as it evolves from a concept into the establishment of new political structures and arrangements. The first level of the model (i.e., path dependency approach) permits closer examinat ion of the reasons that devolution became the only feasible alternative to the governance problems c onfronting the United Kingdom in the nineteenth centur y and the reasons that it infl uenced political choices in the twentieth century. The second level (i.e., Â“dimensions of disorderÂ” approach) provides a method for demonstrating how haphazardly the events unfolded and the effects that devolution had, intended or unintended, on future developments and outcomes. Thus, this study analyzes the proce ss of devolution from its inception as an idea through its implementation as a solution in order to understand the processes that make an ideaÂ’s time come. As former Secr etary of State for Wales Ron Davies so concisely expressed during an interview while he was still an intern in the Welsh Assembly, Â“Devolution is a process, not an eventÂ” (personal communication, April 12, 2001).1 In keeping with this sentiment, the curr ent study aims to provide a coherent picture of this process in order to illuminate the r eality of political change in democratic societies. In order to accomplish this task, the anal ysis is divided into two distinct parts although they are not necessar ily separate occurrences in time. The first part of the study uses path dependency and the concept of critical juncture to examine events leading to devolution and its impl ementation. In this case, ther e are three precise critical junctures. The first is the way Wales and Scotland were integrated with England. The 1 This interview was conducted in April 2001 with R on Davies AM while he was serving in the first Welsh Assembly as a Labor representative. This quote has been publicized widely throughout the United Kingdom to remind people that devolution will be an evolutionary learning experience.
29 form of this integration constructed the env ironment that determined, over time, the shape of the socio-political environment in the regions, particularly the strength of national identity and how that identity eventually placed demands on the central governing authority. The second critical juncture is the timing and structure of the establishment of administrative devolutio n in the different regions and how that establishment, at least for a certain period, satisfied demands for governance within the regions. As the third critical juncture, the 1979 referendum campaigns in Wales and Scotland are examined, for they establishe d how both regions continue to come to terms with devolution in the face of the rapid political changes of the 1980s and 1990s. Examining the choices made at these particular points can help explain why devolution emerged in an asymmetrical m anner in Britain, as opposed to a symmetrical structure that would replicate state or regional governments in fe deral systems. Therefore, Chapter 2 examines the historical circumst ances that preceded the incorporation of the Celtic regions into the E nglish state and how that proc ess determined how each would be incorporated into the dominant political system. Chapter 3 analyzes the terms of ScotlandÂ’s incorporation and how it impacted national identity and the future development of each region; it then examines the critical juncture of establishing administrative devolution in the region and its development. Chapter 4 replicates the analysis of the same critical junctures, but for Wales. Finally, Chapters 5 and 6 provide a brief narrative of the rise of the nationalist parties in both Wales and Scotland, setting the stage for the seco nd part of the study. The second part of the study utilizes the dimensions of disorder as a framework for examining the events of both 1975-1979 and 1997-1998. They are divided into three
30 clusters. The first cluster cons ists of the governing instituti ons, such as legislatures and executives. In this particular study, the fi rst cluster focuses on the Labor party and its political position developed in Parliament starting in the 1960s through 1979, which is covered in Chapters 6 and 7.and then again in 1997-1998, covered in Chapter 10. The next category comprises the organizational environment, su ch as political parties and interests groups. This second cluster requi res an examination of the Labor Party and how it adapted to a radicall y changing environment and to social activity within both Scotland and Wales, which is examined in Chapter 8. Finally, the third cluster is composed of the ideological and cultural per spectives that organize and legitimize political discourse, which is analyzed in Chapte r 9. For this cluster, the study examines the public reactions to the governing Tory party to shed light on various ideological disagreements and the changing economic environment to assess the cultural perspective in both regions.
31 CHAPTER 2 A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF TH E CONQUEST AND COLONIZATION OF WALES, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND BY ENGLAND The Initial Invasion and Conquest: Wales, Scotland, and Ireland The pattern of domination by the AngloNormans in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland had enormous consequences for how the native Celtic populations were integrated and assimilated into the English state. According to R.R. Davies (1990) in Domination and Conquest the eventual domination of the three regions was essentially a colonization process that proceeded at different times and in different forms, imposing long-term effects on the development of each area. Each of these Â“societies were economically underdeveloped and indeed culpably backwardÂ” and Â“p olitically immatureÂ”; moreover, Â“the social customs and moral, sexual and mari tal habits of theses societies showed at best an early stage of social evolutionÂ” (p. 21). Therefore, m ilitary domination was only the beginning; in order for the AngloNormans to import thei r entrepreneurial model and civilization, colonization would prov e necessary. During the 12th and 13th centuries, populations migrated into these regions from across Europe to import skills and technology. The majority of these migr ants were English, a culture that would transform all three regions by grafting its social and economic order onto the native societies. The developmental pattern that emerged significantly shaped how the natives would perceive their integrati on into the English state. The migration pattern in Wales saw the E nglish settle in the southern lowlands of Wales, keeping the native population in t he northern and western areas of Wales relatively isolated from the economic and soci etal changes occurring in the south. This geographical distribution denied the Welsh pr inces access to the economically rich
32 south and its commercial development, weakening their ability to resi st integration into the English state. By the 13th century, chro niclers were writing that it was Â“English which the peasant at Cardiff spokeÂ” (R. Davies, 1990, p. 12). Ho wever, the topography of the northern and western ar eas of Wales isolated the Welsh peasants, who continued to speak Welsh though ruled by English lan downers. This settlement pattern initiated the 19th-century linguistic demographics of Wales that w ould shape the concept of Welsh identity upon its cultural re vival at the end of the century. Unlike Wales, Scotland was an est ablished kingdom, though still an economic backwater compared to England. Early Scotti sh kings recognized the superiority of the English and showed deference to them when King Edgar signed a charter acknowledging that he held his position Â“by giftÂ” of the English king at the end of the 11th century (R. Davies, 1990, p. 6). Scotland acknowledged English power and submitted without conquest, but the English achieved domination when Scottish kings imported the English model. So by the beginni ng of the 13th century, Scotland had over forty royal burghs and standard royal coin age, highlighting a successful economic transformation. From a political standpoint, the Scots also adopted feudal tenure and aristocratic life as English settlers migr ated into the royal burghs and established themselves in lowland Scotland. By this ti me, therefore, the l anguage of business was English, and the customs that governed the royal burghs were English. This linguistic shift would create a more Anglicized and weal thier society in the Scottish lowlands compared to the highlands, a gap that would have significant implications for the future development of Scotland.
33 Finally, Ireland was the last to be invaded because after the Norman William the ConquerorÂ’s pacification of Saxon England, his heirs proceeded to subdue Wales and later Scotland. The existence of Ireland was known, but resources were unavailable as Wales proved a more difficult adventur e at the time and monarchs focused on defending and enlarging their Angevin empire However, what brought the AngloNormans onto the scene was a plea from a defeated Irish king who was searching for allies in order to return to the island and defeat hi s enemies. Although Henry II was sympathetic to the circumstances of De rmot MacMurrough of Leinster, he was otherwise engaged in activity in his French territories; nevertheless, he gave the defeated king an open letter inviting his subjects to rally to DermotÂ’s cause in Ireland. Dermot was successful in enlisting the servic es of a number of Norman barons on the Welsh border who possessed extensive milita ry experience, including one nicknamed Â“Strongbow,Â” who had been promised the Gaelic kingÂ’s oldest daughter in marriage. By May 1169, a force of 600 knights, foot so ldiers, and archers landed at Bannow Bay, marched to Wexford, and defeated the first wave of the Norse force it would encounter throughout the partial conquest of Ireland. G aelic and Norse forces recognized the threat, and an additional Norman force lande d under Strongbow, who would eventually occupy Dublin, defeat further Norse and Gaelic forces, and finally established control in Leinster. Finally, Henry II, recognizing hi s baronsÂ’ success, landed in Ireland with another force and signed the Treaty of Winds or in 1175, assuring that his barons recognized their fealty to him, along with some of the Gaelic kings. He claimed certain lands for himself, including Dublin, and recogni zed StrongbowÂ’s control over Leinster, but he placed a rival baron de Lacy in control of the Kingdom of Meath as a counter to
34 Strongbow. By 1250, eighty years after the invasion, the Normans introduced centralized administration, co inage, sheriffs, and a county system while establishing towns to create wealth through trade. The problem was that the conquest was never completed; the Normans never arrived in su fficient numbers to subdue the entire island. They occupied the plains, the coasts, and the river ways, which comprised approximately three-quarters of the island. The Gaelic Irish would continue to rule in the north, but the two societies would remain separate except for nobles intermarrying between the two groups. Though the Normans by 1300 controlled most of the country, this conquest was haphazard, and they focus ed their control on their castles; their decision to leave the Gaelic Irish on thei r own would have drastic consequences later on. Also, the new aristocracy that emer ged married into Gaelic royal families and adopted various Irish custom s, though they would rema in loyal to England. After almost two centuries, Richard II, now free from war with France, sailed for Ireland in 1394 to subdue the Irish. He won a gr eat battle that forced the Gaelic Kings to submit to the English King. However, when the king returned to face another uprising, his throne in England was seized. He woul d be the last English monarch to invade Ireland in the middle ages, and the conquest of Ireland would remain incomplete until the Tudor dynasty. During this long lull, the Gaelic Kings expanded their control at the expense of the English, restricting their c ontrol to the Pale. Finally, after extensive dynastic fighting in England, with some of the conflict originating in Ireland and some of the attacks launched from Ireland, Henry VII decided to re-conquer Ireland so that it could not continue to serve as a refuge for dy nastic challengers. In order to prevent the emergence of more Yorkist pretenders, he di spatched Sir Edward Poyning to Ireland to
35 protect the new kingÂ’s interests. The most significant accomplishment was the Irish ParliamentÂ’s passing of PoyningÂ’s Law, which declared that Parliam ent could only meet after royal permission and a fter the king and his council and been informed of and granted approval for its proposed acts. Scotland: The Path to Union The first real English attempt at whol esale conquest of Scotland occurred under Edward I, after a dynastic accident placed him in a position to demand suzerainty from the Scots during a succession crisis. He utilized his position as arbitrator to resolve the succession issue in favor of John Balli ol, who was descended from the House of Canmore that had ruled Scotland for over tw o centuries. Edward made the new king his vassal, but Balliol made a tr eaty with France in the hopes of securing his independence. The result was failure, and Edward marc hed north to conquer the kingdom. The subsequent rise of William Wallace launched a period of wars for independence that lasted until 1371. After achievin g its independence, Scotland was fairly free to maintain its independence as England focused on its str uggles with France in the Hundred Years War. Starting at the end of the 15th centur y, the English occasionally attempted to reassert suzerainty by assisting rebelli ous malcontents to weaken Scottish kings. Finally, the period from the end of the 15th cent ury until 1542 witnessed (a) a period of stability under James V that produced economic growth and greater administration, (b) the impact of the renaissance in Scotland with the establishm ent of a third university, the expansion of St. Andrews, and a college of surgeons, and (c) the introduction of printing, coupled with an overall growth in inte llectual pursuits from art to history. There was also an attempt during this period to integrate the Highland ch iefs into the feudal
36 structure by treating them as Lowland barons, but this initiative fa iled. Consequently, the king had to utilize the Gordons and Campbells as government policemen in order to administer the Highlands separ ately from the Lowlands. With the death of James V in 1542, the kingdom passed to his baby daughter whose nearest male kinsman was the King of England Henry VIII. This situat ion presented the English with another opportunity to unite Scotland with England. H enry had his son, the Prince of Wales, betrothed to Mary, the future queen, but t he Scottish Parliament denounced the treaties that established the arrangement. When Henr y invaded southern Scotland in 1544-45, Scotland renewed its alliance wit h the French, and later, it s parliament betrothed the Queen to the Dauphin in 1548. When she was whisked away to France to marry the Dauphin in 1558, Scotland was cl osely allied to France; they drafted a secret document that recognized the crown of Scotland woul d pass to the King of France if she left no heirs. Meanwhile, another event was comm encing that would have profound significance for centuries to come. The Refo rmation, which challe nged the place of the Roman Church in Europe, found its way to the shores of Scotland. Henry unleashed these forces in England in a top-down styl e for the sake of political expediency. However, the Reformation in Scotland was a bottom-up struggle that was born in revolution against an absentee monarch who wa s not only Catholic but also supported by a Catholic France. John Knox, one of the key leaders of the Calvinist reformation in Scotland, along with others, challenged t he regency of the Queen Mother Mary, who attempted to try Protestant heretics who had become a direct threat to Catholic and French authority. Knox, in negotiations wit h the English, helped to raise an Anglo-
37 Scottish army that attacked the regency and its French forces, delivering a fatal blow. The Treaty of Leith ended French domination in Scotland. Though it did recognize Mary and Francis as Sovereigns of Scotland, it re quired the removal of all French troops from Scotland. It also left a parliament in the hand s of Protestants, who passed three acts that had significant religious implications. O ne was to destroy the au thority of the Pope in Scotland. The most important was to establish for the Kirk sovereign authority while limiting the authority of the state. In England, all of the PopeÂ’s authority was transferred to the monarchy, giving the crown power over the church and state as one; however, in Scotland, the Â“Twa KingdomsÂ” were established to separate the church from the state, giving the Kirk independent authority to interv ene in civil affairs. The importance of the Reformation in Scotland is that it remo ved a barrier to ev entual union with England because of religious differences. Finally, with the French threat from Scotland now defeated, an Anglo-Scottish League was formed in 1586, a reflection of the continuing peace between England and Scotland that had been in place since 1560 and would eventually result in the union of the two crowns in the succession of James VI of Scotland (James I of England) in 1603. A common religion and monarchy made this union possible, and only during the brief peri od of Cromwell as Protector did English and Scottish interests clash after a brutal civil war involving England, Ireland, and Scotland. With the advent of the Rest oration, ScotlandÂ’s political future would be squarely tied to EnglandÂ’s, but not its economic sit uation. As England experienced an enormous increase in wealth through its colonies and trade, Scotland did not enjoy equal share despite a common monarch. Following the Glor ious revolution, which now ensured that
38 succession would only pass to a Protestant, Scotland exper ienced an economic crisis because of seven years of bad harvests and a failed attempt at establishing its own colony in Panama; indeed, the Darien expe dition resulted in an huge economic loss for Scottish investors. So by 1700, a complete union, political and economic, with England became a very attractive option for Scots. T he result was the Acts of Union 1707, which opened up English markets to Scottish indus tries and united the two parliaments into the Parliament of Great Br itain, though Scots retained some autonomy by maintaining their legal system, state church, and education system. However, not all Scots were excited about union with England and would make their discontent known in the form of two Jacobin rebellions in 1715 and 1745. Two things must be remembered about ScotlandÂ’s inco rporation into the English state. First, the Anglicized lowlands, the home of the Sc ottish Enlightenment, had the most to gain from union economically and politically. Fr om an economic perspective, the lowlands were the location of the comme rcial class, which had the most to gain from the opening of English markets and the ma rkets of its corresponding em pire. Second, the Scottish nobility was largely concentrat ed in the lowlands, in some cases possessed English estates, and would represent Scotland in both the Commons and the Lords of Westminster Parliament. Also, the success of the Reformation in Scotland was largely confined to the lowlands, for the highlands pr oved too remote to be directly impacted by the process. Therefore, the highlands continued to be a f undamentally agrarian subsistence economic structure that st ood to gain little from union and remained predominantly Catholic, similar to Ireland.
39 Therefore, the highlands proved an excellent recrui ting area for discontented elements of the union who supported royal chal lengers to the English state. So although the union, on the surface, appeared to be a vol untary project, it st ill required the English government to suppress the insurre ctions with brutal violence. In fact, the last revolt saw the English government suppress the cultural aspects of highland society, such as the bagpipes, the kilts, and other forms of highland identity, to complete Anglicization and destroy the clan system that was seen as t he source of a backward and uncivilized society. This other aspect of the union would later be used by the Scottish National Party to tell a different stor y about union and ScotlandÂ’s real relation with the English state. Wales: The Path to Union Although the English had pr evented any successful attempt at Welsh unity after its initial conquest, it did not completely br eak the power of the princes to challenge English rule until the end of t he 13th century. Edward I defeat ed the revolt of Llewellyn after the Welsh princeÂ’s death in battle in 1282, ushering in a period of English dominance that would last 800 years bef ore a new Welsh polity emerged. This dominance was officially recognized through t he Statute of Rhuddlan which established a colonial system under an English governm ent for administering Wales and enforcing English Criminal Law. The Marcher Lords ma intained order within the region. Although intermittent revolts against English rule woul d occur, the power of the Marcher Lords increased, and they started to utilize the Welsh gentry to manage their estates because they did not want to reside in Wales to enjoy the wealth and titles that came with their lands in the region. As a result, the Welsh gentry were Anglicized and would replace the
40 Marcher Lords as day-to-day administrators des pite the Penal Codes that forbade such an arrangement. Finally, Henry VIII would institutionalize this system when he incorporated Wales into the English state. Henry accomplished two interdependent goals in the 1530s. First, he incorporated Wales into the English state by abolishing the Marcher Lords so that the king would have absolute sovereignty throughout his kingdom. This move went hand-inhand with his reformation, the goal of which was not to embrace the Pr otestant faith but to assure that the authority of the Pope now belonged to the m onarch as head of the Church of England. He Â“sought a revolution in authority, not a revolution in religionÂ” (J. Davies, 2001, p. 220). A cent ral development was to entrust to the Welsh gentry the administration of the counties; they could now legally become sheriffs, justices of the peace, and members of the E nglish Parliament, for Wales was given representation. Recognition of the Law of E ngland eliminated any legal dist inctions between the Welsh and the English and made English the official language of the courts of Wales, creating further incentive for the gent ry to be Anglicized. Finally, a second act was passed in 1543 to rectify the weaknesse s of the first act. Ireland: The Path to Union With the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne in 1509, the Tudor dynasty set out to complete the conquest of Ireland; they assured it would be governed by an English government, and in 154 1, Henry would be crowned King of Ireland, the first time the title was assumed by an English monarch. The motive for doing so was selfprotection from foreign threats, principally France and Spain, or domestic rivals. Part of the strategy to secure Ireland was to dis pense with relying on the support of the Anglo-
41 Irish; this move ignited a r ebellion by Thomas Fitzgerald, t he leader of the Anglo-Irish, and Henry ruthlessly suppressed it. Afterwards, he introduced policies to Anglicize the Gaelic by seizing land and givi ng it to those he trusted as feudal fiefs, establishing uniformity of language and dre ss, and encouraging obedience of English Law. He also introduced the Reformation, which failed in Ireland, unlike Wales and Scotland. What emerged was a unity of purpose between the Anglo-Irish and Gaelic to defend the Roman Church against the newly established church of the English colony and its official class that migrated to Ireland to assi st in establishing Engl ish control. Later, these policies were followed by plantation, which was the English colonization of Ireland. That the English no l onger trusted the Anglo-Iris h, and had never trusted the Gaelic aristocracy, became clear when the Eng lish started referring to the Anglo-Irish as Â“English rebelsÂ” and the Gaelic as Â“Irish enemiesÂ” (Hayes-McCoy, 2001, p. 142). However, one area of Ireland remained relatively free of the grip of English colonization: Ulster. Here the Gaelic lords had been unaffected by the changes implemented in the rest of the country and refused to accept English control of sheriffs, provosts, and lawyers, eventually leading to an outright r ebellion in 1593 that would not be subdued until 1603. Once the rebellion was defeated and the flight of the earls left a power vacuum, the English were free to implement any policy they saw fit. That policy was colonization, which dispossessed rebellious lo rds of their land and redistributed it to loyal Protestant English colonists. The plan was to be more extensive in segregating the Irish to designated areas so that the new co lonists could establis h a network of new Protestant communities. In effect, if the Irish did not bec ome Protestant, then Protestants would be brought to Ireland, incl uding many tenants from English and many
42 more from the lowlands of Scotland to cult ivate the land. In Ulster, an entirely new society would be established that would even be different in character from the other parts of Ireland. Though t he process was comprehensive, the Catholics were not segregated as completely as planned; not enough tenants from England migrated, forcing the Protestant landowner s to hire Catholics as tenants or laborers. Pockets of native Irish Catholics remained in Ulster, the consequences of which would emerge centuries later. English policy has su ccessfully subdued the entire country, but Catholicism survived. The colonization of Ulster provided an opportunity for English control by increasing the number of Protestant representativ es in the Irish Parliament, which had been dominated the Â“Old English, Â” the earlier colonizers who had remained Catholic. This infusion of Protestant repres entatives threatened their control of the Irish Parliament, for they were barely able to frus trate attempted anti-Ca tholic legislation. However, the English Civil War present ed an opportunity for the Ulster Catholics to reclaim lost lands by taking advantage of divisions in England; the subsequent uprising, which saw the Old English rally to the cause throughout Ireland, eventually failed. The end result was an invasion by Cr omwell that would decimate the rebels and transfer more land to worthy Protestants. This seizure es tablished a Protestant upper class that would dominate t he Catholic majority in Ireland until the partition in 1922. Finally, at the advent of the Glorious Revolu tion in England, the Irish Catholics would support the Jacobite cause against William and Mary and face the defeat of a third rebellion during the 17th century, ending with t he Treaty of Limerick in 1691. The Irish Parliament was left entirely in Protestant hands, making way for what is known as the Protestant Ascendancy in Irish history.
43 The Ascendancy witnessed the introducti on of penal laws that excluded Catholics from Parliament, government office the legal profession, and commissions in the army or navy. It also further reduced the Catholic ownership of land by prohibiting Catholics from buying; by 1709, Catholics ow ned just 14% of the land, by 1778, only 5% (Bartlett, 2011, p. 178). In 1720, Westminster passed the Declaratory Act, assuring that it could legislate for Ireland directly. Engl and administered Ireland as a colony, for the majority of the population was Catholic and had proved to be disloyal; the Protestants had no choice but to accept this policy as they were a minority and relied on the protection of England for their safety. In fact, an English fo rce resided in Dublin until 1922. Also, the Irish execut ive, the Lord Lieutenant, w ho had been an Englishman since Henry VII, was appointed by the Crown and answered to Westminster, not the Irish Parliament. As a result, the English gover nment maintained control by balancing each religious group against the other, assuring t he popery codes did not go so far as to ignite another rebellion. The relationship between Ireland and England led to a peculiar political arrangement in which a Crow n representative possessed ex ecutive authority and the island nation retained its ow n Â“independentÂ” parliament or legi slature. This arrangement frustrated EnglandÂ’s ability to govern the island and forced monarchs and, later, their governments in Parliament to search for wa ys to circumvent the influence of the Irish Parliament. These methods of influencing the legislative process were important because of IrelandÂ’s strategic importance to the security of England and, later, the empire. According to Alan Ward, in his study The Irish Constitutional Tradition there were three methods the English practiced in order to influence the islandÂ’s policy
44 outcomes. The first was Â“the royal prerogativ e, the common law powers of the Crown, exercised by agents of the SovereignÂ” (War d, 1994, p. 16). The Lord Lieutenant, who acted as the monarchÂ’s representative in t he country, exercised this role. The second method was to manipulate the ruling elites by using patronage to gain their favor and, thus, support for Crown policies. The banning of Catholics from Parliament in 1691 led to the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland until its split in 1922 and the repression of the Catholic minority. The last device was a pair of parliament ary statues, PoyningÂ’s Law and the Declaratory Act, which gave the English the right not only to veto any legislation but also to legislate for Ireland through the English Parliament (p. 17). In practice, according to WardÂ’s study, Ireland had less political autonomy than most British colonies, and the American Revolution would prove to be an inspiration (p. 18). American success in 1782 inspired demands for change from the Irish in the governing arrangements that had been practiced for 300 years. Unlike the Americans, the Irish recognized that independence was not an option because the British state would never agree to a policy that placed t heir national security at risk. Instead, demands for greater legislat ive independence led to the establishment of a new governing arrangement that satisf ied Irish sensibilities. Th is arrangement was known as GrattanÂ’s Parliament, which, of course, wa s dominated by the Prot estant minority. The outcome was the repeal of the De claratory Act, returning to Iris h Parliament the ability to legislate laws for the island, and later t he repeal of PoyningÂ’ s Law, removing the requirement to pass all bills to the Crown bef ore their passage by the Irish Parliament. Thus, the Irish Parliament became the only aut hority to legislate la ws for the nation. Although the intention was to create a new administrative system with a new
45 constitution, it failed to provide self-gover nment and, at the same time, protect British interests. Britain now faced precisely t he same problem it had confronted with its American colonies and failed to resolve sati sfactorily. Unfortunately, the new political structure was a failure; the new constitution fa iled to make ministers responsible to the parliament. The Lord Lieutenant would retain his authority and continue to choose ministers based on loyalty to Westminster, not the Irish Par liament. The CrownÂ’s concern for its national security, along with its mercantilist economic principles, could not leave the fate of its policies to a co-equal parliament, even one dominated by Protestants. This predicament would eventually result in the Act of Union as a 25-year war with revolutionary France began and an Ir ish uprising was aborted in 1798. The government recognized IrelandÂ’s im portance to its national security and could no longer risk appeasing its subjects. The need for quick and decisive action pushed the government to implement union, assuring that control of Ireland would emanate from London. The Irish Parliament approved the Act of Union only after bribery and coercion. The structure created under the Act of Union reduced loca l autonomy and put in place a system that operated like the Cr own colony structure used by Britain when it conquered new territories or believed the colony to be hostile or not yet ready for self-government. According to Ward (1994), Â“from 1801 to 1921 Ireland was governed by a mixture of colonial and parliamentary government at odds with t he concept of responsible government as it fully had emerged by midc enturyÂ” (p. 30). The union was a political expedient in wartime that nev er solved any of the grievanc es the Irish people had in its relationship with the British st ate, especially the Catholic majority. Although Ireland was
46 given representation in Westminster in both its chambers, the law permitted only Protestants to hold office, a policy that w ould not change until Cath olic emancipation in the late 1820s. This particular arrangement of GrattanÂ’ s Parliament might have satisfied the Protestant minority, who depended on England for their se curity from a still repressed Catholic minority, but it would prove unsat isfactory to the Catholic majority, who believed that only an independent Ireland could provide the freedom they had lost in over the centuries. Therefor e, devolution was a plausible option for Irish Protestants who enjoyed total control in the Gratt an Parliament of 1782. However, after emancipation, Protestants we re fearful of home rule because now the nation could be dominated by a Catholic majority. For Catholics, devolution never would be a satisfactory solution because it was just another institutional structure designed to assure English domination. The path to union in both Scotland and Wales occurred early and united people with a common faith and similar economic in terests. For Scotland, the union was voluntary and incremental, appearing to be a nat ural course of events that proved beneficial to Scots, although they retained limited autonomy through the retention of certain institutions and r epresented the weaker partner in the merger of two independent states. The Welsh were essentially absorbed into the Eng lish state, treated as Englishmen, and not subject to the r epression of penal codes. These codes were eliminated by the union, which proved su ccessful, in part, because there never had been a legacy of independence in Wales. Therefore, the historical legacy of integration into the English state helps explain why devol ution in Scotland later was embraced as a
47 legitimate policy preference short of indepen dence. On the other hand, Wales, being more fully assimilated, explains why devolution was never fully embraced as a necessary policy preference. However, t he Irish possessed a legacy of independence that was never fully suppressed, and completi on of its conquest took much longer than unification with Scotland, which successf ully resisted conquest and retained its independence. And when this final attempt to conquer Ireland took place, it was sectarian in nature, comple menting an attempt to impose the Reformation. And when this attempt failed, an extens ive and systematic colonization took place, increasing the sectarian nature of t he process and subjecting a majority of the population to continued repression. The English stat e treated Ireland as a colony and never as a real partner, even after union; when tensions escala ted, independence was the only policy preference for the Irish majority, devo lution or home rule being just another institutionalized means of colonization. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the incorporatio n of both Scotland and Wales into the English state, critical junctures that determi ne the extent of nati onal identity and how it later would influence the path to devolution. This incorporation wo uld lay the foundation, or create the conditions, fo r the emergence of national i dentity, which would shape the particular demands for the second critical junc ture: administrative devolution. In turn, this institutional structure reinforced nati onal or regional differences, facilitating the transition to a more robus t form of devolution.
48 CHAPTER 3 INTEGRATION: SCOTLAND AND THE PATH TO ADMINISTRATIVE DEVOLUTION The Incorporation of Scotland In the wake of colonial devolution in t he white settlements of the British Empire and early manifestations of the home rule movement in both Scotland and Wales, the next step is to examine administr ative devolution as it evolved first in Scotland and later in Wales within the United Kingdom itself. The importance of this analysis highlights that although home rule as a policy failed to pa ss Parliament in the nineteenth century, discussion of home rule implied the distinctiv eness of different regions within the United Kingdom, making possible both the introducti on of administrative devolution and the recognition of its necessity in deliveri ng better governance. While Gladstone pondered the implementation of legislat ive devolution for Ireland, he quietly initiated an act that would establish the Scottish Office. This ac t received royal assent in 1885 after passing the House of Lords under a Tory administration, a year before home rule legislation for Ireland would be presented to a very reluctant Parliament, sparking political debate in Britain that lasted until the outbreak of World War I. The Scottish Office was not viewed as unique or a threat to the unity of the nat ion but merely as an attempt to consolidate organizationally a number of tasks already adm inistered by established local boards in Scotland. Scotland had retained its institutional distinctiv eness, even after the union of the two kingdoms, because ScotÂ’s Law and local administration remain intact (Mitchell, 2003, p. 12). This chapter and Chapter 4 examine the integration of Scotland and Wales with England, respectively, and how these two critical junctures shaped the long-term environment that would influence the extent to which both regions were assimilated into
49 the United Kingdom. Hy pothetically, full assimilation would create a common identity, removing future demands for political autono my. However, incomplete assimilation would leave open the door for reta ining the each regionÂ’s origin al identity or preserve a foundation for the advent of nati onalism in the nineteenth century. The implication is that this competing identity would gi ve rise to a spirit of auton omy as the responsibilities of the state grew and a centraliz ed authority residing in a di stant capitol began to appear out of touch or indifferen t. Throughout the nineteenth centur y, territories peopled by different cultures or language groups that had been conquered or united through dynastic processes eventually voiced deman ds for autonomy or independence. Never fully assimilated, these societies had retained ce rtain aspects of their original identity. In many cases, the state had not insisted on co mplete assimilation at the time of unification; as a result, elements of the origi nal culture remained, leading eventually to a cultural revival and subsequent de mands for political autonomy. Not until 1603 was a personal union of the crowns established, but this union was contingent on the preservation of eac h countryÂ’s laws of succession to its respective throne. It did eliminate some trade restrictions and established a common citizenship, but both nations retained thei r independent and sovereign parliaments. The only real change was that the seat of royal government moved to London, a development that was not very popular in Scotland (Himsworth & Munro, 1998, p. 2). Later, with the success of t he Glorious Revolution of 1688, William and Mary of Orange were offered the crown for both nations with the understanding that the monarchy would be subordinate in some powers to Par liament. The document that recognized this constitutional change in Scotland was called the Claim of Right a label that reappeared
50 in the twentieth century as demands for home ru le grew in Scotland. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, Scots could see they would rema in outside the growing colonial trade that was making England wealthy; thus, unification would give Scottish merchants and others access to this trade. Even after t he Act of Union in 1707, the legal system and the Church of Scotland remained intac t, precluding any complete administrative Union. In fact, Articles 18 and 19 officially preserved the authority and privileges of the Scottish Court of Sessions. Second, the Sc ottish Act of Security in 1706 had already legally recognized the Scottish state church which was responsible for education and some aspects of local governance. Indeed, the union was not designed to assimilate Scotland into the English state. Accord ing to B.P. Levack (1987), Â“The men who negotiated the Treaty had no inte rest in creating a united British nation and therefore enabled the Scots to preserve their own national identity wit hin the unionÂ” (p. 212). The first three articles of the Treaty declare a union forever, a common ru le of succession for the monarchy, and a single parliament for bot h countries. Furthermore, fourteen of the twenty-five articles deal with economic issues, such as free trade and a common fiscal system. The treaty created a political and ec onomic union, but it clearly retained distinctive Scottish institut ions that preserved a separat e Scottish identity and some aspects of administrative contro l at the regional level. Theref ore, this critical juncture preserved Scottish identity and cultural autonomy and retained administrative institutions that would be expected to deal with the specific as pects of governance or policy issues in their jurisdiction. The ne xt section examines the background towards administrative devolution.
51 The Path to Administrative Devolution The more centralized offices of Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, and Lord Treasurer were abolished, gutting the Scottish Privy Council that was responsible for maintaining law and order and had governed Scotland on a day-to-day basis by representing the monarch. Howe ver, other centralizing aut horities remained due to the continuation of ScotÂ’s Law: the post of Secretary of St ate and the Lord Justice Clerk (Gibson, 1985, p. 4). Not long after, the Privy Council itself was abolished, leaving a very fragmented administration in Scotland t hat would have drastic consequences. Both the Jacobite uprising of 1715 and the Malt tax riots in Glasgow in 1725 demonstrated the weakness or lack of charac ter of the Secretaries of St ate in office, which was now located at Westminster. As a result, the posit ion was left vacant. The Duke of Argyll, as QueenÂ’s Commissioner, had taken it upon himself to deal with the rebellion, and the Lord Advocate Duncan Forbes successfully deal t with the civil disorder in Glasgow. In the end, the Lord Advocate emerged as the prin cipal consult to the Crown on all matters in Scotland. From an institutional standpoint, any one of the Secretaries of State was formally responsible for conducting Crown business in Scotland. In reality, the Lord Advocate and unofficial Â“Scottish ManagersÂ” (i.e., Scot s who held a ministerial position in the Cabinet and acted as informal advisors on Sco ttish affairs, even if the held post was unconnected) exerted great influence in managing Scotland. They were key sources of information and understanding for the Secretar ies of State when Scottish affairs appeared on the agenda (Milne, 1957, p. 11). This informal arrangement solidified over time, and a few influential Scottish families whose members served as Scottish
52 Managers and the Lord Advocate gained significant power; in fact, the Lord Advocate actually resided in Edinburgh from 1745 to 1827. Even though Secretar y of State for the Home Department formally assumed responsib ility for Scottish affairs in 1782, these influential families not only continued to dominat e Scottish affairs but also accumulated a great deal of political patronage, further enhancing their influence in Scotland. For example, Henry Dundas, appointed Lord Advo cate in 1775, could boast seven years later that 43 of the 45 Members of Par liament were his nomi nees and that he was responsible for preparing the list of Sc ottish peers (Milne, 1957, p. 11). By 1804, the enormous power hel d by these offices started to attract criticism in the House of Commons, particularly because of DundasÂ’s influence, which coincided with the Scottish Enlightenment. During th is period, the manager system came under scrutiny because it shut out many people and remained deaf to new ideas, frustrating those who saw public service as a means of social mobility. Therefore, by 1827, the Scottish manager system had been eliminated, and the Home Secretary had assumed responsibility for Scottish affairs, not only form ally but in actual practice. A clear line of communications was in place; the Home Secr etary was accountable for Scottish affairs, receiving advice and assistance from t he Lord Advocate. Indeed, not much had changed, as would become apparent in t he coming years when the Whigs assumed control of Westminster and began to launch political and social reforms in Great Britain. Along with this arrangement, a Â“Scotch Lor d of the TreasuryÂ” was appointed to assist with concerns north of the Tyne River (Gibson, 1985, p. 10). Despite recognition some needed change, the resulting model di d not improve the administration of Scotland (Milne, 1957, p. 13) Although the establishment of the Scottish Lord of the
53 Treasury did not appear significa nt, the position did provide an advocate in Parliament for Scottish affairs and allo wed that member to act as a whip to guide Scottish legislation through Parliament. For example, Lord Elcho, in the 1850s, pushed a number of important pieces of Scottish legisl ation. Moreover, when the Lord Advocate and Scottish Lord of the Treasury remained cordia l, the system worked well enough to stifle any criticism (Gibson, 1985, p. 13). As this link from Westmi nster to Edinburgh provided the legislation necessary to govern Scotland, a parallel system, in the form of governing boards, emerged over time to administer s pecific policy domains within the region. In his book the Scottish Office Sir David Milne (1957) cites three reasons these boards developed in the eighteenth and nine teenth centuries. First, until 1885, there was no Secretary of State for Scotland respon sible for national administration. Second, administrative independence in Scotland was not merely a result of distinctiveness but geographical distance. Communication bet ween Edinburgh and London took one week, necessitating some level of administrative flex ibility. Finally, the political atmosphere in Scotland and England duri ng the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was dominated by Â“strong ideological objections to any permanent intervention by the State in economic affairs and intense local oppositi on to centralized administrationÂ” (p. 17). A number of boards existed by the mid-nineteenth c entury; they were established as economic and social welfare c oncerns created pressure for state intervention and as needs to regulate industry and collect revenue grew. Each board was independent; members were appointed by t he government through the Home Secretary (in consult with the Lord Advocate). The first board was the Board of Manufactures which was responsible for the woolen and li nen industry; it was estab lished in 1727, but its origin
54 can be traced to the Act of Union (Gibson, 1985, p. 16). Various boards followed, including the Scottish Prisons Commission the Board of White Herring Fisheries (responsible for inspecting thousands of barre ls of salted herring exported to Europe annually), the Board of Supervision (responsible for poverty relief), and the General Board for Lunacy for Scotland (established in the 1850s). However, these boards were not administratively efficient and primarily of fered positions of great political patronage to a few elites: Â“what was perceived by so me as neglect could be reinterpreted as a form of administrative autonomyÂ” (Cameron, 2010, p. 63). W hat mattered to the public was that the boards were staff ed by Scots; this nationalist pride made them believe that boards served the best interests of Scotl and. In addition, the central government periodically addressed Scottish concerns by other means to minimize criticism about the governance of Scotland. The Jury Act 1825 curbed some of the pow er of the Lord Advo cate; later, the Great Reform Act 1832 increased the franc hise and eliminated rotten boroughs, expanding the represent ation of the growing urban populati on. A year later, the Burgh Reform Act 1833 improved local government and gave the Scottish towns elected councils. This development expanded t heir tax base, and the additional revenue provided local services to citizens who had been neglected in most communities. Similar electoral reform and t he expansion did not come to rural counties until the late 1880s. The other significant change was in creasing Scottish representation in Parliament. The Union of 1707 had given Scot land 45 seats in the Commons. In 1832, this number rose to 53. By 1868, the number of seats had increased to 58, in part
55 because the public had become more vocal about representation in light of IrelandÂ’s 100 seats. Despite these official measures, t here was underlying dissatisfaction among Scottish citizens, who felt that more was needed to govern the nation effectively. This dissatisfaction eventually took the form of demands that were more organized and substantial than complaints of Scottish MPs. First, the Convention of Royal Burghs asked that the Lord AdvocateÂ’s legal and po litical functions be separated and for the establishment of a Secretary of State for Scotland (Milne, 1957, p. 13). Later, in 1853, the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights unsuccessfully petitioned the Lords for a Secretary of St ate. One historian has referr ed to this organization as ScotlandÂ’s Â“First Nationalist MovementÂ” (Mi tchell, 2003, p. 19). In the mid and late 1850s, two motions were made to appoint a Secr etary of State, the latter of which was defeated in the Commons by a vote of 174 to 47 (p. 19). Finally, in 1869, a majority of Scottish MPs sent a letter to Prime Minist er Gladstone requesting the appointment of a secretary for Scotland with f unctions similar to those of the Irish Secretary. Their argument was that the system of Scottish Boards had proven unsatisfactory because they were not accountable to Parliament (Milne, 1957, p. 13). They also echoed a common complaint of the period: that the Lord Advocate monopolized power in Scotland. Like most politicians who did not want to deal with a controversial issue, Mr. Gladstone established a board of inquir y to examine the Scottish Boards. Lord Camperdown and Sir William Clerke were appointed to examine economic efficiencies, the need for consolidation under a parliamentary head, and the duties and responsibilities of the boar ds (Mitchell, 2003, p. 21). The recommendation of the
56 commission was essentially that the status quo was economically efficient and acceptable. They also noted that the major complaints came from the Scottish MPs and not the Scottish people and that the major cause of complaint was how the legal profession was dominating the administration of the stat e through the Lord Advocate and membership on the boards (p. 22). The inquiry recommended consolidating a couple of boards, but the government i gnored the report becaus e it supported maintenance of the status quo. Over ten years later, howev er, a much more persistent demand for a state secretary would surface, demonstrating how po litical maneuvering can create strange bedfellows. In 1874, Gladstone and his Liberal Party were removed from power, losing the next election to the Tories. However, inter national events would return Gladstone to the center stage. A series of ma ssacres of Bulgarian Christians by Turkish soldiers stirred European outrage, particularly in devout Christians such as Mr. Gladstone. Because his old seat in Greenwich was no longer ve ry safe, Mr. Gladstone was persuaded by Scottish Liberals to stand in Edinburghshire, or what was then known as Midlothian, a staunchly Conservative county seat. One of the Scottish Liberals who convinced Mr. Gladstone to stand in Scotland was a young peer, Lord Rosebur y, who provided luxurious quarters and used his significant in fluence in the community to grant remission of rent to his tenants and ent ertain local Liberals at his local estate at Dalmeny (Cameron, 2010, p. 56). Not only was the 1880 election the first popularly conducted election in Britain, but the results also returned Gladstone and his Liberal Party to power. The significance for Scotland was the growing influence of Lord Rosebury, who supported many Scottish causes, includi ng the need for a secretary for Scotland.
57 Although the Tory Home Secretary intr oduced legislation for the creation of an Under Secretary for Home Affairs to focus entirely on Scotland in 1878, the bill never left the starting gate; the issue faded as the Tories lost the 1880 election. However, with the Liberal electoral victory and Lord Rosebury Â’s appointment as a juni or minister in the Home Office with responsibility for Scotland, the argument for a Scottish Secretary reverberated through the corridors of power. In a debate in the House of Lords in June of 1881, Rosebury used the Â“slippery slopeÂ” argument to support his cause; he had heard talk of Â“Home Rule,Â” and a Secretary fo r Scotland was necessary to meet this demand. Of course, this reasoning played to the times because land reform and home rule were becoming very important issues in Ireland. Despite his great efforts to get Gladstone to support the need for a secretary, Gladstone felt the office to be unnecessary and thought RoseburyÂ’s push on the issue to be self-interested; indeed, he thought Rosebury was emphasizing the need for a Scottish Office merely to move himself into the Cabinet (Mitchell, 2003, p. 25). Given the inertia displayed by Gladst one on the issue, public pressure was brought to bear on two occasions. First, in the same year as RoseburyÂ’s pronouncements, the Convention of Royal Burghs passed a resolution urging a separate and subordinate legislat ure for Scotland. In 1884, after Rosebury resigned his post in protest, 132 Scottish Burghs and 18 MPs attended a meeting chaired by the Conservative Lord Lothian in Edinburgh (p. 27). The meeting included speeches from both Liberals and Tories, culminating in a re solution for the Â“unc onditional appointment of a Secretary of State for ScotlandÂ” (p. 26) Early the next year, a delegation from the convention travelled to London to communicate its resolution to the government, which
58 was now more willing to listen after considerable public pressure. A.J. Balfour and Lord Balfour, both having participated in the conv ention, informed Lord Salisbury, leader of the Tory Party, that support for a Scottish Se cretary was in the partyÂ’s best interest. At this point, bipartisan support for the establishment of a Scottish Office clearly existed. In May 1884, the Secretary for Sc otland Bill was introduced into the Lords; this bill would grant individual ministerial responsibility and was amended in commi ttee to expand that responsibility to la w and justice. Although the bill was winding its way through the legislative process, the fall of GladstoneÂ’s government terminated the legislat ion. With the Liberals out, the Tories, under Salisbury, returned to power as an in terim government due to RedmondÂ’s Irish support; as a courtesy, they permitted Rose bury, even though he was now a member of the opposition, to re-introduce the legislation into the Lords in the summer of 1885. The bill gave the minister authorit y over the boards but remov ed his authority over law and justice (Gibson, 1985, p. 24). In addition, the original bill had given the office control of education, but due to political pressure from the educations boards, the bill reflected a half-hearted compromise: to make the new secr etary the vice-president of the Scottish Education Department. Because the new office was not viewed as an agent of social change, bipartisan support continued in this new round of consideration, and the legislation received Royal Assent on August 14, 1885. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon was appointed as the new Secretary fo r Scotland. Despite the establishment of the Scottish Office, administrative effici ency in the governance of Scotland was still a long way off. As James Mitchell explained in his analysis of administrative devolution, Â“The origins of the office had been a response to Scottish grievances rather than a
59 desire to devise a scheme for administrative efficacy. Its uncertain responsibilities and the different proposals that initially emerged suggest that issues of good government were secondaryÂ” (Gibson, 1985, p. 29). However, this sec ond critical juncture dictated the institutional path of by which future British governments woul d have to proceed in dealing with the governance of Scotland. Institutionalizing the Scottish Office At the same time, the est ablishment of the Scottish Office set a precedent that reached beyond administrative efficiency at a distance from the national capital. As James Mitchell (2003) hi ghlighted in his study Governing Scotland: The Invention of Administrative Devolution Â“the creation of the office was unus ual in that this client group was a nationÂ” and Â“in many respects a pres sure group representing Scottish interests within a British central governm entÂ” (p. 2). He further arg ued, more importantly, that Â“national sentiment played an important part in its emergence and development,Â” encouraging Â“a conception of Scotland as a polit ical and not merely a cultural entityÂ” (p. 2). Rokkan and Urwin (1982), in the introduction to their analysis on terri torial identity in Europe, described the United Kin gdom as a union state that Â“p reserves some degree of regional autonomy and serves as agencies of i ndigenous elite recruitmentÂ” (p. 11). Both studies recognize that the inst itutionalization of autonomy, in the form of the Scottish Office, provided the foundational structure for becoming a r egional advocate that could operate in a distinct political environment and change in response to pressures from the outside. Not until 1939 and only after a number of attempts did the administrative apparatus in Scotland become a model of ef ficiency. Eight years would pass before
60 three fundamental issues concerning the st atus and authority of the Scottish Office would be resolved: (a) the stat us of the Scottish Minister (b) the officeÂ’s role in educational matters, and (c) the amount the wo rk done by the Home Office that would be absorbed by the Scottish Secretary (Mit chell, 2003, p. 29). By 1892, the Scottish Secretary was a member of the cabinet by convention; not until 1926 was he elevated to the official cabinet rank of Secretary of State. In addition, by 1897, most educational duties, excluding university education, had been transferred to the Scottish Education Department. Finally, the Scottish Office continually absorbed Home Office responsibilities as the gover nment workload expanded to m eet the needs of a growing welfare state. Therefore, in 1887 and 1889, two additional acts amended the original legislation, addressing matte rs that had caused concern about the Scottish Office. These changes would suffice until after Wo rld War I, when an expanding economy, a depression, and a growing state placed more st ress on the administrative organization. While the drive for a Scottish Secr etary had been successful, it still did not attenuate grievances about the amount of parliamentar y time devoted to Â“Scotch affairs.Â” These grievances first surfaced in the 1850s in response to ScotlandÂ’s underrepresentation in the legislat ure. By 1863, Scottish repr esentation had increased from 53 to 60; in 1885, the number rose to 72 (Mitchell, 2003, p. 42). The previous arrangement proved unsatisfactory because MPs informally met in the Commons tearoom to discuss needed legisl ation for Scotland, sometimes in the presence of the Lord Advocate. Moving a bill successfully th rough the legislative process was difficult because it usually lacked government suppor t. In addition, because the Lord Advocate lacked cabinet status, he was dependent on the Home Office for support, which was
61 usually more concerned with other more pressing issues. This discontent among Scottish MPs generated a growing demand fo r a Scottish Grand Committee that would consider legislation specific ally for Scotland. The deman d stemmed in part from the heavy legislative workload, which moved Mr. Gladstone to submit a resolution to appoint standing committees based on policy dom ain, as suggested by Sir Erskine May. Simultaneously, a Scottish MP submitted an amendment to remove the limit on the number of committees so that so me might be established on the Â“principle of territorial division of workÂ” (p. 43). The same memb er, a known home ruler, proposed a similar amendment in 1888, only to see it voted down. The reason the idea of a Scottish Commi ttee did not initially succeed after the successful establishment of a Scottish Office is that it lacked the bipartisan support that created a Scottish Secretary. The issue pitted Liberal against Tory, and even Mr. Gladstone, as the Liberal leader, did not co mpletely support the cause. He only came around when he saw political advantage for his par ty in Scotland in its struggle against the Tories in the region. Eventually, in his last term as Prime Mi nister, Mr. Gladstone decided to support the issue. His successor, Lord Rosebury, would establish a Scottish Grand Committee in 1894 using a sessional order; consequently, the committee was not permanent, generating further criticism fr om Scottish MPs. Finally, in 1907, the Liberal government, under Ca mpbell-Bannerman, acquiesced to the idea of making the grand committee permanent; a parlia mentary standing order inst itutionalized the focus of Scottish business within the parliamentar y process. Once established, the Scottish Office placated concerns about protecting Scottish distinctiveness and came to represent, in the eyes of the public, a Scotti sh political system. Future grievances were
62 directed towards this office, clear evidence t hat that government could function using a territorial model of administration, in c ontrast to the traditi onal functional model exemplified by Whitehall. The establishment of admin istrative devolution in Sc otland might suggest that Scottish grievances would be placated, but the debate over Irish Home Rule ignited similar demands from Scottish MPs. In 1910, one petition, signed by 42 Scottish MPs, demanded relocation of the Scottish Office to Edinburgh (Mitchell, 2003, p. 47). Similarly, a growing home rule movement c oalesced in a Scottish National Committee, which included nineteen Liberal MPs and two Labor MPs (p. 47). Their cause was to ensure the government would not forget hom e rule for Scots once the Irish matter had been settled. However, the outbreak of World War I brought the impl ementation of Irish Home Rule to a standstill, as well as other demands for autonomy. After the war, the various boards that administered programs in the Scottish society and economy initiated new reforms Before the 1920s, Liberal politicians defended the Scottish Boards because they r epresented the distinct iveness of Scotland, despite the enormous patronage they gave to a select few and their lack of accountability to Parliament. However, afte r World War I, the incr easing administrative attention of the Scottish Office caused the boar ds to lose their association with Scottish distinctiveness. In addition, Scottish Labor continued to advocate the cause for home rule as they started to replace the Scotti sh Liberals who had originally supported it. Unfortunately, those who still supported the boards were not advocates of home rule, confusing the partyÂ’s position on administrative reform. From a parliamentarianÂ’s point of view, the secretary was not an innovator, and his authority was not clearly defined,
63 especially because he competed with the Lord Advocate. As a Lord, he was not subject to questioning in the House of Commons, and, as the Keeper of the Great Seal for Scotland, he was a grandee, making him a cross between a Lord Lieutenant and Chief Secretary for Ireland; this hybrid ident ity was not particularly endearing to MPs (Hanham, 1969, pp. 51-53). Finally, reform in c entral administration di d not attract much public attention, particularly because most people seemed satisfied with its operation. As a result, politicians did not feel any pr essure from constituent s to argue for reform. The most coherent voice advocating reform of central administration under a Scottish Office came from Scottish Unio nists even though they were absolutely against home rule. Because they recognized that the board system was inefficient and lacked accountability, they argued for a more stand ardized Whitehall model of bureaucratic efficiency; at the same time, there was a Uni onist strategy to demonstrate alternatives to home rule. Because they were clear about which reforms were necessary, they led the legislative struggle to build upon the alr eady established Scottish Office, which could now be organized on the Whit ehall model by replacing the boards with departments under the Scottish Secretary. Being the gover ning party for most of the twenties, the Conservatives were in a position to push re form. They also confronted little opposition from the Liberal or Labor parti es. The reason for this minimal resistance is that during this period, both parties advocated home rule but with no clear policy program; they only wielded rhetoric that appealed to public discontent over the serious social and economic deprivation people were experiencing at t he time. The Conservatives had already passed some reform measures in 1923 and 1924 that limited the size of the Health
64 Board and, to move in the direction of pr ofessionalization, made the Chairman of the Fishery Board a perm anent civil servant. However, by 1927, the Conservative gover nment, led by its Scottish Secretary Sir John Gilmour, introduced a Reorganization of Offices (Scotland) Bill to centralize administration under the Secret ary. The legislation was de signed to abolish the boards and create departments, each under a single advisor, manned by full-time civil servants at all levels. This structure would centralize administrative functions in a more efficient manner. Because the opposition fa vored home rule, they argued, not very forcibly, that the elimination of the boards would thr eaten the distinctiveness of ScotlandÂ’s governance. Ironically, a Scottish Labor repres entative stated that it would Â“subordinate Scottish administration to Whitehall to a far greater extent than has ever been the case, and to remove from Scotland practically t he last vestige of independent Government and nationhood, and to have its center in LondonÂ” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 110). Later, in the 1960s, Labor would argue against devolution bec ause it would not permit a centralized authority to administer the new welfare st ate the party was cr eating and because distinctiveness was in no personÂ’s rational in terest. The Secretary attempted to calm certain fears by asserting t hat not all boards would be el iminated and that devolution would not prohibit the creati on of new boards if needed. He also added that when future circumstances permitted, the eventual goal was to centralize all of the Scottish administration in Edinburgh under one roof. This proposal was later included in the legislation, and the bill received Ro yal Assent in the spring of 1928. The 1928 act is significant because it placed the civil service squarely at the center of Scottish administration; new government departments replaced the boards
65 that had sustained the patronage system, alt hough a few boards continued for another ten years before being conver ted to departments. This act wa s the first majo r attempt to introduce the Whitehall model an d would prove critical ten years later, as the civil servants became the driving force behind furt her centralization and efficiency. They were assisted by the economic and social de privation that Scotl and experienced due to the economic depression circumventing the globe. Confronting a severe economic downturn, Scottish parliamentarians and ci tizens demanded some reform to alleviate the suffering. Therefore, they looked to the government and formulated particular demands to reform how the Scottish admin istration implemented government programs. After all, the Scottish Office was viewed as ScotlandÂ’s government, especially because it managed programs des igned to mitigate the suffering caused by unemployment and social disadvantage. Amidst these calls for reform, others called for change in the form of home rule. Though cries for home rule were more vocal and their romantic nationalist tone appealed to public discontent, those gr oups did not fare well in the general elections. Therefore, administrative reform seemed the only course of action available, especially because the civil service had alre ady completed preliminary studies about which reforms might be necessary to improve delivery and financial savings in a time of austerity. One of those early studies was conduct ed immediately after the passage of the 1928 act; P.R. Laird, a civil servant in the Scottish Office, wrote a memorandum on Â“extending devolutionÂ” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 124). Identifying e fficient ways to improve the work performed by the Scottish Office, his study was comprehensive analysis to standardize and streamline the central administration. By framing his study as an
66 extension of administrative dev olution, he highlighted a Sco ttish dimension that would be more palatable to Scottish MPs and thei r constituents. This approach reflected a lesson learned from the last reorganization, in which opponents argued that more efficiency really meant more Whitehall c entralization or the Anglicization of administration in Scotland. Ho wever, by the 1930s, the polit ical winds, even though not all parties agreed on similar solutions, were moving in the direction of reforms that would help Scotland. LairdÂ’s analysis was most appealing because the need to achieve efficiency not only required further centra lization of departments, standardization, and other elements of efficiency but also called for those entities to operate out of Edinburgh instead of the Dover House in far off London. Lai rdÂ’s study was really the first time a thoughtful proactive rational analysis had consider ed the future operation of the Scottish Office. In the past, political pressure had led to reactive restructuring, and reorganization legislation had given little thought to any future impact on the effectiveness of the office to implement gov ernment policy. So the intent was now to apply to the Scottish Office, which had been cr eated with territoriality in mind, a more structured functional rationality focu sed on administrative efficiency. In 1932, Noel Skelton, Parliamentary under Secretary of Stat e, having heard the political stirrings for home rule or Â“other constitutional changesÂ” grow louder, suggested that Laird revisit the issue of administrat ive devolution. Laird delivered a memorandum shorter than his earlier analysis and titled it Â“Administrative Devolution.Â” He included all of the previous efficiencies and placed more emphasis on housing the Scottish Office not only in Edinburgh but also under one roof. He also recommended placing all departments under the Secretary and not to continue operati ng as separate entities
67 responsible only to themselves, as the stat utory language of the pr evious legislation permitted. As demand for home rule became mo re agitated and criticism of Parliament for devoting so little time to Scottish affa irs was fueled by gro wing discontent with the ongoing depression, the permanent civil serv ice had already drawn a blue print for reform. They only needed the word to initiate further action, and this impetus came in the form of a committee of i nquiry established in 1936 under former Scottish Secretary Lord Gilmour. The committee and its charge would draw very little attention, permitting it to work relatively quickly and analytically in it s survey of needed changes in the Scottish Office. It heard a number of witnesses, incl uding civil servants, national and local politicians, and members of the surviving governing boards in Scotland. It discovered that the politicians knew very little about t he Scottish Office and that the civil servants appeared to be better informed and prepared to offer evidence on the past, current, and future performance of the office. By autumn of 1937, the committee had published a comprehensive analysis and recommendations for reform. All the committee members signed the report, and no minority report was submitted, demons trating their consensus. The committeeÂ’s report launched an immediate in itiative in the Scottish Office to establish an inter-departmental committee to review and interpret the findings. The approach of the committee was to accept, modify or reject the Gilmour report, a role that was important because the committee was the last to scrutiniz e the administrative reform of the Scottish Office and its analysi s would be the last reviewed before a bill was written. Change was needed and administrative reform attracted little attention from the politicians and public, who were all debati ng home rule, so the legislation received
68 all-party support, particularly because the civil service was the most influential group to promote the l egislation. The Reorganization of Offices (Scotland) Act of 1939 was significant because it created in the Scottish Office a government administration led by a minister who managed all the various departments for all the different policy domains within the region. Like a miniature London Whitehall, the office was responsible for all business conducted in Scotland, and by relocating to S t. Andrews House in Edinburgh, it became de facto an established seat of government for Scotland. This idea was later recognized by scholar James Kellas (1989), who published an important study titled the Scottish Political System during the rise of the nationalist par ty and in the midst of the growing debate for devolution. This public ation culminated in the rel ease of the Kilbrandon report on devolution in the same year. Both of these studies emphasized that the Reorganization of Offices (Scotland) Act gav e the Scottish government a quasi-federal structure, for it was given the authority to reorganize its own internal structure without further legislation from West minster. It also created an adm inistrative structure that could convert to a home rule apparatus with minimal effort (Hanham, 1969, p. 67). This act would also contribute to the already grow ing perception of the Scottish Office as an advocate for Scottish issues. The Gilmour Committee called the secretary Â“ScotlandÂ’s Minister,Â” who had Â“a wide and undefined area in which he is expected to be the mouth piece of Scottish opinion in the cabinet and elsewhereÂ” (Himsworth & Munro, 1998, p. 9). It was the most important change in gov erning Scotland since t he creation of the office itself, and the next would be the establishment of a Scottish parliament sixty years later.
69 With the advent of World War II, London formed a coalition government, and Labor MP Tom Johnston was made the Secretar y of State for Scotland in 1941. His tenure was important because he instituted a system that wa s later labeled Â“informal Home RuleÂ” for which he init ially operated as a Quasi-Pr emier (Fry, 1987, p. 189). Indeed, he created an advisory boar d or Council of State cons isting of five former Scottish Secretaries, who acted as an uno fficial cabinet because they could recommend policies for legislation (p. 191); Churchill only required that the recommendation be unanimous before it was pushed through Parlia ment. However, JohnstonÂ’s major legacy is he demonstrated how the Scottish Office, as a part of a strongl y centralized state, was not to be feared and could effectively advoc ate for Scottish concerns and actually improve conditions (p. 191). In addition, John stonÂ’s time as secretary convinced many Scots that making the bureaucracy more effici ent and sensitive to Scottish needs would serve Scotland well; thus, he undercut the emer ging nationalist arguments for home rule (p. 192). However, the office took on more and more responsibility as the Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs in 1954 m ade recommendations to allot additional functions to the office. By t he time legislative devolution was implemented in Scotland, the Scottish Office consisted of the minist er, five departments led by junior ministers responsible for some 24 different policy ar eas ranging from health to tourism, and some minor departments and public corporations. From its inception, the es tablishment of the Scottish Office institutionalized administrative arrangements for Scotland by recognizing the distinctiveness of the region; as a result, Scotland would be treated di fferently within the union state. First, this
70 recognition of distinctivene ss was supported by both politic al parties, Liberal (later called Labor) and Conservative, and both, while in power, expanded the responsibilities of the office; in fact, the Tories initiated tw o of the major reforms of the office between the wars. Second, the office assured that future administrative arrangements would evolve through the office as public policy ar eas expanded, particula rly as the welfare state emerged and economic regulation came to be expected from the government. Finally, the office became an active advoc ate for Scotland within the government and the bureaucracy in Whitehall. As James Mitche ll (2003) highlighted, Â“The Scottish Office was the institutional embodi ment of treating Scotland favorably. It proved to be extremely successful in getting more resour ces for ScotlandÂ” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 215). However, it could not be innovative and purs ue different courses of policy from the center, which had fallen out of sync with the region. This inability to respond and, later, operate in a more democratic age generated fu rther demands for in stitutional change, coupled with arguments against the legitimacy of the office due to a lack of democratic accountability. Even though Scotland was still governed from the center insofar as English ministers could still determine wh ich policies the Scottish Office could implement, the recognition of distinctivene ss at the center cr eated appearance of political autonomy. For example, civil se rvant Patrick Laird coined the term Â“administrative devolutionÂ” during the Gilmour reforms communicating a sense of autonomy in the governance of Scotland. Therefore, the di chotomous dilemma confronting Westminster was to promote Sc ottish distinctiveness while simultaneously governing from the center. The Scottish Offi ce continued to promote that sense of autonomy, laying the foundation for the next stage of se lf-government when the office
71 was no longer capable of meetin g the specific needs of Scotland. The other irony is that expanding the Scottish Offi ce and giving it more policy areas in order to promote efficiency had the unintended consequence of enlarging the presence and importance of the institution, further promoting the image of distinct ly Scottish autonomy. As a result, the home rule movement in the post-World War II period had the ammunition they needed to support their primary argument: this enorm ous administrative apparatus must be democratized. As Scotland began maintaining the foundati ons of its legal, educational, and cultural independence, geographi cal separation necessitat ed the establishment of independent boards to govern each area on behalf of the ce nter. However, as the number and responsibilities of the boards, as well as demands for greater accountability and efficiency, increased over time, the gov ernment would have to find a means to centralize and coordinate administrative e fforts. During a period of heated discourse over home rule for Ireland, establishing a Sc ottish Office appeared to be a relatively cost-effective solution to the problem. Firs t, it placated Scottish parliamentarians, recognized ScotlandÂ’s distinctiveness and impor tance to the state, reduced calls for home rule in the north, and provided a means to coordinate administr ative efforts north of the border more efficiently. These changes mirrored the current administration of Ireland; a Scots minister would perform duties similar to a Lord Lieutenant, who was subordinate to the Home Secretary. This pattern would be repeated when the Tories established of a Welsh minster in the 1950s prior to the creation of a cabinet-level Welsh secretary.
72 Because Scotland was integrated but not assimilated into the kingdom, it was able to retain its educational and legal system, institutionalizing the distinctiveness of the region. It also possessed the historical heritage of being an independent nation with its own political system. Upon unification, its parliament was assimila ted into the English parliament, but it retained ot her key governing institutions It also possessed a longstanding notion of Scottishness, a common identit y that acted as a unifying force for its population and at the same time reminded them of their uniquene ss, whether cultural or geographical, when com pared to England. Administrative devolution is important bec ause it actually reduces the cost of installing eventual executive or legislative devolution. Once the decision has been made to implement the next level to home rule, the administrative structure necessary to sustain it is already in place. In the case of Scotland, the basic policy domains were readily identified because they were already the purview of the Scottish Office. Second, because the bureaucratic foundation was already present and in place to support and implement policies, whet her the government would be directed by an elected representative or an appointed one did not matter. Last, it minimized any immediate disruption to the community because the gov erning processes already in place would not experience any significant change. Admini strative devolution is similar to a major corporation hiring a new CEO; even though a change in leadership occurs, the fundamental day-to-day operat ions continue unhindered. Using a similar analysis, Chapter 4 examines the incor poration of Wales and the est ablishment of administration devolution in that region.
73 CHAPTER 4 INTEGRATION: WALES AND THE PATH TO ADMINISTRATIVE DEVOLUTION The Incorporation of Wales As this analysis will demonstr ate, the incorporation of Wales was much different from the incorporation of Sc otland. The Welsh never experienced any level of complete national unity under its prin ces and, therefore, never really developed any comprehensive or embedded political or legal in stitutions within the region. Therefore, Wales never experienced any institutional autonomy under English authority because Henry VIII united the public adm inistration systems of both under the Acts of Union approved from 1536 to 1542. Because the adminis trative functions of Wales were fully integrated into the prevailing English system, the development of separate regulating or governing institutions in Wales, whether re ligious or educational, never occurred. In The Governance of Wales Russell Deacon (2002) states that this arrangement was continually strengthened by Â“physical proximity, popul ation movement and common legal and educational syst emsÂ” up until the last half of the nineteenth century (p. 15). This critical juncture undersco res that the incorporation of Wales was complete except for their language, which was unintentionally permitted to survive and flourish. This cultural remnant would later be the seed fo r maintaining a separate national identity based on a linguistic difference. However, a language difference can be a double edged sword; it can unify a national movement or become a difference that divides a group. The end result of this proce ss was that Wales lacked any tradition of being administered as a separate entity, un like Scotland and Ireland. Although Wales was devoid of its own in stitutions and assimilated into the political-administrative stru cture of England, a cultural consciousness survived around
74 the Welsh language. Despite being c ondemned as illegal, the language survived because the Tudor dynasty had to enhance the stat us of the Anglican Church in Wales. Because Wales was geographically isolat ed from England, the Welsh language continued to flourish. Given the absence of a public education system through which Welsh society might be taught English, Eliz abeth I authorized the Church to translate the Bible and prayer book into Welsh in or der to overcome the linguistic obstacle to assimilating the common people into the state religion. T he unintended consequence was the survival of the language, preparing the soil in which a nonconformist religious tradition would flower in the later eighteenth and ninet eenth centuries. This new tradition took shape as the original Welsh gentry becam e Anglicized over the next 200 years. As a result, the links between them and the co mmon people dissolved, a social hierarchy was never institutionalized, and the essentia l condition for nonconfo rmity to rise to dominance in Welsh society took root (Osm ond, 1977, p. 92). According to Osmond (1977), these two events lay the groundwork for a Welsh consciousness to survive The language was saved from extinction by the growth of nonconformists in the eighteenth century: the c hapels and Sunday schools became bastions of Welsh and defied persistent attempts at linguisti c annihilation. At the beginning of the nineteenth century 80 percent of people still spoke Wels h, and by 1850, although the population of Wales had doubled to more than a million, 90 percent were Welsh speaking. (p. 92) For another example of the importance of language to cultural consciousness, the Welsh national anthem, Â“Hen Wlad fy NhadauÂ” (Land of My Fathers), was written in 1856. By the mid-nineteenth century, a majo rity of the Welsh were practicing nonconformity as their religion, and industria lization was underway in Wales. Instead of creating a homogenous society that was more Anglicized, industrialization caused
75 migration from rural areas into urban centers, where Wels h-speaking migrants replicated the local institut ions of Welsh life: the c hapel, the debating and religious societies, voluntary associations, and t he Welsh language press. Given a lack of centralization, a missing social hierarch y, and the reliance on local cooperation, nonconformity favored independence of outlook and a tendency to adopt radical perspectives. These values were st rong enough to engender political commitment among the Welsh, and the Liberal Party would fill the void that the Conservative Party of Wales, dominated by an alien, Ang licized gentry, could never match. Therefore, confined early on to religious, cultural and educational matters, Wales did not develop a national consciousness unt il the late nineteenth century. Before demands for administrative or po litical autonomy emerged from this revival, the first Welsh grievances included calls for disest ablishment of the A nglican Church, land reform, and the development of a national education system similar to Ireland but without the nourishment of a strong nat ional identity (B. Jones, personal communication, October 4, 2009). As the people began to see t hat ParliamentÂ’s attention to Welsh concerns was inadequat e, popular movements and individual calls challenged current administ rative arrangements and pressed for more political autonomy. Therefore, t he next section analyzes the second cr itical juncture, the path to administrative devolution in Wales. The Path to Administrative Devolution This challenge to the polit ical status quo became appa rent as the 1868 Reform Act increased the franchise and fortunes of the Liberal Party, not only in Wales but also in other regions of the United Kingdom. In Wales, the political affinity of the Welsh and
76 the Liberal Party was unmistakable; the region returned 21 Liberal members to Parliament as opposed to 12 Tories (Osmond, 1977, p. 95). However, more significant was the ascendancy of Henry Richard fo r Merthyr, who in the 1868 campaign articulated regional grievanc es in a Welsh context. By attacking the English-speaking gentry who dominated Welsh society, he promoted Welsh-speak ing nonconformists, brought what were originally viewed as relig ious issues such as temperance, land reform, disestablishment, and education into national terms, and generated a specifically Welsh political debate. The first significant political result of this debate that drew attention to Welsh needs, particularly in the form of specific le gislation, occurred in 1879, when Sir Henry Hussey Vivian, Liberal MP for the Swansea Distr ict, moved a resolution asking for state funds for Welsh higher education. His move on the floor of the Co mmons blindsided the government, eliciting a remark from Prime Mini ster Gladstone: Â“It was very rare for the people of Wales or their repr esentatives to urge any loca l claims whatever upon the attention of the Government or Parliament Â” (J. G. Jones, 1990, p. 218). Shedding light on the surprise of the prim e minister, a description of the Welsh delegation, first published in the inaugural issue of a Welsh m onthly periodical in E nglish, stated that Â“the Welsh members give no trouble to Minist ers or Â‘Whips.Â’ They never resort to meretricious artifice of obstruction. They vo te straight as a party on broad issues; and may be relied upon to obeyÂ” (Griffith, 2006, p. 92). Although his move took the chamber by surprise, it did receive notice, and the period 1886-1895 witnessed substantial attention paid to Welsh concerns, particularl y with the rising ascendancy of the Liberal Party in Wales.
77 The nonconformist conscience, which ident ified strongly with the Liberal Party agenda, resulted in growing Wels h influence within the party, particularly because of the partyÂ’s dominance among the Welsh electora te. This dominance propelled new party activists to the forefront, including Tom Ellis (Meirionnydd) and Lloyd George Caernarfon Boroughs, who would project Welsh political concerns into the context of British politics. Indeed, in t he 1886 elections, the Liberal Party returned 30 of WalesÂ’s 34 parliamentary seats (Osmond, 1977, p. 95). Both of these ri sing stars took to heart the Welsh cause; in an 1890 address to the I ndependent Theological College at Bala, Tom Ellis stated quite clearly, Â“but most important of all, we work for a Legislative council, elected by the men and women of Wales, and responsible to themÂ” (p. 96). Later Lord Rosebery, Liberal Prime Minister, in an addr ess to the Welsh Liberal League in Cardiff in 1895, declared himself in favor of Wels h self-government in an argument supporting Â“Home Rule all RoundÂ” for the United King dom. During the period 1885-1895, legislation concerning specific Welsh grievances and iss ues came before Parliament and, in some cases, resulted in important political changes for the region, such as the establishment of local councils in the late 1880s. Establishi ng local councils further allowed the Welsh electorate to demonstrate its loyalty to the Liberal cause by electing 175 of 260 councilors in North Wales and 215 out of 330 in South Wales and Monmouthshire and to demonstrate its support for more lo cal control (Griffith, 2006, p. 95). The first concrete concessions to Wales, in the form of new policy initiatives from a Liberal government, resulted in t he Welsh Sunday Closing Act of 1881 and the establishment of two unive rsity colleges funded by the government. Specifically, resolutions for Welsh disestablishment were submitted on four separate occasions from
78 1886 to 1892, a Welsh Intermediate Education Act was passed in 1889, and various attempts were made to deal with land reform and tithes. All of this attention culminated in the Local Government Act of 1888, which established thirteen, democratically-elected county councils for Wales and Monmouthshire. This legislation even saw an amendment proposed to establish a Welsh Na tional Council that would consist of members of the new local councils and Wels h MPs, but it was soundly defeated. At about the same time, a motion was made to establish a Welsh standing committee to consider all bills relating to Wales, motivated by a similar proposal submitted by Scottish MPs earlier. By 1886, one of the initiators of this cu ltural/nationalist revival was Cymru Fydd (Young Wales), which originally started as a cultural and educatio nal body but, within a couple of years, began to promote political a nd administrative devolution in Wales. This cultural revival would be heard by the Liber al Party and later the Labor Party, but both would have competing views about the form it should take and some major obstacles to overcome in order to initiate any future pl an. By the end of the ni neteenth century, the Liberal Party, as it had with Ireland, posse ssed a sympathetic ear to the growing cries for administrative and political devolution for Wa les. The first attemp t for administrative devolution, a call for a Secret ary of State for Wales in 1892, under a proposal titled Â“National Institutions (Wales) Bill,Â” was soundly defeated in the House of Commons. Not surprisingly, when the Liberals returned to power in 1906, the next twelve years witnessed a minimalist policy concession; the party established separate Welsh ministries within the major Whitehall department s of education, agriculture, insurance, and health but nothing on the scale of a separ ate Welsh ministry, unlike Scotland. On
79 the other hand, the early Labor Party favo red devolution for Wales and Scotland but was still not a major political player and wa s in no position to implement its agenda. Later, as the Liberal Party recognized the growing demand for Welsh autonomy and promoted a more pro-active agenda, it decre ased in size and was eventually replaced by Labor as the Conservative Part yÂ’s major political competitor. However, LaborÂ’s ascendancy set aside t he devolution issue to make room for more pressing economic issues, and a gro wing Labor leadership viewed nationalist causes as a hindrance to the unity necessary to create a socialist utopia. By the 1930s, the depression briefly pushed the devolution issue, at least in terms of administration, to the forefront because, as in Sc otland, the prevailing feeling wa s that a secretary of state representing Welsh interests would facilitate t he transference of economic assistance to the region from the wealthier parts of the kingdom. Though cult ural considerations were important to some, most supporters focus ed on the economic benef its that this change might generate. At the end of World War II, t he Labor party won its first general election. By this time, however, the party leadership had adopted a very centralist philosophy for economic and social reform and recognized that a secretary of state would not solve WalesÂ’s economic problems. Prevailing wisdo m suggested that a centralized policy was the best way to raise the standard of living and that doing so would benefit the entire nation, not just one particular region. Although the Labor leadersh ip was focused on impr oving the economic wellbeing of all U.K. citizens, the Welsh Par liamentary Party made anot her call for a Welsh secretary because, as they believed during t he depression, the office would assure that future economic policies did not ignore the vulnerability of the r egion. This renewed
80 demand for political recognition highlighted t he lack of consensus wit hin the Labor Party to see Wales as a separate region wit h different needs. Long and sometimes bitter internal battles within the party and even amongst Welsh MPs have continued to this very day. With the introduction of these early init iatives, Welsh politics developed a more nationalistic character. The causes that help account for this shift fall into two categories; one is social and cultural, and t he other is the changing political reality confronting the Liberal Party in dealing with the Irish issue. The cultural cause was the establishment in London of the Honorable So ciety of Cymmrodorion, which promoted Welsh historical distinctiveness. The societ y was originally established in 1751 to promote the Welsh literary tr adition. It would be revived in the 1870s and promote a more cultural approach. However, in the proc ess of promoting this distinctiveness, the society sponsored debates on Welsh educational and cultural issues that eventually raised questions about what the government might do to mitigate problems in the region. An essential featur e of this society was its non-political approach, which permitted it to recruit a diverse membership including Liberals and Tories, Anglicans and nonconformists, and aristocrats and the We lsh middle-class. Although it drew attention to Welsh particularism, it focused on non-partisan issues such as the reform of intermediate education in Wales and establis hing a national univer sity system for the region. Not surprisingly, it could not always avoid political controve rsy; in 1882, at the Denbigh National Eisteddfod (National Cultur e Festival), a Liberal activist and quarryman leader from North Wales, W.J. Parry, delivered a paper advocating federal home rule, the first formal proposal suggesti ng such a policy for Wales. The society
81 ignored the paper and would not publish it in t he societyÂ’s journal until 1918, after the demands for home rule or devolution had dis appeared from the political debate. After the creation in 1858, and permanent establishm ent in 1860, of this national festival promoting Welsh culture, Hugh Owen, Chief Cle rk at the Poor Law Board, initiate a social science section with the intent of re viewing the social and economic conditions of Wales and proposing solutions in the form of potential policies to modernize Welsh society (Griffith, 2006, p. 92). By 1886, another initiator of this cultural/nationalis t revival had emerged: Cymru Fydd (Young Wales). This organi zation originally started as a cultural and educational body founded by some of the London Welsh, but within a couple of years, it began to promote political and administrative devol ution in Wales. In 1890, a tract titled Home Rule for Wales: What does It Mean? called for a Â“National Leg islature for Wales while preserving relations with the Britis h parliament upon all questions of imperial interestÂ” (Griffith, 2006, p. 94). This tempered statement calls for political autonomy and loyalty to the Crown, not national independence. Within appr oximately five years, the organization would have local chapters in so me of the English ci ties where the Welsh population was large in size, such as Li verpool. Simultaneously, a number of local chapters would be established within Wales as the revival spread and sympathetic Welsh MPs such as T. E. Ellis and Lloyd George used the organization as a mouthpiece to voice concerns about Welsh needs. The second cause of this growing attent ion to Welsh issues by the government was the need of the Liberal Party to rely on t he Irish nationalists in Parliament in order to maintain power and the changing balance withi n the party itself as GladstoneÂ’s Irish
82 policy caused division. As a result, the Wels h MPs were recognized for their stalwart support, but they also had a new opportunity. In 1888, a Welsh Parliamentary Party was formed, the membership consisting of Par liamentary Liberals from the region. This move gave them more ability to influence po licy because they could present themselves as a disciplined voting bloc. In addition, t he social composition of the Welsh MPs had changed from gentry to middle-class, who posse ssed more empathy for the regionÂ’s ills. By 1890, with the entire political cla ss discussing home rule, many notable parliamentarians such as Chamberlin and Lo rd Derby supporting the concept of Home Rule all round, and ongoing debate s over Irish Home Rule and the creation of a Scottish secretary, the momentum fina lly culminated in Alfred Thomas, a founding member of Cymmrodorion, moving for a Welsh department with a Welsh mini ster. The following year, he proposed the National Institutions (Wal es) bill to establish a Secretary of State for Wales. Of course, the legisl ation fell flat, but it demonst rated how far the concern for specifically Welsh concerns had come sinc e the start of the national revival. With the beginning of the First World Wa r, the home rule movement in Wales took a back seat and, even after the war, di d not generate the type of support it received in Scotland, though the latter also lacked a certain fervency. The experience in Wales was much different because the political la ndscape was dominated by the Labor Party. Though the Liberals would survive total elim ination between the wars, they remained on the sidelines. Their shortage of voting power was important because they were the proponents of home rule, along with other Liberal causes dear to the Welsh, including church disestablishment, land reform, educat ion, and temperance. Of course, the Labor Party did become the dominant player in Wale s, standing up for several Liberal causes,
83 including home rule, but they never whole heartedly supported the cause of political independence. As a result, understanding t he home rule controversy in Wales necessitates an examination of the Labor Party in Wales and its relation to the issue. Many historians have argued that the result ing dormancy of home rule after the Great War was a result of the economic depre ssion that impacted Wales in the 1920s. However, some have argued that the reluctance of the Labor Party to promote it, their own political self-interest, and nationalist ideology overshadowed the need to confront more important economic problems. For example, Morgan and Mungham (2000), in Redesigning Democracy: The Making of the Welsh Assembly called attention to how Arthur Henderson, secretary of the Labor Party, removed Wales from the map when reforming the partyÂ’s organizational structure in 1919. After some out cry, he replaced it, he labeled it Â“District HÂ” instead of Â“WalesÂ” (Morgan & Mungham 2000, p. 27). The Depression did have an enormous impact on the Labor PartyÂ’s policy goals, and devolution was definitely not one of them. Because of the economic devastation that the depression brought to Wales, the party, after its disastr ous defeat in the 1931 general election as result of their po licy failures, recognized that the central government and the resources of the wealthier parts of Britai n were absolutely necessary to revive the industrial sector in south Wales. In 1969, Ja mes Griffiths, then Secretary of State for Wales, remarked, Â“Wales has still to recover from the wounds of t he thirties. The fears persist, doubts remain and the wounds ar e unhealedÂ” (J. B. Jones, 2000, p. 246). So very little transpired in relation to home rule for Wales. In fact, the only demand for categorical change to emerge in the 1930s was the appointment of a Secretary of State for Wa les; this demand represented a call for administrative
84 devolution in Wales. By the middle of the Second World War, the government had acknowledged the demand for more attent ion to Welsh concerns, but this acknowledgement only resulted in a Welsh day in Parliament in 1943; the first debate did not occur until 1944. During that first debate, members including James Griffiths, eventual Secretary of State fo r Wales, pressed the case fo r a secretary of state in recognition of the fact that Wales was a nation. Economic factors drove these demands; some members of the party w anted representation at the cent er, that is in the cabinet, to prevent another round of di sconnected policies that hurt Wales during the 1930s (J. G. Jones, 1992, p. 207). At the end of the war, the Labor Party convincing ly won the 1945 general election, but even though devolution was still in the manifesto, it did not occur. For one, Labor leadership desired to make good on thei r socialist promises, but they also recognized that during the war, centralized planning had successfully mustered all the resources of the state to emerge victorious. The Labor l eaders came to understand that an economic strategy that worked during wartime could, now that peace had been restored, improve the standard of living of all Britons. The experience of war had shown clearly that Keynesian economic theory could accomplish the cr eation of a Â“new Britain.Â” Having won the general election of 1945, the Labor Party pursued its economic and social agenda to improve the lives of all Br itons, and they did not want distractions such as devolution to interfere. Even though Welsh Parliamentary Party demands for a secretary of state increased and Labor won 25 of the 36 parlia mentary seats in Wales, the new government was adamantly against appointing a specific minister. This disagreement became even more of a dist raction for the government as Chairman
85 Herbert MorrisonÂ’s Machinery of Gove rnment Committee prepared reports about revising the structure of government to make it more efficient, particularly as its responsibilities were likely to increase as the British welfare stat e took root. Cabinet member Aneurin Bevan, a Welshman himself, opposed such a scheme because the problems of Wales were the same as the probl ems for England. This point of view again reflects concern about the economy and the belie f that centralization was necessary to achieve economic improvement and that nat ionalist aspirations were not helpful. Indeed, the Labor government w ould remain intransigent. Seeking an alternative solution in 1947, The Welsh Regional Council of Labor, a body unifying the separate north and south Wales Labor organizations, proposed a regional council drawing on all the executive bodies in Wales. This proposal was based on a previous decision by the government to establish a Scottish Economic Conference, an advisory body that would focus on Scotti sh economic development. The subsequent publication of a government Wh ite Paper concerning demands for greater control over Scottish affairs was, according to the government, certain to generate similar demands from Wales (Evans, 2006, p. 34). Eventually, the Labor government, with MorrisonÂ’s acknowledgement, agreed to establish another regional advisory body: the Advisory Council for Wales and Monmouthshire. The 27 council members would be nominated by various representative bodies in Wale s and Westminster and appointed by the Prime Minister. Twelve would nominated by Welsh local authorities; a total of eight members would come from industry and agriculture, with equal representat ion from management and labor; four would represent the university, local education, tourism, and culture; and three would be direct appointm ents by the Prime Minister (Evans, 2006, p. 41). The
86 council would meet quarterly in secret, sele ct their own chair, and call on ministers to discuss issues important to Wales. The decision to establish this council was met with much criticism from advocates of a secret ary of state. Even Li beral MP Lady Megan Lloyd George, the daughter of former Welsh Prime Minister expressed her discontent by stating that Wales had been offered Â“scra ggy bone, without meat or morrow in itÂ” and called for a Welsh Parliament modeled after Stormont in Northern Ireland (J. G. Jones, 1992, p. 209). Many scholars argue that this call launched the Parliament for Wales Campaign. As many echoed their dissatisfaction with the decision, the Conservative Party contemplated an opening and discussed est ablishing a cabinet-level minister responsible for Wales. Reiter ating this consideration, a Tory policy proposal published in 1949 recommended a minister distinctly re sponsible for Welsh affairs. After winning the 1950 general election, the Conservative s kept their promise and designated the Home Secretary, David Maxwe ll-Fyfe, to be responsible for Welsh Affairs. At the same time, an under-secretary of state was appointed to the home office to assist the secretary with his Welsh portfolio. The under-secretary would possess no executive authority and was only to stay informed about Welsh concerns and assure that they were brought to the attention of the Cabinet. This Minister for Welsh Affairs in the Home Office would have no shadow in the frontbench Labor opposition, showing the continued stubbornness of their leadership However, when Macmillan bec ame Prime minister in 1957, he moved the Welsh portfolio to Housin g and Local Government, where it would have more of a direct impact on Â“both the social and economic developments in WalesÂ” (Deacon, 2002, p. 56); unfortunately, he fa iled to appoint an additional under-secretary
87 to assist. A minister for Welsh Affair s was eventually established, including responsibility for housing and local government. After 13 years of Conservative rule, Wales had a minister responsible for Welsh A ffairs and a minister of state with a small staff located in Cardiff, in essence a de facto Welsh Office. As they did for Scotland, the Conservatives recognized the political val ue of administrative devolution and set the wheels in motion. In a 1950 policy document titled Labour is Building a New Wales the Labor party criticized the ConservativesÂ’ measure to provide a minister for Welsh Affairs, further demonstrating its opposition to appointing a se cretary of state (E vans, 2006, p. 49). With the Welsh national party still operating on the margins of the nationÂ’s politics, the continued stubbornness of the Labor Party presented an opportunity for Plaid Cymru to pursue a more mainstream strategy. Ha ving recognized the success of ScotlandÂ’s Covenant Movement, the nationalists dec ided to launch an interparty movement advocating self-government. The movement was called the Parliament for Wales Campaign and used the Undeb Cymru Fydd (New Wales Union), an organization formed in the 1940s to defend the culture, as the standard bearer. It advocated for a Welsh Parliament based on the Stormont model, as suggested by Lady Megan Lloyd George. The campaign lasted from 1950 to 1956 and ended with a sym bolic gesture: a petition of 240,652 signatures s ubmitted in the House of Co mmons to promote an Act of Parliament for Wales (Evans, 2006, p. 69). The low number of signatures was disappointing and must be attributed to the Labor PartyÂ’s clear stand against the entire movement. In fact, very few of the signatures came from south Wales because it was
88 the geographical center of the partyÂ’s strength and becaus e Anuerin Bevan MP, WalesÂ’ most respected parliamentarian, was dead set against the proposal. Also during this period, S.O Davies, a Welsh Labor MP, introduced a private members bill in December 1954 modeled on the Government of Ireland Act 1914 The bill was a very ambitious undertaking and was criticized by some of his supporters; it received a second reading on March 4, 1955 and was defeated. In reaction to the campaign for a parliament, the Labor Party in Wales responded, knowing the issue was becoming a divisive one amongst its MPs; five of them had participated in the campaign after being warned by the leadership not to do so. Recognizing the political ramifications of remaining neutral, the Welsh Regional Counc il of Labor finally supported the call for a minster responsible for Welsh Affairs, an announcement that was published in a policy paper titled LabourÂ’s Policy for Wales in March 1954 (Evans, 2006, p. 62). It also supported the idea of establishing a Welsh Grand Committee to draw more parliamentary attention to Welsh issues. It woul d also deflate the sails of the parliament campaign and restore a sense of uni ty within the Welsh Labor Party. In the meantime, The Council for Wale s and Monmouthshire, not possessing a clear mandate about the issues on which it should advise the government, established its own guidelines: to function as a nonpartis an body, to focus on issues of national, not local, interest, and to adhere to their principles. By 1954, the body turned its attention to government efficiency, having recognized t hat even though a minster to oversee Welsh affairs existed, he possessed no actual aut hority to coordinate other departmental activities. So it appointed a panel to examin e Â“the administrative arrangements for the exercise of central government functions in WalesÂ” (Evans, 2006, p. 72). The result,
89 published in its Third Memorandum in 1957, was to propose a secretary of state and a Welsh Office for the region, echoing the demands made by Welsh MPs in the 1940s. They suggested that the secretary have two f unctions: exercise full control of functions vested in him and fill a seat in the cabinet. Th is proposal now placed the secretary issue back on the agenda, where it became a major topic of discussion in Welsh politics, particularly within the Labor Pa rty, who dominated the politic al landscape in Wales. As in Scotland, initial administrative devolut ion implementations paved the way toward greater administr ative authority. Finally, the Labor Party endorsed the appoint ment of a secret ary of state with cabinet rank and executive functions in a published policy paper in 1959, but not until 1964, when Labor regained power, did their endorsement lead to real change. The Conservatives believed they had gone far enough but did accept, in 1959, the idea of a Welsh Grand Committee, which was established in a standing order in 1960 that called for more parliamentary scrutiny regardi ng Welsh affairs. LaborÂ’s 1964 campaign manifesto explicitly stated they would appoint a secretary fo r Wales if elected. When the Secretary of State for Wale s and the Welsh Office were created, the Council for Wales and Monmouthshire, which had recommended appointing a secretary, effectively ended. Having defeated the Tories in the gener al election of 1964, the government, under Harold Wilson, appointed James Griffiths as Secretary of State for Wales, a longtime advocate for the position. The office held executive function over roads from the Ministry of Transport and most of the functions of the Mini stry of Housing and Local Government in Wales. It also oversaw agr iculture, education, health, transport, trade,
90 and labor and would be assisted by a minister of state. Over time, the oversight functions would become executive functions as demand for greater efficiency increased, despite the reluctance of Whitehall bureaucra ts. In 1969, health and agriculture came under the secretary, followed by primary and secondary education in 1970. Finally, the office gained control of higher education in 1978; this development was facilitated by the devolution campaigns of the mid-1970s dur ing which Secretary John Morris took advantage of the situation to expand t he responsibilities of the office. As the secretary position consol idated its authorit y and expanded its responsibilities, the tradition of having advisory boards continued, even after the demise of the Council for Wales and Monmouthshi re. The Welsh Economic Council was established in 1965, along with similar c ouncils throughout t he United Kingdom, including English regions, Scotland, and No rthern Ireland; these councils were part of the Labor governmentÂ’s national planning stra tegy in its attempt to improve the economy using Keynesian strategy of centra lization. After the program failed, they converted the council to the Welsh Council, which not only incorporated economic planning but also added social and cultural i ssues to its portfolio. All the members were appointed, but the eventual hope of some, such as James Griffiths, was that the Welsh Council would be the foundation of a future elected council. However, it was finally abolished in 1979 by then Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edward. After almost fifty years since the firs t demands for a Welsh Office, a Secretary was appointed by Harold Wilson. However, it would take him over a month to provide guidance in the various areas that fell under the purview of the new office. The driving force motivating pro-devolutionists was that this position would now provide a means for
91 Welsh policy creation. It would provide a ccess to inter-departmental policy committees where they could argue the Welsh case. As a voice in the cabinet, the new secretary would possess the ability to pressure Whitehall and assure that Welsh concerns were considered and not left languishing. In Ru ssell DeaconÂ’s (2002) study of the Welsh Office, The Governance of Wales he divided the history into four distinct phases: creation and developmen t, the devolution years, its evol ution under Thatcherism, and the end of devolution. The early development period encom passed 1964-1974, when the initial oversight responsibilities of the office c oncerned a limited number of policy domains. It also faced stiff resistance from Whitehall depar tments that viewed its existence as unnecessary and were determined to see it rema in relatively ineffective, reducing its ability to interfere with the current policy process (Deacon 2002, pp. 24-25). Therefore, five years passed before the office could establish an administrat ive foundation similar to other Whitehall departments. Also during this period, the first secretary was appointed: Peter Thomas. Though he did not hail from a Welsh constituency, he had at one point represented Conwy and was fluent in the language. His appointment launched the debate about whether a We lsh secretary should hold a Welsh constituency and, if not, whether he could be cognizant of Welsh concerns and by what means he could be held accountable by any of the electorate he governed. The phase of 1974-1979 marked the devoluti on years and saw a rapid expansion of the office in the hopes that an elected a ssembly would inherit the responsibilities of the office. Also during this period, additional quangos, includ ing the Welsh Development Agency (WDA), were created; these agencies would be blamed, by Thatcher, for a
92 growing democratic deficit. The other import ant feature was that each functional area was allocated funding in competition wit h other competing r egional departments in Scotland and Northern Ir eland. However, the Barnett Formula provided funding based on a population ratio between the various regions and England. Ther efore, if England received an increase, a proportional increase was received in Scotland and Wales based on the formula (10:5:85) 85% of the budget allocation going to England. The result was avoidance of bitter treasury battl es and stability in funding expectations. It also gave the Welsh Office a block grant and t he freedom to use discretion in allocating the funds to its various functions. For example, the annual budget in 1964 was 300 million GBP, and by 1994-1995, it was 7 billi on GBP, with close to 35% going to quangos with functional responsibil ities (Osmond, 1995, p. 50). The next phase, which occu rred under Thatcherism, saw further expansion in the form of quangos that reduced the responsibilities of the state. Al though the earlier ones were originally formed by the Labor government in the 1970s, the Tories increased their number as a means to govern more effectiv ely from the center and to by-pass Labordominated local government so that policy might be implemented as the central government desired. This strategy wa s used in earnest under John Redwood and resulted in parliamentary investigations that exposed cronyis m, corruption, and inefficiency within some of it s organizations. At one point, it was calculated that the number of individuals who had been appointed to quangos to govern Wales was greater than the number of elected loca l councilors. In fact, the Se cretary of State for Wales was authorized to make some 1,400 appointm ents to Welsh Quangos, which employed approximately 60,000 personnel (Osmond, 1 995, pp. 43-44). David Hanson, a Labor
93 MP, did a survey of the quango membership in Wales and concluded that they were Â“overstuffed with white, male businessmen, la wyers and accountants. The pattern of appointments represents the face of the Conservative Part y, not the people of WalesÂ” (p. 44). The growing number of unelected officials increas ed the sense of a democratic deficit in the eyes of the people; according to Peter Hain, Labor MP, Â“it was a recipe for corporatism, not democracyÂ” (Osmond, 1994, p. 274). Also, Redwood displayed contempt for the Welsh, at least in their eyes and according to the media, by mouthing the words to the Welsh national anthem on BBC and not signing letters in Welsh. As John Major stated, Â“he did not take to the Wels h, or they to himÂ” (Deacon, 2002, p. 35). During this period, secretaries after Ed wards would no longer come from a Welsh constituency, further inflaming the identit y debate. Nevertheless, by the 1980s, during RedwoodÂ’s tenure, the Welsh Office was re cognized by the electorate as the agency responsible for the governance of Wales and for dealing with Welsh issues. The Tory policy of appointing MPs from Englis h constituencies somewhat weakened the legitimacy of the office, for a non-Welsh individual was responsible for governing a region and people for which he had no affinity. The final period was the election of Labor and the establishment of the assembly that took on the authority and power of the Welsh Office, mi nimizing its role. The Welsh Office had accomplished several goals. First, it provided a means for Welsh concerns to be heard at the highest level of government: the cabinet. Second, it provided a more efficient means to implement programs and to oversee their operation. Finally, as an institution, it made the government in London recognize that the Welsh were different and had various needs that were distinct from the rest of the kingdom.
94 Despite the national revival that occurr ed at the end of the nineteenth century, Welsh identity was not as homogenous as it was in Scotland because it centered on language, just as cultural movements in Wa les would later in t he twentieth century. Unlike Scottish nationalism, the idea of Wels h nationalism was a divisive, not a unifying, force. In fact, Denis Balsom (1985) ident ified three separate Welsh identities by analyzing voting patterns within the various regi ons of Wales. In what became known as the Â“Three Wales Model,Â” he concluded that t here were three distinct Welsh identities concentrated in different geographical regi ons of the nation that had emerged as a result of industrialization in the nineteenth century; these i dentities surfaced in distinct voting patterns that were clearly identifiabl e after World War II. Based on voting results and demographic and social characteristics, he identified (a) We lsh Speaking Wales (i.e., those who spoke Welsh and were concentr ated in the rural areas of north and west Wales), (b) Welsh Wales (i.e., those who spoke English and were concentrated in the industrial areas of south Wales), and (c) Br itish Wales (i.e., those who identified themselves as British, not Welsh, and resided along the English border in east Wales and Pembrokeshire in west Wale s, a retirement location for many of the English middleclass). The model clearly demonstrated a sing le, unifying Welsh identity did not exist. According to voting patterns, the Wels h Speaking Wales gravitated toward the nationalists Plaid Cymru, the industrial sout h toward Labor, and the British toward the Tories. This ideological cleavage made a hom e rule movement less likely; it had no single identity based on historical experience nor any remaining institutional structures that might enhance its national id entity. This situation resu lted from two factors: the survival of the Welsh language and the comple te political integration of Wales into
95 England in the sixteenth cent ury. The outcome was a uni que cultural identity that centered on language, but a po litical environment that had been Anglicized and was managed from London. These two separate ingr edients would eventually come into conflict under the right conditions. Why did establishing administrative devol ution in Wales take a longer period of time? More important than a fractured national identit y, Wales became dominated politically by the Labor Party, whose strengt h resided in Welsh Wales, the industrialized center of the region where the majority of the populatio n was concentrated. This region was essentially socialist, dominated by an industrialized and heavily unionized workingclass that emphasized centralizat ion as the most effective way to address the economic problems confronting the Wels h. Political autonomy was seen as not only unnecessary but also counterproductive. In addition, political autonomy had become associated with the nationalists, who were anathema to socia list solidarity, and the slippery slope to independence, both potent arguments against devolution in 1979. Thus, Welsh nationalism was confined initially to We lsh Speaking Wales, which became the grassroots base for the nationalist party. Howe ver, the dominant political party in the region was the Labor Party; t heir constituents in the industrial south, through the process of industrialization, had becom e Anglicized and follo wed the tenets of centralized economic control and unitary so cial democracy designed to protect the working class. This group viewed a national ist agenda as threat to their goals and selfdefeating in the long run. Indeed, ther e never emerged a st rong popular element advocating political autonomy because Welsh identity was associated with language
96 and, thus, was by definition ex clusionary, as opposed to the unifying effect that national identity had on Scotland. The impact of this uniquely divided so ciety over identity never generated a consensus on the need for political autonomy; therefore, demands ev en for a degree of administrative devolution met resistance withi n the Welsh Labor Party. In addition, the party had a much more pressing agenda following the end of the war: to establish the foundation of the social we lfare state, which included universal health care, nationalization of industry, and other policies important to protecti ng the working class. Despite some persistent demands from within the party, the Labor decision to establish a Welsh Office and secretary came relu ctantly and only after a Conservative government had taken the first step towards such a development. In light of the first critical juncture of integration into the United Kingdom, neither Scotland nor Wales were ever fully assimila ted into the dominant English culture. For Scotland, the explanation is relatively straight forward; it was the intention of the Treaty to limit the union to the polit ical and economic dimensions In the case of Wales, integration was meant to assim ilate the Welsh fully into the English state. However, the policy to assure acceptance of the establish ed church, an important goal in assimilating the Welsh, had the unintended consequence of assuring the survival of the Welsh language. This survival left in place resi dual elements that w ould allow a future nationalist revival to occur. Indeed, the reviva l occurred in the late nineteenth century, forming the nucleus of what eventually would emerge as a nationalist party in the Welsh speaking north. This movem ent appeared exclusionary to t he vast majority of the Anglicized Welsh located in the industr ial south in the tw entieth century.
97 The second critical juncture of administra tive devolution came much later than its counterpart in Scotland for three reasons. Firs t, the lack of consensus on identity helps explain why demands for administrative devol ution, let alone any form of home rule, went unheeded in comparison to Scotland. Ho wever, perhaps more importantly, Wales was always viewed as a part of England by t he central government in London, for it had been wholly incorporated centuries earlier and had never written any narrative of independence. At the same time its nationalist identity was divided, being focused on language, and its revival did not begin until t he nineteenth century, a period of Welsh history when a majority of the population had been Angliciz ed by industrialization and spoke English. Finally, an Anglicized Wels h Labor Party, which dominated the region, promoted a socialist agenda and sa w centralization as a means to improve the standard of living for the entire worki ng class. This party viewed nationalism as a hindrance or threat to this strategy. This political phi losophy helps explain why, unlike Scotland, where there was already an existing model of robust administrative devolution, the Welsh office was given only limited responsib ilities that focused more on achieving greater efficiency than placating national se nsibilities. Indeed, the Welsh OfficeÂ’s first areas of significant control were Housing an d Transport, two areas that were critical to continued improvement in the steel and coal i ndustry, a mainstay to the British economy at the time. Chapter 5 concl udes the first part of the analysi s by examining the rise of the national parties in both r egions, setting the stage for de volution, which moved to the front of the political agenda in the 1960s.
98 CHAPTER 5 HOME RULE AND THE RISE OF THE NATIONALISTS Scotland The Scottish and Welsh home rule movements originated in the 1880s, clearly in reaction to the initiative ta ken by the Irish to establis h home rule in Ireland. The emergence of home rule in Scotland and Wale s happened by diffusion. National identity in those countries had always been there; it was merely do rmant. Because of cultural differences between the two regions, the Welsh identity consisted of distinct religious and language differences. Scotland posse ssed a centralized administrative and legislative system before its union with England and retained some of its own institutions, such as the Presbyterian Church and a separate education and legal system. These national identities came to the forefront because both countries experienced a cultural revival in the ninetee nth century that promot ed the best individual values of each culture and that was reinforced by the prevailing instit utions of the day. This cultural revival happened to coincide wi th the growing discussion of home rule for Ireland and the success of self-government in the white British colo nies. However, the growing debate concerning home rule meant diffe rent things to different segments of both societies; therefore, proposals were often vague, and terms such as Â“home ruleÂ” and Â“devolutionÂ” invoked different meanings to various groups. For Scotland, the emergence of home rule c an be attributed to three factors. The first was the belief that government needed to pl ay a greater role in improving Scottish society; this belief is a product of nineteent h century liberalism, a philosophy clearly reflected in the agenda of the Liberal Part y, which had become a dominant political force in Scotland. If the gov ernment wanted to solve the problems plaguing Scotland, it
99 needed time to devote to the effort. However, the Â“imperial parliame ntÂ” had an extensive agenda in managing an empire; more important ly, an inordinate amount of time was being consumed by Irish issues. Irish MPs would obstruct parliamentary business in order to gain support or to place their concerns on the agenda, so Scottish MPs were lucky to enjoy a meager six hours to address Scottish issues during a parliamentary session (Finlay, 1997, p. 41). The second factor was the closely related issue of Irish home rule, which Gladstone had come to su pport by the mid-1880s. Scotland wondered where it might find itself within the empi re if Ireland were granted home rule. This uncertainty was especially frustrating to Scots because they believed they were more entitled to home rule; they had been a model of political stability and cooperation compared to Ireland. Consider ation of Irish home rule pr omoted the perception that terrorism and violence were being rewarded while good behavior was being ignored. The last factor was a slight to Scotti sh national sentiment as English identity became more populist; the terms Â“EnglandÂ” and Â“BritainÂ” were used interchangeably and thus apparently excluded Scots (Finlay, 1997, p. 42). This trend directly repudiated the London-centric view of the em pire that many Scots had pl ayed significant role in creating and maintaining. In fact, according to Richard Finl ay (1997), Â“vibrant and at times chauvinistic, English national identity brought forth complaints from many Scots who were appalled at English insensitivity to Scottish nationalityÂ” (p 42). In the 1890s, formal complaints were filed against Prime Mi nister Lord Salisbury for using the term Â“EnglandÂ” for Britain. One immediate impact was an increase in Scottish demands for greater prominence of Scottish culture and in stitutions. Therefore, the foundation of the Scottish History Society and its own G eographical Society opened in 1886 and 1884,
100 respectively, as the Scots established domesti c cultural societies that were independent corresponding ones in London. The initiatives re flected the belief that home rule might be the best way to address their grievances. By introducing greater efficiency into governance and reinforcing ScotlandÂ’s plac e in the empire, and placating national sentiment, home rule could, in fact, str engthen the union, despite the suggestion by some that it would lead to political disintegration. Under Gladstone, the Liberal Party took up the issue of home rule in relation to Ireland, leading to a split within the party and the formation of the Li beral Unionist Party under Joseph Chamberlin. After the Liberal def eat, resulting from the failure of Irish home rule, the Liberal Unioni sts formed an alliance with the Conservative Party that would permit the Tories to hold power for seventeen years, from 1886 until the Liberals returned to power in 1906. Ev entually, the party formally me rged with the Conservative Party, forming the Conservative and Unioni st Party. However, the conservative elements in Scotland retained the name Â“Scotti sh Unionist PartyÂ” until it officially merged with the national organization in 19 65 and became the Scottish Conservative Party. It was the main compet itor against the Liberals in Sc otland. With the home rule issue placed on hold because of World War I, Liberals and Conservatives formed a unified government to demonstrate that Britain and its empire were resolved to win the war. This cooperation ended a few years af ter the military conflict was over. The 1922 general election saw the rapid decline of the Liberals; in their place, the Labor Party became the largest party in Scotland. Although home rule had been an issue before the war and put the Unionists on t he defensive, the war and its economic repercussions on the state had pushed it to the back of the agenda. Because of the
101 threat of industrial militancy and the impac t of world events such as the Bolshevik Revolution, the Scottish middle class becam e fearful of a growi ng socialist threat (Finlay, 1997, p. 93). The Un ionists capitalized on the middl e class fear of socialism, significantly improving their dismal political fortune in Scotland before the war. This fear became particularly acute for the middle class when t he Liberal Party helped elect MacDonaldÂ’s Labor Party to power at Westminster in 1924. The dominant issue of the election was the economy, and until the next war, Scotland became a battleground between Labor and the Tories, demonstrated by voting patterns that followed strictly along class lines. However, as both parties appealed to their base over the next twenty years, an unintended cost would have a lasting impact as the home rule issue reemerged after World War II. Between the wars, the political rhetoric that the parties transmitted to their constituencies contradicted the economic and social realities the people were experiencing. Because of the economic di slocation and high unemployment brought on by the collapse of heavy industry in the 1920s, the Labor Party recognized that the problems of Scotland were economic and would require the full resour ces of the British state to solve it. The priority was to improv e the living standards of the working class by utilizing the power of Westminster. Recogni zing the enormity of th eir task, the party centralized its structure in 1926; party discipline would be necessary to achieve political power and initiate a socialis t program. Home rule, despite LaborÂ’s support for it, was viewed as a distraction fr om the more important goal; in fact, serious social and economic reform would have to come from London, not some second-tier level of government in Edinburgh. When Labor had the opportunity to push home rule in London
102 in the 1920s, they made no effort to do so Over the next fort y years, the ongoing centralization of economic and social policy and the stateÂ’s inability to deliver on its promises generates an underly ing discontent that woul d surface in the 1960s and revitalize calls for home rule. As the political fortunes of the Conservative Party im proved in Scotland after the war, it devised a message to counter Labor s upport for home rule. Simi lar to their early arguments, they continued to highlight how costly and inefficient home rule would be and could now draw attention to the disastr ous outcome of the home rule attempt in Ireland. The leadership was also able to provi de evidence that the Lab or Party itself did not think home rule was a great idea, for t hey had done nothing to prevent the defeat of the Buchanan Bill while they were in pow er in 1924. However, their message would change in the 1930s when the depression began. The economic difficulties that plagued t he working class in the 1920s began to affect the entire middle class. As result, criticism of government policies in Scotland intensified, for the Conservatives in London pursued economic policies that helped southern England but not peri pheral regions. As conditions worsened, local newspapers and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce voiced their disapproval; they asserted that Scotland was being treated unfairly to the benef it of England (Finlay, 1997, pp. 102-103). Given this vocal pressure, the Scottish Unionists faced a dilemma. They needed a new message and a policy change because the complaints about Scotland becoming a second sister to England were coming from their voting base in the middle class. According to Finlay (1997) the response from the Conservatives was threefold. From a policy perspective, they had to pursue administrative devolution to
103 improve efficiency and make Scots feel clos er to their government, so they moved the Scottish Office from London to Edinburgh (p 103). Next, the party had to recognize Scottish pride and its importance to unioni sm. Finally, their new message would remind Scots that they were dependent on their wealthier neighbor to improve their situation, replacing their old message abo ut equal partnership (p. 103). The Unionists came to depend on this la st point as a means to justify the economic downturn people were suffering during the 1930s. The only solution understood in Tory circles was to let the eco nomy take its natural course, in accordance with their belief in laissez-fair e economic theory. As a result, they had to keep reiterating this message, which over time came to sound negative and defeatist, further infuriating their base and making Unionists appear out of t ouch with the real pr oblems in Scotland. This approach also demonstrated that Un ionist policies were unable to rectify the structural defects in the Scottish econom y. Their failure and the ongoing discontent provided a fertile ground from which a latent nationalist f eeling would later emerge and challenge the status quo. After the First World War, the home rule movement in Britain went dormant because of several different factors in Brit ish politics. First, the World War weakened the Liberal Party, the main proponent of self-government; they experienced a split between the moderate and radical elem ents, the latter favoring a much more progressive agenda. This disagreement eventua lly led to a significant reversal of fortune for the fledgling Labor Party, as it st arted to attract the working class constituents. Although the Labor Party manifesto supported home rule, when the opportunity to support it arrived in 1924, the party ignored the issue and focused more on their growing socialist agenda.
104 This political competition led to a split in the progressive vote between the Liberal and Labor Parties in Scotland and Wales. The i mmediate impact was the revival of the Tories, a party that had lost three consecut ive elections before and after the war; the period between the wars was dominated by Conservative governments. Coupled with this shift were the uprisings in Ireland, st arting in 1916 with the Easter Rebellion and culminating in the creation of the Irish Free State and the island being split along sectarian lines. The violent out come of the home rule legisl ation, which passed in 1914 but was suspended as a result of BritainÂ’s ent ry into the war, had for some discredited the idea, or least dampened enthusiasm for it, and helped generate a unionist backlash that would remain in place until after the Second World War. This backlash became part of the Tory agenda and assisted in improving their political fortunes. As a result, the period between the wars was dominated by C onservative government s that promoted a pro-unionist agenda. However, movement on the issue of devolution was not totally absent. The lack of attention it received initiated the creati on of the national parties that would in the future threaten both Labor and the Conservative s in the post-World War II period. In Scotland, this shift started in 1918 with t he revival of the Scottish Home Rule Association (SHRA), led by Roland Muir head. This non-party organization worked as a pressure group to elect pro-home rule candidates to parliament. However, the organization eventually became dominated by me mbers of the Labor Pa rty, particularly union members. And by 1924, the Labor Part y had demonstrated that it would not live up to the promise of home rule for Scot land. Indeed, with Labor in power, a bill introduced by George Buchanan MP received lukewarm support from the government,
105 and a vote was never taken to move the b ill (Fry, 1987, p. 212). Four years later, a Labor member introduced another home rule b ill, but it was never debated and would be the last home rule bill in troduced in parliament for almost the next forty years. The cessation of home rule bills by the end of t he 1920s can be explained by (a) the demise of the Liberal Party, a long supporter of the is sue, (b) a period of Unionist government in London from 1931-1945, and (c) a centralized Labor Pa rty with little interest in the issue (Donaldson, 1969, p. 12). However, this ce ssation did not dampen measures to improve administrative devolution, as demonstrated by the growth of the Scottish Office during this period. The suspension of home rule initiatives ra ised the frustration level of home rulers and led to a split in the Scottish Convent ion, an umbrella organization encompassing home ruler groups; eventually, Muirhead left t he SHRA and formed the National Party of Scotland in April 1928. He and like-minded indi viduals realized that trying to influence the political parties through pressure group ta ctics had failed. The alternative strategy was to steal votes from the Labor Party by pl acing their own candidates for office; once Labor leadership recognized the threat, they would give home rule the attention it deserved. The party contested five seats in 1931 and kept its filing deposit in three, an approach that proved successful. In response to t heir inability to comp ete in the political mainstream, they developed a more aggressive strategy that was more republican and independent minded. As a re sult, a struggle arose bet ween fundamentalists who advocated independence and moder ates who wanted to achieve devolution because they believed that any alternative frightened t he electorate. Meanwhile, as a counter to the perceived radicalism of the National Pa rty of Scotland (NPS), Tories who wanted
106 home rule with a right-wing flav or formed the Scottish Party in 1932. This new party now represented a competitor for the moderate nationalist vote Also, as a party that identified with mainstream members of society who wanted home rule, it received relatively positive press. The moderate elements of t he NPS decided that a merger with the Scottish Party offered an opportunity to broaden the appeal of its cause to the electorate. This decision was made after a Scottish Party candidate, supported by the NPS for a 1933 by-election in Inverness, polled 17% of t he vote. So both parties united to form the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 1934. Following the moderate success in Inverness, the party contested seven seats in the 1935 general election but did not perform very well. This outcome reignited an internal debate about whether the party should advocate independence or self-government, the primar y issue being that independence had the tendency to scare away voters. Also, a dwindling membership reduced funding and hurt their chances to contest elections, initiating a debate over strategy. The debate was between operating as a pressure group to promote home rule or to continue to contest elections. The outcome was essentially decided by economics; lacking the fund ing, it did not have the resources to contest elections. Furthermore the party continued to allow members to remain in other parties, furt her weakening the organization. By 1942, the party split; the moderate John MacCormick formed the National Convention, which was an attempt to organize a cross-party coaliti on to promote home rule. Although the Convention claimed to have obtained two million signatures for the National Covenant, a document demanding Scottish home rule, the positiv e press and support it generated did not materialize into a political transformation. The pressure group tactic of achieving home
107 rule had failed, and the Convention eventually withered away, leaving the SNP as the sole nationalist organization. The fact that the nationalists had split in to two groups did not hinder the SNP from trying to contest electi ons. Much to their surprise, they won the Motherwell byelection in 1945, sending Robert McIntyre to the Commons as the first SNP MP. This initial success, however, would be overshad owed in the next elec tion. With the war over, the SNP remained the only nationalist party, and though it would remain in the wilderness for twenty more years, this time allowed it to estab lish a clear identity and work on building its organization and define an electoral strategy. Having lost its moderate elements to t he Convention, only fundamentalists who advocated independence as the only means to achieve se lf-government remained. Therefore, the partyÂ’s 1948 national conference stipulated that their goal was political independence from the United Kingdom. And the strategy designed to sell it to the Scottish people was to highlight the grievances Sc otland had about its economic health relative to the rest of the United Kingdom. However, not until the 1960s would the party enter the limelight and initiate a final pass towards devolution in Scotland. Wales In Wales, the nationalist party experienced a dismal beginning, similar to the one in Scotland. Although WalesÂ’s national par ty was established in August 1925, nine years before the SNP, it was not the product of any overwhelming nationalist feeling in the country. The creation of Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru was t he merger of two groups, The Welsh Home Rule Army and The Wels h Movement, representing a diverse group of individuals with a common goal of est ablishing a Welsh government. Between the
108 wars, the national party in Wales operated more as a pressure group than a political party because the membership consisted of individuals who represented a number of organizations that promoted a cu ltural and religious agenda as much as a political one. Its second president, Saunders Lewis (1926 -1939), was focused on Â“a free and selfgoverning Wales that would preserve and consolidate the components of Welsh identity, especially the languageÂ” (McAllister, 2001, p. 24). This statement defined the organizationÂ’s goals, which were opened ended to attract supporters from across the political spectrum in Wales. Just like the SNP, the party in itially lacked a clear political strategy for accomplishing its goals. The me mbership was unsure whether to contest elections, and even then, if they won, the tactic was to bo ycott parliament, a strategy not very likely to attract voters. So it contested its first elec tion in Caernarfonshire in 1929 on a platform similar to Sinn Fein in Ireland: not to sit at Westminster. This tactic aroused criticism because the party won only 1.6% of the vote. The ensuing debate produced a new policy: to seek dominion st atus for Wales and abandon the Welsh-only language policy after 1930 (McAllister, 2002, pp. 26-27). During events just before the war, members of Plaid took part in direct ac tion that resulted in a RAF facility in Wales burning down in 1936. It attracted littl e attention but refocused the party and strengthened its organization and abi lity to compete in elections. In 1943, the party won 22.5% of the vote in a by-election; it al so contested seven spots in the 1945 general election but was not very successful. More im portantly, the experience forced the group to move away from pressure group approac hes and consolidate itself into a more structured political party. The result would be greater success in the 1960s as the party matured, experienced an influx of new blood, and clearly refined its political message.
109 The national parties in both regions emerged as pressure groups, but they eventually recognized that this approach was fl awed. Their failure created the incentive to define themselves as political parties, but they still lacked a clear message beyond the more general idea of nationalism. However, their decision to become political parties and compete in elections demonstrates their realization that the road to independence or recognition of nationalistic concerns woul d not be achieved by violence. Therefore, institutionalizing the movements into main stream political parties later forced the organizations to adopt a policy agenda that wa s more than nationalistic; political success would require them to develop eco nomic and social platforms as well.
110 CHAPTER 6 DEVOLUTION, THE NATIONALISTS, AND THE LABOR PARTY 1960-1979: SCOTLAND AND WALES From the 1930s until 1959, the Conservative Party wa s dominant in Scotland. The party performed better than it did in England in the 1945 and 1950 general elections, and it achieved even better results in 1955. Its best result came in 1959 when the party captured over 50% of the vote, a feat never accomplished by any other party in the century (Hutchison, 2001, pp. 70-71) This accomplishment stemmed from the fact that party organization in Scotland had recently been modernized. Party agents helped manage campaigns, canvassing in creased, and the Young Unionists organizations increased membership among st the new generations, bringing in new blood and potentially more middle class candidat es to replace the aging aristocracy that had dominated the party. Also, the party main tained a centristÂ’s position on policy and focused particular attention on the housing shortage, one of ScotlandÂ’s most serious issues in the post-war period; it implemented a policy to build new housing units after taking power in 1950. Finally, the party pushed in to the political territory of the Liberal electorate by labeling themselves, duri ng elections, as Â“UnionistsÂ” and Â“National Liberals,Â” reminiscent of the old Liberal-Union ists label in the nineteenth century (pp. 7278). However, this period of Tory pre-em inence abruptly came to an end and was relinquished to Labor, which became dom inant during the per iod 1964-1979 and remains so to present day. In fact, the To ries would eventually be demoted to third place by the nationalist party in Scotland, according to electoral swings during this period. In the six general elections fr om 1964 to 1979, the Conservatives never
111 performed as well in Scotland as they did in England. Their vote total in 1959 reached 50% and declined to 31% by 1979, whereas in England, it dropped from 50.4% to 47.2%. This change in electoral forces also translated into fewer Tory MPs from Scotland; their number dropped to less than one third of the seat s from Scotland. This decline resulted from economic probl ems in Scotland and failure of the party to maintain initiatives begun i mmediately after the war. Firs t, the structural or economic decline in Scotland follo wed employment stagnation in the traditional heavy industries of steel and shipbuilding; there was also a shortage in new industries, despite some attempts to introduce a new strip mill in Ra venscrig and a couple of automobile plants. As EnglandÂ’s economy prospered, Scotland ex perienced higher unemployment. In turn, an increase in emigration led to a brain drai n; 44% of Scottishborn university graduates left the country in the year s 1966-1969, with most remain ing in the United Kingdom (Hutchison, 2001, p. 116). M any of these individuals might have constituted the entrepreneurial class necessary to expand t he private sector and become the mainstay of a Scottish middle-class more prone to support conservative policies. The problem was that a significant amount of the employed were in tr aditional heavy industries and that any new industries tended to bring t heir own managerial st aff from overseas, providing very little mobili ty for an indigenous managerial cl ass. Therefore, the Scots were manual workers in these new compani es, and their standard of living was below their English counterparts. In addition to the higher unemployment rate, a growing sector of the population becam e dependent on state provision fo r well-being; after local reform, new government employees inflated t he already large public sector working in nationalized industries. From 1960 to 1975, local government employment in Scotland
112 grew by 47.5%, compared to 32% in E ngland (p. 114). A small managerial class emerged in the public sector, but unlike its private counterpart in England, it was more willing to accept state prov isions and more closely a ligned with Labor because the employees were unionized. Finally, mo st housing was council-owned and, thus, subsidized by the state. P ublic sector housing accounted for 54% of the Scottish housing sector in 1974. Because the public hous ing sector was larger in Scotland than in England, local rates were higher fo r home owners to help fund the subsidized housing; in 1957, when the To ry government eliminated r ent controls, better private housing became much more expensive, hi tting the middle class hardest. In turn, because the private housing market was not ex panding, opportunities for growth in the supply and service sector diminished as econom ic circumstances offered no opportunity for these types of ventures as in E ngland. Even when the Tories, under Thatcher, offered residents the opportunity to purchase their council house at a reduced rate, they found fewer takers in Scotland because much of the housing was in high-rise buildings, and their potential resale value was much less than the traditional homes that were more prevalent in England. Another important factor is a monumental change in the print media that occurred during this period in Scotland. Up until the late 1950s, the Scottish press had been overwhelmingly pro-Tory. The first sh ift in the press occurred when the Daily Record was purchased by the Mirror Group. The paper originally catered to a lower middleclass readership, but the new owner transfo rmed it into workingclass staple. As a result, its readership increased from 350,000 in the 1950s to 668,000 in the 1970s, carrying a greater percentage of Labor supp orters (Hutchison, 2001, p. 101). The
113 second shift came in the 1960s and 1970s, when a number of dailies closed; the circulation of the Daily Record subsequently increased. Two other newspapers with a daily circulation of approx imately 100,000 each were the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman both staunch supporters of Unionism si nce the Irish Home Rule debate in the 1880s. Both newspapers switched to a pro-dev olutionist stance, criticizing the Tory party but never endorsing Labor. However, in the October 1974 general election, the Scotsman recommended that its readers vote Liberal or nationalist. So while the English daily press echoed a pro-Tory voice in Scot land, the Scottish-based press turned away from Tory policy. Wales: Labor and the Nationalists Unlike Scotland, Wales was dominated by the Labor Party after 1945; party strength reached its zenith in the 1950s, w hen Labor captured 58% of the vote in the 1956 general election though it failed to gain power. And Welsh nationalism, according to Kenneth Morgan (1981) in Rebirth of a Nation Â“seemed as dead as the druidsÂ” (p. 376). This political situation begs the following question: What transpired to give rise to a Welsh identity from the end of World War II to t he first devolution referendum in 1979? Two explanations are (a) that intellect ual development impacted the growing Welsh middle-class and (b) that the Welsh Language campaign brought great attention to a dying culture, sparking a modern revival. The intellectual push began with the expansion of the University of Wales system after the war. By the 1970s, the university system in Wales included sev en institutions that served 19,533 students; by this time, Welsh history had become a favorite c ourse among undergraduate s, for the younger generation, brought up in a world of affluence and growing individualism, sought to learn
114 about their regionÂ’s past. This trend was par ticularly apparent in rural communities, which faced a great transformation; suburbani zation and homeownership replaced the personal, close-knit industrial communities c entered on either coal or steel. The Welsh Language movement was generated by a report issued by the Council for Wales in 1961 concerning the status of the language In February 1962, a BBC radio lecture given by Saunders Lewis, one of the original members of Plaid, urged a more assertive effort to save the language, which was more important than self-government. This broadcast initiated a national campaign to sa ve the language and, with it, the culture of the region, which had been negatively impact ed by structural changes in the Welsh economy. Based on census data spanning three decades (1951-1971), the Welsh speaking population went from 28% in 1951 to 20% in 1971, with mo st of the Welshspeaking population residing in the dying areas of rural north and mid-west Wales. Of course, the original creation of Plaid Cymru was focused on saving the Welsh language and, thus, the Welsh culture. Not until 1932, seven years after the partyÂ’s formation, did it adopt self-government as part of its agenda. And unlike Scotland, Welsh national consciousness countered the cultural dominat ion that emanated from England. This resistance explains the centrality of the l anguage; even in 1901, the census showed that 50% of the population still spoke Welsh. As Anthony Birch (1977) argued in Political Integration and Disintegrati on in the British Isles Â“Since the 1920s the most important motivating force of the nationalist groups has been their concern to a rrest the decline of the Welsh languageÂ” (p. 119). Hence, the resurgence of the nationalist movement coincides with the formation in 1962 of the Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society), which
115 campaigned actively against the decline of t he language. Many of its members also belonged to Plaid Cymru. The Welsh national ist party advocated self-government, not independence, in order to save and pr eserve Welsh languag e and culture. The language debate essentially em erged from the concern ov er education. A Welshspeaking middle-class was growing in Cardi ff as a result of BBC Wales; Harlech Television (HTV), a commercial television station with Welsh l anguage programs; the growth of the Welsh Office; and the universit y system, which was feeling pressure to offer programs primarily delivered in Welsh. This growth gave momentum to the Welsh schools movement. Originally initiated in the 1930s, it received new life after an official report from the Central Advisory Council fo r Education (Wales) promoted efforts to protect the language. Meanwhi le, the English council focused on teaching methods, faculties, and other matters essential to effective teaching. Welsh remained a mandatory primary school s ubject, and new Welsh-language medium schools were established in the newly emerging housing estates. Today, these schools have long waiting lists, for they operate like magnet programs that have minimal disciplinary problems and very supportive parents. In fact, the Welsh language movement attracted extens ive attention through their direct action tactics: defacing road signs, refusing to license a car because forms were in English, and holding sit-ins in BBC studios to demand more Welsh language entertainment on television and news. These actions led to the arrest of over 500 members from 1965 until the early 1970s (Birch 1977, p. 128). The cause for linguistic equality was finally establis hed in the Welsh Language Act 1967, which was preceded by the first publication of the Welsh History Review and followed by Llafur (Labor), a
116 journal devoted to Welsh labor history at a time when the major industries had entered their twilight years. Eventually, S4C, an all-Welsh-language television station, was established by the BBC in 1982. Apparently post-war Welsh society was caught up, perhaps unknowingly for most, in a struggle to preserve and define it s traditional culture. Beyond the compass of the Welsh language, a larger Anglo-Welsh tradition began to flourish. Alongside this cultural revival, Plaid Cymru came out of the shadows when it brought a Tory governmental action to nati onal attention in 1957. As the British economy grew and populations shifted, Live rpool, a manufacturing center, required additional infrastructure to support an infl ux of workers. The government decided to flood an area in northeast Wales to build a rese rvoir that would supply water to the city. Seventy families in a valley called Tryweryn would lose their homes. Because it was a rural Welsh-speaking community, Plaid Cymru entered the fray to prevent the Â“EnglishÂ” government from taking Â“Welsh Â” water. Although the party lost the argument and the reservoir was built, Plaid received nati onal attention and delivered the message that Wales was powerless to change such a decision. The event illustrated why nationalist self-government was so impor tant to the community, especially when a Conservative government was in power. As a result, Plai d polled 77,000 votes in 1959, almost double the amount in the 1955 general elec tion (Tetteh, 2008, p. 14). The last influence on the growing Welsh national consciousness was the establishment of the Welsh Office in 1964, wh ich was the first official acknowledgement that Wales was a separate terr itorial entity. In turn, other organizations started to reflect this territorial unity. The Welsh Liberal Party was established in 1966, and the
117 Conservatives of Wales and the Labor PartyWales were formed in the early 1970s. Even the trade unions adapted to the change, forming the Trade Union Congress Wales (TUC). The Labor government also set up, in conjunction with the Welsh Office, a Welsh Economic Planning Board and an advisory Economic Council for Wales. Expectations rose, and failure to fulfill these expectations led to more discourse on the need for self-government. Despite all these factors in play, Plai d CymruÂ’s electoral performance in 1964 and 1966 was not as good as its performance in 1959. The explanation is two-fold; Labor had returned to power and established t he secretaryÂ’s position for Wales, and the direct actions of the language movement mi ght have seemed too radical to Englishspeaking voters. However, a by-election in Carmarthen in 1966 presented an opening to Plaid, especially as the media could focus on a single election more directly than on a general election. Given current degrees of unem ployment and political disillusionment in Wales, this election gave Gwynfor Ev ans, PlaidÂ’s leader and candidate, a unique opportunity because he was known among constituents for having served as a local councilor. Also, the Labor candidate, Lady Megan Lloyd George, had recently passed away due to cancer, sending the party into a panic as it searched for a new candidate. This panic could have been avoi ded, but Lady Megan, keepin g her secret, had decided to stand even though she knew her condition was precarious. Labor selected a strong nationalist candidate, Gwilyn Prys Davies, who lost the election to Plaid, which won its first parliamentary seat despite a solid Labor constituency. From this point on, Labor recognized the nationalists as a credible threat.
118 Over the next two years, PlaidÂ’s threat would prove more credible in two byelections. The first was in Rhondda West, a district that Labor had won with 80% of the vote in 1966; in 1967, Plaid cut LaborÂ’s vote from 17,000 to 2,000. The next year in Caerphilly, Labor watched a 21,000 winning vote margin fall to 1,800. The economy was the predominant issue, and Plaid was paying it adequate a ttention. In fact, James Griffiths, the first Secr etary of State for Wales and now in his seventies, wanted to retire; he was persuaded not to retire because of LaborÂ’s fear of losing or performing poorly in another by-election. As a result, he remained in office representing Llanelli, where he had won the previous election by 26,000 votes, until the next electi on in 1970 (Morgan, 1981, p. 387). The victory and close calls in Wales and, later, a nationalist win in Scotland were adequate motivation for Prime Minister Wilson to initiate the Royal Commission on the Constitution in an atte mpt to defuse the nationalist threat. Having established their credibility as a political party, Plaid CymruÂ’s support waned as the economy seemed to rebound, just as it was doing for the nationalists in Scotland. In addition, Plaid had to distance it self from a new, more radical, nationalist movement known as Â“Free Wales Army,Â” whic h had begun to resort to violence in the late 1960s; a dozen bomb explosions in 196869 culminated in a very well publicized criminal trial in Swansea. Nationalism had temporarily been given a bad name, and the new Secretary of State for Wa les, George Thomas, a strong an ti-devolutionist, publicly discussed how the Welsh language was a threat to non-Welsh speakers (Davies, 2001, pp. 644-645).
119 Scotland: Labor and the Nationalists Scottish nationalism or national co nsciousness had always existed because Scotland had a tradition of being an i ndependent nation; even with the 1707 Act of Union, it retained a number of its traditional institutions. In fact, the only institution abolished by the act itself was the Sco ttish Parliament, which merged with the parliament at Westminster. Its Presbyte rian Church remained; thus, it never experienced the imposition of the Chur ch of England like Ireland and Wales. Its education system was consi dered enlightened, and until t he 1930s, Scotland had four universities to EnglandÂ’s two. Even the Scottish newspapers focused on their own affairs, and English papers t here had limited circulation, un like English papers in Wales. Between 1886 and 1928, a total of fourteen separate home rule bills were submitted in the Commons though none passed. So the SNP, unlike Plaid Cymru, had no need to awaken a sense of national pride. The Wels h national party had made this attempt from its very formation and, because of its link to the language, had a mu ch more difficult time attracting the support of a large por tion of the electorate, which remained Anglicized and English speaking. As a result, the Liberal Party in Wales was more likely to attract protest votes t han the nationalists, as borne out by Liberal and Plaid voting patterns in Wales during the 1970s. The vote total of the Liberal Party increased from 103,747 to 238,997 between 1970 and 1974 whereas the nati onalist total decreased from 175,016 to 166,321 during the same period (Tetteh, 2008, p. 14). In Scotland, the nationalists saw their vote total increase from 306,802 to 839,617 in the same period whereas the Liberals remained essentially the same. Not only did the language issue scare away protest votes, but a comparis on of the two nationalis t party manifestos
120 during the 1970s also indicates that the SNP focused on economic issues with which the voters could identify; t he Welsh nationalists focused on protecting the culture and argued that self-government was more dem ocratic compared to centralization at Westminster. These voting outcomes repeated ov er three general elections in which the economy was the most impor tant issue to voters. By the 1960s, the economy was transfo rming. As the manufacturing base declined, citizens experienced greater levels of affluence; as a result, the Labor Party achieved dominance in both Scotland and Wale s while experiencing a slow decline in vote share in England. In this political environment, the national ist parties in both regions emerged as potential contenders, th reatening the position of Labor in two regions that provided them a stable 30% of its parliamentary membership. Nationalist victories in by-elections in both nations we re seen by Labor as long-term threats to a significantly established electoral base. The first indication of a nationalist threat in Scotland appeared in two by-e lections during 1961-1962. Du ring the first in Glasgow Bridgeton, a Labor stronghold, t he SNP polled 18.7% of the vote and, in the following year in West Lothian, achieved a respect able 23.3% of the vote ; the party came in second ahead of the Unionist an d Liberal candidates (Tetteh, 2008, p. 15). In the 1966 general election, the nationalists polled 5% of the vote (a 14.5% aver age for each seat it contested) up from 0.8% in 1959 (Keating & Bleiman, 1979, p. 154). Next, at the 1967 by-election in Pollock, a Labor seat, the nat ionalists split the Labor vote and allowed the Tories to win. Finally, the November 1967 by-election produced an SNP victory in Hamilton, the safest Labor constituency in Scotland, with Mrs. Winifred Ewing, a novice candidate who won 46% of the vote (p. 155). In the spring of 1968, the SNP won many
121 local council positions throughout the c ountry by capturing 34% of the vote. Compounding the defeat, the su ccess of SNP in Glasgow forced Labor out of power despite a predominately working class consti tuency. As the two following sections highlight, the nationalists in both regions were starting to become more visible and a potential threat to t he political aspirations of the Labor Party in both regions. Although Labor refused to embrace devolution as a counter to the nati onalist threat, Labor realized the need to prevent t he nationalists from dominati ng the political debate about home rule or devolution. Ther efore, Wilson reluctantly a dopted a minimalist approach. Labor and the Royal Commission on Devolution Following the alarms set off by the recent elections in Wales and Scotland, the Wilson government became concerned wit h the nationalist threat. Even the Conservatives acknowledged the potential threat in Scotland. Earlier in the year at a party conference, its leader, Ed ward Heath, made his Declarat ion of Perth, in which he recognized the demands for home rule; he also appointed a well-respected Scot, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, a former prime minster, to lead a commission to inquire into the issue of home rule, much to the dissatisfac tion of a significant portion of its members who would vote it down later at the 1973 party conference. In response to the nationalist threat, the Wilson government took a minima list approach. In October 1968, he initiated the Royal Commission on the Constitution wit h the expressed hope that devolution would disappear. This commission occurred only after his anti-devolutionist Secretaries of State Willie Ross for Scotland and newly appointed George Thomas for Wales finally agreed that it was an excellent way to kill the issue. Months after a decision was reached to establish a study, Labor Home Se cretary James Callaghan, under direction
122 of Prime Minister Wilson, decreed the est ablishment of the Royal Commission, which did not have any members until the following April. This delay indicates that although the government might have desired to remo ve the nationalist issue from the agenda, they did not address the situation with any ur gency. As Prime Minister Wilson famously said, a Royal Commission is meant to Â“take minutes and spend years,Â” further evidence that the intent was to slow hand the nationalist issue of home rule (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 54). Interestingly, the warrant that creat ed the commission contains no mention of Scotland and Wales or devolution. The pr evue was a wholesale examination of the British Constitution; the commission was to examine Â“the interests of the prosperity and good government of Our people u nder the Crown, whether any changes are desirable in those functions or otherwise in present constitutional and economic relationshipsÂ” (Kilbrandon, 1973, pp. iii-iv). The warrant does specifically mention two geographical regions in which the relati onship with the central governm ent should be examined: the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The lack of real specificity, coupled with a comprehensive examination of the constituti onal system, provides further evidence that the government and Labor Party wanted this issue to be removed from the political debate or at least suspended. The commission took four years to complete its task and finally issued a report in 1973, wh en Labor was no longer in power. Although the commission had the all-enc ompassing task of reviewing the constitutional system, the commission was guided by political reality and decided to review possible constitutional changes for Scotland and Wales. This remit was decided by a majority of the membership, who recogni zed that the real goal of the body was to
123 examine the rise of the nati onal parties, as clearly stat ed in the opening paragraphs of their report. Also, the compos ition of the commissionÂ’s mem bership hinted at this goal. Only three of the eleven members represent ed England (excluding North England), or half the United Kingdom. Scotland, Wales and North England had two members each, and Northern Ireland and South-West Engla nd had one member each; thus, the focus was clearly to deal with Scotland and Wales, which contained only eight million of the UKÂ’s sixty million people. The commission finally held its first heari ng in Cardiff, Wales, September 15-16, 1969. The first witnesses questioned during this session were the representatives of Plaid Cymru, the nationalist party in Wales. The first confrontation occurred when the nationalists decided to give some of their te stimony in Welsh; this strategy annoyed the commission especially because Plaid Cymru onl y gave them 24-hour notice that a translator would be required. The discussion was not hostile, but the testimony was awkward and did not give the commission t he impression of overwhelming demand for change, let alone independence. For example, when one commissioner asked a representative of the nationalist party whet her the Welsh people really saw themselves as a nation and possessed a strong desire for independence, the answer was Â“Yes, I think that is trueÂ” (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 56). Various other lukewarm responses left the commission skeptical about demands for self-government in Wales. The next testimony took place in Scot land, September 20-30 of the same year. Again, the first witnesses questioned were spokespersons for the Scottish National Party. Unlike the Welsh testimony, the SNP members were very direct and aggressive, leading to a relatively hostile exchange between the commission and the nationalists.
124 Nevertheless, the Scottish nationalists never really provided concrete evidence of grievances against the Union. Aside from the parties, go vernment departments, and private testimony, there was generally very littl e evidence, either written or spoken, by pressure groups. From the Scots, the commi ssion received only six written reports, and from Wales, there were twelve, but none of much substance. Those groups who supported Labor leaned toward devolution, and those groups who supported the Conservatives were against it (D rucker & Brown, 1980, pp. 71-73). The commission did conduct public opinion polls during the winter of 1969-1970 to ascertain public sentiment about the issue. Unfortunately, the polls were just a smoke screen, and their use has been cr iticized. First, they conducted only one poll only one time, four years before the commission released its final report. Second, the results in one survey showed that 62% of the popul ation was satisfied with government performance and that more were disaffected by local government performance as opposed to the central authorit y. Last, the polls showed that dissatisfaction with Westminster increased the further removed t hey were from London. In fact, the polls showed greater dissatisfaction in Northern E ngland than in Wales. Yet no consideration was given to a regional government in any English region (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 63). Clearly, the commission was primarily focused on the political problem the nationalists posed for both Labor and the Tories. In the end, the commission recommended a form of devolution for both Scotland and Wales, but the proposal was not unani mous. Unlike many commissions that attempt to arrive at a consensus, this body split into two camps based on their competing proposals. The disagreement in dicated that one group was dealing with the
125 political problem at hand and the other was using constitutional logic more in line with the actual charge given to the commission. The majority opinion proposed devolution schemes for Scotland and Wales that gave eac h an elected assembly of approximately 100 members with legislative, executive, and administrative powers. Those powers were no different from the pow ers currently exercised by the respective Scottish and Welsh Offices. The one notable change was that the Scottish government would also control criminal enforcement, prison policy, and some other aspects of police power because Scotland possessed its own legal system. As far as finance was concerned, an independent Exchequer Board would receiv e estimates from both the central and regional governments to determi ne what funding was necessary to maintain services at the pre-devolution level; assemblies could use the funding as needed and were free to transfer it from account to account. Be cause the assemblies would have extensive authority, the commission felt that the ov errepresentation of the two regions at Westminster should be reduced. Their defen se of this recommendation was that the people of Scotland and Wales wanted such a reduction. However, the testimony and surveys had not provided subst antial evidence to support this conclusion. Again, the real goal was to reduce the nationalist threat to the political standing of the two main parties. The Memorandum of Dissent, submi tted by the two academics on the commission, proposed a similar devolution solution, but it would include the five regions of England along with Scotland and Wales. Also it would give the assemblies the power to collect revenue: a levy through sales ta x and a surcharge on income tax. Because this group examined the entire constitutional system as the writ decreed, they even
126 recommended other constitutional reforms, incl uding additional subject committees in the national parliament. In the end, the report generated little discussion when it was published in October 1973, but it did place the issue of devolution on the national agenda. Although devolution generated luke warm enthusiasm in most people, apart from nationalists, placement on the nati onal agenda was a launching point for future discussions about devolution in the Unit ed Kingdom. The unint ended consequence of the report was that, instead of alleviating the problem or at least removing it from the political playing field, it gave the issue of devolution more official credibility, justifying future demands for self-government in the two regions. Indeed, the commissionÂ’s recommendation legitimized home rule demands and, thus, forced Labor to travel a path it was very reluctant to pursue. The Royal Commission on the Constitution issued its report four years after the Labor government under Wilson was replaced by the Tories in the 1970 general election. Labor was now the opposition, and concerns about devolution had subsided, especially because the nationalists lost Hamilton in the general election and only gained the Western Isles, which never had a Labor cons tituency. In addition, the Tory Industrial Relations Act became a national issue, pi tting the government against the unions and giving Labor a familiar and comfortable v antage point from whic h to challenge the Conservatives. However, a specific piece of legislation concerning the reform of local government in Scotland received the support of Scottish MPs, includi ng Labor. Scottish devolutionists such as John Mackintosh and Jim Sillars discerned LaborÂ’s refusal to wait on the reforms until the commission had comple ted its report on constitutional change.
127 Enthusiastic proponents of the cause of devol ution could tell that the partyÂ’s original commission was probably not taken very seriously. The nationalists in Scotland won another surprising by-election at Govan and came close in an earlier one in Dundee-East in 1973, both reversing a strong Labor majority. These victories, while the Labor party was in opposition, focused more attention on the devolution iss ue as the Constitutional Commi ssion or Kilbrandon report was about to be released. Despite this appar ent wake up call, t he Executive of the Scottish Labor Party released a report titled Scotland and the UK which restated a previous policy that ruled out the need or desire for a Scottish Assembly but failed to make visible the growing internal split among Scottish MPs concerning devolution. Finally, the Kilbrandon repor t recommended a scheme for devolution and placed the issue squarely on the agenda. However, events after the February 1974 general election would accelerate concern over the issue of devolution, for the nationalist parties did relatively well, especially in Scotland, where the SNP ac tually promoted indepe ndence, not merely self-government, as Plaid Cymru did. This success came as a surprise because both parties had lost the momentum they had in the mid-1960s; perhaps the Labor Party had been lulled into a state of complacen cy, making the 1974 successes appear all the more threatening. LaborÂ’s initial reaction afte r the February election was to ignore the issue; they maintained power as a minorit y government and knew t hat they would still be forced to hold another election within a shor t period of time. Given this scenario and the many problems in the 1960s that had caus ed external and internal conflicts within the party, Wilson adopted a mini malist political strategy. He maintained internal party
128 harmony and only pushed policies to strengthen support amongst its electoral constituency, especially the unions. Although the SNP been reduced to an echo a fter the 1970 election, it reemerged during the February 1974 general election with 22% of the vote and seven parliamentary seats; Labor still retained 40 Scottish seats in Parliament, 7 fewer than its peak in 1966 (Keating & Bleiman, 1979, p. 154). This result occurred despite the CommissionÂ’s recommendation for devolution in both Scotland and Wales before the election. In fact, devolution was not a signifi cant issue during the election because the economy and trade union strikes were the domi nant concerns for voters. Indeed, the Conservative and Liberal parties both exper ienced a loss of seats. Though the results did draw more attention to the iss ue, the commissionÂ’s re commendation more importantly placed the issue squarely on t he mainstream political agenda, which would no longer echo the more extremist elements in British politics. The results of the follow up election called by Labor later in the year would confirm this analysis and force the governing Labor Party into crisis mode. With nationalist momentum temporarily st ymied after 1968, the general election of 1970 saw Labor defeated and replaced by a Conservative government under Edward Heath. In Wales, Plaid Cymru increased its vote total to 175,016 from the 61,071 votes it captured in 1966 but failed to retain the Carmarthen constituency it had won in the byelection (Tetteh, 2008, p. 15). In Scotland, the nationalist vote declined from earlier highs, and they lost the seat won in a surpri sing upset in Hamilton but did win a seat in the Western Isles, retaining their membersh ip in Parliament. However, events in the
129 1970s would dramatically shift the fortunes of the nationalists in both regions, culminating in a failed first attempt to establish devolutio n in both Scotland and Wales. While in power, the Conservative gover nment confronted significant economic problems that would, in the short term, benef it the nationalists. But first, Heath would achieve one of his partyÂ’s stated goals and ensure in 1972 BritainÂ’s entry into the European Economic Community, wh ich Labor had long criticiz ed as another capitalist club. Despite this success, the govern ment now confronted a hostile trade union environment over the passage of the Industr ial Relations Act, a law limiting wildcat strikes and prohibiting limitations on legitimate strikes. It also established the National Industrial Relations Court, which had the power to grant injunctions to prevent strikes and to settle different types of labor disputes. Challenged by the unions, this legislation led to the first nationwide strike since 1926, forcing the government to announce a state of emergency and reduce the work week to three days due to power plant shutdowns for lack of fuel. The strike by coal miner s and truckers prevented the delivery of the resources needed to keep the plants operational. It eventually forced the government to call a general election because they had essentia lly lost control of the situation; each time they agreed to union demands, t he unions sensed weakness and made more demands on the state. Ironically, the slogan Â“Who Governs Britain?Â” was the campaign theme used by the Tories in the February 1974 election. In light of the political environment confronting the nation and t he Labor government elected in February 1974, Chapter 7 examines the events of L aborÂ’s tenure in power and how the party forced the issue of devolution in the name of political expediency.
130 CHAPTER 7 LABOR AND DEVOLUTION 1974-1979 The 1974 Elections, Labor, and Devolution The February general election result s produced a hung Parliament but gave Labor the largest number of members at 301; the Tories had 296 although they had gained 300,000 more popular vo tes than Labor. Worse yet, the nationalists in Scotland and Wales succeeded beyond all expectations. Plaid Cymru captured two constituencies and only lost a third by three votes. LaborÂ’s vote total in Wales fell to 47%, the first time it had fallen below 50% si nce the war. The SNP fared much better by winning seven constituencies and 23.2% of the total popular vote. The nationalists provided an alternative party that allowed an gry Labor voters to register their discontent. If voters in England wanted to express t heir discontent with Labor, they could vote Liberal. But in the Celtic regions, that negative sentiment could be coupled with a positive nationalist feeling. The Tories attemp ted to maintain power by manufacturing a coalition, offering Harold Wilson, the Labor leader, an opportunity to form a government and have the largest party repr esentation in the House of Commons. He refused to form the coalition and decided to rule as a minor ity government that would last only seven months, longer than the leadership originally anticipated. The cause of the nationalistsÂ’ success was primarily that the economic downturn experienced in both regions was more seve re than in England and that both parties claimed that a shift in political power, self-government in Wales and autonomy or independence in Scotland, was the best way to spark economic revival. For example, the Plaid Cymru manifesto, titled Rich Welsh or Poor British discussed raising revenue by selling Welsh water to English towns. The SNP made the credible argument that
131 ScotlandÂ’s oil, which had been discovered in the North Sea, was soon coming on line. The obvious implication was that this s upply would generate enormous wealth, as the recent 1973 OPEC oil embargo had made so per sonally clear to many subjects. The primary reason for their success, however, was a decline in class voting that began in Britain in the 1970s. Mark FranklinÂ’s (1985) The Decline of Class Voting in Britain and Butler and StokesÂ’ (1976) significant study Political Change in Britain both documented the change. Franklin argued that class voting was replaced by issue voting to explain how economic performance could be capitaliz ed on by the nationali sts. They adopted lines generally supportive of the welfare state and prov ided discontented Labor voters with a familiar alternative. Also, the younger voters, under 35, and first-time voters rallied to the nationalist cause in Scotl and (Hutchison, 2001, p. 123). Changes in economic structure, affluence, and education were reshaping the electorate, for skilled and semi-skilled workers were on the decline. This trend continued into the 1980s because Labor failed to adjust its appeal; as a result, the Tories enjoyed more success during that period. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Lord Crow ther-Hunt, who had written the dissenting opinion of the Kilbrandon Report, was brought into the government as a constitutional advisor; in June, he published a discussion paper that listed five possible models of devolution (Keating, 1979, p. 167). He followed this paper in September with another government White Paper titled Democracy and Devolution: Proposals for Scotland and Wales which proposed a very watered-down vision of the assemblies. Finally, the Labor Party in Scotland actua lly published a separate Scottish Manifesto outlining the calls for an assembly. Al though Labor had not placed the issue of
132 devolution in its February manifesto, despite the release of the Kilbrandon Report on the Constitution in 1973 and its recommendations for devolution, the election results were significant enough that it would appear in it s October 1974 manifesto. The election result would be even more disastrous, not onl y for Labor but also for the Conservatives. In the October 1974 election, t he SNP won eleven seats, the f our additional ones taken from the Conservatives. In the popular vote, the SNP found it self only six points behind Labor, 30.4 to 36.3, while surpassing the th ird-place Conservati ves, who polled only 24.7 (Rallings & Thrasher, 2009, p. 198). The most frightening result to Labor, according to leader Harold Wilson, was that the nationalists placed second in 35 of the 41 seats they won that year (Drucker & Br own, 1980, p. 48). In Wales, Plaid Cymru retained their two seats, and Gwynfor Evans, who had lost the previous election by three votes, won Carmarthen; this result gav e the nationalists their third seat in the region. Even more ominous for Labor was the Plaid vote in the nineteen constituencies of southeast Wales, LaborÂ’s stronghold; Plai d candidates saw their vote totals rise 173% over its numbers in 1964, when it first c hallenged Labor in its heartland (Birch, 1977, p. 129). The implicat ion was that Plaid had now become acceptable to predominantly English-speaking communities not just the rural Welsh-speaking communities of the north and west. Alt hough Labor emerged from the election with a majority, the margin was only three votes; the partyÂ’s position ha d become tentative as the nationalists gained in its post-war str ongholds. Furthermore, these gains came after Labor had included devolution as a priority in t he election manifesto for the first time in its history and had finally convinced a reluctant executive in the Scottish Labor Party to promote the issue officially. To this point, the devolution battle had apparently been
133 waged in the public sphere, but when it fi nally appeared in a Labor proposal and eventually a bill, the conflict predominately took place withi n the Labor Party itself. Obviously, the election results energiz ed Labor, but the imm ediate focus was on the economy because it was the most critical problem facing the nation. The leadership believed, and justifiably so, that economic improvements w ould take some of the wind out of the nationalist sails. But the real incentive for the push on devolution was the realization that such a slim majority w ould not last and that eventually, nationalist goodwill might be essential to the governmentÂ’s future survival. In November 1975, in keeping with its campaign promise, Parlia ment released a Wh ite Paper entitled Our Changing Democracy: Devolution to Scotland and Wales This paper generated a great deal of criticism, particula rly among the Scots, because the Secretary of State for Scotland retained the power of a Â“governor generalÂ”; he could veto Scottish Assembly legislation if he thought it was ultra vires or inappropriate from a general policy standpoint. Also, the paper mentioned very little about the assemblyÂ’s role in economic development and gave it minimal revenue rais ing capability (Keating, 1979, p. 175). A number of Welsh backbenchers also found it unacceptable because they believed it legitimized nationalist demands and created a slippery slope to independence, which even the most pro-devolutionist Welsh we re against. However, it ironically and surprising generated a sense of English nat ionalism. English MPs representing the northern tier of the country were now concerned that t he Scots would gain economic concessions at their expense. Of course the government had been ignoring this issue all along, especially with Willie Ross servi ng as secretary for Labor during the 1960s and 1970s. The outcome was that the government published a supplementary
134 statement to the origin al paper in August of the following year. Responding to criticism, it reduced the secretaryÂ’s power and propos ed the devolution of the Scottish Development Agency, hoping to rectify the documentÂ’s weaknesses concerning economic development in Scotland. The Labor Party in Scotland had suffered a bad scare, but the Conservatives did as well, for they continued to see their popular ity of previous deca des fade. One of the five MPs who lost to the SNP was Secretar y of State for Scotland Gordon Campbell. Although he increased his 1970 vote total, he still suffered a surprising defeat to SNP candidate Winnie Ewing, the winner of t he Hamilton by-election of 1967, and was replaced by a pro-devolutionist Scotsman (Dru cker & Brown, 1980, p. 88). The swing of votes to Labor and the SNP spelled disaster for the future of t he Conservatives in Scotland. Consequently, the Tories reluct antly inserted, in their October 1974 manifesto, a commitment to establish an indirectly elected assembly of local government authorities. This promise came from a party whose Scottish section for years had been labeled the Â“Unionist Party in Scotland.Â” The rising nationalist tide was viewed as a threat by the two mainstream po litical parties in the region. Ironically, the nationalists would have minimal impact on the entire issue once they were installed in Westminster; the ensuing drive constitu ted a Labor-driven reaction to a perceived electoral threat. This reaction would eventua lly be the cause of the governmentÂ’s selfinflicted downfall over t he issue of devolution. The early White Papers were reactions not to the initial threat of nationalist success in February 1974 but to the corner into which the Labor Prime Minister had painted himself on the floor of the Comm ons. And the party had not made any commitment to
135 devolution in its election manifesto of F ebruary 1974 because it focused on economic rejuvenation for the country. The problem st arted in the PMÂ’s defense of the QueenÂ’s Speech stipulating the gover nmentÂ’s legislative agenda fo r the coming parliamentary session. Tam Dalyell (1977), an anti-devoluti onist Scottish MP, recalls in his book Devolution: The End of Britain that Scottish Nationalist MP Winnie Ewing interrupted the Prime Minister when he stated, Â“My Ministers and I will initiate discussion in Scotland and Wales on the Report of the Royal Commi ssion on the Constitution, and will bring forward proposals for considerationÂ” ( Hansard 30 October 1974 cols 48-52). The following exchange, concerning that interruption, is recorded in the Hansard : Mrs. Winifred Ewing (Moray and Nairn) [rises] The Prime Minister I shall give way in a moment, when I have finished this part of my speech. I shall give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell and Wishaw (Mr. Lawson) and then to the hon. Lady. Mrs. Ewing May I ask the Prime Minister why it isÂ— [Interruption]Â—I will just wait until I get peace and quietÂ—[Interruption.] Mr. Speaker Order. The hon. Lady may have to wait qui te a long time before she gets total peace and quiet. Nevertheless, I do ask the House to behave. Mrs. Ewing May I ask the Prime Minister whyÂ—since his party, in all sincerit y, almost from its inception until 1957, and again this year, has supported thisÂ—after all the Royal Commissions and discussions, should t he Government have to initiate discussions? Could we not now have pr oposals instead of discussions?
136 The Prime Minister We on this side believe in full consul tation and discussions. We are not an authoritarian party. Of course we shall publish a White Paper and a Bill. We shall want consultations. When the hon. Lady has considered what I have said about the constitutional adviser I think she will find that to be a real help to all parties in the time before we begin to discuss the serious proposals of Kilbrandon. ( Hansard 30 October 1974 cols 227-371) Tam Dalyell (1977) reiterated that this announcement was t he first time he or other Labor members had heard of a go vernment commitment to a White Paper and a Bill, especially after the Scottish Labor Party had denied a proposal for an assembly for Scotland before the election. Clearly, the party had not strongly supported devolution, but now Harold Wilson had essentially co mmitted his government to that eventual course without solid support, the consequences of which would soon come to the surface (Dalyell, 1977, p. 99). Meanwhile, the Scottish Council of t he Labor PartyÂ’s executive committee, in preparation for its annual conference, issued a statement congratul ating the Kilbrandon CommissionÂ’s rejection of the nationalist agenda: decisions Â“affecting Scotland are taken in Scotland whenever possibleÂ” (Drucke r & Brown, 1980, p. 89). This assertion was not a rousing endorsement of devolut ion because the committee was still split between pro and anti-devolutionist s, illustrating that the issue was potentially divisive within the party. Around the same period, the Welsh Council of the Labor Party, in anticipation of its annual conference in May, was considering the issue of devolution because of trade union pressure but refused to promote devolution because doing so would embarrass the governm ent, which was about to release its White Paper concerning the issue. Finally, on 3 June, the government released Devolution within the United Kingdom: Some Al ternatives for Discussion which rehashed the Kilbrandon
137 CommissionÂ’s proposals. Unlike other Whit e Papers, it had no Command Number and lacked the definite proposals usually expec ted of such government documents because they represented potentia l bills (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 91). Obviously, it served the purpose of fulfilling the Prime MinisterÂ’s public promise made dur ing the debate on the QueenÂ’s Speech. The Labor Cabinet understood that as a mino rity government, they would have to call a new election shortly, for the advant age and incentive rest ed with the opposition, and their position was extremel y tentative. According to Philip Zeigler (1993), in his biography Wilson the Cabinet agreed that they c ould not survive past autumn, and some, such as Michael Foot, believed that almost immediate dissolution was the proper course of action (p. 413). In fact, the government thought it was going to lose a vote of no-confidence in mid-March, but the Tori es backed down. However, the government was prepared to request a dissolution if necessary. Even in May, the feeling in the Cabinet was to hold a June el ection, but eventually Wils on and others were convinced by Callaghan and Foot to wait until October (p. 419). In light of thes e circumstances, the White Paper was a politically expedient stop -gap measure in case a June election was required; making a public pronouncement without any proof of progress would have given the nationalists more political amm unition with which to assault Labor in another election. And as the February 1974 election had demonstrated, the nationalist threat was real. In June, the executive to the SCLP voted against all the proposals outlined in the governmentÂ’s White Paper. M eanwhile, the Welsh Labor Pa rtyÂ’s executive considered demanding more economic power for Wales but did not call for its future assembly to
138 possess that power. Instead, as not to upstage the Scots, it called for the establishment of a Welsh Development Agency within the Wels h office. This initiative was driven by the unions in Wales that had come to believe that the only cure for the Welsh economy was devolution. With reluctant leadership who did not want to embarrass the party and knowing the Scots were a real nationalist th reat compared to Wales, the unions settled for a devolved development agency as a co mpromise. Consequently, Welsh Labor supported devolution while Scottish Labor did not. This outcome appeared not to recognize the potential electoral impact of th e nationalists in each region, particularly with an election very clearly on the horizon. The immediate response of the national Labor party was to insist that Scottish Labor begin supporting devolution. This initiative was led by Peter Allison, a member of Scot tish Labor, who was on the national partyÂ’s payroll (Drucker & Brown, 1980, pp. 93-94). An emergency meeting was held in August to reverse its previous decision. Subsequently, the national party issued Bringing People to Power which established elected asse mblies for both regions. Both assemblies would be financed by block grants, and ScotlandÂ’s would have legislative powers. At the same time, the Cabinet was being presented a proposal from its constitution unit; drawn up by the civil serv ice, the proposal suggested a much more watered down version of devolution. Unfort unately, the government was now committed to the partyÂ’s scheme. Knowing the election was going to be ca lled for October, a new White Paper was published, Democracy and Devolution: Proposals for Scotland and Wales which mirrored some of the key poi nts in the party document recently published concerning devolution. For example, Sc otland would have legislative power and Wales would not,
139 both would be financed by block grants, dev elopment agencies for both regions would be created and controlled by its secretary of state, and Scotland would extract North Sea oil, the sheer existence of which had lent credibility to the SNP claim that Scotland could be wealthier as an independent nation. T he clear indication here is that the party was pushing the issue for political expedienc y, having usurped the issue from the civil service, which had been working on it since the Heath government was still in power. Unknown at the time was that when the co mmission released its final report, the Heath government had secretly tasked the civil se rvice to begin work on the Kilbrandon proposals within the Privy Council Office When Crowther-Hunt was appointed by Wilson, the civil servants already had in hand a working proposal based on the majority report, which was rather conservative. The party was dictating government policy from the center, pushing the periphery, as seen in Scotland, for political expediency, and ignoring the advice of the civil service bec ause another election was clearly imminent. This White Paper was released a day before the October general election was called by Wilson. Finally, once Labor returned with a ma jority, the future devolution policy would be handled by the civil service, as the i mmediate electoral threat would have been forestalled. However, this top-down reaction to the nationalist threat failed to recognize or simply ignored the divisive force the i ssue generated within the PLP. This force would become readily apparent when legislat ion finally came to the Commons. Winning the October election with a majo rity, an increase in the popular vote, and no further loss of seats in Scotland to the nati onalists confirmed to t he party that it was taking the devolution issue in the proper di rection. WilsonÂ’s first priority was to renegotiate EEC entry, which the party had promised would only be approved by
140 referendum. Although Heath had successfully gai ned British entry into the EEC, Labor was originally against it, but Wilson and other s believed that remaining was possible if the basis for BritainÂ’s previous entry could be modified. While the civil service worked on the new White Paper, both the Scottish and Welsh Regional Labor Parties held their annual conferences in the spring of 1975. Meanwhile, the Prime Minist er prepared for a June refe rendum concerning Britain membership in the EEC. At the Scottish c onference, the devolutio nists, empowered by the changes in attitude concerning an asse mbly, pushed for a resolution that would secure influence over the economy, such as revenue raising authority and control of the SDA. However, the motion failed, and future legislation offering anything more than an elected assembly with legislative powers would be placed in the hands of the civil servants, who would be less likely to prom ote a more robust age nda. In Wales, the Labor conference witnessed the beginning of an organized anti-devolutionist movement when Welsh MPs Leo Abse, Neil Kinnock, Don Anderson, and Fed Evans, later to be part of the Â“Gang of six,Â” offe red a resolution to commit to a referendum on devolution. This motion failed as well and w ould again fail the following year. In preparation for this new White Paper, the government relied on the original committees in the Privy Council established by Heath. Through this structure, the civil service performed their analysis by subm itting recommendations, proposals, and collections of information from the many va rious ministries involved in evaluating the numerous domestic powers possessed by Westminster that now might be passed to subnational assemblies. According to Drucker and Brown (1980) in The Politics of Nationalism and Devolution
141 The typical Whitehall method of decisi on-making weighted the scales against extensive devolution. There was no questi on of reaching a Â“rationalÂ” decision. Instead, the pressure was always to reach an accommodation between the various interests represented around a table. This meant that the largest number of interests prevailed. (pp. 98-99) The Welsh and Scottish Offices were making a case for devolution while the numerous other ministries were fighting it as they atte mpted to protect their turf. The authors went on to say, Â“No matter how well the Scottish and Welsh Office civil servants urged the case for Scotland and Wales, they were always outnumbered and that meant outarguedÂ” (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 99). This outcome is apparent when examining the powers granted to the Scottish Assembly in the paper. For example, housing was devolved, but mortgages on private housing we re not; education but not universities; transport but not railways (Pittock, 2008, p. 67) And once the final report went to the Cabinet, there was opportunity to change it, but interest in the details subsided once the political concern over elec toral defeat was settled. There was no incentive for comprehensive analysis, especially because for Prime Minister Wilson, the focus was to subdue the forces of separatism: Â“I find it a bit of a boreÂ” (Ziegler, 1993, p. 453). Later, even his successor Callaghan became only a re luctant supporter because the issue had already been put in play, and failure could only have negative political consequences. By July 1975, the government establishe d the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies responsible for economic development in the regions, and finally, in late November, the White Paper Our Changing Democracy: Devolution to Scotland and Wales was published. It satisfied few and generated criticism from devol utionists for not going far enough and from anti-devolutionists because it threatened the unity of the kingdom. But it did reflect the thin king of the civil service, for it protected specific turfs,
142 as seen in its archaic distribution of devolv ed powers, for instance. The civil servants would remain part of the British civil se rvice and would permit the bureaucracy to forestall potential problems between the periphery and the center, unlike in Northern Ireland, where the civil service was a separate entity. The governments would be funded through block grants as part of t he annual general budget; therefore, the Treasury would ultimately be the clearinghou se for funding levels, again keeping the process within the civil service. Finally, it gave the secretaries for the two regional offices the authority to determi ne whether any assembly bill ex ceeded their authority; in the case of Scotland, which had legisl ative authority, the secretary possessed ultra vires and even Westminster retained autho rity to overrule any act. These details raised many questions, but the paper did finally provide the first comprehensive devolution policy and demon strated the serious intent of the government even though there had never really been a national debate within the Labor Party itself. This lack of political due process became apparent when the paper awoke a latent English nationalism. Despite the gr owth of administrative devolution, the overrepresentation of the two nations in Pa rliament and the favoritism in spending for social services had never attracted much att ention from the English electorate, but now concerns started to emerge as people began to see how these changes could impact their share of the economic pie. This anxiety would eventua lly complicate the legislative process as the Welsh anti-devolutionists would find willing companions in their struggle to defeat the policy. Recognizing the criticisms, Michael Foot, Leader of the House of Commons, announced that the gov ernmentÂ’s proposal would be revised. On August 3, Devolution
143 to Scotland and Wales: Supplementary Statement was released, presenting some notable changes. First, it removed the power of ultra vires from the Scottish Secretary and replaced it with a review pr ocess that the Judicial Co mmittee of the Privy Council would conduct. The right to raise the surc harge on rates was removed, and control of the SDA and WDA was devolved to the asse mblies. It also acknowledged a forthcoming consultation document on England and promis ed that a Scotland and Wales Bill would be introduced in the next parliamentary sessi on. Feeling things had been adequately addressed concerning devoluti on, the government would now wait until the legislation was prepared and readied for its fi rst reading in Parliament. Before Callaghan assumed leadership of the party in 1976, replacing Harold Wilson as Prime Minister, the Labor Party entered power with only a three-vote majority in October 1974. By 1976, the majority had been reduced to a minority due to byelections and defections. Surprising the nat ion and his party, Harold Wilson announced his resignation on March 16, 1976; effective Ap ril 5, 1976, his resignation was followed by an election within the Labor Party to select a new leader the same day. Against six original contenders, Callaghan w on the leadership election on the third ballot, defeating Michael Foot 176 to 133 (Callaghan, 1987, p. 394). Following his election, the Queen invited him to the Palace and requested that he form a government. No formal ceremony was required, and Callaghan imm ediately picked up where Wilson left off. However, the new prime minister inherit ed a minority government after by-election losses, deaths, and party changes over the two previous y ears. The Labor government had been reduced from a majority of three to a minority of two, and on CallaghanÂ’s first full day as Prime Minister, his party had 314 seats to the 316 held by all the other
144 parties (Morgan, 1997, p. 482). This distribut ion placed the government in a precarious situation that would eventually require it to make numerous deals to survive a remarkable 37 months. During that period, CallaghanÂ’s government would be defeated 30 times, losing only one formal vote of conf idence at the very end, leading to the governmentÂ’s dissolution (p. 564). Callaghan, a traditional Laborit e who believed only a strong state could solve the economic problems in the periphery, was nev er a strong supporter of devolution; he even felt it was constitutionally undesirabl e. However, he also believed it was a necessary evil that would placate nati onalist aspirations, in part because his government was dependent upon their votes for its survival (Morgan, 1997, p. 510). With numbers in the Commons stacked agains t them, Labor found that they would have to rely periodically on the nationalist parties Plaid Cymru (3) and SNP (11), the Ulster Unionists (10), Scottish Labor (2), SLDP (1), Independent Republican (1), or the Liberals (13). The reliability of each group was tenuous at best, for none would necessarily be on the governmen tÂ’s side on any given issue; furthermore, the partyÂ’s own backbenchers could at times prove unreliabl e in certain circumstances, the threat of defection generating some influence usually not available to them. By November 1976, the situation had worsen as Labor now re tained only 310 seats, having lost four more since Callaghan took power. Since October 1974, they had lost three seats in byelections, one to the death of cabinet member Anthony Crosland, another when minister Roy Jenkins became President of the EEC Commission, and two more to the defection of Jim Sillars and John Robertson, who fo rmed the independent Scottish Labor Party. However, Labor did discover that they c ould rely on the support of the two Ulster
145 Catholics, one member of the Social Democratic Labor Party (SDLP), and an Independent Republican, though they were still shy of a parliamentary majority. Six other parties, in combination, held that advantage; the Conservati ves had 278 seats, the Scottish Nationalists had 11, the Welsh nati onalists had 3, the Ulster Unionists had 10, the Liberals had 13, and there were two br eakaway Scottish MPs (Michie & Hoggart, 1978, pp. 15-17). LaborÂ’s Devolution Policy and Parliament The parliamentary playing field was comp licated mixture when the government introduced the Scotland and Wales Bill for its first reading on November 26, 1976, two days following the QueenÂ’s Speech and its fo rmal announcement. This move is another example of the politicians having abdicated responsibility for the legislation to the bureaucrats, both proposals were included in one bill. As a result, anti-devolutionists could cooperate especially well with those who were concerned only with either the Scottish portion or the Welsh portion. The obvious miscalculation here was that the leadership did not believe there was subst antial opposition, and their overriding concern was to pass the act as quickly as possible be cause the current governmentÂ’s retention was tentative from day to day. The government did recognize that this bill represented a significant constitutional change, and Mich ael Foot, Leader of the House, allotted 30 days for debate (Callaghan, 1987, p. 505). Sinc e 1945, convention had required that for any major change to the constitution t he committee stage be conducted in the Committee of the Whole House; during this ti me, any MP had the right to speak as often as desired, clause by clause, and the freedom to o ffer amendments.
146 The first sign of trouble surfaced during Mi nister Question Time on December 7, when Welsh MP Leo Abse, soon to become a member of the Â“Gang of Six,Â” asked the Secretary of State for Wales John Morris about assembly me mbersÂ’ salaries, attempting to point out the cost of addi tional tiers of government ( Hansard 6 December 1976 cols 5-7). On December 13, the Order for the Second Reading, which allows debate on the principles of the legislation, was announced The Speaker was quite clear about the amount of discussion this legislation would generate based on his opening: Â“May I inform the House that it woul d have been easier for me on th is occasion if right hon. and hon. Members who did not wish to speak had dropped me a lineÂ” ( Hansard 13 December 1976 cols 974-1150). Immediately following this statement, even before the Prime Minister had moved to place the second reading, Leo Abse attempted to introduce an amendment to the l egislation: Â“On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have on the Order Paper a reasoned am endment calling for a refer endum before the Bill comes into effect, an amendment si gned by at least 70 of my hon. Friends and 20 Opposition Members. I should be obliged if the House could be told whether the amendment will be calledÂ” ( Hansard 13 December 1976 cols 974-1150). T he Speaker replied that he still had not decided how amendments would be applied, for he knew hundreds were in the queue. Though the debate would pr oceed for four days, Leo Abse had revealed the fundamental strategy for defeati ng the legislation, even if it eventually passed, and still provide a cover to let anti-devolutionist Labo r MPs vote with the gov ernment. After this seemingly unimportant challenge, Callaghan re sponded, as he submitted the legislation for its second reading, that the government would take th e question of a referendum under consideration; indeed, he could not ignore the referendum because the
147 government had consistently st ated that it was desired by an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland and Wales. This amend ment appears to have been an ambush by the ant-devolutionists according to Neil Ki nnock: Â“Leo was our parliamentarian because he knew how to attack the government and we did the leg work to get the necessary votes when neededÂ” (personal co mmunication, October 28, 2009). In fact, later in the week after the Speaker decided that a vote on the second reading must proceed before the introduction of amend ments, Leo Abse again intervened and asked the government about a dec ision on the referendum. In response to AbseÂ’s question, the Minist er of State John Sm ith, a protg of CallaghanÂ’s who was helping Foot guide the bill in the Commons acknowledged that the government had accepted the principle of the referendum and would bring forth an appropriate clause during the committee stage. This concession was made to facilitate its passage but would prove the death knell for devolution in Wales, for polls showed that the public was against it; even this early, the Welsh antidevolutionists had won a critical victory (Kinnock, personal communicati on, October 28, 2009). At the conclusion of the fourth day of debate, just before the Lord President Michael Foot put the question of the bill being read a second time, the Rt. Hon Julian Am ery, a Tory MP, gave notice that the thirty days scheduled for committee would not be enough. Here again, the government had received another omen of things to come. The final vote was 292 in favor and 247 against. The vote was split in both parties; five Tories were in favor with 28 abstentions, and ten Labor were against with 29 abstentions, but the 38 disaffected Labor MPs constituted another sign of potential problems (Callaghan, 1987, p. 505). The Conservative Opposition was also divided, and during the second reading debates, pro-
148 devolutionists front bencher s Alick Buchanan-Smith and Malcolm Rifkind resigned and were replaced by strong anti-dev olutionists, to the satisfac tion of their leader Margaret Thatcher. Of course, the nationa lists and Liberals voted in favo r; doing so coincided with their interests, for the legislation would now move on to the Committee of the Whole House. Finally, on January 13, 1977, following the Christmas holiday, the Committee of the Whole House began the committee stag e and offered for the first time the opportunity to debate each clause and offer am endments. However, fr om the end of the second reading until the committee stage, a number of amendments had already been offered. Most of the amendments had come from an opposition Tory group of 21 MPs that had formed the Â“Keep Britai n United CampaignÂ”; led by Sc ot MP Iain Sproat, they offered a total of 338 amendments designed to overwhelm the government and force a withdrawal of the bill (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 111). The real anti-devolutionists were from the Labor backbench, who sought not to amend the proposal but to ensure its defeat, if not in Parliament then in the elec torate. Therefore, thei r fundamental argument was not about the impact on the two regions or England, but the constitutional problems it potentially created for the House of Commons. This stra tegy is best demonstrated in Tam DalyellÂ’s Â“West Lothian QuestionÂ”: The truth is that the West Lothian-West Bromwich proble m is not a minor hitch to be overcome by rearranging the seati ng in the devolutionar y coach. On the contrary, the West Lothian-West Bromwic h problem pinpoints a basic design fault in the steering of the devolut ionary coach which will cause it to crash into the side of the road before it has gone a hundred miles. For how long will English constituencies and English hon. Members tolerate not just 71 Scots, 36 Welsh and a number of Ulstermen but at least 119 hon. Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an import ant, and probably often decisive, effect on English politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Ireland? Such a sit uation cannot conceivably endure for
149 long. The hon. Member for Dundee East sa id that members of his party would not vote on English matters, but that does not face up to the problem of the need for a Government to be sustained. T he real problem is that of having a subordinate Parliament in part, though only part, of a unitary State. ( Hansard Vol. 939, pp. 122-123) Coined by Enoch Powell, an Ulster MP, duri ng the debate of the se cond bill, the Â“West Lothian QuestionÂ” remains unanswered to this day. After an exhausting ten days devoted to the l egislation, after which only four of the 115 clauses were approved, the governm ent introduced a guillotine motion. A guillotine places a limit on available time for debate, and the motion the government submitted was meant to cut debate off afte r another 20 days, limit ing the committee stage to the 30 days originally promised by t he government. Much to the dismay of the government, the motion failed 314 to 285; 29 Labor members abstained, and the Conservatives received the support of the Liberals, Ulster Unionists, and a few Labor MPs, including Leo Abse and Tam Dalyell. At the end of the vote before adjournment, Donald Stewart, the leader of the SNP, asked whether a vote of confidence would follow because a major government ca mpaign pledge had been defeated ( Hansard Vol. 939). This proposal was made in self-interest bec ause polls in Scotland were indicating growing support for the SNP, making an elec tion extremely advantageous at the time; indeed, the Sunday Mail on February 27 showed that 36% of Scots favored the nationalists (Drucker & Brown, 1980, p. 114). At this point, the government ostensibly withdrew the measure, though they merely had not put the bill back on the calendar. According to David Steel (1980), the Liberal Leader, the government proposed all-party talks in order to achieve some measure of agreement, but the Conservatives and the SNP refused (p. 28). The Liberals participat ed in the discussions because they had a
150 chance to bring their concerns and recommendat ions to the table. Steel (1980) stated that they had voted against the governmen t because the guillotine would have limited debate and prevented the Liberal s from bringing any amendm ents to the table (p. 29). Of course, there was a more important crisis brewing t hat the Labor government would survive only after extraordinary action. With the defeat of the guillotine motion, the government now recognized that it was in a very precarious situation because afte r the failure of the devolution bill, there was no longer any incentive for the nati onalists to keep the government in power. Recent polls had shown the Conservatives wit h a double digit lead, making an election fatal for Labor. Also, the previous November in a Walsall North by-election, Labor had lost the seat to the Tories; the vote had swun g over 20 points in their favor for a seat the Conservatives thought they could not win. And more recently, in two London byelections, that the swing against the party had not exceeded 10% was viewed as a triumph. These vote swings resulted from the poor state of the economy. Callaghan thought he needed another eighteen to twenty-four months before it might improve; until then, Labor would not be in a favorable position to win an election. He had shared this timeline with Liberal leader David Steel in early March during a brief discussion about the devolution bill (Michie & Hoggart, 1978, p. 29).Therefore, t he government had to devise a strategy that woul d permit it to survive despite its minority position. Circumstances would force the government to find a solution to their problem rather quickly. According to Prime Minister Callaghan, three weeks after the devolution defeat, his Chief Whip Michael Cocks visited hi m on March 16, 1977 to warn him about a
151 backbench revolt of left-wing Labor me mbers who would abstain on a public expenditure plan for the coming fiscal year (C allaghan, 1987, p. 451). Too late to extract the government from anot her defeat on a critical program a defeat that would force a vote of no confidence and a subsequent electi on in highly unfavorable circumstances, his whip suggested a tactical move that woul d at least give the government some time to try to salvage things. But prior to this move, Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who had urged Steel to seek an agreement with Labor earlier, requested to see the Prime Minister on March 7. Callaghan, on his way to the states asked his chairman of the PLP to meet with Smith. This proxy meeting was an in sult to Smith, but eventually Hughes approached Steel on March 17, the day of an adjournment de bate that the Opposition was going to use to cast a no confidence vote against the government based on its expenditure plan. In the meeting with Steel, Hughes explai ned the governmentÂ’s position on the coming vote, and Steel knew the Liberals woul d also not fare well in an election. He realized that his party woul d benefit from co operating with the government. He told Hughes that if an arrangement were made, they would require consultations with ministers about the governmentÂ’s legisl ative plans. This negotiation created the common ground of a Labor-Liberal pact. Despit e the opening for potential cooperation, the government still had to c onfront the evening vote that the whips said the government would lose. As a cautionar y measure, the Labor whips pulled a parliamentarian trick called the Â“rug techni que,Â” which prevented all Labor MPs from voting. Convention dictated that if the government lost an ordinary vote, it must be followed by a government confidence vote ta bled by the prime minister. The confidence
152 motion submitted by the government required debating at the earliest possible moment; in this situation, Monday was the next full si tting day, but for the opposition to table the motion, it only had to be debated within a fe w days. Therefore, the hope was to force the initiative of tabling a no confidence mo tion on the opposition, gi ving the government some breathing room to work out some arrangements behind the scenes to prevent a no confidence vote. By convention, if T hatcher had tabled the motion, the debate would not have had to begin until Wednesday, giving t he government two vital working days to devise a fix. The debate began at 4:00 p.m. and continued until 10:00 p.m., at which time the government had intentionally not brought the item of expenditures to a vote because they did not have the votes. At precisely 10:00 p.m., the Speaker Â“took the voices,Â” calling each side to say Â“ayeÂ” or Â“noÂ” to the Question. The Tories bellowed Â“aye,Â” and Labor sat silent. The government hoped that there would be no vote because they had not provided any tellers, but immediately, tw o SNP MPs decided to serve as Â“noÂ” tellers, eliminating two Â“ayeÂ” votes. As a result, the vote was as close as original calculations had anticipated: within three to four votes. In response, all the Labor MPs decided to remain seated and not divide; fifteen minutes later, the house divide d and the result was 293 Â“ayesÂ” and 0 Â“noÂ’sÂ” (Michie & Hoggart, 1978, pp. 20-21). Margaret Thatcher was not clear about what to do, but to Labor, the ball was clearly in her court. Labor had squeezed through on a technicality. They actua lly did not lose the vote because they had refused to answer the question posed; by refusing to divide and refusing to vote, they never really suffered defeat.
153 Thatcher sent a message to Downing St reet demanding to know whether the PM was going to table a confidence motion. T he response she received was Â“no,Â” but she was told that if she desired to table a mo tion, time would be m ade for debate. The next day, at 11:00 a.m., Thatcher rose, made a po int of order, and tabled a motion of no confidence; Michael Foot, Lord President, responded by stating that the debate would take place Wednesday, following the Defence Estimates. Having gained some breathing room, the governm ent immediately pursued two courses of action in an attempt to win a no confidence motion Wednes day evening. The first move had been to work out an arrangement with the Liberals, but the second was to approach the Ulster Unionists. Michael Foot eventually approached T he Unionists to discover how the government might obtain their support. Jame s Molyneaux was somewhat hesitant but asked for more representation in Westmins ter, the return of their old Stormont Parliament, and reform of local government (Michie & Hoggart, 1978, p. 34). Eventually the Prime Minster met with Molyneaux and Powell and offer ed increased representation and even a form of consultation if they joined. They stated that they could probably not promise a positive vote but could, perhaps, offer abstentions. Whatever they decided, Callaghan promised that the offer of incr eased representation wo uld stand (Callaghan, 1987, p. 454). Following that meeting, David Steel arrived to discuss Â“the pactÂ” (as it would be known in the press), which was based on four fundamental proposals: (a) a consultative committee between both parties where major bills would be referred, (b) regular meetings between t he Chancellor and the Liberal economic spokesman, (c) direct elections to the European Parliament with a free vote on the voting system, and
154 (d) a commitment to reviving devoluti on with recommended changes and reintroducing it as two separate measures during the next parliamentary session (Morgan, 1997, p. 567). The pact was announced the evening of Ma rch 23 just before the no confidence vote, taking all by surprise, particularly t he Tories and Mrs. Thatcher. The motion failed 322 to 298; all 13 Liberals voted in favor of the government, and three Ulster Unionists abstained in recognition of the representation offer. Having secured their ability to remain in power, Labor was now obligated to reintroduce the devolution legislation in the 1978 parliamentary se ssion. The Liberals could take credit for saving the legislation, but more importantly, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Scottish Labor Parties, a total of 16 votes or seats, now had incentive to keep Labor in power in order to achieve thei r own agenda of home rule. In his memoirs, Callaghan (1987) explained that Â“a by-product of the long drawn-out devolution battles was that as long as these continued, they secured for the governm ent the support of the Welsh and Scottish Nationalist partiesÂ” (p. 509). One result of the pact was that Callaghan assigned Jo hn Smith, a Scot and barrister, to negotiate with the Liberals about devolution. The choice was an astute one because David Steel knew Smith well from their university days, when both were presidents of their universityÂ’s respective Labor and Liberal party student organizations. Also, following the guillotine, the government took criticisms of its first devolution bill to heart and planned to reintroduce the measures in revised and separate bills. The revision was primarily motivated by the Liberal PartyÂ’s long-held de sire for devolution and the need to design the best possible govern ment for the two nations. This revision took place throughout the spring and early summer, and a more refined product would
155 emerge. The Liberals also suggested reintr oducing the bills separately though Labor possibly would have done so anyway to attr act more Labor vote s (Michie & Hoggart, 1978, p. 128). A number of changes were made, mostly to the Scotl and bill. First, a free vote was permitted to decide whether propor tional representation would be used in assembly elections, a promise made to the Li berals as part of t he pact. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, acting as a constitutional court, would rule on the propriety of laws passed by the Scottish A ssembly, reducing the role of the Secretary for State; a four-year formula for block gr ants was worked out to avoid annual clashes over funding; less detail was provided with regar d to the internal organization of the assembly; and the Scottish chief executiv e would be designated the First Secretary. There were no significant changes to the Wales bill because its assembly lacked legislative power and would onl y possess administrative author ity, which already existed under its Secretar y of State. The second reading of the Scotland Bill was introduced on November 14, 1977 by Michael Foot; on the next day, John Smith introduced the Wales Bill. The impact of this strategy was that many of the debat es that began during the Scotland Bill were carried over into the Welsh debates; as a resul t, various issues related to the Wales Bill were overshadowed. Two days later, the government introduced a guillotine measure for both bills, limiting debate for the Scotland Bill to seventeen days and the Wales Bill to eleven days. Both measures passed comf ortably, Scotland 313 to 287 and Wales 314 to 287, on November 16 ( Hansard 16 November 1977 cols 579-756). However, in committee, the first clause of the Scotland Bill, which discu ssed the unity of the United Kingdom, was struck; this defeat took the government by surprise. The debate that
156 preceded the vote lasted approximately three and a half hours, proving that the early guillotine motion by the government was fort unate, for there were 83 clauses in the Scotland Bill alone. The vote went against the government 184 to 199 ( Hansard 22 November 1977 cols 1323-1409). Later, on November 23, the free vote on a proportional representation sch eme was defeated 109 to 290 although the Liberals were at satisfied to have had the opportunity to vote on the proposal ( Hansard 23 November 1977, cols 1538-1592). The only other significant challenge to the government during the committee proceedings was the consideration of the Cunningham Amendm ent on January 25, 1978. It proposed that 40% of the electorate had to vote Â“yes,Â” or the government would be obligated to repeal the act. The Cunni ngham Amendment passed 166 to 151, along with another amendment inserted by the government that same evening to allow the secretary of state to nullify an act of the assembly if it negatively impacted the Orkney and Shetland Islands ( Hansard 25 January 1978 cols 1424-1553). Despite all the lengthy debate, 61 of the 83 clauses were approved without debate. On March 1, 1978, the co mmittee stage for the Welsh Bill began and would last until April 25, 1978. The first clause was withd rawn by the government as it had been defeated previously in the Scotland Bill. Also, the proportional representation amendment was defeated 377 to 114, as it had been in the Scotland Bill (Foulkes, Jones, & Wilford, 1983, p. 49). During the second day of debate, Plaid Cymru introduced an amendment to give the assembly legislative powers, but it failed 104 to 10. The most controversial amendment was the introduction of the same Cunningham Amendment that had been added to the Scotland Bill. The government attempted to
157 fight this one, probably knowing it would face defeat from the electorate, but it lost the vote 280 to 208 (Lindley, 1983, p. 53). It finally passed its third reading on May 9. Both bills passed through the House of Lords with only a few amendments. The most significant ones were proposals for an electoral scheme using proportional representation and the removal of the We lsh Development Agency from the Welsh AssemblyÂ’s control. Both measures we re defeated upon return to the House of Commons. However, there were three amendments that impacted the Scottish AssemblyÂ’s authority concerning gamblin g, forestry, and abortion; the Commons accepted and passed all three. Both bills then received Royal Assent on July 31, 1978. Finally, the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales on November 22 moved that the Referendum Orders for both should occu r on March 1, 1979; they were debated and approved without a division. The referendums would be c onducted using the 1975 EEC Referendum as a guide. The Referendum Campaign 1979 and Defeat: Scotland and Wales With the legislative battle over, the next significant as pect of devolution would be the referendum campaigns in Scotland and Wales. The first pr oblem was that the precedent set by the 1975 experience was followed in all but two significant ways. First, the 40% rule placed the Â“YesÂ” campaigns at a significant disadvantage. Instead of only having to win a majority of the electorate, that electorate had to represent 40% of the eligible electorate; abstainers, therefore, counted as Â“NoÂ” votes. The argument for this threshold pushed the devolutionists into a corner. Because they constantly harped on how badly the electorate wanted devolved government, the anti-dev olutionists took advantage. They argued that because the gener al election turnout exceeded 75%, the
158 40% rule should not present a problem, but the referendum clause stipulated that the vote could not be taken concurrently with a general election. The anti-devolutionists knew, of course, that the turnout for a re ferendum would be much lower than a general election, making a Â“YesÂ” vote more difficult to achieve; in fact, the governmentÂ’s concession to the referendum proposal essent ially reduced the devolution bills to a political expediency that saved face. Becaus e the electorate would make the final choice, the Labor Party would not be blamed if the measure failed and would not be held responsible for the political fallout t hat would surely follo w. Unlike the 1975 referendum, a simple majority would not be enough to secure a devolved government in Scotland and Wales. The other significant change from the ear lier referendum was the provision of public funding for the Â“YesÂ” and Â“NoÂ” campai gns and free printing and distribution of their leaflets (Bochel, 1982, p. 6). Coupled with this difference, public disclosure of funding by the various organizations during the devolution campaigns was no longer required. Finally, there was no restriction on expenditures; Jim Sill ars, Scottish Labor Party MP and pro-devolutionist, argued that this allowance favored the Â“NoÂ” campaign because of the backing of the business community, which faced no repercussions without disclosure (p. 6). Both of these di fferences tended to favor the Â“noÂ” campaign because abstentions counted against the Â“Y esÂ” camp and the business community, possessing deeper pockets, tended to be anti-dev olution. Indeed, devolution created another tier of government wit h the potential for additional regulations and taxes in the long run.
159 The referendum campaigns themselves essentially lacked cohesion in both Wales and Scotland because the opposing parties refused to coordinate their efforts for political reasons. The nationalists and the Labor Party, in particular, had developed a strong political animosity for each other ov er the previous few elections. Plus, the Conservative Party in Scotland was divide d over the issue, as the parliamentary debates and voting outcomes had revealed; in addition, Edward Heath had proposed a Scottish Assembly to the party in 1968 in th e Declaration of Perth. At the same time, Labor was also split in both regions, as the backbench revolt demonstrated. These conflicts further frustrated any attemp t at an all-party organization. Finally, Conservatives regretted sharing the stage with Labor supporters because of the ideological left-right divide. As a result, campaigns in both regions were splintered, voters became confused as the various organizations presented different and sometimes contradictory argumen ts for and against devolution. In examining Scotland, the Â“YesÂ” camp was a proliferation of uncoordinated groups. Yes for Scotland (YFS) was an atte mpt at an all-party organization that appointed the former chair of the Royal Commi ssion on the Constitution as its chairman to lend it credibility, but this initiative did not attract the Conservative or Labor MPs and came to be viewed as an SNP/SLP front org anization (Bochel, 1982, p. 14). Because of its failure to attract Tories and Labor, t he Alliance for an Assembly was formed by Buchanan-Smith MP (Conservative), Johnst on (Liberal), and Donald Dewar MP (Labor), multi-party organization that refused to associate with the nationalist camp. The weakness of this organization is that it did not attempt to mobilize local organizations in order to energize the electorate. The o fficial Labor organization was the The Labour
160 Movement Yes Campaign (LMY), which basically focused on mobilizing its constituencyÂ’s parties to support devolutio n. The official SNP Yes Campaign was formed so that YFS would not be seen as an SNP front. The party basically permitted its local organizations to campaign under its own banner or the YFS banner, depending on the views of the local activists. The Liber al Party had its own organization, but local activists varied in the campaign they support ed based on the view of their Liberal MP, if they had one, or their own perso nal preference. Finally, ther e was the Conservative Yes Campaign (CYC), which provided an outlet for pro-devolutionist Tories, particularly because the very popular former Prime Mini ster Sir Douglas-Home campaigned for a Â“NoÂ” vote, arguing that the Conservatives could deliver a better bill. According to Menzies Campbell, a Scot and former leader of the Liberal Party, HomeÂ’s participation was significant and his argument echoed what many felt: that devolution was just not enough and almost an insult to Scots (per sonal communication, September 23, 2009). Also on the scene were the Communist and Scottish Labor Part y Â“YesÂ” campaigns, which played a small role. In the Â“NoÂ” camp, there were three major organiza tions: Scotland Says No (SSN), the Conservative No Campaign, and The Labour Vote No Campaign (LVN), led by Tam Dalyell MP. The Conservatives knew a defeat would embarrass Labor and knew already that their chances of winning the next election were good; at the same time, they had to be careful because they had supported the principle of devolution, which was included in its 1974 manifesto bef ore Thatcher became leader. Therefore, the campaign was sure to criticize the bill and not the concept itself; using two former Prime Ministers, Home and Heath, both k nown to be pro-devolutionist, to campaign
161 against the bill gave their argument credibility. Scotland Says No was actually a remake of the original Scotland is British organi zation, formed in 1976 to oppose the original Scotland and Wales Bill. However, to disassoci ate itself from its earlier version, it changed its name to operate more as an umbre lla organization and attract elements of the anti-devolutionist camp from the left and right. It also a ttracted significant donations as it was not associated with any particular po litical party. In fact, of all the competing Â“YesÂ” and Â“NoÂ” groups, it raised the most money collecting nearly twice as much as the Â“YesÂ” camp at 112,000 GBP (Bochel, 1982, p. 31). In Wales, there was not the same leve l of proliferation, though some of the divisions were similar to those found in Sc otland. The nationalist movement was not as large and threatening to the domi nance of the Labor Party, the position of the Tories in Wales was relatively weak compared to Scotland, and the Liberal Party possessed a rather positive image in Wales based on its pas t history as the party of Lloyd George. When planning their campaign, the Welsh pro-devolutionists created an umbrella organization called the Wales for the Assembly Campaign (WAC), which had Labor MP and Leader of the House of Commons Michael Foot and Secretary of the Wales Trade Union Congress (TUC) George Wright as patr ons. The problem is that these choices tarnished the all-party image the organization was attempting to portray, for both patrons were mainstays of t he Labor Party in Wales. Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Party would cooperate under this group but only in the respective areas where their organizations existed. In addition, Labor would conduct its own separate campaign together with the TUC, out of fear of being seen as cooper ating too closely with the nationalists.
162 The Wales Â“NoÂ” camp included two gr oups: (a) the No Assembly Campaign (NAC), an umbrella organization consisting of the Tories, seven of the eight County Councils, the County Landowners Association, and the National Association of Local Government Officers (NAL GO), and (b) the Labor No A ssembly Campaign (Labor NAC), organized by the Labor backbencher s dubbed the Â“Gang of SixÂ”: Leo Abse, Neil Kinnock, Fred Evans, Don Anderson, Ifor Davies, and Ioan Evans. Although both sides organized as the referendum was being passed, the official campaign would cover a three-week period before the referendum date. The interest ing fact about the renegade Labor NAC was that it was well financed; Pa ul Murphy MP, then treasurer for the Â“Gang of Six,Â” confirmed that m oney was never an issue, and after the referendum, they donated the remaining 10,000 GBP to the Labor Party. He also stated that the list of donors remains sealed and that there will be Â“many red facesÂ” one day when it is released (personal communicati on, October 29, 2009). The vote took place on March 1, 1979, the day of St. David, patron saint of Wales. Among the themes that the campaigns stressed, ScotlandÂ’s Â“YesÂ” camp appealed to patriotism by expressing that a Â“y esÂ” vote was for Scotland and would give Scots more control to create the Scotland they envisioned. However, the Â“NoÂ” camp, despite the proliferation of groups, ec hoed a coherent message that challenged the entire issue of the bill. They played on the electorateÂ’s fears. They stressed more taxes, more government bureaucracy, more conflic t between Westminster and Edinburgh, and no real tangible benefits. They also highlighted the fact that the elites who supported it would profit politically. These concrete cr iticisms gave the Â“NoÂ” camp a credibility advantage because the Â“YesÂ” camp had a difficult time refuting the charges. Finally, the
163 Â“NoÂ” camp had a distinct fi nancial advantage and access to ma rketing professionals that the other side lacked. In addition, the Â“YesÂ” camp had not anticipated that the other side would so actively campaign; rather, they thought they would remain on the sidelines because of the 40% rule. Howe ver, the Â“NoÂ” camp active ly campaigned, going door to door in various communities. Adam Ingram (2009), a Labor Votes No Campaign activist and Labor MP for East Kilbride, described ho w they would be at the Glasgow train station after football games and canvas peopl e as they arrived and departed. He also stated that they had no short age of literature because plenty of funding was available; when approaching young ladies, they would handout the flyer and say, Â“good girls say Â‘noÂ’Â” (personal communication, November 10, 2009) Also, Ann McGuire, a Scottish Labor MP at the time who was a Labor activi st and against devolution, stated that the prevailing feeling among many people, regardless of party was that it granted an inadequate level of authority to Scotland was inadequate (personal communication, November 7, 2009). This feeling probabl y generated little enthusiasm for the referendum, which was dependent upon a high tur nout to cross the 40% threshold. One advantage the Â“YesÂ” camp had was that the majority of Scottish morning papers was pro-devolutionist and had been for so me years. However, a study of the morning press by Michael Brown (1981) point ed out that despite this support, the front headlines focused on the issues surrounding the winter of discontent. Broadcast media highlighted the problems people were direct ly experiencing because of strikes throughout the country. Also, public opinion polls had shown significant support for devolution prior to the refer endum. However, as the campai gn commenced, this support dwindled thought it retained a majority unt il the end. The MORI poll showed 64% in
164 favor of devolution in early February, but by the final two days of the campaign, it showed only 50%. Similar numbers were report ed by the System Three poll; 64% were in favor in early January, but only 52% were by the last week in February (Bochel, 1982, p. 143). Apparently, the Â“NoÂ” campÂ’s me ssage had some impact on voter sentiment. Another explanation is that the referendum reflected di scontent with the incumbent Labor government, for their campaign focuse d on the Prime Minister just as his popularity was falling. The referendum campaign in Wales was a three-week affair pitting the Â“YesÂ” camp against the Â“NoÂ” camp. The themes used by the Â“YesÂ” camp we re extensions of participatory democracy, which was a cons istent message but was countered quite effectively by the Â“NoÂ” campÂ’s Â“slippery slopeÂ” argument. This argument was based on the premise that devolution wo uld further promote the growth of a separatist nationalist movement. This fear was legi timate for many Anglophones in south Wales because the nationalist revival centered on language that precipitated unconventional forms of protest in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In fact, Leo Abse would state in public forums how the assembly would be dominated by a Welsh-speaking elite and that bilingual education would become mandat ory. This prediction played on the language divide within Wales. The No Assembly Campai gn, being dominated by Tories, used another argument in North Wales that played on the geographical divisions of the nation between the urban south and rural north. T hey argued that the assembly would be dominated by Cardiff and the socialist elemen ts of south Wales and would ignore the issues of the rural north.
165 The other argument the Â“YesÂ” camp utiliz ed was that an assembly would improve the material conditions of the Welsh stat e. They proposed it would improve housing, transportation, education, and other social elements while reducing inefficiency. The Â“NoÂ” camp countered this argument by asse rting that the assembly would cost 20 million GBP and that not hing could be improved if more money were spent on the government; furthermore, ther e would be an increase in t he number of civil servants and, thus, more bureaucracy and red tape. T hey questioned the possi bility of greater efficiency with more bureaucracy. The sec ond part to this argument was that the assembly would take funds away from local government, forcing it to raise rates if the same level of services continued. It would also reduce the number of Welsh MPs in Parliament and, thus, reduce Welsh influenc e, for the assembly would still be dependent on Westminster. These arguments pr esented by the Â“NoÂ” campaign were difficult to refute because the price for the assembly had been published in the parliamentary debates; indeed, part of the cost would be an incr ease in civil servants, so the Â“NoÂ” camp gained even more credibility. Helping the Â“NoÂ” camp was the news paper and broadcast media. John Osmond (1983) showed that the press primarily cover ed anti-devolution storie s on its front pages even though Western Mail a major daily, professed to have a pro-assembly editorial staff. In the end, the Â“NoÂ” camp arguments were built on tangible points made of facts and figures, making them better stories. They also wrote more editorials and sponsored more public events. In an interview, Lord Kinnock, who was an MP and one of the Â“Gang of SixÂ” at the time, st ated that at every event, the union halls were packed, and he never saw so much interest and enthusia sm as he had during thes e events; also, the
166 Â“NoÂ” camp had access to significant financ ing (personal communication, October 28, 2009). The Rt. Hon. Paul Murphy, who was the treasurer of t he Labor No Campaign, testified that they had plenty of funding and that after the referendum, they donated the remainder, over 5,000 GBP, to the Welsh Labor Party. He went on to say that donors were from every section of society and t hat many would be emba rrassed today if the lists were released (personal communica tion, October 29, 2009) The Â“NoÂ” campÂ’s arguments seemed to hav e been successful, for a Western Mail/HTV poll taken on February 1, 1979 showed that 33% of the public support ed devolution, and one taken on February 24 showed that support had declined to 22%. The poll also found that 61% thought the assembly would cost too much, 43% believed it would increase bureaucracy, and 40% thought it w ould be used by the nationalists to further separation aspirations (Jones & Wilford, 1983, p. 134). Without nationalism as a unifying force in Wales, the mundane issues of cost, bureauc racy, and separation received enormous attention, demonstrating that the Â“NoÂ” camp had chosen an effective strategy. The referendum results were disappoint ing for the Â“YesÂ” campaigns in both Scotland and Wales. First, the Â“YesÂ” vote w on in Scotland but failed to meet the 40% threshold as required by the Cunningham amendment. The overall turnout was 63.8%, with 51.6% voting Â“yesÂ” and 48.4% voting Â“n oÂ” (Bochel, 1982, pp. 140-141). But the percentage of the electorate that voted Â“yesÂ” was only 32. 9%. Despite the failure to reach the threshold in Scotland, some MPs considered not rescinding the bill for Scotland. In Wales, the vote was an absolute disast er for the Â“YesÂ” ca mpaign. The turnout was 58.3%, with only 11.8% voting Â“yes,Â” ostens ibly killing devolution forever. The Â“noÂ”
167 vote reached 78%, defeating the proposal by a margin of 4 to 1 (Dewdney, 1997). The Â“yesÂ” vote lost in all 37 districts of Wa les, including the predom inately Welsh-speaking district Gwynedd, thought to be the most prodevolution district. Even there, the Â“yesÂ” vote lost by a margin of 2 to 1 (Dewdney, 1997). Because the referendums failing to obtai n the required percentages to keep the Scotland and Wales Acts alive, the governm ent had to decide whether to initiate the Commence Order to repeal the acts or try some other strategy to survive. Michael Foot proposed delaying the repeal or der until the next parliam entary session and holding a vote of no confidence beforehand in the hopes of retaining support from the Scottish nationalists. This move would push the electi on to the latest possible date, allowing the memory of events of the winter to fade and the economy to revive. Callaghan decided instead to propose an all-party talk on the Scotland Act because a majority had approved devolution whereas, in Wales, t he verdict was clear and required no further action except to repeal. On March 5, Callaghan meet David Steel in private to determine whether the Liberals would support the gov ernment, for the original pact, lasting eighteen months, had lapsed in August 1978. However, the Li berals would not support repeal and would not support the government in a vote of confidence because they desired an early election. They wanted to move quickly bec ause their former leader Jeremy Thorpe, who had resigned due to a homosexual scandal, would soon be on trial for attempted murder and other crimes related to the scandal. The trial would begin in April, attract press attention, and potentially plac e the Liberal Party in a negative light. So an election before or just as the tr ial started was to SteelÂ’s advantage (Morgan 1997, p. 681).
168 Meanwhile, the Scottish nationalists dem anded that the governmen t pursue Scottish devolution again. When the government coul d not deliver, the Scottish nationalists joined the Tory camp. Sensing that the gov ernment was now on the ropes, the Tories announced that they would submit a vo te of no confidence on March 28. Labor continued to bargain beh ind the scenes by working a deal with Welsh nationalists who desired compensation for qua rry men suffering from silicosis or other lung diseases. They also attempted once more to gain the support of the Ulster Unionists but failed. The debate took place, and when the house divided and the government lost by one vote, 311 to 310, the request for dissolution was made, and the next election was scheduled for May 3. The Liberals, Ulster Unionists, and Scottish nationalists had helped the Tories carry t he day. After the government lost the no confidence motion by one vote, Margaret That cher became the new prime minister in 1979. Four Conservative administrations late r, Labor would return to power after years in the wilderness. LaborÂ’s defeat could be blamed on the failu re of devolution, coupled with the Â“Winter of Discontent,Â” for both represent signi ficant failures in effective governance, but these failures do not paint a complete pi cture. Underneath t he surface of these immediate causes hid some other trends. LaborÂ’s defeat in 1979 made clear a growing demographic trend in the electorate that ov er time had negative consequences on the partyÂ’s ability to remain attractive. In his article Â“The Labour Party and the Electorate,Â” Ivor Crewe (1982) explained that until the mid-1960s, class and partisanship sustained the loyal Labor electorate (pp. 37-39). Ho wever, structural changes in the economy, particularly the increased st andard of living among worki ng-class people, had made
169 policies and objectives more important sinc e 1965. Crewe reviewed five British election surveys, starting with the 1964 general election and ending with the 1979 general election survey. He addressed three key questi ons to voters: (a) whether they favored more nationalization of industries, (b) whether trade unions had too much power, and (c) whether they favored spending more on so cial services. The re sults indicate that 57% of respondents favored nat ionalization in 1964 but only 32% still did in 1979; 59% supported more trade union power in 1964, but only 36% did in 1979; 89% favored greater spending on service in 1964, but onl y 28% did in 1974 (Crewe, 1982, p. 39). The evidence suggests that the policies adv ocated by Labor lost support amongst Labor voters. And according to the 1979 general el ection survey, voters strongly favored Conservative positions on issues such as the right to purchase their council house (85%), stricter laws to regul ate trade unions (80%), minimal nationalization of industries (80%), and cutting funds to social services (7 1%). All of these issues were supported by both left and right elements within the Labor party, demonstrating that the partyÂ’s polices were losing touch with the concerns of the electorate (Crewe, 1982, p. 43). This data reinforces the focus group analysis that the SAC conducted in the 1980s as part of LaborÂ’s modernization campaign under Kinno ck. However, Labor would experience a monumental struggle in the proc ess of realizing that these changes were occurring. The party would have to remake itse lf in order to remain a viab le option to the Conservatives and to counter the rising threat of the Li beral Party and nationalis ts in what were traditionally strong Labor regions. The outcome of the devol ution issue destroyed the Labor PartyÂ’s chance of victory in 1979 because the referendum came on the heels of the Â“Winter of
170 Discontent,Â” allowing many voters to register their discontent with the government rather than approval of constitutional reform. Alt hough the voters approved the referendum by a small margin in Scotland, it was resoundi ngly defeated in Wales. For Scotland, the small margin of victory did not reflect poll results over the previous few years, for a significant majority of voters had supported home rule. The vote was the failure of a unified effort within the Labor Party to support the referendum at the grassroots level of the organization. Ann McGuire, MP and late r parliamentary secret ary to Donald Dewar when he became Secretary of State for Sc otland and was responsible for implementing devolution in 1998, stated that as a Labor constituency worker at the time, she did not support devolution because it Â“was not good enough for ScotlandÂ” (personal communication, November 7, 2009). Therefor e, a lack of wholehearted organizational support at the constituency level proved fatal; the turnout for the referendum was 63%, compared to a United Kingdom turnout of 73 % (75% in Scotland) for the October 1974 election (Dewdney, 1997). Because Labor wa s the dominant party in Scotland, a divided party and a reluctant organization woul d surely result in a lower turnout. Second, the question on the ballot asked, Â“Do you want the provisions of the Scotland Act 1978 to be put into effect?Â” Fo cusing on a piece of legislation and not necessarily the principle of home rule c onfused some voters, for the debate had centered on many arguments about the actual legislation that were unfamiliar to them. Indeed, the government had failed to provide o fficial information to educate the general public. For the EEC referendum of 1975, t he government had provided funding to educate the public about the issue before th e election took place. Despite these shortcomings, the more recent referendum did pass, but not by the 40% rule
171 established by the Cunningham amendment. The fact that a majori ty of the voters supported it shows that a sense of Scottish nationalism was prevalent in the region. At the same time, the ToriesÂ’ most prominent spokesperson in the Â“NoÂ” campaign was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who argued that the Tories could do be tter for Scotland. They did not emphasize the threat of home rule; rath er, according to Sir Menzies Campbell, a former leader of the Liberal-Democrat Party and still a Liberal MP, the legislation was unsatisfactory to the aspirations of Scot s (personal communication, September 23, 2009). In Wales, the outcome was much differ ent. The vote by the electorate was an absolute Â“noÂ” for devolution; only 20% of the electorate voted in favor. The turnout was only 58%, well below the United Kingdom tur nout of 73% for the general election of 1974. More significantly, it was twenty point s below the 77% turnout for Wales in the general election (Dewdney, 1997). This outco me can be blamed on the governmentÂ’s failure to educate voters and make the public mo re aware of the issue. It also reflected the deep schism within the Welsh Labor Party; not only did popular Welsh MPs actively campaign against it, but they also played on the fears of Welsh Wales and British Wales that the Welsh-speaking Wale s would dominate the government and the civil service in this new order. Clearly, Welsh nationalism was a divisive force, not the unifying force so prevalent in Scotland. As Paul Murphy MP explained about the referendum campaign, Â“I never saw such large numbers turnout in uni on halls to discuss the issue with a real enthusiasm to prevent its occurrenceÂ” ( personal communication, October 29, 2009). LaborÂ’s suspicion of the nationalist agenda in Wa les was reflected in the concern shown
172 by the rank and file members about home rule and their active participation in events that undermined such a policy. The third critical juncture is the 1979 referendum campaign in both Scotland and Wales. The first critical juncture laid t he foundation for the way national identity would influence future relations of the two regions to the dominant English state. The second critical juncture, administrat ive devolution, shaped the policy course that would dictate whether executive or legislative devolu tion would be adopted when administrative devolution no longer satisfied the electorate as a legitimate means to govern the region. The referendum campaign determined whether the future drive for implementing executive or legislative devolution would pr omote cross-party coop eration and in turn generate a grassroots movement to continue to push for a more robust form of devolution. In Scotland, despite misgivin gs within the Labor Party, there occurred cross-party cooperation at various levels where specific indivi duals or groups worked together to promote a yes vo te during the referendum campaign. However, in Wales, the campaign produced no desire for cross-pa rty cooperation, for most in the Welsh Labor Party were absolutely against devolution; it was seen by many as caving to the demands of a small aggressive nationalist par ty, an action that was anathema to the internationalism that dominated the intellectual tradition of the party. Devolution created a wide schism within the Welsh Labor Part y that, left unhealed, would prevent devolution from ever materializing in Wa les, for only the Labor Party was capable of delivering such a policy outcome. As will be s hown in Chapter 9, even when the Welsh Labor Party leadership decided to accept devol ution, they still faced resistance within
173 their parliamentary ranks, and devolution was never wholly embraced as it eventually was in Scotland. Finally, the outcome predetermined whet her devolution was acceptable. In Wales, the outcome was a resounding no, whic h lay to rest any further notions of pushing for any future form of devolution beyond its current adm inistrative structure. For Scotland, the outcome was a clear majority in support, but it failed to meet the standards set by the Cunni ngham Amendment. As a result, many Scots felt that a legitimate claim was denied the people of Sc otland, setting the stage for what eventually would be a grassroots movement to educate the public about the benefits of legislative devolution and to promote the implementation in Scotland of its own assembly. This movement manifested itself in the form of the Scottish Convention movement, which helped foster a community-based movement t hat later included cross-party cooperation. In Wales, the outcome created no signific ant movement to promote the cause of devolution. Therefore, the move to sell it later to the Welsh people became an elitedriven top-down push to prom ote the cause. This init iative was implemented and accomplished by an energetic shadow Welsh Secretary, Ron Davies, who became the driving force behind the movement for devol ution in Wales. The result was lower enthusiasm in Wales than in Scotland. Accord ingly, to generate more momentum for its success, the Scottish referendum in 1997 wa s deliberately scheduled two weeks before the Welsh referendum. The s hape that these dev olution movements took in both Scotland and Wales will be further examined in Chapter 9, fo llowing a thorough analysis of the Labor Party.
174 The entire devolution iss ue had clearly been addressed fo r political expediency, starting with the Royal Commission, which h ad drawn unwanted attention back to the issue and actually given home rule legitimacy by recommending assemblies in both Scotland and Wales. Harold WilsonÂ’s decis ion to move beyond discussion and the need to call a second election within a year a fter the nationalists had scored surprising success in February 1974 led to an election manifesto from Labor that introduced home rule in order to hold off the nationalist sur ge. This initiative was especially important because the areas in which Labor dominat ed represented thirty percent of its Parliamentary Labor Party. Fina lly, as Labor lost its thin ma jority, the devolution issue became paramount to its survival in gover nment, for it needed nationalist and Liberal votes to remain in power. However, Labor fa iled to use a full court press to push home rule; when it was defeated and the nationalists and Liberals withdrew their support, the government began to fall. LaborÂ’s leadership had never actua lly supported devolution; instead, they viewed it only as a means to retain power, reflecting more deep-seated tensions within the party. Demonstrating all three of LiebermanÂ’s (2002) Â“dimensions of disorderÂ” (the institutions of government, the political parti es, and the ideological or culture elements), the policy course followed by the Labor par ty appears to have been doomed from the outset. So what factors can help better expl ain the decisions that were made at the time? First, the institutional dimension of di sorder applies to the Labor government in the 1974-1979 period. The government was origin ally elected as a minority government as a result of significant nationalist electo ral gains in Scotland and Wales that took the
175 political establishment by surprise. Forced to call a second election seven months later, the Labor government remained, but only by a slim majority of four votes. More importantly, the Labor and To ry parties witnessed an unprecedented change in the political landscape as their traditional split of the electorate dropped from 90% to less than 80% as a result of the nationalist surge at the polls. This shift radically altered the mathematical probabilities for future el ections, and more ominous for Labor, the nationalists succeeded in two regions of subs tantial Labor strength: Wales, where Labor had dominated the political landscape since World War II, and Scotland, where Labor had replaced the Tories as the dominant party at the end of the 1950s. Because of this change in the political equation, Labor had finally placed a co mmitment to devolution in its election manifesto in order to reduc e nationalist appeal. Thus, the party made a formal promise that retur ned to haunt them on the floor of the Commons when the nationalists extracted a formal commitment to act during Prime Minister Question Time. The government, now committed to action, abdicated the burden of a white paper and the future legislation, pl acing it in the hands of bureaucrats that were, at best, reluctant promoters of the po licy. The party did so because the cabinet lacked any real supporters of such an agenda; consequently, it lost the gui ding hand that might have helped the party evaluate how such a contro versial policy might appeal to parliamentary party backbenchers. This abdication was a monumental mistake, for convention dictated that any constitutional issue must be addressed in the committee of the whole, giving the backbenchers and opposition pl enty of opportunity to sabotage the legislation. These developm ents support the explanation t hat the entire project was initiated for one reason, political exp ediency; the unintended consequence was its
176 placement on the political agenda in such a way that the problem would probably never go away. As a political party, Labor was clearly divi ded over the issue of devolution, as the reluctance of the Welsh party to support even administrative devolution clearly demonstrates. For socialist old guard, dev olution was seen as a way to appease the nationalists, whose agenda did not coincide with t he creation of the so cial welfare state envisioned by Labor. In fact, nationalism was considered the enemy to working-class interests, for it distracted from the real agenda of protecting workers and giving them an adequate and secure standard of living. In addition, the issue galvanized the Conservative Party, which viewed devolutio n as the slippery slope to independence and the destruction of the United Kingdom. The Tories in Scotland, for instance, were originally called the Unionist Party as a result with their split from the Liberal Party over the home rule issue in Ireland in the 1880s; they would retain the term Â“UnionistÂ” in their name until its full integration into the nat ional Conservative Party in the 1960s. From an ideological perspective, devolut ion challenged not only the unity of the state but also the fundamental constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty, the bedrock of the British political system. Again, for the Labor PartyÂ’s socialist old guard, this principle provided the m eans by which they could creat e the social welfare state necessary to protect the working class th roughout the nation. Chapter 8 analyzes the second dimension of disorder, the political party, by examin ing the transformation of the Labor Party that allowed it to embrace devolut ion, later on, as philosophically legitimate course of action.
177 CHAPTER 8 FROM Â“OLDÂ” LABOR TO Â“NEWÂ” LABOR, 1959-1997 In February 1918, when the party adopted its new constitution, Labor and the New Socialist Order it finally broke with the Liberal re formism of the nineteenth century, embraced the elements of a distinctive socialist philosophy, and committed to transforming British society. To achieve this end, the party aimed fo r public ownership of the means of production, as clearly stated in Clause IV of the constitution. This commitment would become the mainstay of the partyÂ’s ideological philosophy in the twentieth century and achieve mythical stat us within the Labor Party; its goal was to achieve a classless society. This fundam ental purpose would eventually be challenged in the 1950s by revisionists who had acc epted the notion of a mixed economy that allowed free-market capitalism and certain nat ionalized industries to coexist. However, this initial challenge to public ownership became a perpetual battle between the left and right are of the party; this concept and its socialist character disappeared in the mid1990s, forever changing the partyÂ’s long-term political goals. Not only structural changes in the economy but also demographic shifts in the British electorate fueled this debate, particularly as the Labor Party had already faced eighteen years in the wilderness, having lost four straight electi ons to the Tories between 1979 and 1997. At the end of World War II, t he British electorate propelled Labor to power as the first post-war government. Keeping to its m anifesto, Labor created the National Health Service, funded public pensions, and nationalized major industries; indeed, it sought to fulfill its 1918 commitment to tr ansform British society. Ho wever, the defeat of 1951 gave rise to a revisionist movement within the party, for some recognized the changing face of the economy. Such thinkers as Cr osland, Gaitskell, and Jay suggested a revised
178 direction that Labor should take if elected to power again. First, they questioned the premise that socialism could adequately manifest itself in public ownership of the means of production. Second, they pr esented an ethical interpretation of socialism that focused on values and ideals, such as personal liber ty, social welfare, and social equality (T. Jones, 1998, p. 27). The revisionists argued that public ownership of the means of production (the center piece of Clause IV) was no longer viable as a structure of economic organization. Some suggested fisca l policy, that is, using tax policy and government assistance as a means to redistri bute wealth to the needy, as an alternative to public ownership in order to achieve soci al justice. They believed a mixed economy, a robust private sector working in hand with competitive public enterprises, was a better way to achieve social equality and personal li berty. They promoted what would become a social democratic model similar to what the European states were creating in the postwar world. After LaborÂ’s defeat in the 1959 election, its third successive loss, leader Hugh Gaitskell decided to present his revisionist theme at the next party conference. The conference had three overriding issues to conf ront: (a) the question of Party leadership after another defeat by the Conservatives, (b ) the future direction of Labor policy, and (c) the fundamentals of LaborÂ’s so cialist doctrine. The first to express the need for some fundamental change was Douglas Ja y, a Gaitskell supporter, wh o argued, in a series of articles and essays, for the need to drop nat ionalization proposals, distance the party from trade unions, and even c hange the partyÂ’s name (T. Jones, 1998, p. 41). Jay recognized that capitalism had changed because in the present economy, the character of the working class had changed, unemployment was down, the welf are state existed,
179 and living standards and consumer spending we re on the rise. The argument was that all these improvements worked against LaborÂ’s electoral future; nationalization was a vote loser in light of the recent election, particularly because some of the existing nationalized industries, such as the rail serv ice, were highly unpopular. Also, the Tories had used the nationalization them e in LaborÂ’s manifesto to ma ke voters fear that the party would nationalize everythi ng. However, GaitskellÂ’s attemp t to revise Clause IV of the Labor PartyÂ’s Constitution was defeated, for such a proposal shook the very foundations of party unity by attacking what m any viewed as the mythical root of LaborÂ’s socialist mantra. In 1961, LaborÂ’s National Executive Committee (NEC) released its policy statement Signposts for the Sixties which established the pre-eminence of public ownership and promoted an unfavorable view of pr ivate industry. However, it did accept the existence of a mixed economy, a concessi on that, some political historians have argued, concealed a revisionist intention (T. Jones, 1998, p. 68). More importantly, it created broad consensus in the party over LaborÂ’s domestic policy and stance on public ownership, both of which had sparked turmoil in the organization just a year earlier. This return to stability and reaffirmation of its traditional soci alist premise coalesced by 1963, when Harold Wilson was selected as the new leader. WilsonÂ’s approach was collectivist and empha sized the traditional idea of public ownership in conjunction with centralized eco nomic planning, but he based his strategy on a technocratic and meritocratic approach that envisioned using the gains of the scientific revolution to enhance modernization and reconstruct British society and its institutions (T. Jones, 1998, p. 77). The int ention was to improve the nationÂ’s economic
180 performance enough to provide the resources nece ssary to achieve social equality in a classless society. He was also trying to appeal to the new social groups dominated by the growing white collar cla ss of managers, engineers, tec hnicians, and other highly skilled workers. He obviously understood the changing demographics in the electorate, just as Gaitskell had when he attempt to change the language in its constitution; WilsonÂ’s 1964 elec tion manifesto, The New Britain confined discussion of public ownership to the renationalizat ion of the steel industry, wa ter supplies, and ports. This selective approach did not r epresent the wholesale national ization envisioned by the traditional socialist elements within the party Indeed, he was criticized for his watered down policies by the left arm of the par ty: Â“Wilson was abandoning socialism and embracing instead the benevolent management of capitalismÂ” (T. Jones, 1998, p. 79). Despite this criticism and others, WilsonÂ’ s views strengthened party unity in the 1960s; he satisfied the traditional socialists of the party by casting doubt on the value of private industry and promoting public ownership, and he placated the revisionists by emphasizing the expertise and improved effici ency that characterized a mixed economy (p. 85). Unfortunately for Wilson, criticism from the left would grow as his governmentsÂ’ policies were seen as half measures that di d not embrace total pub lic ownership of the British economy. As a resul t, the level of organized disc ontent amongst rank and file members grew and would eventually challe nge the social democratic revisionism manifested in Labor government policies of the 1960s and lead to a significant battle between the left and the right in the 1970s. The failure of the Wilson and, later, Callaghan governments in the 1970s revitali zed the Labor left activists, who organized
181 themselves at the grassroots level to seize control of the Labor Party and commit to a policy platform that would later prove devasta ting in the 1983 parliamentary elections. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Labor left became more and more frustrated. The source of this frustrat ion was the failure of the Labor governments to reverse the devastating economic downturn that Britai n had started to experience in those two decades. They interpreted the economic down turn not as a result of the enormous structural changes confronting Britain and the world but as a failure of leadership to initiate the radical change in the economic stru cture to fulfill the par tyÂ’s stated goal of social transformation. Elements of the left decided to forgo the rhetoric of slogans to promote radical policy change and instead focused on the mechanics of changing its constitution in order to influence the policy process and assure that leadership was held accountable. The strategy to achieve these goals was to institute mandatory reselection of MPs and to change the process by which the party leader was elected (Kogan & Kogan, 1983, p. 12). By inst ituting mandatory reselection, it would hold parliamentary members accountable to the constituency party, not the Parlia mentary Labor Party (PLP). This change would make members a ccountable to the local Labor electorate, similar to the way a primary works in Am erican congressional elections. Coupled with the issue of reselection, the second goal wa s to elect the party leader by an electoral college consisting of the rank and file member ship and not the PLP. In this case, the leader would have to appeal to the concerns of the general Labor electorate, as candidates must do in the American presiden tial primary system. The presentation used to promote this agenda of constitutional ch ange was encased in the additional demand for increased democratization and participati on within the party. The same argument
182 had been made by the McGovern Commission in the 1960s that democratized the presidential nomination process within the Democratic Party. Therefore, by requiring mandatory reselection, the constituency par ty members could hold their candidate accountable, and if the party leader were el ected by rank and file members, he would be accountable to the party; both conditions w ould pressure the elected government to pursue officially sanctioned party goals, an ob ligation that the Wilson government had failed to meet. This electoral reform would set the stage for a remarkable takeover of the Labor Party by the radical left. The revolt of the left materialized into a coordinated action in 1973 with the formation of the Campaign for Labor Part y Democracy (CLPD). The organization possessed a clear set of goals in order to achi eve its end, which was the transformation of the British state. The group was later supported by anot her inside organization, the Labor Coordinating Committee, established in 1978; it pr omoted radical industrial policies and a withdrawal from the EEC (K ogan & Kogan, 1983, p. 14). The final group to join the rising demand fo r reform was a much more radical organization called the Rank and File Mobilizing Committee (RFMC), es tablished in 1980 by the merger of a couple of groups dominated by militant ac tivists and Trotskyites. The formation and merger of these multiple groups were made possible by a rule change within the party. Up until 1973, the party had an exclusive list that denied membership to individuals who had non-democratic affiliations; the remova l of this abolition allowed many extraparliamentary activists to join and form the core of the what popul arly became known as the Â“Outside leftÂ” (Bogdanor, 2004, p. 5).
183 This movement capitalized on grassroots discontent, worked the constituency parties, and even assisted them in writing reso lutions to change the constitution to be introduced at the annual party c onference. It circulated a Newsletter to keep the fires burning and promote its cause. In fact, every year, the group published a Conference Edition providing standard resolutions to be proposed at conference (Kogan & Kogan, 1983, p. 28). The first push was for mandatory reselection of MPs, requiring review of each one at least once each parliamentary session. The measure of their success is the number of resolutions submitted by constit uency parties each year until it was finally adopted by Labor in 1979, following the disast rous defeat in the general election by Thatcher. Starting at the 1975 annual conference, twelve constituency parties submitted the resolution in favor of reselection. T he number increased to 45 in 1976, 79 in 1977, and 67 in 1978 (p. 29). Besides the cons tituency organizations, the CLPD developed ties within the unions that would prove fo rtunate later on; the unions eventually challenged the leadership of Wilson and Callaghan after their economic policies failed to produce the expected results. While Labor was in Opposition during the early 1970s, the unions had struck a deal to gain the cooperation and support of Labor Party leadersh ip in order to stem the wave of change being promoted by the left, which now had representation in the PLP through Tony Benn. The pact made between t he leadership and the industrial elements of the party gave the unions more influenc e because the leaders now depended on their support. The pact assured the introduction of price controls, food and housing subsidies, and increased expenditures on pens ions and services; in return, the unions would accept the need for voluntary pay rest raints (Bogdanor, 2004, p. 10). They also
184 promised the unions that they co uld write legislation to repl ace the Industrial Relations Act passed by the current Tory government, a blatant attempt by th e Tories to control the unions. The pact became known as the Social Contract and would secure union support through LaborÂ’s return to power in February 1974, but initiating the promised policies in a turbulent economic downturn only made matters worse. By 1978, the unions were again demanding wage increa ses, further aggravating an already deteriorating economic situation; this regression was due to the shop steward movement within the unions that had undermined union leadership. The collectivist discipline and promotion of co mmunity solidarity that had pr oven successful during the war and its immediate aftermath had given way to rampant individualism, which would undo the political relevance of Labor in the ey es of most of the electorate. Once the unions were no longer cooperating with Labor leadership, the door was open for the left to gain their support, especially because they supported radical socialist policies that the grassroots shop steward movement s upported: unfettered collective bargaining, withdrawal from the Eur opean Economic Community (EEC), and unilateral nuclear disarmament. In fact, the results of both 1974 elections we re interpreted by the left as evidence that a Labor left-wing political program c ould win, contradicting the reformers who argued that a overly socialist agenda was not a winning formula. As the leftÂ’s unofficial leader, Tony Benn wrote just before the elec tion, Â“one of the gr eat arguments of the Right is that you canÂ’t win an Election wit h a left-wing programme. If you have a leftwing programme and you win an Election, t hen the Right will have lost that argument, and that will be a historic moment in the history of the Brit ish Labour movementÂ”
185 (Bogdanor, 2004, p. 12).Unfortunately for th e left, their optimism was based on poor political analysis. First, the so-called Februar y victory did not give Labor a majority but only made it the largest party in the Commons In actual votes, the Labor Party captured only 37%, which was actually 6% less than it had after its 1970 loss to the Conservatives and its lowest return since t he 1931 election (p. 12). Also, a Gallup Poll taken over a period of th ree years (1972-1975) asked w hether the trade unions were too powerful, not powerful enough, or just right. Votes for Â“t oo powerfulÂ” rose from 53% in 1972 to 73% in 1975 (p. 12). This poll dem onstrated a prevailing dissatisfaction within the electorate for unions, a fact that did not register sufficiently with the left as they transformed the party to invoke a more r adical socialist agenda. After the election loss of 1979, the left would go full bore in instit uting the necessary changes in the party constitution to adopt a more radical agenda, justifying each change as necessary because party leadership was not bold enough to promote the true socialist agenda described in Clause IV of the constitution. The Labor governmentÂ’s actions from 1974 up until the 1979 general election help shed light on the events of 1979 within the party. T he February 1974 parliamentary election produced a hung parliament; no one par ty had a clear majority. Labor held the most seats with 301, but the Tories hel d 297 and the Liberals held 14 (Butler & Kavanagh, 1975, p. 275). When the Tories under Heath failed to snag a possible coalition partner, the Prime Minister finally tendered his resignation to the Queen. In turn, she asked Wilson to form her government, having the largest number in parliament. Wilson refused to seek a coalit ion and decided to hold power as a minority government. To make matters more difficult for governance, the Tory government had
186 bequeathed to the new government rising unemployment, inflation, a payments deficit, and still to come, the higher fuel prices caused by the 1973 Oil Embargo. The main problems confronting the W ilson government were economic. And being a minority government, they another electi on was on the horizon. Recogn izing their weakness, the Labor government manipulated the economy for short-term gain, as both major parties had done since 1959. The hope was to improve conditions enough to create a favorable environment for a new election that would grant Labor a majority (Butler & Kavanagh, 1975, p. 14). The election was announced for October 1974, only seven months after the previous vote. The result was a Labor vi ctory, but they held a majority by only a three seats. Even though Labor returned to power, it still had to contend with a worsening economy. The country experie nced negative growth rate in 1974, wages rose faster than prices, and inflation grew from 19.9% in January 1975 to 22.3% in July, with the prospect of exceeding 30% by the yearÂ’s end (K ing et al., 1992, p. 33). All the while, the government too often appeared in competent in adopting policie s to deal with the crisis. But they were facing a political dilemma and had only three courses of action open to them. The first was to deflate the economy, but doing so w ould require large cuts in public expenditures, increased taxation, and monetary restraint (p. 33). The impact would be higher unemployment, and no one was sure whether price deflation would be achieved before unemployment reached un acceptable levels. This approach was particularly problematic for a party committe d to full employment. The second option was a statutory income policy, to impose wa ge restraints through the law. However, the Heath government had tried this approach; it created a backlas h from unions that lead
187 to strikes that, in turn, brought the government down and propelled Labor to power on a campaign promise that they could work better with the unions. Also, immediately upon their return to power as a minority gover nment the previous spring, the party had committed to restoring collect ive bargaining power to the uni ons by repealing the Heath governmentÂ’s statutory wage pol icy. The last option was a voluntary wage restraint policy, which was politically more acc eptable and had nominally been agreed to earlier by the unions in the Social Contract agreem ent with party leadership in 1973. Indeed, Labor did adopt the last alter native, but the unions failed to fulfill their end of the bargain. Consequently, some other soluti on would be needed, but finding one that the unions would accept was a challenge. The alternative that would slow infl ation finally emerged in May 1975. In a speech, Jack Jones, the leader of the Trans port and General Workers Union, offered a simplistic solution. He stated that for a lim ited period, wages should not be allowed to exceed a small flat-rate, 6 GBP per week fo r anyone earning below an annual wage of 8500 GBP. Anyone receiving a larger wage w ould not be entitled to a pay increase. After much hesitation, businesses, unions, and the government all agree d to accept this plan, which was activated at the end of summer 1975. Preceding this enactment was the successful renegotiation of the terms of BritainÂ’s membership in the EEC, which was approved in a national referendum by a 2 to 1 majority. Because the left opposed EEC membership, this induction weakened their infl uence and allowed the unions to accept the new voluntary wage proposals, whic h would hold for about three years. The next crisis to confront the gover nment was unexpected and internal to the Labor Party. On March 16, 1976, shortly afte r his sixtieth birthday, Prime Minister
188 Wilson tendered his resignation to the Queen. The PLP initia lly had six candidates for the leadership position and, thus, a lock on t he next Prime Minister. The expected front runner, James Callaghan, was el ected leader on April 16, 1975; however, Michael Foot, a leftist, won the deputy position, taking the political pundits by surprise. Despite the change in leadership, the economic problems confronting the government remained. Eventually, the policies seemed to start working, and by the fall of 1978, despite a currency crisis in 1976 and the need for an IMF loan to resolve it, the Callaghan government was considering holdi ng the next general election because the November 1978 national polls reflected a 2-1 majority over the Tories and the Gallup indicated 5% lead for Labor (King et al., 1992, p. 82). In fact, CallaghanÂ’s approval rating went from 37% at t he end of 1976 to 55% a year later (p. 57).This decision was particularly crucial because in March 1977, Labor had establis hed an agreement with the Liberal Party for its support. By Nove mber 1976, Labor had lost its three-seat majority through by-elections and had two Sc ottish Labor MPs defect over the issue of devolution, returning it back to minority st atus. This situation necessitated a pact between Labor and the Liberals that re mained through the 1976-77 parliamentary session and was later extended th rough the 1977-78 and 1978-79 sessions. Unfortunately, the Labor gover nment started to lose th e support of the Liberals by 1978; their leader, David Steel, had stated that the pact would terminate at the end of the 1978-79 parliamentary sessi on in order to appease rank and file members who thought the association with t he government harmed to their electoral chances in the next election. Their share of the vote in 1974 was 18.3%, and polls in January 1978 showed that the Liberals had the support of just 6% of the el ectorate (King, 2007, p. 79).
189 Along with the widening cracks in the pact with the Liberals, the trade unions started to complain about the wages policy and had forced the government to shift its original 6 GBP per week limit to 5% and, later, 10%. The unions argued for a return to collective bargaining because they saw t heir standard of living decreas ing and were no longer content to support voluntary wage controls. As a result, they demanded increased pay and, when they were refused, led numerous strikes during the winter of 1978-79. Chaos transpired as television news reported on the strikes and people saw the immediate impact: empty supermarket shelves, empt y gas stations, garbage collecting on the streets, and striking workers in all sector s demanding more wages. This revolt became known as the Â“Winter of Discontent,Â” and angr y citizens registered their disapproval in polls, showing a huge shift in favor toward th e Conservatives, now under the leadership of Mrs. Thatcher. Despite the troubles that exploded on the scene after the economy had appeared to be under control, the governm entÂ’s non-economic policy of devolution would lead to a vote of confidence, causi ng the government to collapse and call for new elections. When the date of the general electi on was announced by Prime Minister Callaghan, the initial poll predicted a Labor defeat. Although the party had closed the gap in the three weeks of campaigning since the announcement, the Tories won a resounding victory, which would cause a brut al civil war within the ranks of the Labor Party. During the 1979 Labor Party Conference following the election, the right had concluded that the election loss was a result of changing demographics and a message that did not resonate with many voters. O ne long-time party watcher noted that Â“among Labour voters there had been a spectacular decli ne of support for the collective trinity of
190 public ownership, trade union power and social welfareÂ” (Crewe, 1982, p. 37). To the party right, the undeniable prescription was to move further right in order to make up for lost ground. On the other hand, the left inte rpreted defeat in a completely different manner. They argued that Â“weakly aligned vote rs cast their ballots on the basis of retrospective judgments as to how well their interests had been served by the governmentÂ”; therefore, t he blame Â“lay unambiguously with the outgoing government: its record had disillusioned millions of normally Labour votersÂ” (Shaw, 1994, p. 23). From this point of view, the Â“Winter of Discontent Â” was the fault of t he ministers, not the strikers and the unions. The platform was now set for the left to sweep away the demoralized leadership of the right and inst itute the constitutional changes it had planned since the mid-1970s. They would begin in earnest at the 1979 Party Conference. Beginning at that conference, the civil war between left and right centered around a struggle over the three goals of the leftÂ’ s constitutional agenda; the conflict extended across three successive party conferences and culminated in a complete takeover of the party by the left at the 1981 Party Conf erence. The battle was over the agenda that had been promoted by the CLPD through most of the 1970s: mandatory reselection of MPs, election of the party leader, and control of the manifesto. At the 1979 Conference, the leftÂ’s initial victory was on the point of mandatory reselection, a victory that would have been unthinkable 10 years earlier. The other two resolutions were defeated. However, although the resolution to remove c ontrol of the party manifesto from the PLP and place it in the hands of the National Executive Committee (NEC) was initially defeated, the left did secure the ability to resubmit it the next year, assuring another
191 brutal in-house confrontation. This side vict ory was significant because procedural rules stipulated that if a proposed constitutional reso lution failed at conference, it could not be resubmitted for another three years. The le ft had successfully pressed for a separate resolution to bypass this procedure. The 1980 Party Conference in Blackpool would precipitate an unexpected event and witness a further struggle between left and right. The left again failed to secure control of the manifesto. However, a resolu tion to widen the franchise for party leader passed though a specific methodology for doing so could not be agreed upon and would be contested at the next par ty conference. Not long after the conference, James Callaghan resigned as leader, leaving a power vacuum and a massive unknown variable for the left. Although a decision had been made to expand the franchise to elect the party leader, the failure to enact a methodology assured that the new leader would be elected under the old system : selection by the PLP. This eventuality outraged the left, for they felt tricked; their anger was further incited when the PLP voted, by a two to one margin, to choose a proper leader and not an interim caretaker until the next conf erence when a new methodology could be established (Kogan & Kogan, 1983, p. 90). De ciding to select a leader under the old system favored the right and Denis Healy, a long-time parliamentar ian member of the right who was seen by many as CallaghanÂ’s natural successor. This decision prompted immediate action on the part of the left. Firs t, they publicly claimed that the entire process was illegitimate because a new procedure had been established, however incompletely. But once they realized that t he vote to elect a new leader would occur, they quickly met to select a strategy for defeating Healy and electing one their own.
192 A few days after CallaghanÂ’s resignation, lefti st members of the PLP met at Tony BennÂ’s house to discuss a strategy (Kogan & K ogan, 1983, p. 91). They knew that if no one from the left sought election, Denis H ealy would win. Benn wanted to run but was discouraged from doing so; he had alienated t he right while serving eighteen months as Minister of Industry in the Wilson cabinet. The better choice was Michael Foot; he was not their first choice, but he would appeal to enough of the right to make winning a possibility. Also, Healy was viewed by many as a strong right-win ger, so to keep the party united, a number of cent er and moderate right voted for Foot, fearing that HealyÂ’s abrasive reputation would destroy any remain ing semblance of party unity. Finally, some who had considered breaking away fr om Labor and forming a new party voted for Foot because he was a Â“less formidable as a leader than HealyÂ” (Shaw, 1994, p. 164). By November 1980, Foot was leader of the party, having won the election 139 to 129 (p. 164). With a new leader and momentum growing for the left, a special conference was held in February 1981 at Wembley. The conference was necessary to decide on a formula for choosing a leader now that the resolution at the October conference had officially expanded the franchise that made the selection. The result was a compromise: an electoral college that gave the trade uni ons 40%, the PLP 30%, and the constituency parties 30% of the vote. This decision proved to be the last straw for some members of the right, for they sensed the leftÂ’s push for constitutional change would lead to a more radical political agenda that would damage the partyÂ’s elec toral future. Some members left the party to form what would become the Social Demo cratic Party (SDP). The list included four former minist ers and a dozen other Labor MPs. Even worse, Tony Benn,
193 the poster child for the left, decided to c hallenge Denis Healy, who was deputy leader, for his post under the newly installed El ectoral College system. Benn, an outspoken leader of the left with much experience who had served as a minister and a charismatic speaker, would deepen the wounds within the party with this challenge. So disruptive was the perceived challenge to an already fr agmented party that the newly elected Foot asked Benn to rescind, but Benn ignor ed his plea and others from the left. Over the next months, a brutal cont est ensued between the two opposing camps. Not only was it waged within the ranks of the party, but it also became visible to the entire British electorate through the daily pr ess. People watched a political party in the throes of an old fashioned blood-letting, as it were, causing public support of Labor to drop dramatically. For example, the rightÂ’s candidate Healy was labeled an opportunist, and Benn and his supporters were accused of wanting to erect a Stalinist state (Shaw, 1994, p. 165). In the end, Healy held on to his deputy leadership post, defeating Benn by less than a percentage point. A number of left-wing MPs had abstained to diminish BennÂ’s chances, a strategy that would incite bitter recr iminations amongst the left. As the Labor Party finished committing fratri cide within its ranks and continued to place radical left-wing policies into its progr ams, the Tories, under Margaret Thatcher, decided to call for a spring election in 1983. This decision followed on the heels of high poll numbers for the Conservatives. The British had just defeat ed Argentina in the Falklands War, and the Tories were riding high on a tidal wave of patriotism. Although Labor was preoccupied with internal squab bling, the NEC continued to shape the partyÂ’s policy program. Their latest docum ent, produced before the election, was titled LabourÂ’s Programme, 1982 (T. Jones, 1998, p. 111) It contained numerous radical
194 policies that reflected the agenda of the left: more public ownership, withdrawal from the EEC, unilateralism, full employment, and c entralized planning. After the announcement of the election, Labor had to spring into acti on to produce a manifesto for the campaign. The outcome was a revitalized version of the 1982 policy document titled New Hope for Britain 1983 which contained even more radical polic ies. For example, it called for the renationalization of industries that earlier had been privatized with minimum compensation to its owners and the promotion of industrial democracy, which included a partnership with the unions in public po licy-making (p. 111). The agenda essentially argued for Â“a fundamental and irreversible shi ft in the balance of power and wealth in favor of working people and their familiesÂ” (p. 9). According to Eric Shaw (1996), in The Labour Party Since 1945 Â“it was a highly ambitious programme which would have encountered the most determi ned opposition if attempts had ever been madeÂ” (p. 167). Its approval is difficult to understand because the PLP was still dominated by a right majority, ass was its co-producer, the NEC. In fact, since 1981, seven left-wingers in the NEC membership had been replaced by rightwingers, a quarter of the committeeÂ’s total membership. Shaw (1996) sugge sted that the right made a calculated decision: Â“if the party was going to capsize, it might as well sink to the ocean bed with a red flag tide to its mast, for the fact Labour was trounced on a left-wing manifesto did much to engrave upon its mind the view that it could never win on a left-wing platformÂ” (p. 167). Given Tony BennÂ’s pronouncement that the Labor victories in 1974 justified a leftist platform as a formula for success, allowing a radical platform to be hammered at the polls could easily justify the rightÂ’s insi stence on a more moderate agenda in order to increase its chances of electoral success in the future.
195 Needless to say, the 1983 election outco me was an unmitigated disaster for Labor. Not only did its manifest o alienate an overwhelming ma jority of voters, but its campaign execution was incoherent. Becaus e the party was being consumed by internal warfare, it fail ed to make adequate preparations for a national election. For example, it did not contract an opinion research organization until February 1983 because the left were skeptical about opinion polls; they also failed to contract an advertising agency in a timely manner (Shaw, 1994, p. 26). The outcome was an uncoordinated and incoherent campaign in which even the leader Foot contradicted his Shadow Minister Healy regar ding their defense policy, inviting a swarm of media interest. The combination of unpopular pol icies, an incoherent campaign, and a merciless press that seemed to smell blood a llowed Labor to Â“transform a defeat into a disasterÂ” (Shaw, 1996, p. 167). In the end, Labor retained only 209 parlia mentary seats, its lowest postwar figure, and secured only 28% of the vote its lowest share since 1918 and only two points ahead of the third party SDP (Butler & Kavanagh, 1984, p. 47) At least from a popular vote standpoint, Labor had almost been r eplaced as the main opposition party and found its remaining strength concentrated in Scotland, Wa les, and North England. Notably, the partyÂ’s performance was weakes t in the growing employment and social sectors of the electorate and in the expanding geographical areas of the nation (Shaw, 1996, p. 168). In fact, the only groups from whom Labor earned over 50% of the vote were blacks and council tenants (Butler & Ka vanagh, 1984, p. 47).The Labor Party had hit rock bottom, and the only way now was up, but the road back to recovery and political relevance would be a long and difficult.
196 Within weeks after the election, Michae l Foot resigned as leader, leaving a power vacuum in the party. The two main contenders for the position were Neil Kinnock, who represented the left, and Roy Hattersley, who was from the right. Hattersley would have been elected leader by the PLP under the ol d system, but for this contest, the new Electoral College would be utilized to elect t he partyÂ’s leader for th e first time. Kinnock won easily, despite losing the PLP vote ( 47%); he won 93% of the union vote and 73% of the constituency vote sections of the El ectoral College (Butler & Kavanagh, 1984, p. 48). However, Hattersley was elected deputy. During his early career in Labor, Kinnock was a strong supporter of the left, but inheriting a party fres h from its worst electoral defeat, he recognized that significant changes would have to be made. With his underst anding of the political realities of the age, he knew he would have to adopt a pragmat ic approach to repair the many ills that plagued the Labor Party. He c onfronted two major problems as the new leader: (a) the Labor political agenda had lost votes in the pr evious two elections, suggesting that the party must return to the middle ground; and (b) the par ty had failed to modernize its campaign organization to function in a mu ltimedia society. The second problem was a glaring weakness; under Michael Foot, the party had failed to adapt to modern mass communications by ignoring or not utilizing a hostile press, neglecting to advertise, missing photo opportunities, and overlooking public opinion polls, all essential to assuring that its message was heard and well received. Mr. Kinnock faced the gargantuan task of reshaping the partyÂ’s image and modernizing its campaign organization.
197 Unfortunately for Mr. Kinnock, the l eaderÂ’s control over the party had been severely curtailed as a result of the pr ocedural changes brought on by the left during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kinnock essentially had to reverse these significant changes in order to restore c entral authority to himself and his Shadow Cabinet. As he clearly understood, these changes were crucial to the partyÂ’s electoral future, especially now that the Alliance offered an alternative to voters, as demonstrated by their close third-place finish in the 1983 election. Historically, the PLP leadership dominat ed the policy formulation process, but authority formally resided in the extra-parliamentary in stitutions such as the NEC. The party had in the past informally acquiesced to the right-dominated PLP; however, in the 1970s, this convention generated growing disc ontent among the rank and file, fueling the leftÂ’s successful attempt to redirect t he process back to its original intent. When Kinnock took over, he was confronted by a par ty organization that was mistrustful of the PLP and a policy process now dominated by t he rival NEC, which was further divided into a number of sub-committees and workin g groups dominated by the party left. With growing tension between right and left withi n the party, this process essentially institutionalized the rift, providing glar ing evidence to onlookers of the antagonism between the two sides. Of course, this image di d not help the party gain favor from the electorate and made speaking with one voice ve ry difficult. The latter consequence was exasperated by a hostile press set on portraying the party as dysfunctional. Recognizing that he could not imm ediately change the structure, Kinnock managed to modify the process without angeri ng the left. He instituted a joint NECShadow Cabinet set of policy committees to init iate a short-term proc ess of cooperation;
198 however, his long-term goal was to return the process to the leader and his cabinet and completely remove it from the NEC and it s elaborate network of policy groups (Shaw, 1994, p. 170). Kinnock clearly understood that he would have to move cautiously in implementing changes within t he Labor Party constitution because there existed a great deal of suspicion of the PLP. In fact, early on in his attempts to bring about change, he lost his first battle at the 1984 Party Conference. One of the first direct challenges the left had implemented at the beginning of the decade to weaken the PLP was the mandatory reselection system of MPs. The left had incorporated into the process a way to return the reselection process to the constituents, removing the power of candidacy selection from the PLP. Indeed, more local control of MPsÂ’ policy stances would weaken the influence of the leader and his cabinet. The left had instituted a system whereby the constituency partyÂ’s General Committee, which usually consisted of left-wing activists, decided whether an MP would stand as the partyÂ’s candidate in the next election. Feeling pressure from his Shadow Cabinet to change the system, Kinnock proposed a system that would remove the selection and deselection process from the General Committee and give it to the constituencyÂ’s en tire membership. This process was called One Member, One Vote (OMOV) and could be presented as mo re democratic. It would remove the ultimate power from the hands of the more radical constituency committees, and although it was not the man datory reselection process th e leadership preferred, it was an improvement over the current system Kinnock proposed the new formula to the NEC, which barely accepted it as a strict ly voluntary program. However, when the proposal was submitted to the Conference, it was voted down by a half million votes out of seven million cast. Very early on, Kinno ck recognized the limitations imposed upon
199 him and the difficulty he would encounter to revamp the party. Ac cording to Martin Westlake (2001), Â“Kinnock did not believe t he job of restoring Labour to government could be completed within the space of one Pa rliament; that he anticipated a two-stage process that would result in him becomi ng Prime Minister in 1991 or 1992Â” (p. 245). Although Kinnock denied this strat egy in public, he later wrote, after leaving the position, that he essentially understood the reality of his situation. West lake went on to state that KinnockÂ’s first few years were a day-to -day struggle to bring change while institutionalizing an effective campaign organization; he wa s motivated not to replace the Tories but to prevent the party from bei ng replaced by the Alliance as the legitimate opposition (p. 246). While Kinnock struggled with early atte mpts to revitaliz e the party, he immediately tackled the problem of weak cam paign organization. For example, the party had not done a formal campaign analysis of t he 1983 election in order to understand why it had failed. To start the process of improving the partyÂ’s campaign apparatus, even before he would deal with the headquarters machinery on Walworth Road, he established a Campaign Strategy Committee (CSC) that was separ ate from the NEC. The purpose of the CSC was to articulate policy and, more importantly, professionalize the campaigning and media stru cture (Westlake, 2001, p. 263). He wanted to assure that the campaign structure would be under the control of the leader even though the committee consisted of all elem ents of the party, including representatives from the PLP, NEC, Shadow Cabinet, and trade unions. It met m onthly and bypassed the NEC until Kinnock had obtained a membership more to his liking. It would emerge as the key decision-making body concerning party br oadcasts, public opinion polling, and
200 campaigns, and it really received no protest fr om the NEC because it did not take much interest in these types of details (But ler & Kavanagh, 1984, p. 50). The body had evolved as a policy clearing house for the party but attention to t hese types of details did not necessarily win elections. The original idea for this new organi zation sprang from a defeated Labor MP Patricia Hewitt, who argued that the party lacked a competent nat ional organization. Before Kinnock ascended to leadership, s he had already provided a blueprint of the necessary changes, and she was the individual who could accomplish the task. So once he was elected, Kinnock chose her to be his press secretary, and the modernization of campaign structure began. Image and mess age had become important in a world dominated by print and television media, and she recognized that Labor had been slaughtered because of ill-pr eparation. Her impact was immediate as KinnockÂ’s personal appearance and demea nor changed. The party eliminated impromptu interviews or conversations over the occa sional pint and pipe, and he was made to look Â“like a bank clerkÂ” (Westlake, 2001, p. 250) This shift in image was particularly important because Hewitt disliked the print media for its anti-Labor bias and believed that Kinnock could get his message across bette r on television and radio (p. 251). His new look drew criticism from within the par ty particularly because Kinnock became less accessible even to members of the PLP. However, most silently recognized the necessity of the change, and Kinnock, in hi s first speech at Party Conference following the election in 1983, stated, Â“Just remember how you felt on that dreadful morning of June 10thÂ” (Butler & Kavanagh, 1988, p. 51). His party under stood what a disaster they had experienced and that continuing on the same path could lower the party to third
201 place. The changes would happen slowly at fi rst but would accelerate as the leadership became more confident in their vision and how to accomplish it. Despite his failure on the issue of re selection, KinnockÂ’s first year had been successful. He had established a professional personal office staffed with competent people, and he had initiated the necessary groundwork, in t he form of the GSC, to modernize the partyÂ’s campai gn apparatus. Unfortunately for Kinnock, politicians do not operate in a static political environment; he would be confronted by two other issues at the time that were distractions and conti nued to foster the negat ive image of the Labor Party he was attempting to change. One i ssue concerned the unions, and the other concerned local government, both were directed against government policy. On March 1, 1984, the National Coal Board (NCB) announced the cessation of production at the Cortonwood colliery in Yo rkshire and then the closure of twenty pits (Westlake, 2001, p. 288). The immediate re sponse from a number of local mining executives was to call for strikes in severa l regions in Scotland to Wales. The local action was sanctioned by the National Union of Miners (NUM). However, the national unionÂ’s decision to bypass the requirement of a national ballot was fortunate because some areas, such as Nottinghamshire, did not walk out on strike. The year-long strike gave Arthur Scargill, a Marxist and the nati onal unionÂ’s leader, an opportunity not only to challenge the Thatcher governmentÂ’s pol icy but also to wage war on capitalism. Because union interest tends to sustain la bor or socialist parties, this event placed Kinnock and the party in an impossible predicament. At a time when Kinnock was focused on changing LaborÂ’s ne gative image, the strike s during the Â“Winter of DiscontentÂ” turned people against that unions and, thus, Labor. Making matters worse,
202 the strike became violent over time as st riking miners were transported to block the nonstriking Nottinghamshire pit with picket lines. The violence required a police response that escalated the confrontat ion; television images of the conflict again reminded voters about the negative aspects of unions and their association with Labor. After a year, the miners were defeated, for the Thatcher gover nment refused to back down from their commitment to close costly and inefficient nationalized industries. For Kinnock, the event further exposed the divisions withi n the party between right and left, and his responses appeared evasive as he straddled the wide chasm between supporting the workers and making Labor appealing to the middle class. As leader of a political party trying to reestablish its legitimacy as a fu ture government, he could only steer clear of the political wreckage that cert ainly befell the strikers and t heir union. But most of all, the strike distracted from his need to moderni ze the party and reinvent its message to attract lost voters and new voters. The second major event that created negat ive press for the party and gave the Conservatives and Thatcher great political ammunition was the refusal of some local government authorities to abide by the 1984 Ra tes Act. The act, designed to cap local tax rates on property owners, forced local author ities either to cut se rvices or to reduce personnel. Although Labor had been devastated in t he national poll in 1983, it continued to do well in local government elections. T he problem was that the areas where they continued to win substantial majorities were urban localities such as Manchester, Sheffield, and Birmingham. All of t hese urban centers suffered from high unemployment, poverty, crime, and culture divides due to race or ethnicity. Not only did the voting demographics favor Labor but these areas also bec ame centers of the Â“New
203 Urban LeftÂ” dedicated to left-wing policies. T he Â“New Urban LeftÂ” consisted of young, usually university-educated individuals who had radical agendas and dominated the local Labor party organizations in these depressed urban areas. For many of these radical councils, the Tory governmentÂ’s polic ies were inroads to challenging the state and the capitalist system. Sixteen of the de signated areas, in unilateral solidarity with the minersÂ’ strike, decided to pursue a po licy of non-compliance. This movement blindsided the Labor leadersh ip and reopened wounds between the left and the right in the party. One council in particular would garner national attention; it was in Liverpool, where Labor had defeated a Conser vative-Liberal coalition in 1983. Eventually, much to KinnockÂ’s surprise, this group was dominated by members of a Trotskyite organization called Militant Tendency, a spinoff of the Revolutionary Communist Party. The Militant Tendency was one of those more radical elements that pursued an entryist strategy in order to promote Marxis t policies within the Lab or Party. It published a monthly newspaper called Militant and, by the 1960s, had taken control of the Labor Party Young Socialists, which became a fe rtile recruiting ground for its growing membership of over 5,000 dues-paying me mbers (Westlake, 2001, p. 316). The problem of Militant Tendency had been recognized earlier within the party and, during the 1970s, had even resulted in an invest igation. However, the NEC and party leadership were reluctant to pursue discip linary action even though the organization had violated Clause II of the partyÂ’s constituti on, which forbade members to belong to organizations with independent policy age ndas and separate propaganda. Finally, in 1983, the party expelled the mem bers of the Militant editorial staff but refused to engage in a witch hunt. KinnockÂ’s strategy was to st ay low, but events would force his hand as
204 the Militant-dominated Liverpool council openly defied the Thatcher government, engaging in illegal activity that subjected th ose involved to fines and other punishments. Because Labor was already caught in the jaws of a nationally hostile press, the council challenges could not have come at a worse time. Having to deal with the prolonged miner strike, Labor was continually on the receiving end of bad press. In fact, the Conservative governmentÂ’s confrontation with the council s played into the hands of the ToriesÂ’ strength, Mar garet Thatcher, who threat ened councilors with fines and disqualification from office. The rate caps were meant to protect the middle class from rising property taxes, whic h the Labor council continued to increase in order to redistribute local wealth in support of numer ous social programs, some of which were legitimate and others consider ed by some to be inappropriat e. The latter sort received particularly negative press in the metropolitan councils of greater London, which were portrayed as being irrationally concerned about minority and fringe issues, along with paranoia about racism and sexual problems. For instance, Sun Daily Mail and eventually Times used the term Â“Looney LeftÂ” to associate these programs with local Labor councils, a media badge that would eventua lly give the Tories justification to abolish the Greater London Council (GLC). The term would also become a major political weapon with which to attack Labor in the 1987 general election because it came to be associated with extremism. The stigma of the Â“Looney LeftÂ” label continued to haunt Labor through the 1992 election. Howe ver, all except one of the councils eventually backed after the Tories refused to back down; the Liverpool council, which was not rate capped, would bring undue att ention to the party and force Kinnock to confront the left head on to regain control of the party.
205 The Liverpool District Labor Party (LDL P), by 1983, had come to dominate the city council. Its members were mostly associated with the Militant Tendency and decided to use their electoral success to init iate policies was led by the councilÂ’s deputy leader Derek Hatton. Their intention was to support the minerÂ’s strike by opening a second front against the government (Westl ake, 2001, p. 320). They implemented an urban renewal plan by building 5,000 new council houses and creating 6,000 new construction jobs (p. 320). The cost of th is project exceeded the councilÂ’s financial resources in the 1984-85 budget, illegally creat ing a deficit. Having been informed of these developments, Kinnock, not needing another crisis, in vited a contingent of the councilors to the House of Commons to reach a compromise. When the councilors would not compromise and Kinnock refused to offer them public support, the issue remained unresolved. The issue still at an impasse, the LDLP further increased its majority in MayÂ’s local election, and bec ause the government was still dealing with the strike, they provided the c ouncil the additional funding nece ssary to preclude a deficit for the year. This gesture, in the eyes of the council, vindicated their resolve; they attended the 1984 Party Conference as heroes and even had a motion passed supporting their defiance, much to KinnockÂ’s dismay. After the minersÂ’ strike ended in defeat in March 1985, Kinnock set out to deal with the rebellious councils who still engaged non-compliance. In June 1985, he conferred with the councilor s of Liverpool and Lambeth and reminded them to cease activities that trespassed against the law. However, the Liverpoo l council, under Hatton, did not heed his warning and continued dow n a path of no return. By September, Liverpool had a deficit of 100 million GBP and was obligat ed to lay off 31,000 city
206 employees. As they prepared the notices, t he local trade union leaders turned on them because they had gone too far. This betrayal pe rmitted Kinnock to atta ck, for the council was willing to destroy the lives of its own people in order to follow their own rigid dogma. A few days later, Kinnock publicly attacked the actions of the Liverpool council in his major speech at the annual Party Confer ence; subsequently, the LDLP was suspended, and an investigation into Militant activities was launched. By February 1986, both a majority and minority report were complete, and hearings about the allegati ons began. The hearings furt her exacerbated the schism between left and right within the party. However, by April, the public demonstrations made by Militant members and the negative pr ess that accompanied the events during the hearings had causes a humiliating by-elect ion loss in Fulham. The defeat convinced the Â“soft-leftÂ” that Militant had to go and that the continued actions of the Â“Looney-left,Â” as the press now dubbed such individuals, we re destroying any chance that the Labor Party might appear competent to govern. The expulsion of Militant members was finally approved at the Party Confer ence in October 1986, ending a brutal period of conflict between left and right by isolating the Â“ hard-leftÂ” and clearing the way for further modernization of the party and its policies. According to Philip Gould (1999) in The Unfinished Revolution an analysis of his key role in LaborÂ’s road to modernization, the real beginning of it progress began with the hiring of Peter Mandelson in Oct ober 1985 to manage the communications department (p. 43). He arrived in the middle of the internal war between LaborÂ’s left and right. He also came into an organization that had not yet adopted and, frankly, did not yet trust modern campaign techniques. As Mandelson recalled later, Â“You had party
207 machinery and personnel witho ut leadership, management or purpose, which needed to be professionalizedÂ” (Gould, 1999, p. 44). Despite the positive press that Kinnock received at this time for standing up to Milit ant, Gould argued that Â“it did not display a positive agendaÂ—a reason to vote LabourÂ” for t he electorate (p. 46). The purpose of modernizing Labor was to help the party dev elop a clear and attractive message that resonated with the voters. Mandelson was briefed on revamping the partyÂ’s campaigning and media relations. The reason Kinnock gave him wide latitude was his experience in television, which Kinnock believed to be the better medi um to reach the electorate, especially because the print media, being pro-Tory had proven hostile to Labor. However, Mandelson needed someone with advertising exper ience; he hired Ph ilip Gould, who had his own consultancy. Gould was giv en the immediate task of assessing LaborÂ’s communication apparatus. At the end of hi s two-month analysis, he produced his Communications Review for the party, a document that pai nted a fairly ugly picture. The report consisted of two parts; the firs t uncovered organizational chaos in the communications area, and the second, based on focus group data, found a huge disconnect between Labor and the electorate. According to Philip Gould (1999), t he most important findings were Â“the apparently unbridgeable gap between what Labour had bec ome and what the British electorate now wantedÂ” (p. 49). This gap be came quite clear when the focus group data was presented to the leadership in Novemb er 1985, around the same time that Kinnock was confronting the problem s with Militant, who had generat ed the impress that Labor was a party dominated by extremists One focus group of women aged 25-44
208 expressed the importance of self-interest; they perceived that society was breaking down, that people could no longer be trusted, and that you could only rely on yourself and immediate family (p. 50). One woman stated, Â“If by voting To ry IÂ’ll get a flat or a job then IÂ’ll do it. IÂ’m not going to vote Labor to get a job for someone in Newcastle. I donÂ’t suppose heÂ’d think about meÂ” (p. 51). Fi nally, when asked to describe Labor and what was unacceptable from the left, the answe rs included Â“socialism, communism, and redsÂ” (p. 51). But when asked to describe what was unacceptable a bout the right, they produced different terminology. Although To ries were Â“selfish, single-minded, and determined,Â” these qualities represented what they want ed from government. Labor was not concerned about the personal aspirati ons of ordinary people, only the poor, unemployed, and needy (p. 51). The party had fail ed to recognize that occupational and geographic mobility had changed t he demographics of the working class, which now possessed middle-class aspirations and looked to the future, not the past. By 1983, 53% of working-class fathers had sons in non-manual work; Labor stood still while society moved forward (Crewe, 1982, p. 38). Professionalization essentia lly saved the Labor Party from itself and would, by the 1987 general election, push Alliance aside and secure its place as the opposition. First, it established the Shadow Communicati ons Agency (SCA), which was responsible for coordinating public relations, designing campaign strategy, polling, and advising the party on the popularity of policies (Westl ake, 2001, p. 348). Th is agency lifted the partyÂ’s presentational strategy to the next level, a strategy that would famously become known as Â“spin,Â” an idea created by Mandel son. Another development was a more sophisticated use of polling and focus group s. Last was the implementation of a
209 presidential style of cam paigning that emphasized positiv e presentation (pp. 352-353). For example, the theme Â“F reedom and FairnessÂ” was an attempt to associate Labor with positive concepts; incidentally, the or iginal slogan was Â“ Labour: Putting People First,Â” which also appeared on the campaign literature and was la ter adopted by the 1992 Clinton campaign (Gould, 1999, p. 59). One of the e ssential features of this presidential style was to capitalize on KinnockÂ’s appeal and remove political words such as Â“socialismÂ” and Â“nationalizationÂ” fr om the campaign vo cabulary. When the campaignÂ’s focus was on one individual, it could more easily stay on message and control the content. All of th is effort was geared toward creating a positive image in the media. Labor went as far as jettisoning its red flag symbol and replacing it with a red rose, an idea Kinnock originally borrowed fr om the Swedish Social Democrats. The impact was positive; Labor won the Fulham by-e lection in April 1986 after a nearly 11% swing from the Conservatives (Westl ake, 2001, p. 362). Although weaknesses remained, especially in Labor policies, Kinnock had laid the ground work for modernization, which would certainly serve Bl air well before the e nd of the century. Unfortunately, the cosmetic changes the party implemented and the professionalization of it s campaign apparatus were st ill not enough to reverse the devastating defeat of 1983. Although Labor, in 1987, secured second place and opposition status by reducing AllianceÂ’s share of the vote to 23%, they had received another drubbing by the Tories (Butler & Ka vanagh, 1992, p. 43). In fact, Labor moved only slightly closer the Tories; having lost t he 1983 election by 14 points, it gained only 3 points. As a result, the 1983 and 1987 electi ons were the partyÂ’s worst performances since 1931. After losing three general el ections in the 1950s, Labor remained only 6
210 points behind the Tories in 1959, but in 1987, its third consecutive defeat, it remained 11% behind. And now it faced a much more formidable third party challenge than it did in 1959. Labor policy reflected the partyÂ’s failure to grasp the significant demographic changes occurring in British society. Labor still had not made the policy changes necessary to appeal to voters whose attitudes and values had changed in the 1980s. According Phillip Gould (1999), party policy was not in line with the electorateÂ’s values, attitudes, and lifestyles, and Labor was out of touch with voter concerns about the economy, taxation, and personal finance (p. 60). His analysis reflected significant changes in the electorate; 68% of the work force was manual labor in 1950; by the 1980s, this number fell to 48%, and betw een 1979 and 1990, trade union membership declined from 50% to 36% of the work force (Butler & Kavanagh, 1992, pp. 2-3). At the same time, homeownership increased from 29% in 1950 to 67% in 1990. This increase was helped along by the Conservative policy of selling council homes to its occupants, a policy that was opposed by Labor until it bec ame enormously popular. These statistics indicate that middle-class society in t he United Kingdom was gr owing and that more people would be prone to adopt middle-class va lues and attitudes. LaborÂ’s policies of unilateralism on defense, nationalization of industry, and higher taxes became less attractive to voters who focused on individualism and personal well-being. One significant change concerned the st ructure in which Labor policies were promoted and eventually approved. It placed po licy review more directly under the control of the leader, removing the left-wing influence of the executive committee. The party also created seven subcommittees, each co-chaired by a Shadow Cabinet
211 member and NEC member, to examine future policies that would permit Labor to win the next election, likely to occur in the 1990s With a clean slate, the party had time to develop policy that would fit the changing val ues and attitudes of the voters. Improving policy design, modernizing campaign organiz ation, and deflating the leftÂ’s dominance within the party were KinnockÂ’s major contributions to Labor. The policy review process was not without critics; because it worked together with the campaign apparatus, so me thought that policy was being influenced by public opinion for political expediency. A similar comp laint would later be leveled against Tony Blair as he further modernized the party and attempted to revise the policy agenda more along the lines of the democratic socialism of Western Europe. However, the voter impact was initially positive, polls started to swing toward Labor by late 1988. As Labor now emerged as pro-European Unio n, it fared well in the 1989 Euro-elections and won a by-election in Conservative Mid-Stafford shire in March 1989 on 21% swing (Rallings & Thrasher, 2006, p. 152). And by ThatcherÂ’s removal as leader in November 1990, the Conservatives had trailed Labor in the polls fo r eighteen months. Before ThatcherÂ’s fall, Labor had a poll lead of 12% in July 1990 after trailing the Conservatives for 28 months prior to the 1987 election (But ler & Kavanagh, 1992, p. 56). As the new policy review process was im plemented, Patricia Hewitt and, later, Peter Mandelson left the campaign organization; the former went to work for a think tank, and the latter pursued a future in politi cs as an MP. This departure occurred just as disagreement arose about the scope of the modernization process and its influence on policy. Internal divisions still strong withi n the party, there was a minimal level of cooperation and growing levels of secrecy in planning the campaign strategy for the
212 next election. The original focus had been on Margaret ThatcherÂ’s weaknesses; under Kinnock, this strategy worked to LaborÂ’s advantage. However, John Major replaced Thatcher in 1990, Labor had to revamp it s approach, just as Hewitt and Mandelson were leaving. With John Major as the new To ry leader and all but official Prime Minister, the weaknesses in KinnockÂ’s personalit y and leadership put Labor at a decided disadvantage, for the public hi ghly favored Major as an i ndividual and leader. According Philip Gould (1999), opinion pol ls swung 9.5% in favor of the Tories, reversing LaborÂ’s lead, and a 24% swing toward the Conservatives on being trusted on the economy (p. 106). However, by May 1991, Labor regained a slight lead in the polls despite the successful conclusion of the Gu lf War. The recession hurt the Tories, weakening their usual image of economic competence, but Labor was still viewed as the tax and spend party. As the 1992 election approached, Labor policy statements would continue to reinforce these views in voters, who were still suspicious of public services and now also focused on quality of life issues that Labor had not adequately addressed. Surveys conducted during and immediately following the election concluded that the aspirational class, which the British Soci al Attitudes estimat ed to be approximately 50% of the population, asso ciated Labor with Â“holding p eople back and with leveling downÂ” (Butler & Kavanagh, 1992, p. 47). Also, the Labor SCA, in a presentation about voter attitudes to the leadership in 1991, s howed that the top reas on that 65% of the aspirational class would not vote Labor was t he belief that Labor would raise taxes. The clear message was that Labor was the party of high taxation. John Smith, as Shadow Chancellor, reinforced this message when he published a Labor shadow budget showing tax increases. The Tories now had all the information they needed to attack
213 Labor, for focus group perceptions of Labor as a party that could not be trusted on the economy, a party that tax ed and spent appeared to be accurate. The Tory campaign theme, Â“You CanÂ’t Trust Labor,Â” allowed t he Conservatives to capitalize on votersÂ’ mistrust, and when the Tory Chancellor announced a tax cut for the next annual budget, Labor was on the defensive. Despite the belief by many that Labor would win, polls had recently shown its small lead diminishing. As Election Day approach, voters seemed to be developing cold feet. Finally, Neil Kinnock himself was a liabilit y for the party now that John Major was Prime Minister. In a Januar y 1991 poll, Major had +55 favorability compared to KinnockÂ’s -12, leaving a 65% spread. These numbers clearly demonstrated that ThatcherÂ’s weaknesses had been LaborÂ’s best chance of winning because on the policy and trust front, they were well behind the Co nservatives (P. Gould, 1999, p. 141). Not surprisingly, Labor lost its fourth straight election, and pundits now predicted an age in which the two parties would regularly exch ange power and that the best Labor could ever hope for was a hung parliament. To make matters worse, the electoral reality confirmed that Labor had lost its fourth electi on by over seven points, compared to an average 4.2 deficit in the election period 1950-1974. The aggregate swing toward Labor was only 3%, not much better than in 1987 (Butler & Kavanagh, 1992, p. 322). The eventual conclusion was that Labor had c hanged but not enough to win an election. The immediate outcome of the election wa s the resignation of Neil Kinnock and the election of John Smith as Labor leader Although John Smith was more popular, LaborÂ’s popularity in the polls changed littl e until his sudden death in 1994. However, his short tenure did produce a few signifi cant changes that would reinforce the
214 groundwork started by Kinnock and later transform ed by Tony Blair. One of the first was to disband the SCA, which had been created to modernize LaborÂ’s campaign machinery under Kinnock. This decision satisfied many of the old Labor structure who still refused to acknowledge the usefulness of polls, focus groups, and other tools of modern campaigning. One essential feature that John Smith challenged was un ion influence within the party. At the 1993 party conference he nar rowly implemented One Member, One Vote (OMOV), which eroded union influence by r educing the union block vote at party conferences and on the constituency ballots; instead, each individual would cast a single ballot to nominate parlia mentary candidates. He also reduced the union share of the Electoral College vote to elect a leader fr om 40% to one third, making it equal to the constituency parties and the PLP. The other significant changed inst ituted by Smith was the establishment of the Inst itute for Public Policy Rese arch (IPPR) commission, which would focus on social justice and welfare. The initial goal was to explore potential welfare reforms that would not require raisi ng taxes, countering Tory criticisms. Gordon Brown, as Shadow Chancellor after John Sm ith, clearly adopted this message, having, early on, repudiated LaborÂ’s shadow budget of 1992 and its recommended tax increase in 1993 as politically unwise. Some comment ators in Britain believed that LaborÂ’s shadow budget, complete with tax increases, gave the Tories adequate ammunition to attack Labor for being a Â“tax and spendÂ” party Labor would not make the same mistake in 1997. When John Smith suddenly died in May 1994 and the path for a new leader was clear, the obvious choice was Shadow Chance llor Gordon Brown. However, Tony Blair,
215 at a dinner with Brown, convinced him to sup port his election as leader. BlairÂ’s election opened the way for further modernization of the party; Blair and Gordon both felt the party had not gone far enough and would have to go further to win the trust of the electorate. Indeed, there still were too many remnants of Â“old LaborÂ” lurking within the party. As Blair and Brown had argued, Â“Labour was too dependent on the working class, on trade unions, and on council estates,Â” and they clearly recognized that these populations were declining: Â“Society had bec ome more middle class and individualisticÂ” (Butler & Kavanagh, 1997, p. 47). Even Labo r MP Giles Radice, representing the Chester-Le-Street constituen cy, had written a study called Southern Discomfort as a Fabian Society pamphlet. It recognized these trends particularly in southern England, where Labor would have to defeat the Tories if they ever wanted to govern again. In fact, Radice expressed the opi nion that Labor would have to assume a new identity to overcome perceptions embedded in the electora te. Blair recognized this fact and would take the steps necessary over the followi ng three years to implement the changes necessary for Labor to win the next election. Critical to the changes that Blair would implement were the short five weeks that Philip Gould would spend work ing for the Clinton campaign in Little Rock in October 1992. That Democratic campaign succeeded bec ause the party reinvented itself. The lessons he learned and the connections he es tablished would provide some of the strategies that Â“New LaborÂ” would eventually adopt. One of the first connections was Stan Greenburg, CarvilleÂ’s polls ter during the Clinton campaign; he later did polling and focus groups for Labor in the run up to the 1 997 election. Upon his return, Philip Gould (1999) wrote a paper comparing the Clinton campaign to the par tyÂ’s strategic situation,
216 but it was not well received and Â“went down like a lead balloonÂ” (p. 175). Despite the negative reaction, he sponsored a one-day Clin ton conference in London attended by Stan Greenberg, CarvilleÂ’s forme r partner Paul Begala, and Pe ter Mandelson. However, the message was not heard, and following another analysis presented to the party titled Â“Campaign 96,Â” John Smith said, Â“this is all very interesting, but I thin k you will find it will be our turn next timeÂ” (p. 177). Although the leadership ignored the re commendations, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair paid particular attention to the st udies and recognized the path to completing the modernization process start ed by Kinnock. Of course the problems with Labor had been recognized by Blair in the 1980s when he was a young MP. Having been elected to office only four years earlie r, he wrote an article for the Guardian in June 1987 in which he recognized the need to modernize and argued that market efficiency and social justice could both be obtained. This idea would prove to be the foundation of LaborÂ’s future policy shift when he eventually assumed leadership. The presentations concerning the success of the Clinton election confirmed Br own and BlairÂ’s belief that Labor would have to reinvent itself, just as the Â“New Democr atsÂ” had accomplished under Clinton, because the partyÂ’s core level of support was declining through demographic and ideologi cal change. It had to broaden it s appeal to new groups who desired nothing more than a better life and did not want to feel guilty for desiring it. The change would begin on July 21, 1994, when T ony Blair was elected leader over John Prescott, who was eventually elected deputy. According to David Farnham (1996), in the article Â“New Labour, the New Unions, and the New Labour Markets,Â” BlairÂ’s program for modernizing the party centered on
217 achieving three objectives: rewriting Clause IV of the Constitution, shifting its policy further to the center, and continuing to reduce union infl uence within the party (p. 587). The first change Blair decided to pursue wa s Clause IV, which Gaitskell had failed to change in 1959. The clause committed Labor to pub lic ownership of industries, but the party no longer advocated this principle; it only symbolized its socialist past and reminded voters of its failures. At the 1994 Conference, in hi s Â“New Britain, New LaborÂ” speech, Blair outlined the changes nece ssary to prepare Labor for the future, announced the outmoded aim of Clause IV, and demanded a debate on a new statement of party goals. The campaign for change met resistance, so Blair linked the issue to his remaining in leadership; the debate became an up or down choice, and the strategy proved to be successful. In a Spec ial Constitutional Conference held in April 1995, a new clause was adopted by a vote margin of 3 to 1; the new clause praised the enterprise of the market withi n a just society (Butler & Ka vanagh, 1997, p. 51). Although the trade unions were resistant to the change, it showed the electorate that Labor was serious about reinventing itse lf. With a major victory and the modernizers behind him, BlairÂ’s next target was the trade unions. Because the unions had become associated with LaborÂ’s less favorable qualities, Blair decided to reduce their influence at c onference and in the selection of the leader, building more trust within t he electorate. John Smith had already reduced their block vote in selection of the leader, but Blair w anted to further reduce their influence in the selection of candidates and at conference where manifestos had traditionally been approved and amended. He did so by first convincing the NEC to stop permitting unions to fund candidates or legislators direct ly; they could only send money to the
218 constituency party. Furthermore, union membership would directly vote on manifestos in take-it-or-leave it fashion. This centra lized control further w eakened the influence of unions on party policy goals. The democratization of the policy proce ss was an essential feature of BlairÂ’s reforms; it would permit the l eadership to write the policy goals, thus centralizing the process and ensuring the Shadow cabinet spoke with one voice. Once completed, the policy had to approved by the NEC, now dev oid of the radical el ements that dominated it in the 1980s, and then submitted to the g eneral membership for an up or down vote. This procedure was imperative because on ce the policy was accepted, the party membership had to commit to the program, re moving the ability of the membership to level charges of betrayal against the government at a later time. The process was first implemented at the 1996 Party Conf erence; the pre-election platform The Road to the Manifesto was ratified by the NEC and, followi ng the conference, approved by the membership. The gist of the document mo ved Labor policies toward the center by accepting many government programs c oncerning welfare and the economy. For instance, it recognized Conservative legi slation regulating indus trial relations but promote a minimum wage poli cy and a guarantee of union recognition where favored by a majority vote. Balancing efficiency and soci al justice was the cornerstone of BlairÂ’s original philosophical vision for New Labor. As Blair made changes to Labor and they becam e clearly visible to the electorate and the media, he recalled Ph ilip Gould and Peter Mandelson to square the task by completing the modernization of the partyÂ’s campaign apparatus. To this end, the lessons learned from the Clinton campaign w ould finally be implemented. They started
219 by effectively replicating CarvilleÂ’s Â“war roomÂ” utilized in the 1992 American Presidential campaign. It would begin with a new campai gn and media facility in September 1995. Therefore, the NEC vo ted to appropriate 2 million GBP to cover the cost of the new facility located at Milbank Tower, near Westmi nster. It would peak at 250 staff members, with Peter Mandelson as the Chair of the Gener al Election Planning Group. A year later, he became Shadow Minister for election planni ng and had direct access to Blair. This relocation of campaign planning marginaliz ed party headquarters, which remained at Walworth Road in south London. With the return of M andelson and Gould, Blair rounded out his team by hiri ng Alastair Campbell as hi s press secretary. Having previously worked as an editor for the tabl oid newspapers, Campbell assisted Blair in gaining access to the Daily Mail and Sun two of the largest circulation tabloids that had previously been hostile to the Labor Party. Ho wever, Blair cultivated a relationship with its editors by providing timely scoop on policy i ssues or reactions to pieces critical of Labor. The eventual outcome would be political endorsement by the Sun before the 1997 election. At the same time, two major innovations were implemented in LaborÂ’s campaign plan. The first was the use of Excalib ur EFS (Electronic Filing Software), a computerized database to support the Rapid R ebuttal Unit designed to respond to any Tory criticism within the same news cycle. This innovation came directly from the Clinton campaign, which had used it effe ctively against the Republicans in the 1992 presidential election. Coupled with this abilit y to counter political attacks, the campaign established a taskforce designed to ident ify the potential 90 s wing seats Labor could gain with a 6% vote swing in their favor (Butler & Kavanagh, 1997, p. 59). They did so
220 by identifying Â“softÂ” Conservatives and vote switchers through canvassing in 1994 and 1995, the results of which were entered into a database for future use. The party could later contact these voters four times before the 1997 election to reiterate LaborÂ’s message (p. 59). The last change was to refocus the party message on rights and responsibilities, a message that reverberat ed with middle England, BlairÂ’s ultimate target. They wanted to help individuals achiev e a better life through opportunity but still promote community and the necessity of st ate care for the more vulnerable. One campaign theme, Â“we offer partnership between government and the people,Â” was borrowed directly from the Clinton campaign; it clearly promoted individual success through market forces but recognized the st ateÂ’s responsibility to assist the less fortunate. The goal was to prov e that Labor was a trustworth y party that could govern well. By 1996, the Conservative Party had assisted Labor by displaying its own incompetence, sleaze, and untrustworthiness. Conservative incompetence manifested a short while after the 1992 election, when t he party ignominiously withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), rais ing interest rates from 10% to 15% in one day. Â“Black Wednesday,Â” as it was calle d, caused the devaluation of the pound on the open market and seriously compromised t he Conservative reputation for economic competence. Public opinion polls revealed a 20-point deficit behind Labor only three months following withdrawal from the ER M (Butler & Kavanagh, 1997, p. 12). The Conservatives followed this decision with a fe w tax increases; the first was a VAT on fuel in 1993 and then a dozen more, from a party that campaigned in 1992 on the idea that tax increases would be inevitable under a Labor government. Labor now had some
221 ammunition to attack Conser vative trustworthiness. W hen a few scandals led twelve government ministers or MPs to resign over unethical personal conduct, the sleaze factor came to LaborÂ’s aid. In fact, the te rm Â“sleazeÂ” appeared in the media more times in 1994-1995 than in the previous nine y ears (Butler & Kav anagh, 1997, p. 15). Electorate backlash became evident in the by-elections; the Tories lost ten seats, reducing their twenty-one-seat majority to eleven by 1994. It fell further when nine members were denied the whip, one crossed ov er to Labor, and two crossed over to the Liberal Democrats. Finally, the death of a si tting Tory MP required another by-election in Wirral South, where Labor won with an 18-point swing, reducing the Tories to a minority government months before the 1997 general election (Rallings & Thrasher, 2006, p. 152). Having completed the modernization of t he Labor Party, Tony Blair centralized control in the two years leading up to a general election to assure that the Shadow Cabinet and he remained on message, that Â“N ew LaborÂ” was no longer fractured, and that the party possessed an agenda that was responsive to the aspirations of the electorate. This demonstration of leadersh ip enhanced his favorability amongst voters, especially in contrast to John Major, who appeared weak and ineffectual as Prime Minister in charge of a party that took on the appear ance of Labor in the 1980s, fractured and incompetent. The result of LaborÂ’s monumental change would bring victory after eighteen years in the wilderness, w hen it had almost lost status as the main opposition party. On May 1, 199 7, Labor won a landslide victor y with a majority of 179, its largest since 1935, and a 10% swing from Tory to Labor, the largest two-party shift
222 since 1945 (Butler & Kavanagh, 1997, p. 244) A new Labor government now existed and would have the opportunity to make amends for its failure on devolution in 1979. With the ascension of Tony Blair to t he leadership, Labor was forced to accept monetarism as standard economic policy, shifting its emphasis to free markets and embracing ThatcherÂ’s economic legacy. The par ty shifted away from a purely socialist agenda that had been the trademark of Â“Old LaborÂ”; in turn, Labor no longer needed to govern from the center in order to contro l economic planning. The unintended impact of this platform shift was an opening to an ec onomic argument for dev olution; political autonomy could allow Scotland and Wales to adopt policies that would promote economic development in their various region s. The forerunners of this argument were the postwar attempts to create separate economic development agencies for Scotland and Wales, with respective secretaries of state managing the Scottish and Welsh Offices. This development eventually delegi timized the argument that Welsh problems were no different than English pr oblems, the main stay of t he old socialists who argued against devolution because they believed that only centralized economic planning could alleviate the problems of Wales or Scotland. The other salient quality of BlairÂ’s leader ship is pragmatism, doing whatever was necessary to win. Although he was never an avid supporter of devolution, he recognized the demands for it and reframed the issue as part of a larger need for constitutional change. He wanted to set Labor apart from the Tories, w ho would appear incapable of addressing the needs of governance in a glo balizing twenty-first century. Leading a program of constitutional change, he was able to capture support of the Liberals, a potential coalition partner. Labor was still unsure whether it could win an election out
223 right before 1997, and a coalition was bette r than continuing in the opposition after eighteen years. So Blair was willing to deliv er devolution, but on his terms, as the referendum decision demonstrates. With r egard to Scotland in particular, Blair addressed the taxation question in the referendum in order to preemp t any Tory attacks on LaborÂ’s economic policies. Finally, his pragm atism reflects lessons learned from the previous devolution struggle, and he active ly used the wisdom gained from failure to assure success. Unlike John Smith, Blair recognized that the transition of the party initially begun by Neil Kinnock was incomplete and had to reach fruition if the party was ever to defeat the Tories at the polls. He also understood t hat in order to defeat the Conservatives, Labor would have to win in middle England, where the party had been chased out by the Tories and found itself competing against not only the Tories but also the Liberal Democrats, whose voters viewed them as a more acceptable alternative to the radical reputation of Labor. As he knew well, the 1983 election had reduced the Labor Party to a regional party, with its support concentrated in Scotland and northern England. In fact, Labor polled third in south England, attracti ng only 17% of the vote ; the Liberal/Social Democrat Alliance polled 29% (Pugh, 2011, p. 373). So Blair needed to complete the modernization of the partyÂ’s campaign apparat us and, more importantly, move the party to the center in order to attract disgr untled moderate voters who had supported either the Tories or the Liberals in the past. As t he analysis suggests, Blair wasted little time in implementing his plans to transform the Labor Party. As he correctly realized, the Tory victory in 1992 gave him until the spring of 1997 to have the party in a position to win a general election.
224 First, his move to modernize the party caused Blair to bring back Peter Mandelson, who had previously been a key player in the modernization of the campaign apparatus in the eighties under Kinnock. Second, he focused on transforming the votersÂ’ vision of the party by removing Clause IV, the last vestige of the old socialist ideology, from the partyÂ’s constitution, sendi ng a distinct message to the media and the voters that Labor was different. He went so far as to change its name in order to reinforce the message of renewal. Finally, he embraced policies that promoted and recognized the value of free markets while em phasizing social justice as opposed to the old socialist concepts of weal th redistribution. He essent ially, like Clinton, took Tory policies concerning the econom y and crime and remade them into Labor policies. And he repackaged issues such as devolution as part of a set of constitutional reforms, including changes to the outdated House of Lords, human rights, freedom of information or transparency, and electoral reform. Thes e moves allowed the Labor Party to steal some of the thunder of the Liberal Demo crats, who for a decade had been advocates for such change. In fa ct, the Charter 88 group, consisting mostly of Social Democrats, formally promoted these changes in a document that would later be incorporated into the Liberal Party manifesto when the tw o parties merged in the same year. At the same time, since 1993, he had approa ched the Liberal Democratic leader Paddy Ashdown in an attempt to earn his tr ust and perhaps his support at some future date. Blair was not sure Labor could wi n another election outright against the Conservatives, and the possibility of a c oalition with the Liberals might have proven useful in the event of a hung parliament. Indeed, Ashdo wn had abandoned the earlier Liberal party policy of remaining equidist ance from both Labor and the Conservatives
225 and adopted an anti-conservative strategy, o pening a window of opportunity for Blair, who was quick to take advantage. As Ashdown himself stated, Â“He is scared to death of being squashed between the unions and the left wingÂ” (p. 399). Blair was concerned that if his party won but only enjoyed a small majority, he could be reduced to placating a radical leftist backbench, constraining hi s flexibility as leader. Although Blair had reformed the partyÂ’s image, the more uni on-oriented elements only acquiesced because they had no other option after eighteen years as opposition and were willing to try any new approach. In 1985, the Labor Party receiv ed 75% of its fundin g from Labor; by 1997, it only accounted for 40%, for Blair lo bbied wealthy individual donors such as successful entrepreneur Richard Branson, indirectly reduci ng their leverage through the purse strings (p. 398). The change was so extensive that New Labor was Â“to be the extension of Thatcherism by other meansÂ” (p 397). Neil Kinnock said of Blair in 1995, Â“HeÂ’s sold out before heÂ’s even got there. The bankers and stockbrokers have got us already, by the fucking balls, laughing t heir heads offÂ” (p. 394). Thus, only a Tony Blair could have achieved such a critical transformation, for even his chief rival for leadership, Gordon Brown, was old Labor; des pite his own belief for some needed changes in the party, he probabl y would have been less diligent in moving so far, being surrounded by and accessible to the partyÂ’s ol d guard. Alastair Campbell, a key Blair advisor and former journalist, provided clear in sight into BlairÂ’s ability to push the party so far when he quoted Blair on being more progr essive: Â“What gives me the real edge is that IÂ’m not as Labour as you lotÂ” (C ampbell, 2007, pp. 467-8) Blair was not a traditional product of the Labor Pa rty; thus, he was not intellec tually or personally boxed in by traditional philosophy and advice.
226 Chapter 9 examines the third dimension of disorder: the ideological and political landscape that emerged in both Scotland and Wales following the defeat of the referendums. This defeat gave rise to a new push for devolution amidst successive Tory governments under Thatcher and Major. The rise of a new home rule movement in Scotland and the political imp lications of framing home rule for Scotland necessitated a top-down push in Wales because a grassroo ts movement never emerged after the failed referendums of 1979, the third critical juncture.
227 CHAPTER 9 TOWARD HOME RULE AGAIN: SCOTLAND AND WALES With the failure of devolution and the collapse of the Labor government, many thought the devolution issue wa s dead, especially in Wale s, where it received a resounding Â“NoÂ” from the electo rate. However, pro-devolutioni st Scots felt a sense of betrayal because a majority had actually vot ed in favor of an assembly. The devolution issue had dominated political debate since 1967 and the Westminster agenda since 1974, but when the referendum was defeated, the issue disappeared from the agenda. For example, Thatcher, a staunch Unionis t, guaranteed the issue would not reappear when she submitted an order of repeal to the Parliament; it dutifully passed the legislation, and those pro-devolut ionist Tories either retired or conformed to the Unionist philosophy. Also, the rise of the Labor left foll owing the partyÂ’s defeat at the polls buried the home rule cause as it shifted attention to its internal struggle to decentralize party decisions. Finally, the nationalists lost suppor t, further reducing a public voice for home rule. In particular, the Scottish National Part y was reduced to only two seats after losing nine of their eleven in the 1979 election. The first stirrings of a home rule reviva l emerged in Scotland a year following the referendum vote. Jack Brand, a Scottish academic and member of the SNP, made a small attempt to revitalize the movemen t. The approach, based on lessons learned from the referendum campaign, was to creat e a movement around an all-party/non-party organization, similar to the Scottish Home Rule Associations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the Covenant mo vement following World War II. This initial movement evolved into the Campaign for a Sco ttish Assembly (CSA), which held its first public rally March 1, 1980, the anniversary of the devolution referendum. This rally,
228 attended by approximately 400 people, produced a declaration calling for a Scottish Constitutional Convention that would be Â“repr esentative of Scottish life and society to consider detailed proposals for the consti tution and powers of a Scottish AssemblyÂ” (McLean, 2005, p. 48). The init ial reaction was mixed. Sco ttish Liberals expressed approval at their conference, but the other parties remained wary, though members of the SNP at times appeared on the stage at CSA events. In March of the next year, the CSA hel d its first national convention, which produced the Blue Print This pamphlet was a discussion paper that raised points and listed areas of disagreement concerning a new assembly program. Five thousand copies were distributed to info rm a discussion that would o ccur at the 1982 convention of the movement (McLean, 2005, p. 57). At this convention, the Liberal Democrats actively participated, and Russell Johnston, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Party, was one of the keynote speakers, but Labor refused to participate. The Blue Print was endorsed and a declaration was passed reco mmending that the membership of any future Constitutional Convention should be di rectly elected. However, at the third convention in April 1983, much of t he discussion focused on the economy and the coming election. The convention decided to meet again three months after the election to examine the political situat ion before making its next move. Of course, the 1983 election returned t he Tories to power under Thatcher, ensuring that devolution would not occur in the near future. Also, the outcome in Scotland demonstrated the growing disc onnect between the Conservatives and the Scottish electorate; the party only polled 28. 4% of the vote, having reached 50% back in 1955. Apparently, too many Tory policies promoted at Westmi nster ran contrary to the
229 desires of the Scots and gave rise to the not ion that a predominately English parliament was making decisions concerning Scotland. This incongruity would eventually make devolution more palatable too many voters who might have remained lukewarm to the idea after the failure of the referendum. Therefore, despite the recall convention that met in September following the election, ve ry little happened. The Scottish Labor Party then officially refused to affiliate with t he Campaign for a Scottish Assembly, a stance that would define their relationship until 198 9. However, in 1984, the Scottish Labor Party promoted its own devolution agenda to pr event pro-devolutioni sts within the party from associating with the CSA, which incl uded nationalists that were still abhorred by officials of the Labor Party. The part y launched its own green paper based on the Scotland Act of 1978, with alterations adopted wit h the assistance of retired civil servant and Labor member Jim Ross, who had been the chief architect of the Scotland Bill during the late 1970s. This move by Labor was possible by Donald Dewar, leader of the Scottish Labor Party and a devolutioni st advocate during the 1979 referendum campaign, and the ascension of another devolut ionist, Gordon Brown, to the executive of the Scottish Labor Party and its chair by 1983. In September 1984, the SNP announced su pport for an elected Constitutional Convention. Around the same time, t he CSA signed off on LaborÂ’s green paper initiative. The CSA also promoted a cam paign to win local government support of a Scottish Assembly, a strategy they had not used in the 1979 referendum campaign. A November conference in Glasgow drew parti cipation of twenty-four local councils, including the Strathclyde Region, which was home to 50% of ScotlandÂ’s population. The conference proved successful, and in 1986, the C onvention of Scottish Local Authorities
230 voted, by a margin of four to one, to support devolution. The change of heart demonstrated that an assembly would have pr ovided a buffer to Tory policies from Westminster that impacted local gover nment (McLean, 2005, p. 82). The last accomplishment in 1985 was to establis h a consultative paper to promote a Constitutional Convention; by assisting a fu ture Labor Government with a draft plan, the convention could reduce legislative time and pr event the type of fiasco experienced the last time Westminster attempted to write a devolution bill. The paper also presented two models for convention attendance. The firs t centered on elected MPs and the other direct elections from the various element s in Scottish society. The model for implementation was based on the one us ed in Northern Ireland during 1974-1975 (McLean, 2005, p. 85). The convention would m eet after the next election, which would hopefully place Labor in power. The last ta sk was to lobby Northern England MPs who had worked against devolution as Labor ba ckbenchers during the passage of the Scotland and Wales Acts of1978. Unfortunately, the 1987 election produced t he Â“Doomsday ScenarioÂ”: the Tories lost badly in Scotland but still governed fr om London. This scenario fueled the Â“no mandateÂ” argument, which chal lenged the legitimacy of the Conservatives governing Scotland when they had been rebuked by the Sc ottish electorate at the polls. The implication of the argument was that they had won because of success in England yet could still dictate policy in Scotland with no electora l mandate. And though the Â“no mandateÂ” argument ignored the r ealities of the British electoral system and that the Tories had won a fair and democratic election, Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind did not help matters when he said, during an unguarded moment in 1985, that being
231 secretary was similar to being a colonial governor-general; this sentiment inflamed the belief among the Scottish that they were bei ng treated as second-class citizens (Finlay, 2004, p. 366). In fact, the Cons ervatives fell from twenty-one s eats to ten, reducing the Scottish Grand Committee to an ineffectual debat e society; it only sat Scottish members after 1979 and the Tories lacked a majority Also, they had to supplement English members on the Scottish Select Committee in order to maintain t heir majority there. This shortage of Scottish MPs further fuel ed the nationalist Â“no mandateÂ” argument, for Scotland was now being ruled by a predominately English political party. Of course, the worst nightmare was the domination of Marg aret Thatcher and her policies for another five years; some even believed that To ry rule might be permanent. This scenario hastened the push for a constitutional conventi on as a precursor to devolution, which previously had been the purview of Â“hobbyistsÂ” (Marr, 1992, p. 183). It also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the Labor Party, despite its fifty Scottish MPs to influence events at Westminster; the Scottish Labor Party was forced to reconsider its participation in an all-party campaign for devoluti on and the promotion of all-par ty talks to facilitate the drive for devolution. After 1987, the SNP referred to LaborÂ’s Scottish MPs as the Â“feeble fifty,Â” further highlighting t he ineffectiveness of Labor despite itÂ’s dominant position in Scotland (Marr, 1992, p. 181). Its ineffect iveness would be amply demonstrated when the party could not stop the poll tax in Sc otland in 1988, a full year before it was introduced in England. The poll tax, officially called a communi ty charge, was introduced to replace the councils rate tax. Similar to a property tax, it taxed each resident in a home at a flat rate, shifting the burden from the rich to the poor, as its critics claimed. The reasoning behind
232 the poll tax was that the Labor Party still controlled many types of councils at the local government level. The partyÂ’s painful natio nal defeats in 1983 and 1987 had done little to weaken its grassroots elements; it re mained robust and thus a threat within the structure of local government and a hindranc e to the implementation of free-market policies. Despite the Conservative gover nmentÂ’s reduction of block grants and the placement of spending caps on local author ities in an effort to reduce peopleÂ’s dependency on the state, the loca l Labor councils continued to raise rates in order to provide the services it felt were necessa ry to support the poor. These tax increases tended to affect property owners or hom eowners who were deemed natural Tory supporters. Labor had contrived a system that allowed Â“Labor councils to tax Tory supporters in order to subsid ize Labor votersÂ” (Finlay, 2004, p. 364). The introduction of the poll tax, the Conservatives believed, woul d create a situation in which everyone was paying his fair share, causing voters to rebel against high-spending councils and elect Tory councils who were committed to lower spending. Also, the government decided to accelerate the anticipated outcome by further reducing block grants to local authorities. Ironically, this concept was devised at St. A ndrews University, which at the time was populated by right-win g free marketers. Because homeowners accounted for a sma ller percentage of the population in Scotland, the introduction of the new tax would alleviat e the disproportionate burden on them. For Scottish Conservatives, this change was welcome, for most property owners were Tories, and the councils tended to be dom inated by Labor member s; in Scotland, over half the population had subsidized housi ng, and Labor used the rates to subsidize council rents. The Scottish Conservatives, at their May 1987 conference, proposed that
233 the poll tax by immediately im plemented, for it would deal a mortal blow to Labor in Scotland. The tax was especia lly important to grassroots Scottish Tories because property reevaluations in Scotland were on a four-year cycle, more often than England, and the recent one had increased property taxes f our-fold. The poll tax, therefore, came to be seen as a way to rejuvenate the Tory Party in Scotland, for affluent Tory communities had been adversely affected by Labor rate increases. The Scottish Tories, recognizing the immediate political benefit, opt ed for the poll tax, which had been in the party manifesto for a few years. Ironically, the Scottish Tories asked for its earlier introduction in Scotland under a separate bill in order to pl acate voters, for they had promised the introduction of t he poll tax as a replacement for the Labor rates (Marr, 1992, pp. 178-179). This motivation ran contrary to the myth created by nationalists that the introduction of the poll tax first in Scotl and was a deliberate stab from a cold-hearted Margaret Thatcher. The implementation of the tax created enormous outrage, not only because of its regressive design but also because it was poorly executed. The execution was especially bad with regard to exemptions and reduc tions because when citizens were unable to pay the full am ount, they had to apply for the necessary exemptions or modifications. The SNP promoted a non-payment campaign, but the electorate needed little prompting; over 700,000 summary warrants for non-payment were issued in Scotland during the first year By 1991, the third ye ar of the tax, 2.5 million warrants had been issued for non-payment, and local councils found they were only raising 76.5% of the revenue expected fr om the tax (Marr, 1992, p. 179). However, despite the unprecedented civil disobedience of the electorate in Scotland, the tax was not repealed. The Tory government recognized their failure, but the political impact in
234 the region was minimal because the partyÂ’s r eal strength was in England. Not until the tax was implemented in England, producing a massive violent protest in London in 1989, and public opinion polls demonstrated to English Tory MPs that their re-election might be in jeopardy, did the Major government finally repeal the act. The entire ordeal demonstrated the power of the Conservatives and centralized government. Some argued in Scotland that Â“if they can do this with just 10 MPs what canÂ’t they do?Â” (Marr, 1992, p. 180). Scots more deeply believed that Thatcherism was evil and that a Scottish Assembly would a ssure the opportunity to challenge unpopular policies coming from a politic al party that was not adequately represented in Scotland. Thatcher had used the Scottish office as an instrument to implement unpopular policies from London; thus, it was no longer seen as ScotlandÂ’s government, having previously been an advocate for Scottish concerns no matter what party was in power. The outcome was that a relatively small political following in Scotland could effectively impose its will on a large bureaucratic administr ation. When this Â“democratic deficit,Â” inherent in the political st ructure responsible for gover ning Scotland, became apparent, home rule emerged as a way to restor e a sense of democracy and counter the polarization of politics in the region. While Tory rule increased Scottish re sentment, the SNP still operated on the margins; it had suffered a significant defeat in the 1979 election, seeing its 30% share of the vote drop to 17%. It dropped further to 11.8% in 1983. Having been devastated by internal warfare between f undamentalists, advocates of outright independence, and devolutionists who promoted a more moderate and incremental agenda, the party finally established a truce in 1984. T he immediate result was that the party positioned itself
235 more left-of-center, challenging a strong but i neffective Labor Party in Scotland. It also adopted a new theme that prom oted independence within the context of the European Union, announcing its official slogan at the partyÂ’s1988 conf erence. However, the most significant change was the vote at the 1984 In verness conference to support an elected Scottish Constitutional Convent ion; this vote signaled a co mmitment to work with other parties for Home Rule wit hin an elected convention. Meanwhile, the CSA had been trying unsucce ssfully to promote cross-party cooperation for a constitutional conventi on. However, by 1988, events had changed and the opportunity for such cooperation seemed more realistic than ever; more people now felt the direct impact of Tory policy in the fo rm of the poll tax. Busily recruiting prominent members of Scottish society, the CSA finally announced the establishment of a Constitutional Steering Committee in Februa ry 1988. Within a six-month period, the committee produced A Claim of Right for Scotland and presented it to the CSA. The paper had largely been written by Jim Ross, the retired civ il servant who had worked on the first devolution legislation in the 1970s. The document, which concluded that the Union of 1707 had made certain promises to Scots that were no longer bei ng fulfilled, called for a constitutional convention. It established its own historical justification by citing the Declaration of Arbroath in 1302 and recognized that there had been two previous claims: when the Scottish Parliament rejected King James VII and II in1689 and when the Free Church of Scotland split with the Church of Scotland in 1842. It also specifically argued that the proposal for home rule use the term Â“parlia mentÂ” instead of Â“assemblyÂ” because the old Scottish legislature h ad been called the former.
236 Media coverage of A Claim of Right was dismal; Scottish television ignored the press conference and one daily pr oved very hostile in its editorial page dedicated to the document. Despite the lackluster introduc tion, by autumn the SNP and Liberal Democrat Parties had officially expr essed support, and the Scottish Trade Union Congress, a Labor organization, had also gi ven its support. The Labor Party itself remained silent. However, in March 1988, the Scottish Labor Party experienced internal tension when the Scottish Labor Action was fo rmed to promote the devolution agenda; it advocated civil disobedience concerning the new community charge and strongly supported the proposal of a constitutional conv ention even if its party did not. Although Labor hesitantly moved toward supporting the convention cause, it was firmly on the side of devolution, as demonstrated by its subm ission of the thirty-first Scotland Bill in the proceeding January. This bill, one of many over the previous 100 years, called for a 144-member assembly with limited taxi ng power (Marr, 1992, p. 200). In October, Donald Dewar, l eader of the Scottish Labor Party, delivered a speech at Stirling University; he stated, Â“Administrative devolution has grown over the years, but there is great need for a democratic para llelÂ” and Â“whether the Constitutional Convention now proposed offers some way fo rward. I hope that the Campaign for a Scottish AssemblyÂ’s Claim of Right will be the basis for a real attempt to agree on common policy on ScotlandÂ’s place in the Unit ed KingdomÂ” (Paterson, 1998, p. 172). He went on to say that the proc ess was a positive start but that one had to be careful of political posturing by some for personal or el ectoral gain. He was clearly referring to the SNP, for Labor had always seen the nationalists not only as a political threat but also as a potential threat to the United Kingdom and its constitutional system. If any doubts
237 about Labor entering into the conv ention still prevailed, the by-election on November 10, 1988 in Govan probably dispelled them, for the SNP won the safe Labor seat for a second time, led by former Labor MP Jim Sillars. Immediately fo llowing this election, the Labor PartyÂ’s Scottish Executive endors ed attendance at cross-party discussions concerning the constitutional convention. The first all-party talks concerning a constitutional convention commenced on January 27, 1989 in Edinburgh. The event wa s hosted by the CSA, and the SNP, Liberal Democrats, and Labor all sent r epresentatives, including its leaders. Representatives from the Convention of Sc ottish Local Authorizes, Scottish Trades Union Council (STUC), and the Scottish Counc il of Churches were in attendance. The meetingÂ’s main sticking point was that the SNP w anted a referendum to confirm any agreement; Labor opposed, wanting any home rule scheme to proceed only with a consensus of all parties. The referendum sc heme was later promised as a concession to the SNP that would occur at the end of the convention. Howeve r, the SNP National Council rejected a resolution to participate in the convention that many felt would principally be a Labor show. Therefore, the SNP remai ned on the sidelines as the convention proceeded to produce a commitment to devolution and a future Scottish government. Finally, the convent ion convened in the Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh on March 30, 1989, te n years after the failed referendum campaign. In the spirit of cross-party cooperati on, the Convention elected two Co-Chairs: David Steel, former Liberal leader, and Ha rry Ewing, a Labor MP A founding statement was released and signed by 58 of ScotlandÂ’s 71 MPs, 7 of its 8 members of the
238 European Parliament, 59 of ScotlandÂ’s 69 lo cal authorities, and 7 political parties (McLean, 2005, p. 118). Because the SNP ha d boycotted the convention, the greatest stumbling block was devising the electoral system for electing a Scottish Parliament. The Liberal Democrats wanted a proporti onal system, and Labor continued to resist, wanting to retain the Westminster firs t-past-the-post model. However, at LaborÂ’s Scottish Conference in March 1990, the party voted to accept an alternative model called the Additional Member Sy stem (AMS). This vote was a grassroots victory, for the unions and the constituency parties had canvassed their members to support an alternative electoral system. Prior to this earthshaking change in LaborÂ’s position, the convention looked overseas as it cont inued to work on a home rule scheme for Scotland. In December 1989, a small gr oup visited SpainÂ’s Basque Country to investigate how the Spanish system of autonomous regions functioned; included in the Scottish delegation was a We lshman, John Osmond, who a ttended as a reporter for the Wales on Sunday newspaper although he was also par t of the Campaign for Welsh Assembly. Finally, in January 1990, a join t conference titled Â“The 1990s: A Decade for Constitutional ChangeÂ” was held in Wales; it included the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly (the word Â“assemblyÂ” would be ch anged to Â“parliamentÂ” in 1992), its Welsh counterpart, and the Charter 88 committee that advocated significant constitutional revisions to BritainÂ’s out dated political institutions. By the fall of 1990, the Convention had m ade significant process but would come to a slow down upon the departure of Prime Minister Thatcher in November 1990; an election appeared on the horizon. The Tories, with new leader John Major, refused to ignore the pleas for devolution; they l aunched a counteroffens ive campaign called
239 Â“Scotland in the UnionÂ” to dem onstrate that they were not out of touch. The campaign called more for cosmetic changes by raising the profile of the Sc ottish Grand Committee and transferring a few more powers to the Scottish Office. Th is campaign was, in turn, countered by the ConventionÂ’s March 1992 launc h of Â“Towards ScotlandÂ’s Parliament,Â” in preparation for the 1992 general election, wh ich many thought favored Labor this time around. Unfortunately, the election results on April 10, 1992 were not much different from the 1987 election; the To ries increase their seat total by one and their vote percentage by one point in Scotland while reta ining their majority in Parliament as a result of their continued strength in Englan d. The immediate impact was the creation of three new organizations advocati ng devolution for Scotland. After another disappointing result, Neil Kinnock resigned, Labor elected John Smith, a strong supporter of home rule. Ki nnock had campaigned against home rule in 1979 but had reluctantly changed his tune in the 1980s as growing demands resonated throughout the Welsh and Scottish Labor Partie s. By 1993, the Convention initiated a fresh initiative by establishing a commission to reexamine some weak points in its 1992 report and make recommendations concerning electoral systems, gender balance, and the constitutional influence t hat Parliament would have on local authorities. The result was Â“Further Steps Towards a Scheme for Scot landÂ’s Parliament,Â” which was released at a press conference in late October 1994 (Scottish Constituti onal Commission, 1994). The report recommended the AMS electoral syst em to elect 72 members by first-pastthe-post and an additional 5 members from each of 8 regional lists, for a total of 112 members. It called on the parties to assure that 40% of their elected members were women by the second parliamentary se ssion and relented on representation in
240 Westminster; the latter would remain the same until a boundary commission could analyze the issue. Finally, the Scottish Se cretary would remain for an undetermined transitional period, and entr enchment, the most controversial issue, could not be recommended because it violated the absolut e sovereignty of Parliament (McLean, 2005, p. 151). However, the death of John Smith in 1994 brought Tony Blair to the helm, and a new phase for the party and the devoluti on issue began. The resounding defeat of the 1979 devol ution referendum in Wales and the eventual rise to Labor Party leadership by Neil Kinnock in 1983 assured the issue would remain buried until 1987. Unlike the Scots, there was no outrage at having an election stolen from the majority becaus e the majority had quite clearly voted Â“NoÂ” to devolution. However, three consecutive Labor electoral defeats by the Tories led by Margaret Thatcher generated new demands for devoluti on. The lady herself was not the cause but her policies for reducing the size and scope of the public sector. Wales had Â“the largest public sector west of the iron Curtain,Â” so Thatch erÂ’s policies impacted Wales disproportionately (Jones & Bals om, 2000, p. 6). Most of t hose workers were employed in the mining and steel industries, which we re both nationalized. Af ter the pits and steel plants closed, the population employed in m anufacturing dropped from 33.7% in 1971 to 22.6% in 1991, and energy production dropped from 7.7% in 1971 to 2.5% in 1991 (Jones & Balsom, 2000, p. 9). The results of these changes in the public sector included unemployment, which increased from 16% in 1983 to 19% in 1987, and social dislocation. Both led to the failed minersÂ’ strike of 1984-85 and the collapse of union power and influence on government economic policy (Andrews, 1999, p. 45). The Conservative assault on local governmentÂ’s spending authority also helped return the
241 demand for a regional authority to the political agenda. In 1987, the Campaign for a Welsh Assembly (CWA) was established. The inspiration to establish this organi zation came from a similar creation in Scotland in 1980 and from John Os mondÂ’s fact-finding trip to Spain. In its first year, CWA held about twenty Sunday evening m eetings throughout Wales to generate support for an alternative political schem e, for the present government lacked a legitimate electoral mandate to govern Wale s (Andrew, 1999, p. 53). As they had in Scotland, the Conservatives had performed very poorly in Welsh elections, holding only 8 of 38 Welsh parliamentary constituencie s and receiving only 29.5% of the vote (Tetteh, 2008, pp. 14-15). Yet the gov ernment in Wales operated by way of administrative devolution through the Wels h Office, which in 1987 was led by Peter Walker MP, the first secretar y not to be Welsh MP or a Welshman. He set a dubious precedent; all future Welsh secretaries woul d be Tories until Labor returned to power in 1997. Despite the creation of t he CWA, Labor proved to be disinterested as Kinnock was still leader, his shadow Secretary for Wa les, Barry Jones, was disinterested, and his successor, Alan Williams, was opposed to devolution and remained so until his recent retirement in May 2010 from Parliam ent. Undeterred, the CWA held its first allparty campaign conference in Novem ber 1988; two Labor MPs and one Liberal Democrat MP spoke to the audience. The ca mpaign did recognize that one of its key missions was to educate the public on how an assembly could impact their everyday lives; devolutionists had failed to offer this instruction for the 1979 referendum. However, the campaign failed to attract any of the three major par ties, minimizing its
242 influence, and a bitter by-election in 1989 bet ween LaborÂ’s Kim Howells, a strong antinationalist and Plaid in the Pontypridd constit uency, assured that Labor would not place the issue on the agenda. Labor had to keep it off because nationalis m had created a bad impression in the international community and distracted workers fr om the issues that were truly important to their well-being. Therefore, not until the early 1990s did focus return to the assembly issue, when John Smith replaced Neil Ki nnock as LaborÂ’s new leader in 1992. Smith was a Scot and pro-devolutionist and support ed Scottish demands for home rule but could not support such a cause without incl uding the Welsh. Only supporting Scottish home rule would appear to th reaten the unity of the Unit ed Kingdom; the inclusion of Wales as part of a wider constitutional reform package would soften such appearances. SmithÂ’s inclusion motivated t he pro-devolutionist minority within the Welsh Labor Party to promote a devolution agenda; the idea of an assembly star ted to gain wider support as (a) a way to challenge the impact of Tory policies and (b) an inst itution with a vision for Welsh economic development advocated by the CWA campaign. After LaborÂ’s fourth consecutive defeat in 1992, Ron Davies took over as Shadow Secretary for Wales; Davies was a recent convert to the devolut ion cause who recognized that Labor had to tackle the issue directly, not reluctant ly, as it had in previous years. Meanwhile, a couple of days following the defeat, Welsh MP Peter Hain wrote a piece for the Western Mail calling for a Constitutional Convention. Similar statements followed from the Wales TUC and the Liberal Democrat Party. But the Welsh Labor Party Executive and its Par liamentary Group again rejected the plea. However, the party responded by appointing a policy group to discuss the issue; they released their
243 initial report, The Welsh Assembly: The Way Forward ,Â” a year later at the partyÂ’s 1993 conference. And during this period, Ron Da vies started using the term Â“parliamentÂ” when discussing the need for home rule for Wa les. This choice might have influenced the CWA, whose members appr oved changing its name to Parliament for Wales Campaign (PFW); with this change, it adv ocated legislative and financial powers for a Welsh government (McAllister, 2001, p. 638). The PFW held a conference in 1994 representing a cross-section of Welsh society and members of all four parties, including a Conservative MP who spoke against the ca se for home rule. More importantly, Peter Hain publicly stated that Labor was commi tted to devolution in Wales and would legislate for an assembly in its first year (Andrews, 1999, p. 58 ). It then adopted a Â“Democracy DeclarationÂ” and adver tised its supporters in the Western Mail and Daily Post However, the three Labor MPs who spok e at the conference were summoned to the party executive and told that their par ticipation was not apprec iated by the party. This chastisement demonstrated the linger ing divisions within the Welsh Labor Party over the issue of home rule. As these events occurred, the Major government implement ed local government reform through the Local Government (Wal es) Act 1994. The legislation created the current local government structure in Wale s (i.e., 22 unitary authorities) and abolished the previous two-tier structure of counties an d districts. Existing local councils became angry, especially as districts were gerryman dered. Taking advantage of this anger, Ron Davies promoted the cause of devolut ion amongst the councils, for the new arrangement eliminated any all-Wales tier of government, and he re cognized that this group, in 1979, had been a committed supporter of the Â“NoÂ” Campaign. Tory policy had
244 now placed the shoe on the ot her foot for the local gover nment authorities. During approximately the same period, the Welsh Labor PartyÂ’s Policy Commission, established in 1992, released its consul tation document concerning devolution: Shaping the Vision The commission presented the paper at six meetings held throughout Wales in 1994. Also during this period, Labor Leader John Smith, a strong supporter for devolution, unexpectedly pass ed away and was replaced by T ony Blair. One uncertainty about Blair was the extent of his support for ho me rule. The initial feeling was that he did support it because his leadership pla tform had promoted devolution for the regions. However, BlairÂ’s focus was on remaking the Labor Party, and home rule, at least initially, was more a distracti on; if it were implemented, it would be part of a larger package of constitutional reform, but the immediate concern was to modernize the party. Also, on his first visit to Wales as leader in November, Blair reminded his audience that the issue of reform was not of much concern in England, for he knew that if Labor won the next election, it would win in England, not the periphery. The need to win in England was very clear to Blair, and the victory woul d require more than just window dressing. He needed a clear strategy to move Labor to the center in order to win middle England without taking for grant ed or losing the s upport of the Celtic periphery. Blair, as Bill Clinton did in the United States, recognized the need to move his party to the center, but unlik e Clinton, Blair confronted a Liberal-Democratic Party that already occupied the position. Indeed, BlairÂ’ s task was not as easy or as straight forward as ClintonÂ’s. He moved quickly to moder nize the party in order to assure voters that the party was competent and that its ol d socialist philosophy was ancient history.
245 Fortunately for Blair, he inherited a party in which Kinnock had neutralized the radical left in the eighties and Smith had introduced OMOV (One Member One Vote), which further eroded the power of the trade unions. This groundwork facilitated the implementation of his modernization campai gn. However, it would not be enough to modernize the party and present it as a renewed organization; he needed a political strategy that would permit Labor to dominate where it was strong and grow where it had been weak. The first part of the strategy to enhance LaborÂ’s dominati on of the Celtic periphery, or at least not lose its support, was to promote devolution in both Wales and Scotland. This promotion was especially necessary in Scotland, where Labor now cooperated with the Liberal-Democrats thro ugh the convention to lay the fundamental groundwork for a future Scottish Parliam ent. In Wales, he had Ron Davies as his shadow Welsh Secretary, a pro-devolution convert who implemented a very active agenda to sell devolution to the Welsh Labor Party and the voters, an initiative begun under John Smith in order to frame the issue in a more favorable light. This part of the plan was implemented as part of an overarching political strategy, for Tony Blair himself was not very pro-devolutionist. However, he recognized that his r eal threat in the periphery was not the Tories but the nationalist parties, wh o now presented a potentially more formidable opponent in these two regi ons. The second part of the plan was to grow where the party had been weak, middle E ngland, where Labor would have to win to regain power. Again, his opposition here wa s not only the Conservatives but also the Liberal-Democrats, who occupied the cent er ground where Blair needed to move his party.
246 Because Blair recognized that the cent er here was occupied by the LiberalDemocrats, months before Smith passed aw ay and Blair was elected to the leadership, he secretly approached Paddy As hdown, leader of the Liberal -Democrat Party. On April 1, 1993, in a conversation with Anthony Lester, a Liberal-Democrat and human rights lawyer with connections to Labor, suggested that Ashdown might have dinner with Blair to discuss the possibility of realignment (As hdown, 2000, p. 221). T he dinner took place later on July 14 at LesterÂ’s private resi dence, where Ashdown and Blair discussed matters. They agreed to meet again after the Party Conferences in the early fall (p. 229). This covert engagement between the two leaders (Blair would be elected leader the following year) continued up thr ough the 1997 election, and the eventual agreements they would work out would be referred to as the Â“Project.Â” These developments occurred when Ashdown was cons idering changing party policy, which to this point had be labeled Â“equidistance, Â” meaning the party would oppose both Labor and the Conservatives and possibly enter into a coalition with either party at a future date if election results warranted doing so. BlairÂ’s willingness to approach the Liberal -Democrats was a manifestation of LaborÂ’s greatest fear: that t he party might become the lar gest party in a hung parliament (Thorpe, 2008, p. 252). Of course, this concer n was real, for the party had experienced this outcome in the 1970s when it had last governed and, in the 1992 election, had seen its lead in the polls erode days before the election as voters had second thoughts about the competency of Labor. By working with Ashdown, Blair laid the foundation for cooperation in the case of a hung parliament in the next electi on. It also gave Blair room to maneuver if he won a simple majority and not be held hostage to his more radical
247 leftist backbenchers if Labor became the gover nment. In his first meeting with Ashdown, he stated that he was Â“scar ed to death of being squashed by the unions and the left wingÂ” (Ashdown, 2000, p. 228) And later the following year, Ashdown recorded in his diary that Â“BlairÂ’s interest in us is because we can counteract the effects of his left wing in governmentÂ” (p. 283). Of course, the incentive for Ashdown was constitutional change, including reform of the Lords, devoluti on (Liberal-Democrats were advocates of a federal Britain), and, most importantly, pr oportional representatio n, which would grant Liberal-Democrats long-term viability as a party with greater representation in Parliament. After all, during the Scottish Convention process, the party had successfully convinced the Labor Party to accept some form of PR for electing the Scottish Parliament. The other aspect of BlairÂ’s strategy was to neutralize future criticism from the Liberal-Democrats, especially wi th the run-up to an election, and establish a partnership through which to attack the Conservatives. One indirect benefit of this arrangement was that the Labor Party started to look very friendly to Liberal-Dem ocratic voters, who, when voting tactically in the past, would ch oose Conservatives over the radicalism of Labor. By moving the party to the center and cooperating with the Liberal-Democrats, Blair made his party a viable alternative for ta ctically voting Liberals. This strategy was reinforced when, in May 1995, Ashdown officially announced the abandonment of equidistance as a party policy and that he w ould cooperate with Labor to challenge the Conservative Party jointly. Ashdown recognized this advantage in 1994 when he observed that the disadvantage for them was t hat Â“heÂ’ll steal our clothes and appeal to our votersÂ” (p. 262). Indeed, Blair needed their votes to win in England. He understood
248 that, running second against the Tories, Labor could win if he could promote the party as an attractive alternative for Liberal-D emocratic voters. However, by moving Labor towards the Liberal-Democrats, he also offer ed Labor as an alternative for disenchanted Conservative voters. This tactical arr angement was understood as an advantage to both parties, for the Labor Party published in the Daily Mirror a list of seats where LiberalDemocrats could beat Conservati ves if Labor supporters voted tactically (Dutton, 2004, p. 284). Plus, the Liberal-Democrats won 46 seats in the 1997 election, the best third party performance since the Depression. So the policies of constitutional change provided not only a means to maneuver against the nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales but also a starting point of cooperat ion for Labor and the Li beral-Democrats in England. Chapter 10 examines the implementat ion of LaborÂ’s devolution package for Scotland and Wales and their referendum campaigns.
249 CHAPTER 10 THE FINAL ROAD TO DEVOLU TION: SCOTLAND AND WALES In its 1992 election manifesto, ItÂ’s Time to Get Britain Working Again Labor officially recognized devolutio n, promising to Â“move immedi ately to establish an elected Scottish ParliamentÂ” and Â“ in the lifetime of a full Parliament, an elected Welsh Assembly in CardiffÂ” (Dale, 2000, p. 336). This change was remarkable considering that the partyÂ’s leader was the most devoted anti-dev olutionist activist during the legislative process and during the referendum campaign in Wales. Of course, Kinnock was less than enthusiastic, and his Shadow Secretary of State for Wale s, Barry Jones, went out of his way to explain to local Welsh cons tituency parties that devolution was not as important as staying unified for the general el ection. As devolution was still a divisive issue within the party, it could have distract ed from the main goal: to win an election and end the Thatcher legacy. A mo re striking feature of the program was on the cover, which pictured the British flag alongside the Scottish, Welsh, English, and Northern Irish flags. Again, the party recognized the growi ng aspirations of the nations and the desire to introduce a more expansive form of consti tutional change; accordingly, the manifesto also discussed the regional tiers of governm ent in England, including metropolitan London. Although Labor suffered def eat in that election, t he cause of devolution was clearly on the partyÂ’s agenda, along with the need fo r more robust cons titutional reform. Finally, the election of Tony Blair as leader two years later would further the cause of devolution, but only as part of a much larger agenda for constitutional change. After the defeat in the 1992 election, John Smith, a strong devolutionist, appointed Ron Davies to be Shadow Secretar y for Wales and charged him to Â“develop the same policies for Wales as we have for our planned Scottish ParliamentÂ” (Morgan &
250 Mungham, 2000, p. 99). Also, after the elec tion, the Welsh TUC passed a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention, wh ich had proven so successful in Scotland. However, the Welsh Labor Party refused bec ause it would have to collaborate with the nationalists, whom Labor activists viewed as anat hema to the collectivist spirit. In order to fend off a more activist agenda, the Part y Executive established a constitutional commission to re-examine the policy of a We lsh Assembly; the commission released an interim report in 1993, but it required further consultation, delaying the final report for another two years. Because devolution was st ill a divisive issue among the Labor ranks, Davies recognized that he had to proceed with caution; his first attempt to build a consensus was to release the paper No Devolution-No Deal which was adopted with party support but was more a challenge to t he ConservativeÂ’s pending legislation for local government reform than a detailed disc ussion of a future assembly. As Davies proceeded cautiously, the death of Smith created some uncerta inty in the form of new leader Tony Blair. Despite DaviesÂ’s uncertain ty, he supported Blair for leadership after he received a commitment to devolution, a promise to ban fox hunting, and continued support for the principle of inclusivene ss in promoting an assembly (Morgan & Mungham, 2000, p. 100). However, the uncertainty became more of a concern when Blair appointed Dr. Kim Howells, an ardent anti-dev olutionist by his own admi ssion, to the Shadow Home Office to oversee a portfolio dealing with c onstitutional reform. This appointment occurred around the same time the partyÂ’s policy commission issued the consultation paper Shaping the Vision which addressed taxing powers, primary legislation, and the electoral system for a future assembly (W elsh Labor Party, 1995). The party organized
251 six public meetings throughout Wales to hear concerns about the issue. Unfortunately, they were not well-advertised affa irs and were scheduled during weekdays, demonstrating the partyÂ’s cautious approach. If devolution had not been such a divisive issue, the party more than likely would have encouraged participation in order to develop a consensus for support. And consensu s was exactly Ron DaviesÂ’s goal when he pushed the Liberal-Democratic PartyÂ’s idea of a Senedd that would possess financial and legislative powers. This attempt to promote cross-party support appeared in the Western Mail and the next day, Davies issued a pr ess release stating that Blair supported the effort. But BlairÂ’s support was not certain, and Davies had to recant after BlairÂ’s press officer wrote to the news paper denying such a commitment (Morgan & Mungham, 2000, p. 101). Hesitation increased when the first of six consultation meetings took place in Cardiff with Kim Howells in attendance. During this meeting, Howells challenged all three of Davies proposals: an assembly the size of 100 members, primary legislative powers, and the implementati on of a PR electoral system. The same arguments continued at another meet ing in South Glamorgan, indicating that DaviesÂ’s proposals were running too far ahead for the leadersh ip in London and members of the Welsh Labor Party. The final draft of Shaping the Vision was approved at the 1995 Welsh Labor Party Conference; it contained a minima list proposal for an assembly that would be elected by first-past-t he-post, have no primary power s, and uphold gender balance. As Labor argued over the robustness of t he assembly, the Campaign for a Welsh Assembly, originally launched in 1988, was re-launched as the Campaign for a Welsh Parliament in March 1994, a move si milar to the one made in Scotland.
252 While Davies fought for a more robust assembly, a fight he would lose, Llew Smith, a Labor MP for Bl aenau Gwent, published the paper The Welsh Assembly: Why It Has No Place in Wales The paper demonstrated the divi sions that remained in the Welsh Labor Party concerning devolution; he reiterated the Â“slippery slopeÂ” argument that it would lead to separatism and argued for a referendum, hoping that its defeat by Labor voters would reduce the number of We lsh MPs at Westminste r. Another attack followed, arguing that Shaping Vision did not grant Wales a robust enough assembly. This attacked manifested itself in a group called Wales Labor Action, which advocated for a stronger assembly with powers of taxation, a PR system, and gender balance. The group was led by Gareth Hughes, a Labor activi st in DaviesÂ’ parliamentary constituency who was also a member of the Party Execut ive. He was eventually quieted by calls for the Party Executive Anita Gales to invest igate Wales Labor ActionÂ’s membership and objectives (Morgan & Mungham, 2000, p. 103). He was event ually removed from the PartyÂ’s Policy Commission in 1996. Although Davies was disappointed in Shaping the Vision he continued to argue for an assembly that would at the very least manage the quangos, which were the cause of much discontent in Wales. He did win a small victory when the electoral system of first-past-the-post was deemed the Â“p referred version,Â” thus keeping the door open for a PR system. At the May 1996 Welsh Labor Party Conference, Davies had it approve the assemblyÂ’s ability to reform the quangos and introduced a report calling for an assembly to operate on a more consensual basis, still leaving the door open for a PR electoral system. By June 1996, Blair had accept ed PR for Wales, probably due more to his joint agreement with the Liberal-Democrats at Westminster to pr omote constitutional
253 change, but the meeting at which the decision was reac hed purposely left out Anita Gale, the Welsh Labor Party Se cretary, another sign that devolution remained divisive. Finally, another surprise, even to Ron Da vies, that conjured up resentment and scorn within the Welsh Labor Party was Bl airÂ’s announcement that devolution in Scotland and Wales would be preceded by referendums. This announcement came after an agreement had been made that a refe rendum was unnecessary if Labor won the general election with the dev olution proposal in its mani festo. Peter Flynn, MP and Party Whip, was very upset because he belie ved a referendum would tear open the old wounds of the 1979 experience. Other Wels h MPs, such as Alan Williams, who had been an anti-devolutionist sinc e the 1979 event, welcomed the referendum, for it would allow voters to vote Labor without consideri ng the issue of devolution. Of course, the introduction of a referendum as part of Lab orÂ’s devolution policy gave Ron Davies further opportunity to promote the cause of a PR electoral system because that system was the only way to guarantee the support for the referendum from the LiberalDemocrats and Plaid Cymru, especially if t hey were to avoid the problems encountered during the 1979 referendum campaign. In the end, the Policy Commission reconvened, after a direct plea from Blair, and examined the possibility of a PR electoral system for selecting a future Welsh Assembly. The commission eventually reported back with a recommendation for a PR system called the A dditional Member System (AMS). The recommendation was approved at the 1997 Welsh Labor Party Conference, along with a sixty-member assembly; forty member s would be elected from the regular parliamentary constituencies, and twenty me mbers would be elected through PR (four members from the party list of each of five European Parliamentary Districts).
254 While the Welsh Labor Party struggled to reach agreement on what a future assembly would look like, others in the par ty concerned themselves with the future referendum. It would in fact occur, es pecially because a Labor victory seemed very likely, by summer 1996. In July 1996, Andrew Davies, an experienced party campaigner, was approached by Peter Hain to consider the post of Â“Special Projects OfficerÂ” to establish the groundwork for a future referendum campaign in Wales. Unfortunately, the appointment was held up by Anita Gale for approximately 10 months until his confirmation in Apr il 1997, squandering a yearÂ’s pr eparation time. This delay was a significant problem because the partyÂ’s drive to configure an d promote a future Welsh Assembly had occurred at the top, neglecting to involve the 25,000 grassroots party members who would be the essential foot soldiers needed to make a referendum campaign successful. In fact, the leader ship was unsure whether they would enthusiastically support the issue, let alone actively campaign in favor of an assembly. The call for a referendum parried accusati ons from the Tories that Labor would impose devolution on Scotland and Wale s, for Labor was preoccupied by the approaching general election. It also was meant to answer a specific charge about taxation concerning Scotland. Michael Forsyth, the Conservative Se cretary of State for Scotland, had attacked LaborÂ’s devolution plan, which would give the future parliament some limited tax varying powers. He labeled this future ta x the Â“Tartan taxÂ” because it would specifically be applied to Scots. The charge was threatening because LaborÂ’s entire remake was meant to remove its old image as a tax-and-spend party and demonstrate its economic competence; in addi tion, Blair had promised no tax increases and that any increase in the programÂ’s funding under Labor would require cuts
255 somewhere else in the budget. This point wa s constantly emphasized to the electorate by Gordon Brown, the Shado w Chancellor. Therefore, Blair announced on June 26, 1996 that there would be a referendum on the taxing authority of a future Scottish Parliament, deflecting ForsythÂ’s charge of Â“t artan tax.Â” However, this decision was followed the next day by the announcement of a referendum for Wale s; if Scotland had one, then so would Wales. Later, the leader ship argued that a referendum would ease the passage of a bill in Westminster; hav ing withstood a popular vote, the process would be difficult for a future Conservative to reverse (McCrone & Lewis, 1999, p. 22). For Wales, a referendum was not a sure thi ng, for many remembered that only 20% of the voters had favored devolution in 1979. Thus, the decision for Wales was made regardless of the uncertain po litical environment in the r egion whereas in Scotland, the first referendum did pass, and the robus t Constitutional Conv ention movement had mobilized substantial support. Polls in Sc otland showed that almost 75% of the electorate favoring some fo rm of devolve d government. Recognizing that a refer endum was a necessary hurdle in confronting the Welsh political community; the entir e devolution debate had occurred amongst the political elite and barely involved the general public. Be cause Labor was determined to hold the referendum in its first year of power, reorganization was both imperative and urgent. However, hesitation within the Welsh Labor Pa rty delayed any early initiative from their quarters; therefore, a cross-par ty initiative was organized to start the ball rolling. In December 1996, Peter Hain MP and Leigh ton Andrews, a We lsh born academic, collaborated to organize a steering committee of academics, trade union representatives, and media gr oups. Even Ron Davies attended, but later he and Peter
256 Hain would withdraw to assure that the group was not mistaken for a Labor front organization. This move was important because the divisions within the political parties had yet to be bridged; Labor was still divided, Plaid Cymru was not satisfied with the shape of the referendum and proposal for a w eak assembly, and the Liberal-Democrats were still not sure of LaborÂ’s sincerity concer ning proportional represent ation. Prior to its official launch, the Â“Yes fo r WalesÂ” campaign staged a couple of media events to attract early attention and to begin mobilizing suppor t. The first event had been a promotion in which business members expressed their s upport of an assembly, and the second was an agenda page article in the Western Mail written by Professo r Kevin Morgan, that articulated the cause of devol ution and argued that it was too important to be left to the politicians. Finally, attended by all the medi a, the official launch on February 10, 1997 promoted the principle of devolution instead of arguing for particular details. Because the launch occurred only ten months befor e the actual referendum, the campaign offered little opportunity for di scussion with the general public. After the election, the Labor Party ener gized its own campaign to promote devolution, focusing predominantly on its st ronghold in South Wales. The original initiative was pushed by Milbank, LaborÂ’s na tional headquarters, where Allan Barnard became the national leadership Â’s coordinator for the We lsh campaign, and an early decision was made to steer most of the funding towards Wales because success was already likely in Scotland. A Â“Strategy CommitteeÂ” was formed at the end of May, chaired by Ron Davies. However, the r eal power was Peter Hain, whom Blair had directly charges to deliver a Â“YesÂ” vote. T here was significant internal tension because of disagreements between Hain and Davies but also because many felt Welsh General
257 Secretary Anita Gale was not up to the task. And on a num ber of occasions, Andrew Davies, the special projects officer, was by -passed by Milbank personnel; for instance, Philip Gould conducted a focus group in Wales to collect data about support for devolution (Morgan & M ungham, 2000, p. 109). In fact, the intrusion and control of the Milbank machinery angered a number of Welsh Labor members working for the campai gn. The frustration bec ame so great that MilbankÂ’s representative Barnard was ni cknamed the Â“governor-generalÂ” by senior members within the Welsh Labor Party (McCrone & Le wis, 1999, p. 31). The only positive aspect was convincing Blair to campai gn actively for the assembly, for the data demonstrated that he had a pos itive impact on with voters. The Labor campaign had been lackluster, so his popularity had a coa ttail effect on the referendum. The local party apparatus was unenthusiastic about the issue because the campaign had to be sold on the principle of devolution as opposed to the specific benefits it would bring to the community. The Labor campaign did better c oordinating efforts with Plaid, in secret, and working with the cross-party Yes for WalesÂ’s organizati on. Finally, ten weeks from September 18, the referendum date established in the Referendum (Scotland and Wales) Act the Welsh Office (1997) released the white paper A Voice for Wales on July 22 in the House of Commons. Incidentally, it was released before the Scottish white paper in case the Welsh white paper that followed it did not garner any national media attention, which was crucial to a refer endum campaign facing an uphill struggle. Despite the Milbank machine that had help Labor win it greatest victory of the twentieth century by controlling its message, the Welsh Labor Party was still fractured, not only at the local level but also within the Parliamentar y Labor Party. Approximately
258 six of the forty Welsh MPs cr iticized devolution openly or just abstained from any type of activity during the referendum campaign. Of particular significance was Llew Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent; he publicly criticized devolution policy in a published paper and, during the referendum billÂ’s second reading, demonstrated his contempt for the idea. However, once the legislation had passed, he asserted that he had been threatened by Ron Davies, or by one his special advisors, with expulsion from t he party if he did not conform. This admission came after further public criticism of t he plan by Smith. The response from the Davies camp was that discipline within t he party ranks was necessary to prevent another fiasco like the 1979 referendum campaign. The controversy resulted in some negative publicity in the Western Mail where it was dubbed Â“Ron-gateÂ” (Andrews, 1999, p. 33). Despite the Welsh Labor PartyÂ’s lack of complete unity, the Liberal-Democrats parti cipated in the Yes for WalesÂ’s campaign, and by July, after a significant internal s quabble and a special meet ing of the National Council, had given its approval; Plaid CymruÂ’s agreement to join the cross-party effort proved important because it was the most proactive canvassing group of the three parties. This fact was confirmed by mem bers of the Welsh Office who had coordinated with the party to promote its involvement in the public cam paign (Andrews, 1999, p. 34). The lack of unity within the Labor Party showed that a range of groups did not embrace devolution policy. Some local gover nment authorities were reluctant to offer support because they saw an assembly as a threat to their own authority. This apprehension came during a period in which, mu ch to the dismay of the local councils dominated by Labor, a Tory government was implementing local government reform. Although the Welsh Local Government Asso ciation endorsed the Â“YesÂ” campaign and
259 all authorities eventually announced their support, they did so half-heartedly. According to Andrew Davies, the process used to engage them maintained their status as reluctant supporters, as opposed to produc tive enemies (personal communication, February 14, 2001). The scenario recalled t he divisive referendum campaign of 1979 and bitter memories of the ac tivities of local authoritie s and MPs who supporting the Â“NoÂ” campaign at the time. If the Â“YesÂ” campaigns of Yes for Wale s and the Labor Party had problems, they were nowhere near the problems of the feebl e Â“NoÂ” campaign, which did not even begin until July 22, the day its white paper was re leased. It lacked real support from the Conservative Party because of the severe trouncing they had received in the general election; indeed, any connection between a Â“N oÂ” campaign and the party would be a non-starter. The group was a combination of anti-devolutionist Labor activists and Welsh Conservatives. Its nominal leader wa s Julian Hodges, a tax-exile who provided the necessary funding (the Tories were spent from the general elec tion campaign). With little organization and no grassroots support, their efforts were spent leafleting, but their arguments echoed the same critiques as 1979. They appealed to the Â“slippery slopeÂ” of separatism, stressed the additional cost to be borne by the Welsh taxpayer, and dismissed it as nothing more than a Â“talki ng shop,Â” referencing it s limited powers. The only recognizable supporter from the po litical elite was Vi scount Tonypandy George Thomas, former Labor Speaker of the House, Secretary of State fo r Wales, and Labor MP, who was an ardent anti-devolutionist. It has also been confirmed that after the referendum, Llew Smith actively provi ded advice and information to the campaign (Andrews, 1999, p. 32). Another aid to the Â“NoÂ” Campaign was BBCÂ’s policy of political
260 neutrality, which gave the group fairly co mprehensive coverage despite its meager efforts. As Scotland had been the driving forc e for a referendum, it was imposed on Wales without any confidence that it c ould even pass. Indeed, Philip Gould quickly realized, after conducting the focus groups for LaborÂ’s Welsh referendum campaign, that Â“they just do not want itÂ” (Morgan & Mungham, Redesigning Democracy 2000, p. 111). The date of the referendum was also determined by Scottish concerns. The objective was to hold the Welsh referendum bef ore the Scottish referendum so that the momentum of success in Scotland, which was never in doubt, would help propel the Welsh vote over-the-top a week later. In addition to the Â“NoÂ” campaign and LaborÂ’s lack of unity, the death of Prin cess Diana temporarily postpo ned the referendum campaign. Some supporters claim this delay actually took the wind out of the Â“YesÂ” campaignÂ’s sails just before the actual vote. Neverthel ess, the referendum pa ssed 50.3% to 49.7% with only a 50% turnout; the vote was so close that the final results were not known until the early morning hours of the next day. The explanation for this narrow margin, des pite the active all-party campaign and the determined support of the Labor Party, lies in the voting distribution across different counties. Those counties dominated by w hat Balsom (1985) identified as Welshspeaking Wales approved the refe rendum with a substantial ma jority. In Welsh Wales, the Labor vote split in those counties wher e parliamentary members did not actively embrace the cause. Last, those counties id entified as British Wales overwhelmingly voted against the referendum. Voting analys is done by Jones and Trystan (1999) confirms these differences. Based on the We lsh Election Studies, Plaid Cymru party
261 identifiers, who were predominantly located in Welsh-speaking Wales, voted 12 to 1 in favor while Labor identifiers, located in Wels h Wales, voted 3 to 2 in favor. Finally, Liberal Democrats voted 2 to 1 against, and Conservatives voted 9 to 1 against, both group predominantly located in British Wales (Jones & Trystan, 1999, p. 67). Additionally, they determined that the abstaining segment of the electorate came predominantly from British Wales, arguing that their stance against devolution generated little interest and the almost nonexistent Â“noÂ” campaign failed to energize this segment of the population. As the Scottish Convention encouraged the civil society effort to promote home rule for Scotland, the Conservatives m anaged to gain one seat in the 1992 general election, a result that was almost as bad as the 1987 election. Because of growing approval for a Scottish Parliament, John Major recognized the need to appease Scottish national sensibilities, but the Tory answer was not legi slative devolution. During the campaign, the Prime Minister promised that the government would Â“take stockÂ” of Scottish concerns. The implementation of those concerns appeared in the white paper Scotland in the Union but it only proposed some chang es to parliamentary procedures and the transfer of additional functions to the Scottish Office (S cottish Office, 1993). These minimal changes failed to addre ss the democratic deficit created by administrative devolution when the party in charge was not supported by the general electorate. In 1995, Michael Forsyth replaced Ian Lang as Secretary of State for Scotland, and as a part of his strategy, he adopted a more symbolic approach to display his Scottish identity to the public. He did so by donning a kilt for t he opening of the film
262 Braveheart in Scotland. He later made a speech on St. Andrews Day that proposed new reforms concerning the governance of Scot land. This address occurred the same day the Constitutional Convention re-launched it s proposals for a Scottish Parliament. However, his crowning achievement in im plementing his symbolic strategy was having the Stone of Destiny moved to Edinburgh on St. Andrews Day 1996. This monument had been taken by the English in the four teenth century and had since been used in the coronation of monarchs; bef ore its removal from Scotland it had been used to crown kings of the Picts and later Scots. But his speeches were probably the most significant dimension of his approach. He proposed reforms similar to those outlined in the 1948 White Paper of the Atlee government ( Labor), which had promoted administrative improvements to appease Scottish nationalism, such as additional meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee, some of whic h would convene in Edinburgh (Denver, Mitchell, Pattie, & Bochel, 2000, p. 40). As a possible general election approached, Scottish citizens believed that a Labor government would deliver a Scottish Parliament, and because the Convention had worked issues such as electoral syst em, assembly size, and limited powers of taxation, some Conservatives demanded a refer endum as part of the Tory strategy to prevent the Union from breaking apart. Alth ough this referendum did not materialize, another opportunity to attack the Labor Party presented itself as a result of all the public debate about devolution, especia lly over the taxing power t hat would be given to the new parliament. The attack emerged in 1995 afte r the appointment of Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth. By labeling this potential revenue raising authority as the Â“Tartan Tax,Â” he captured media attention and caused great consternation within BlairÂ’s
263 Labor Party. This public insult threatened to undermine the partyÂ’s attempt to erase its tax-and-spend reputation, whic h had been identified as one of its primary weaknesses in the eyes of the electorate, particularl y in middle England. This perception was important to Labor because the middle class voter was essential to winning the next election. As Forsyth hammered away, his attack c ontinued to attract media attention and threatened nullify LaborÂ’s strategy In fact, an article in The Independent on January 25, 1996 informed its readers that Sir Robin Butl er, the head of the Civil Service, had ruled that the term Â“tart an taxÂ” could no longer be used in official government documents because it was deemed Â“party political.Â” This ruling followed a formal complaint from Labor Shadow Secretary of State fo r Scotland George R obertson about using government communiqus to promote Tory propaganda (Arlidge, 1996). Obviously, the complaint lodged by Labor was sufficient evi dence that ForsythÂ’s attack was working. Blair decided not only to hold a referendum but also to include two separate questions. The first question would ask for approval of a parliamen t, and the second would ask whether it should have taxing powers. He made this decision after his promise that no referendum would be necessary, and prior to its official announcement in late June, George Robertson had confirm ed that there would be no referendum to the Scottish Daily Mail in February 1996. The referendum incensed the Liberal-Dem ocrats and the Scottish Trade Union Congress, who had taken the Constitutional Convention and its grassroots support as evidence that a referendum was unnecessary. It also caused a bitter feud within the Scottish Labor Party; the co-c hair of the Convention, who was a former Labor minister,
264 resigned, and a senior Labor council member switched to the SNP. Later in August, after the gnashing of teeth had quieted, t he Scottish Labor executive convened to approve the measure and vot ed down a packaged one-question proposal. Finally, it approved a two-question referendum as an alte rnative, but required an additional referendum before the tax power of the parliament could be executed. Not only would the first referendum have two questions, but two separate referendums would also be held for the same question. This ridiculous de velopment led Blair to assert that only one referendum was necessary, for his concern was only to check the Tory attack, and holding the referendum with two questi ons would neutralize the issue. Following the referendum fiasco, the nationa list wing of the Scottish Labor Party was decimated in party elections before t he upcoming general elec tion. Its executive lost most of its members who had opposed the referendum decision, and the Shadow Secretary lost credibility wit h London, leading to his replacement by Donald Dewar after the general election. However, the concer ns that motivated voters, gave Labor a landslide victory in May 1997, and eradicated the Tories from Scotland were economic and quality of life issues. Even Michael Forsyth lo st his seat in Stirling to Anne McGuire, a Dewar protg. After all, the Tories had become associated with mismanagement, incompetence, and sleaze. In power for the first time in eighteen years, Labor introduced the referendum bill, which included both Scotland and Wales, on May 15, 1997. The referendums would precede the legislative acts, which had to be separate because the devolution schemes for each region were significantly differen t. The bill received so me challenges; for example, the SNP subm itted an amendment requiri ng three questions (i.e.,
265 independence, devolution, or status quo), but it was sou ndly defeated, along with the Liberal-Democrat call to reduce it to one question and the suggestion of a Tory MP to include the entire union in the referendum. The vote was never in doubt because Labor possessed a 179-seat majority. The reason Labor pushed the legislation so early was to take advantage of the partyÂ’s honeymoon peri od, which some thought would have a significant impact in Wales. In the final ve rsion of the Act, t he date for ScotlandÂ’s referendum was September 11, 1997, the 700th anniversary of William WallaceÂ’s victory at Stirling Bridge during the Firs t War of Scottish Independence. The next step was to organize the cam paign to ensure the referendum vote was successful. First, a cross-par ty organization had to be established immediately. This task was initially taken on by Nigel Smith, a businessman who had actively supported devolution during the 1979 referendum campaign. His first two suggestions were to conduct thorough research to avoid the mi stakes of 1979 and to make sure the Convention was not the umbrella organization for a Â“YesÂ” campaign, for the SNP would not acquiesce and its partnership was essent ial. The leadership of the Convention agreed with his assessment, and funds were se cured to conduct the initial research. System Three, a polling company, was hired, and a major survey of the electorate was conducted in November 1996. The results showed that 70% favored a parliament and that 59% favored taxing powers (Denver et al., 2000, p. 52). Indeed, Liberal-Democrats and Labor alone did not have the combined vo tes to ensure t he success of the referendum. Therefore, securing the suppor t of the SNP was im perative; Labor was able to do so after its election victory in May.
266 Research indicated that the major c oncern about devolution was the taxing power of a new parliament. A ccording to the study, econom ic issues drove the double Â“noÂ” vote while governance issues drov e the double Â“yesÂ” vote. Therefore, the recommendation was to stress governance iss ues and focus on preserving the existing Â“yesÂ” majorities instead of trying to conver t the skeptical Â“noÂ” voters (Denver et al., 2000, p. 54). The campaign organization wo uld also be kept separate from the Convention in order to appeal to all sections of Scottish society. The organization to lead the Â“YesÂ” campaign was officially incor porated on April 1, 1997 as Partnership for a Parliament Ltd. It would later be c hanged to Scotland FORward, and the organization would officially launch the campaign in mi d-August with Donald De war, now Secretary of State for Scotland, Alex Salmond, leader of the SN P, and Menzies Campbell, a Scottish MP representing the Liberal-D emocrats all appearing for a joint news conference. This cooperative effort w ould have been impossible in 1979, but the Convention process had brought Labor and the Liberal-Democrats together, and the election of Salmond as leader of the SNP in 1995 had placed a pragmatic politician in charge, one who viewed devolution as a stepping stone to independence. Besides Scotland FORward, all three political parti es launched separate party-affiliated Â“yesÂ” campaigns to energize their members to get out the vote. Thus, a full and united effort was launched, leaving no room for chance. On the other hand, the anti-devolutionistsÂ’ ability to organize was hindered by the ConservativesÂ’ devastating election defeat, which left no Tory parliamentarians in Scotland. The other problem was that af ter the May election, the Tories were preoccupied with the task of choosing a new leader once John Major had resigned. The
267 new leader, William Hague, supported the Â“noÂ” campaign but refused to have it publicly associated with the party; plus, money was sca rce at the time. Eventually, Think Twice was formed and led by Michael Ancram, MP fo r Devizes, an English constituency; he had previously been a member from Edinburgh South until his loss in 1987. However, much to LaborÂ’s joy, he had also been the mi nister responsible fo r the poll tax in the 1980s and became a clear reminder to Scot s of the dangers of being governed from London. Most senior Tories were advised to stay away, for their association would probably have reminded voters why they had thro wn them out of Scotland. Tam Dalyell, a Labor anti-devolutionist from 1979, refused to join and fought his own Â“noÂ” campaign. The organization was late getting off the gro und and did not have its official launch until late June. It lacked any grassroots organiza tion and had no local chapters with which to work but was capable of raising money, parti cularly from busine sses that feared the taxing power of a new parliament. In fa ct, the group outspent the Scotland FORward campaign 275,000 GBP to 270,000GBP (Denver et al., 2000, p. 59). Unfortunately, the funding mainly went to newspaper adver tising because canvassing and other events required personnel they did not have. Ther efore, the campaign concentrated on the Â“tartan taxÂ” and Â“sleazeÂ”; fo r example, a scandal involvi ng two Labor MPs in Scotland led to allegations of cronyism or corrupti on that appeared to be prevalent in some local Labor councils. Initially, the sleaze iss ue dominated the headlines, but it quickly disappeared with the death of Diana in early September, placing the campaign on hold until after her funeral. Despite some negatives headlines about the sleaze issue, most of the Scottish press, specifically those papers that were widely read, such as the Sun Daily Record
268 and Scotsman were all pro-devolution and part of a national Scottish press with wide circulation and appeal. Of the eleven major newspapers read in Scotland, only three expressed opposition to home rule. Also, a ccording the 1997 Scottish Election Study, 46% of the respondents stated that they paid a great deal or quite a bit of attention to the referendum, approximately 15 points high er for the same response concerning the general election of the same year. In the sa me study, 73% of respondents stated that they read a newspaper that was in favor of devolution, and 83% stat ed that they read a Scottish-based newspaper, evidence that th e issue was at least clearly on the agenda and that people were interested. During the final week of the campaign, Tony Blair worked on behalf of a Â“yesÂ” vote as William Hague, the new Tory l eader, worked on behalf of the opposition. However, Blair dominated t he press headlines with his appearances. In addition, Sean Connery, an active SNP supporter, also ca mpaigned during the final few days and even captured a headline in the Sun : Â“Stand Up for Scotland Says Sean ConneryÂ” (Denver et al., 2000, p. 73). As closing day approached, poll data suggested that both questions would pass, so in an act of final desperat ion, Michael Ancram, the leader of Think Twice, argued that a low tur nout would bring into question the legitimacy of the vote. Both questions easily passed; approval of parliament won 74% of the vote, and approval of taxing power garnered 63% of the vote. The overall turnout was just above 60%, which was enough to fulfill even the old Cunningham amendment of the 1979 referendum campaign. In an analysis of the referendum vote Surridge and McCrone (1999) found that Scottish identity, coupled with expectations that a parliament could improve Scottish
269 society and democracy, was a strong predictor of a Â“yesÂ” vote for both questions (pp. 62-63). In fact, all counties registered a ma jority Â“yesÂ” vote on the first question, and only the Western Isles voted a majority Â“noÂ” on the second question. The strong turnout was essential to the relative ease the b ill would experience in passing Parliament afterwards. This success can be explained in a few ways. First, the demand for devolution represented a long pr ocess that engaged all of Sco ttish society and initially started out as a grassroots mo vement after the failure of 1979. Second, the Labor Party, free of its old socialist guard who advocated centralized planning of the economy to solve the regionÂ’s problems, could ac tively engage in the Convention movement, cooperate with the Liberals as part of a larger agenda of constitutional reform, and accept the more tolerant pragmatism of Al ex Salmond, leader of the SNP. Third, the experience of Tory control from Westminster, especiall y the implementation of the unpopular poll tax, demonstrated its ineffective management of the Scottish Office and created growing demands for more local c ontrol through a parliament in Edinburgh. Finally, the vote was clear to the electora te, for they were voting on a principle as opposed to a specific piece of legislation, and the opposition was virtually nonexistent. In contrast, the Â“yesÂ” campaign was unified a nd well-resourced as Labor capitalized on its honeymoon period after the landslide elec toral victory earlier that spring. Labor had essentially avoided all the pitfa lls the party confronted in the late 1970s, suggesting that the party leadership had clearly learned from its past mistakes. However, the process in Wales compared to Scotland did not have the popular grassroots support and definit ely suffered from a lack of enthusiasm within the electorate. This outcome lends credibility to the third critical juncture, that the 1979
270 referendum campaign did shape the face of the devolution movements as they emerged within both regions. Clearly, the grassroots movement in Scotland resulted in an overwhelming success, whereas in Wales it ev olved into an elite-driven process that barley proved successful. This distinction he lps explain why there existed little if any concern in Wales that it was not being o ffered the same arrangement as Scotland. Chapter 11 recaps the analysis and draws some conclusions about devolution and the policy process and speculates about so me other aspects of the study.
271 CHAPTER 11 CONCLUSION Integration, Path Dependence, and Asymmetrical Devolution Britain has never been a wholly symmetrical state; therefore, the emergence of asymmetrical devolution should not come as a surprise and should not be viewed as a slippery slope to independence, as most of its opponents have argued over the past century. According to Rokkan and Urwin (19 82), a unitary or Jacobin state is Â“built around one unambiguous political center which pursues a more or less undeviating policy of administrative standardization. All ar eas of the state are treated alike, and all institutions are directly under the control of the cent erÂ” (p. 11). As history has demonstrated, the wave of nation and stat e building after the French Revolution bypassed England, which was free to cons olidate as what Rokkan and Urwin (1982) define as a union state. Indeed, the concept of popular sovereignty never took root in the United Kingdom, providing the catalyst for developing the Jacobin state. Much earlier, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty had become embedded in the British constitutional system, which permitted a symmetrical elements within the British government. For instance, it has three differ ent legal systems, Secr etaries of State for the non-English regions of the kingdom, and two established churches, all of which existed before devolution. Thus, devolution is not necessarily a destabilizing force; rather, it was purposely implemented to retain stability by appealing to the nationalist or cultural identities of Wales and Scotland. It provides limited aut onomy without violating the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty. Second, asymmetrical devolution is not me rely the result of the asymmetrical integration of peripheral regions into the United Kingdom, a structure that has permitted
272 asymmetrical political development over ti me. Devolution also reflects the political demands that have been placed on the central government by the inhabitants of the periphery. Although Ireland is not the focus of this study, the decision to implement devolved government to No rthern Ireland in 1921 was m ade against the will of its subjects. The government established hom e rule in Ireland with two separate subdivisions, one for the six counties in No rthern Ireland and the other for the remainder of the state concentrated in the south. Both areas cont inued as part of the United Kingdom and were intended to unify in t he future. However, the Irish war for independence prevented this unification, and a separate Northern Ireland Act allowed the north to govern itself and remain a par t of the United Kingdom. In 1972, the act was suspended due to sectarian strife, demonstrati ng the central governmentÂ’s ability to control and revise the process as needed. As for Scotland and Wales, the central government incrementally im plemented administrative devol ution at the end of the nineteenth century and periodica lly strengthened it as circumstances required. This early form eventually evolved into legislative devolution, which the electorate had clearly demanded and eventually approved in two refer endums. On the other hand, Wales did not achieve administrative devolution until 70 y ears after Scotland, a delay that pleased the majority of the electorate, which overwh elmingly vote against executive devolution in 1979. In 1997, the referendum to approve ex ecutive devolution just squeaked by, as only 50% of the electorate turned out, 20 points below the general election turnout. Wales obviously did not have a strong desire for more political autonomy. Finally, the English did not perceive dev olution as a threat; representing the largest segment of the kingdom Â’s population, they could qui te easily render the nation
273 asunder if they were determined to do so. Their acceptance perhaps shows that they equate the English identity and culture with Britishness and that this identity does not need to be legitimized by political instit utions (Bogdanor, 2009, pp. 108-109). The data suggests that despite devolution to the regi ons, which, according to polls, the English electorate accept, representation in Parliam ent is still dominated by English MPs; 528 of its 646 total members are from English c onstituencies, and the sovereignty of Parliament continues to follow DisraeliÂ’s ap horism: England is governed not by logic, but by Parliament (p. 108). In recent polls only 25% of the English support regional assemblies (p. 106). The Labor governmentÂ’s original plan was to establish nine regional parliaments thr oughout England, which comprises 80% of the United KingdomÂ’s population. In November 2004, th e first referendum was implemented in North East England, a r egion thought to be the most suppor tive of the project. However, the outcome was a decisive rejection of Englis h devolution; 78% of the electorate voted Â“noÂ” for a local assembly. With such a decisive defeat, the Labor government abandoned the plans for two additional refe rendums scheduled for Yorkshire and North West England. The current study finds that the implementation of asym metrical devolution in the United Kingdom is not some aberration but a process of conscious political development accepted by the central governm ent. History shows that integration never led to complete assimilation in any of the regions, and the analysis of the first critical juncture, the incorporation of the various regions into the English state, demonstrates how this limited assimilation sustained a re sidual nationalism that would later emerge under particular circumstances. In fact, complete assimilation was never the intention in
274 Scotland, where integrati on had been accomplished in voluntary fashion through a treaty. Ireland had originally been ruled as a colony, so a forced overnight integration, against the will of the populace, did not encourage a desire to fully assimilate. The intent for Wales was to achieve complete integrati on of the region, but the process used by the English government was a failure. Bo th Scotland and Ireland had developed their own political and religious instit utions prior to union, reinfo rcing their separate cultural identities and providing a memory of former self-government. Wales had never developed its own institutions and, therefore, had no historical memory of governing itself. This difference helps explain why t he push for home rule in Scotland and Ireland had more popular backing, though for many in Ireland, devolution was not an endgame but a further step toward independence; approval even extended across political divisions because their national identities exert ed a unifying force. As a result, Scotland achieved administrative devolution much earlie r than in Wales. Of c ourse, for Wales, its separate identity was divisive and initially seen as very exclusionary; popular calls for home rule were weak, and though it was achiev ed later, approval was not as robust as it was in Scotland. The outcome of asymme trical devolution in the United Kingdom is the product of a coherent political evolution gu ided by the historical nature of the British state and its uneven formation over the centuries. The road to devolution in Wales and Scot land was originally started by the integration of each region into the United Kingdom, the critical juncture that permitted a latent national identity to survive intentional ly in Scotland and unintentionally in Wales. In both cases, the process never completed and left a residual soil in which a latent nationalism would take root in the late nineteenth cent ury. Nationalism emerged in
275 Wales due to the revival of the language and the culture it repr esented; both had survived and prevented complete assimilation of the lower classes into a dominant English culture. As for Scot land, nationalism was always present but lacked expression until demands for Irish home rule generated similar feelings in Scotland through diffusion. Although the board system in Scot land proved inefficient and concentrated power in a select few who could not be held accountable to the duly elected parliamentary representatives of Scotland, demands for more political autonomy did not generate widespread popular support. Though some expressed a desire for home rule, most were satisfied with the establishm ent of a secretary who now could be held accountable by the Scottish representativ es in London, who would be more accessible than the Lord Advocate in Ed inburgh, and would be an advocat e for Scottish concerns within the central government. However, once the foundation of administrative devolution, the second critical juncture, was in place, it could always be adapted to meet new conditions or circumstanc es. In fact, the historical pattern shows that whenever home rule movements have appeared with so me gusto, the government has taken steps to increase the portfolio of the Scottish Office or to str eamline its organization. This office, particularly after it was relocated to Edinbur gh, became the ce nter of the Scottish political system despite its unelecte d status. However, by the post-war period beginning in the 1950s and the creation of the social welfare state, some had begun to recognize a growing democratic defici t. The modern state was becoming more responsible for more aspects of an individualÂ’ s everyday life, exerting influence over the level of personal success that is achievable within this new state structure. However, the so-called democratic deficit did not really attract attenti on as long as the Scottish
276 Office was seen as an advocate for regional issues and was prepared to offer solutions to problems the electorate felt required the attention of t he state. The problem became acute when the Thatcher government came to power and used the institutions of the Scottish Office to promote policies orig inating from the cent ral authority in London, which seemed to ignore the concerns of the local communities. The Scottish Office was no longer viewed as an advocate for Scot land, and its institutionalized bureaucratic structure became an appendage of a central gov ernment that ignor ed the concerns of Scots. This negligence became even more frus trating as the electorate continued to vote overwhelmingly against the party in pow er in Scotland but remained captive to its highly unpopular policies as a result of its electoral success in England. A similar pattern occurred in Wales, but administrative dev olution arrived 70 years later than in Scotland. This sec ond critical juncture for Wales saw the establishment of administrative devolutio n as a more top-down push, for the internationalism of the Welsh Labor Part y tended to be distrustful of nationalist intentions and firmly believed that WalesÂ’ s problems were economic and that only a strong central government cont rolled by Labor could deliver prosperity to the working class. In fact, full administrative devolut ion only occurred after the previous Tory government implemented a limited form of it. Again, the electoral incentive was more important variable than a widespread nationa l movement. This pattern essentially repeated later in the drive for a more robust form of executive devolution in the 1990s. The historical development of devoluti on provides a great deal of insight. To date, the focus of devolution literature has focused on two different fundamental areas. First, it has highlighted how devolution, espec ially asymmetrical devolution, is no more
277 than a preliminary path to i ndependence because it has a tendency to create instability, as Tarleton (1965) suggested, and creates more instability by bringing issues of sovereignty, fiscal equity, and representati on to the forefront, as Keating (1998) suggested. Second, it has tried to explain why devolution was adopted as a particular policy in a specific country, and most of th ese studies have focused on a single region or a specific part of the entire process, lacking any real comparative analysis. The current study provides a model with which to analyze other regions, such as Spain or Canada, with sub-national legi slatures in order to gain a more robust understanding of how and why they developed as they did. Using Wales and Scotla nd as comparative case studies, this model traces the evoluti on of devolution from a historical approach, demonstrating how asymmetrical devolution is a product of a particular path of historical development. Examining the early English c onquest and colonization of the two regions reveals the precursor conditions that dictat ed how both regions were incorporated into the dominant English state. This approach resembles Robert PutnamÂ’s method in Making Democracy Work in which he explains why social capital is abundant in some Italian regions but not others. The incorporat ion is a critical juncture because it determined the level of residual national identi ty that remained after incorporation. The shape and level of national identity that remained fu rnished the next precursor condition. Later, as this identity eventually re-emerged in the ni neteenth century, it created the pressure for institutional c hange toward a more decentralized political structure that was sensitive to the regionÂ’s needs. The institut ion that resulted is a form of administrative devolution, the second critical juncture. The adoption of a system that institutionalized the recognition of the r egion by the central government as having its
278 own unique governance issues reinforced it s sense of having a separate national identity. Therefore, the electorate began to view polit ics through its national identity lens, understanding the new decentralized in stitution to be it s advocate. These expectations made the institution responsib le for delivering political outcomes and policies representative of t he perceived needs of the r egion. Finally, changing socioeconomic structures created new demands from the state, and the c entral governmentÂ’s solution was eventually to build upon the alr eady established decentra lized institutional arrangement in place. The extent of t hose adaptations reflected the demands the electorate made upon the stat e. However, as the analysis indicates, administrative devolution can evolve into an advocate of the s pecific region for which it is responsible. Problems arise when the instit ution is no longer viewed as an advocate but is seen as an instrument for imposing the unpopular policie s of an elected central government that is no longer receiving an electoral mandate from the voters of the region. This trend is more thoroughly discussed in the review of t he path to legislative devolution later in the conclusion. Some Speculation about Nationalist Parties in Democratic States As this study has centered on devoluti on, it devoted extensive analysis to nationalist parties, particularly the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. Therefore, it presents an opportunity to spec ulate about the nature of such parties in democratic systems. First, nationalist parties either emerge to advocate outright independence or to protect and preserve a specific identity, including a language central to that identity. Leaders that advocate independenc e are not necessarily thr eats unless they determine that the constitutional process is an untenab le path and that some lower level of
279 autonomy could never be a satisfactory solution. This scenario was the case in Ireland, where constitutional attempts for repeal or home rule ran into brick walls, forcing many to recognize that anything short of comp lete independence would never grant real freedom to all Irishmen. Cons equently, parties such as th e Fenians and Sinn Fein ceased to believe in constitutional methods and selected violent political means to achieve freedom. National identity also became linked to religious identity in Ireland, reinforcing the cleavage and making any common thread for agreement more difficult to find. On the other hand, both the SNP and Plai d Cymru decided early on to engage in the constitutional process. By competing in elections, they were forced by electoral imperative to broaden their political agenda if they ever wanted to gain political influence. Thus, they incorporated social and economic issues onto their manifesto in order to attract more voters. Becaus e they competed in predominantly Labor constituencies, they had to adopt policies th at would permit them to be a viable alternative to Labor. Over the last few dec ades, they have, despite their nationalist agenda, evolved into essentially social democra tic parties. This evolution explains why the SNP became the minority Scottish gov ernment after the 2007 election, when most polls showed that people did not desire i ndependence. Even more astounding is that the party won an outright majority in the 2011 Sc ottish Parliamentary elections, the only party to accomplish such a feat since the es tablishment of the Scottish Parliament. And after the 2003 election in Wales, Plaid Cymru became a coalition pa rtner with the Labor Party. Therefore, two fact ors have contributed to this outcome. First, a proportional representation system gave a r easonable incentive to a nationa l party to compete in the
280 constitutional process. Second, the electora l incentive forced the party to become more than a one-dimensional organization in order to promote its agenda. Finally, supranational structures like the European Union also promote a mainstream approach for nationalist parties because they alleviate fears that nationalism will revert to an author itarian system, making it more palatable. Also, as the SNP and Plaid Cymru have argued, independenc e would not occur in a vacuum but would call for cooperation within a structure of multiple democratic states. The SNP, before the financial crash of 2008, always point ed to the success of Ireland, especially as a former region the United Kingdom, and cl aimed that Scotland could achieve the same success. However, this particular ar gument is no longer presented; in fact, the nationalists even discuss whether an indepen dent Scotland would still retain monetary union with Britain, as the euro crisis persist s. Of course, this sort of union begs the question of the value of independence. Mar go MacDonald MSP (2009), a former SNP member who won a by-election in Glasgow in the seventies, reflected on the success of devolution in Scotland: Â“SNP needs to explain to the Scottish people what independence would offer that has already not been achieved by a Scottish ParliamentÂ” (personal communication, November 20, 2009). This idea supports the claim that devolution does not necessarily result in instability and does not necessarily lead to independence. Also, the recent political environment in Quebec, where the Liberal Party controls the provincial government, is under extreme pressure from its nationalist counterpart, Parti Qubcois, who appear to be well-positioned to win the next election. Although they want to place another independence re ferendum on the ballot sometime in the
281 future, they have stated they will not do so until the economy has fully recovered or Ottawa gives the region greater social and economic policy control. The implication is that policies other than i ndependence have taken priority; indeed, the party recognizes political realities as it str uggles to operate as a legitimate political alternative in a democratic system. This recognition seems to moderate the nationalist agenda, for the party has been embedded in the electoral process for years and has accepted the constitutional process as the only appropriate means to achieve se paration. A similar event has also occurred in Spain, wher e the ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom), an armed nationalist and separatist organization that has waged a war of terror for 40 years against Spain as a part of the Bas que National Liberation Movement, announced a ceasefire on September 5, 2010 and a comple te cessation of its armed activity in 2011. These moves signal that the organization is considering constitutional methods to promote its nationalist agenda. It could also suggest that the ETA recognizes the recent success of the international community in essentially decapitating the leadership and the futility of violence after 40 years of aggression. The European Union remains an intere sting phenomenon. Many people within the community see the economic integration as a definite success, at least before the euro crisis, but tend to be hesitant about further political in tegration of institutions that seem to be managed by an army of professi onal technocrats. Many believe that the system, from a political stand point, is not accountable to the voter, they have begun to see a Â“democratic deficit.Â” When the attempt was made for further political integration under the banner of a European Constitution, t he few referendums that gave voters a choice of up or down were soundly defeated, bringing an end to the project. Voters
282 feared that each state would be subject to the control of a strong central authority, with each member being relatively equal. A better pat h to further integration might resemble the devolution experience in the Un ited Kingdom. The entire focus has been on establishing a federal system that would mirro r the federal system in the United States. This system is symmetrical, as are most federal systems, where each component possesses equal power relative to the centra l authority. Another wa y to ease fears and concerns about losing control and identity is to adopt a more asymmetrical approach to governance and call it cultural federalism or Â“s ociological federalismÂ” (Lijphart, 1999, p. 191). This idea suggests that so me states would retain more control than others, but de facto, unequal control is already in place, des pite treaties, as s een by the role that Germany and France have had in resolvi ng the current macroeconomic crisis. Devolution and the Dimensions of Disorder As the political establishment appeared less and less able to master economic change, the advent of the nationalists parties provided an outlet to disaffected voters who wanted to send a message of disapprov al without electing the other party whose interests did not coincide with theirs. As a result, a stable party system, divided along economic interests, was confronted with a nationalist agenda in both Scotland and Wales just as class voting was declining in British politics. Indeed, when the Labor government and later the Conservatives reac hed a consensus to establish and sustain a welfare state, they assured that a new generation of voters would not view politics only in terms of class. Labor reacted to nati onalist sentiment with political expediency; it grudgingly recognized demands for devolution in an attempt to stem the rise of the nationalists, who threatened the party in r egions where it domi nated politically.
283 LiebermanÂ’s (2002) dimensions of disorder provide a framework for analyzing the road to devolution, which really began in the 1960s and ended with it s implementation in the late 1990s. In the 1960s, no one could have predicted that devolution, which neither Labor nor the Conservatives really wanted, would become one of LaborÂ’s first major pieces of legislation after it s return to power in 1997. Th is development would seem to defy explanation, but the first hint lies in t he first dimension of disorder: governmental institutions. The institutions that proved so critical in this scenario were Parliament and the bureaucracy, particularly the Scottish and Welsh Offices. First, Parliament was essential because by the 1950s, a very stable two-party system had emerged in Britain; the combined vo te of both parties comprised over 90% of the electorate, while a fading Liber al Party kept its head above water and the sectarian divisions of Northern Ireland acco unted for the remainder. Although nationalist aspirations emerged periodically in Scotland, the implementation of administrative devolution in Scotland in the fo rm of the Scottish Office a lways proved satisfactory in mitigating those demands. In fact, each ti me a nationalist movement appeared in Scotland, the governmentÂ’s response was to expand and consolidat e the authority of the office. Its creation at t he end of the nineteenth century was a response to Scottish nationalism, which emerged in reaction to th e ongoing debate over home rule in Ireland at the time. As Lord Salisbury understood, t he creation of a Scottish Office pacified demands for home rule during the late nineteent h century. Likewise, the establishment of the office confirmed that ScotlandÂ’s ne eds were different fr om the rest of the kingdom, and the central government had rec ognized the distinctions, using later improvements to the office as a means to pacify Scottish demands for more autonomy.
284 Later, the re-emergence of a nat ionalist movement in the 1930s, particularly in reaction to a dismal economic downturn, pushed ev en the staunchly unionist Troy government in London to further expand the responsibilities of the office and, as a result of the Gilmour Report at the end of the 1930s, re-located the o ffice to Edinburgh to further placate Scottish sensibilities. Notably, the Scottish wing of the Conservative Party had retained the term Â“unionistÂ” in its name until the 1960s. Finally, in the 1950s, following another outburst of nationalism in the fo rm of the Covena nt movement, the responsibilities of the office were furt her expanded, particularly because government responsibilities had increased with the cr eation of the welf are state. The institutionalization of the Scottish Offi ce so deepened that, by the 1960s, academics would talk of the Scottish political system (see Kellas, 1989). Ironically, each time demands for some form of home rule emerged in Scotland, the unionist Conservative Party initiated reforms in the Scottish Offi ce. This strategy proved adequate to protect Tory interests in Scotland, where its electo ral fortunes improved during the course of the 1930s and peaked in the 1950s. Apparently, st rengthening administrative devolution placated nationalist aspirations. The Tories could pursue such a policy course because it did not threaten the partyÂ’s unionist position yet demonstrated its sensitivity to Scottish sensibilities about its unique situation. In Wales, developments followed a simila r pattern but occurred much later. The Welsh Office was reluctantly created by a Labor government in the mid-1960s, after the advisory Council for Wales and Monmouthshi re proved inadequate. Its establishment was a response to two pressures. First, the previous Tory government had recognized Welsh distinctiveness and established a Welsh office located within the Home Office.
285 Second, James Griffiths, a Welsh Labor MP was a strong and persistent advocate for administrative devolution within the cabinet. Also, establishment of the office preceded a national Parliament for Wale s campaign in the 1950s that attempted to replicate the Covenant movement in Scotland. Thus, the Labor Party, alt hough adamantly against devolution, seems to have adopted the sa me political strategy as the Tories: acquiescing to administrative devolution to satisfy home rule demands without adversely impacting its electoral dominance in Wales. With the establishment of the Welsh Office in 1964, aspirations for more autonomy appeared to be satisfied. By the mid-1960s, the political landscape appeared rela tively stable, especially for the Labor Party, for it had been returned to power under Harold Wilson after a long decade in the opposition. Also, Labor maintained its monopol y of power in Wales and had since seen its fortunes improve in Scotland, for it had replaced the Conservati ves as the dominant party by the 1960s. Therefore, both parties adopt ed administrative devolution as a political response to periodic outbursts of nationalist demands for some form of home rule. This strategy proved adequate in satisfying nationalist dem ands while never negatively influencing either partyÂ’s electoral position. Howeve r, the nationalist movements in Scotland and Wales adopted a new strategy; they no longer operated as a special interest or cultural group by imposing its demands on the political process. By the post-World War II period, both groups entered the electoral process, directly challenging the two major parties at the polls. Initially, their efforts proved futile and posed littl e threat to either party, but by the 1960s, they directly threate ned the electoral fortunes of Labor in Wales and both parties in Scotland, winning by-elect ions in both regions. Although the two
286 major parties lost only a couple of constit uencies and, on the surfac e, the threat still appeared minimal, they took notice of this turn of events. As the early losses were in Labor constituencies, a rather reluctant Labor government under Wilson was forced to initiate a commission to study the issue; in the meantime, the problem would perhaps disappear. Even the Tories under Ed Heath recogniz ed the rising tide of nationalist demand in Scotland; accordingly, his Declarat ion of Perth speech argued for an elected assembly in Scotland. In the early 1970s his government finally released the constitutional commissionÂ’s report, which recommended elected assemblies for both regions. Although it did not lead to any active legislative agenda, the report itself gave legitimacy to nationalist demands and indire ctly helped legitimize the message the nationalists had been vocalizing for years. T hese boosts to nationalist confidence all occurred when both partiesÂ’ electoral bases believed they were unable to rectify the worsening economic situation in Britain. Heath was unable to control the unions, whom the Tories blamed for the problem, and Labor la cked the resolve to further the socialist agenda of the unions. Therefore, by the Februar y 1974 parliamentary election, frustrated voters viewed the national parties in Scotland and Wales as viable alternatives; indeed, the SNP and Plaid Cymru enjoyed significant electoral vi ctories. Both parties now threatened the electoral prospects of Labor and the Conserva tives, for neither party won a majority, and Wilson was forced to form a minority gov ernment that would later achieve a razorthin majority in the October 1974 electi on. More importantly, Wilson understood the depth of the threat when he realized that the Scottish nationalists ran second in over
287 thirty Labor constituencies in Scotland. The party manifesto for the October election had stated that it would give Sc otland an elected legislative body; this promise did not appear in the February election manifesto becaus e the extent of t he nationalist threat was not clear from the Febr uary election results. Finally, as LaborÂ’s thin majority evaporated, devolution legisl ation became an offering designed to keep the party in power. Labor reluctantly placed devolution on its agenda to mitigate rising nationalist discontent and later implemented it to save a dying government. Interested only in political expediency, leadership managed the legislation in a haphazard manner and failed to insure that it had the whol ehearted support of its backbenchers. Labor exemplified exactly how a government should not promote a bill, a mistake it would eventually redeem as it successfully managed and passed devol ution legislation through the 1997-1998 par liamentary session. Finally, the Scottish and Welsh Offices, in itially a successful strategy for taming regional concerns about t he uniqueness of the problems facing Scottish and Welsh communities, were eventually viewed as tool s through which a highly unpopular central government in London could wield its power. This disconnect between the political will of the community and the political party t hat dominated the region al administrative apparatus turned these offices into political li abilities. Complaints of a democratic deficit emerged because these organizations could no longer be held accountable by the actual communities they governed. This di scontent was exasperated in Scotland when the central government us ed the Scottish Office to implem ent the highly unpopular poll tax. The frustration level of the Scottish electorate generated a large civil disobedience
288 movement, organized and promoted by the SNP, to boycott the tax. In Wales, a similar event occurred when the Tory-dominated c entral government, lacking established Welsh MPs, appointed English MPs to the Se cretary of State for Wales, creating the image of an insensitive and arrogant government that had no concern for the Welsh community. These appointments received wi despread press during the tenure of John Redwood, who was portrayed as looking down on the Welsh. This negative view was coupled with the view that the unelected qua ngos, used to administer many programs in Wales, were packed with Tory political ha cks appointed by the Engl ish Secretaries of State. Again, vocal complaints of a democ ratic deficit and a government that could be held accountable reverberated. Political ex pediency necessitated placing devolution on the agenda, and the government a ttempted, however halfheart edly, to give the issue legitimacy. Consequently, an administrativ e apparatus designed to placate regional sensitivities began to look like a tool th rough which an unrepresentative central government could indiscriminatel y impose its political will. The second dimension of Lieberm annÂ’s (2002) model emphasizes the organizational environment; in the current study, this dimension is represented by the Labor Party. Without some fundamental changes within Lab or, devolution would have remained a nationalist war cry and never been implemented. The Liberal Party later recognized that any devolution legislati on with a chance to pass Parliament would require the support of one of the major parties, and it assu med that the Conservatives would always be against it. Labor was fundamentally soci alist after 1918 and pursued the explicit agenda demanded by it s leadership and electoral following. However, by the late 1950s, its socialist agenda had been quest ioned, particularly the now famous
289 Clause IV of the 1918 Labor Party Constitution: public ownership of the economic means of production. The new leader Gaitskell recognized that capitalism was no longer the evil institution of the inter-war years. He underst ood that a mixed economy was capable of delivering economic fairness, as West Germany had begun to demonstrate. He believed government coul d manage the economy in order to permit the private sector to operate alongside the public sect or and provide Britain a vibrant economy to the benefit of all. However, he recognize d the need to adopt more business-friendly policies if the party wanted the private sector to cooperate. Therefore, Gaitskell attempted to revise the partyÂ’s manifesto in the late 1950s but encountered deep resistance among the trade unions and the more ideological activists of the party. Alt hough he initiated a d ebate about the relevance of Clause IV, he was unable to push the membership to accept a more pragmatic approach to economic policy and abandon what was seen as the partyÂ’s ideological core. Unfortunately, Gaitskell passed away a few y ears later. When the party, under Harold Wilson, achieved power in the 1960s and later in the 1970s, despite his party-line rhetoric about socialism, he adopted much mo re pragmatic economic policies, which angered the unions and the activists. His su ccessor, James Callaghan, continued this approach to economic policy and even convinced the unions to sign a social contract that controlled wage increases and limited st rike actions. Eventually, the unions revolted against such policies and unilaterally initia ted strikes demanding higher wages. These events brought the country to an economic st andstill. The Labor government had to call an election and lost to Thatcher and the To ries, ushering in a long period of Tory dominance.
290 In response, the Labor left, represented by unions and the ideological activists, called for internal party reform s that would limit the influenc e of the Parliamentary Labor Party For example, they dem anded that an electoral college elect the leader so that he would be held accountable to the membership, not the Parliamentar y Labor Party, and, therefore, would be le ss likely to support economic policies that seemed contrary to a socialist economic agenda. They also impl emented constituency reselection, again to guarantee that candidates for Pa rliament would stick to t he party line. This schism within the party became so bitter that it ev entually led a small gr oup from the partyÂ’s right to resign and create a social democrati c party, which eventually merged with the Liberal Party. The conflict between the left and the right wit hin the Labor Party would lead to a change in leadership after the 1979 election and a number of reforms favored by the left. Michael Foot, an outspoken member of the party left, became leader. The party was soon dominated by its left wing, who pr omoted a more radical socialist agenda. Subsequently, the party lost the 1983 parliamentary election in its worst defeat since the beginning of the twentieth centur y; in fact, it was almost r egulated to third-party status behind the Social Democratic and Liberal Part y coalition. After this disaster, Michael Foot resigned, and the party elected Neil Ki nnock, a former back bencher who had been a member of the left. But he would attempt to modernize the party campaign apparatus and challenge the left both natio nally and locally in order to reverse the publicÂ’s negative view of the party and its ability to govern. Kinnock essentially had two goals to achiev e in order to make the party a viable alternative to Tory rule. T he first was to fend off the le ft, which was now dominated by
291 Marxist ideologues and the more radical elements of the trade uni ons, and its influence over the party. Second, the partyÂ’s campaign apparatus was antiquated, a result of (a) previous failures of the party to understand the influence of television and (b) a luddite attitude toward more professional and scientif ic campaign methods. However, regaining control from the left would prove to be a formidable task, for it would reopen wounds from previous struggles, potentially worsen the partyÂ’s image, and ruin its chances to portray itself as a party capable of governing. By the late 1980s, the party had clearly improved its campaign organization, the 1987 election results notwithstanding, and had su ccessfully reestablis hed itself as the second alternative. By the 1992 campaign, the party had cl early recovered from its internal struggle, having s ubdued the radical left, and the unions had tarnished their own image and influence as a result of the failed 1984-85 minersÂ’ strike. Unfortunately for Labor, the Tories replaced Margaret That cher with John Major, removing KinnockÂ’s election advantage. The loss, its fourth defeat since 1979, was devastating to Labor. Despite two election defeats, Kinnock had a ccomplished two critical tasks: restoring control of the party to a more moderat e leadership and moder nizing the partyÂ’s campaign infrastructure. These accomplishm ents set the table for a generation of new leadership who would complete the rebirth of the party in the 1990s. John Smith assumed leadership of the party in 1992 a fter KinnockÂ’s resignation, but his tenure would last only two years as a result of his premat ure death. Tony Blair followed and would continue the ba ttle initially started by Gait skell in the 1950s. Blair, as did Clinton with the Democrat ic Party, moved his party further to the center and embraced the market capitalism that had been championed by Thatcher. And in order to
292 convince the electorate that Â“New Labou rÂ” was real, he successfully removed the socialist reference from Clause IV. He further modernized the partyÂ’s campaign structure, embracing even the media, wh ich he recognized would help revamp LaborÂ’s image and promote its telegenic young leader. These internal transformations would make victory possible, and Labor had to regai n power before devolution could ever become a political reality. In addition, Blair did not promote devolut ion as a single policy course; it was part of a potential constitu tional reform package designed to bring the United Kingdom into the twenty-first century. Now that Labor no longer pursued a purel y socialist economic agenda, economic centralization was no longer nec essary; therefore, devoluti on was no longer a threat. Finally, placed in the context of constituti onal reform or moderni zation of the state, devolution was not portrayed as part of a nationalist agenda but as a policy that would democratize the state, along with abolishing hereditary peers in the House of Lords, restoring a city of London Council, and establis hing the freedom of information act. This group of policies made government more tr ansparent and more responsive to its citizens. The third dimension of disorder is the cu ltural or ideological environment; in the current study, this dimension is repres ented by the growing sense of Scottish and Welsh identity that placed demands on the c entral authority for some form of home rule. The failure of devolution in 1979 was the thir d critical juncture because it shaped the structure and level of support for a new dem and for devolution. After this failure, the issue appeared to be dead in Wales and on li fe support in Scotland; however, in Scotland, a small group began a long process to regenerate demands for home rule, an
293 effort that evolved into the Covenant Moveme nt. Similar attempts occurred in Wales, but they did not attract the same widespread sup port. In Scotland, the revitalized home rule movement was popular because Sc ottish identity exerted a un ifying force, and because the referendum had passed, devolution app eared to have been wrongfully denied the Scottish people. In Wales, it was overw helmingly defeated because it was tied to a nationalist agenda; in addition, Welsh identity was actually divisive because of language differences. The Covenant Movement in Scotland was a decade-long push to organize a grassroots movement for devol ution; it eventually gained legitimacy when the Labor Party and the Liberal Democrat Party established cross-party cooperation on the issue. They dominated the agenda and what would become the basic demands in the Claim of Right produced through the movement. This task was easily accomplished once the SNP decided not to participate; the two parties could then guide the agenda to the satisfaction of its members and la ter, at the national level, present the devolution issue as part of an overall constitutional reform pa ckage to bring Britain into the twenty-first century. This demand for home rule was further reinforced by the long period of Tory rule, which did not reflect the political aspi rations of the Scots themselves. The central authority in London was clearly an English gove rnment run by an E nglish party that possessed little legitimacy in the eyes of most Scottish voters. For example, in what became known as the Doomsday scenario, Labor would win in Scotland, but the region would still be governed by a party who had only w on re-election by victory in England. For Wales, the situation was different from Scotland. First, no mass movement appeared, and the Welsh Labor Party did not adopt devolution as a legitimate policy
294 proposal, having soundly rejected the re ferendum of 1979. And because of the language issue, Welsh identity was a more di visive than unifying force in the region. Indeed, a cultural revival was necessary to reinvent Welsh identity. In the 1980s, the revival included the establishment of a We lsh BBC network, the promotion of Welsh history and culture in the educational curricu lum through the university level, and the urbanization of a Welsh-speaking middle cl ass, helped along by the expansion of the Welsh Office in Cardiff. All these factor s helped to promote a more unified Welsh identity, at a time when Tory in fluence was beginning to shrink in Wales. In addition, this developing identity began to conflict with t he appointment of Wels h Secretaries who represented English constituencies. The Wels h community also recognized that these secretaries appointed Tory political hacks to quango boards. They had the power to distribute large sums of the annual Welsh bu dget but were not accountable to the Welsh electorate. In addition, the arrogance of John Redwood as Secretary and the scandals surrounding some of the quango board member s at the end of the decade further alienated the electorate and generated vocal complaints about a democratic deficit. Consequently, voters began to believe that home rule might be a viable alternative to their present political situat ion, for a regional assembly elected by the voters could protect them from unpopular pol icies of the central government. The Labor Party, led by the anti-devolutionist Kinnock, recognized the frustration of the Welsh and Scottish with London rule and included in their 1992 electi on manifesto a promise to establish assemblies for both regions. By the time Tony Blair became the Labor Party leader in 1994, dissatisfaction in both Wales and Scotland was high; they view ed the central government, dominated by
295 the Tories, as illegitimate because it did not re flect the political views of the majority of the electorate. An examination of electoral results in Scotland and Wales shows that the Tories, in the general election of 1992, lost 50% of their constituencies in Scotland and 60% in Wales since 1979. In fa ct, the Scottish National Part y won 22% of the vote share in 1992, only 3 points behind the Tories. Finally in 1997 the Tories were literally wiped out in both regions, having failed to win even one parliament ary constituency and winning only 17.5% of the vote in Scotland (placing third behind the SNP) and 19.6% in Wales (Tetteh, 2008, 14-15). Based on the dimensions of disorder m odel, electoral incentive motivated Labor to acknowledge the threat of the national movements in Scotland and Wales. In its pursuit of political expediency, its first c ourse was to establish a commission to study devolution, which had t he unintended consequence of placing it on the agenda as legitimate policy. Wilson clearly hoped the i ssue would simply go away, but it persisted. In addition, the election results of 1974 plac ed the party in a predicament; they had to initiate the legislation in order to surviv e as a government. Unfortunately, the leadership left the writing of the legislation to the bureaucrats, who produced an ill-conceived bill that had never been thoroughly discussed with in the party. Therefore, Labor was committed to a policy it disliked and a refe rendum process that almost assured its failure, but this third critical juncture set in motion the shape and process of the last leg of the devolution saga. As a result, the Labor government fell, devol ution died in Wales, and the Scots felt they had been denied a legitimate outcome. Later, a grassroots and eventually cross-party movement would revive the cause.
296 Meanwhile, the Labor Party had suffered four consecutive electoral defeats, which created incentive to revitalize itself and change its message to move closer to the voters whose priorities had changed since the 1940s and 1950s. This process was started by Neil Kinnock and completed by Tony Blair with the advent of Â“New Labour.Â” As the party embraced ThatcherÂ’s market c apitalism, it still argued that government should assist the needy, but it couched this pr inciple in the terms Â“social justiceÂ” and Â“democratization.Â” In turn, the party could pr omote devolution within a larger context of constitutional reform. This promotion was reinforced by BlairÂ’s ability to establish an agreement with the Liberal-Democr atic Party that allowed hi m to maneuver his party to the center without a political fight. This arrangement naturally fit the ideal of democratization and assured that devolution would not be view simply as a nationalistic aspiration. Instead, devolution was a future safeguard against a highly centralized state; the Welsh and Scottish Offices had failed to achieve this status because they became little more than instruments of the center. With no desire to re-establish a centralized economy, Labor could embrace a decentralized state, espec ially in the context of constitutional reform and the pr inciple of social justice. Finally, the unifying force of national identi ty kept devolution alive in Scotland and generated a national debate that embraced all segments of Scottish society. The actions of the Tories at the time fu rther demonstrated the need of home rule and provided additional impetus for the movement. In Wales, a movement did not occur, but the behavior of the Welsh Office and its control of the quangos demonstrated a need for another layer of government t hat could shield the region from an out-of-touch central authority. In the end, the pers onal drive of Ron Davies, as the Labor Shadow Secretary
297 of State for Wales and later as minister, pus hed and pulled Wales to establish, by a very narrow margin, its own assembly. Electoral necessity placed devolution on the agenda and legitimized it, but it could only be implemented by one of the two ma jor political parties. At the same time, the party that could achieve such a result would first have to change in such a way that devolution was no longer view ed as a threat to its longterm policy goals. Finally, national identity was the glue that unifi ed Scotland and kept a defeated policy alive. Although identity had been divisive in Wale s, by the 1980s, the Tory governmentÂ’s attitude toward the Welsh had likely accelerat ed a more unified fron t or at least made the people in the region more clearly s ee their enemy in London. In the end, three separate circles operated independently, but due to electoral changes, structural changes in society, and chance circumstances, these circles finally overlapped to make what had been a latent issue before the 1960s a fully implemented reality. The analytical model examined here allows us to draw some clear conclusions about the stages of devolution. The firs t part of the model analyzed the path dependency approach in order to draw attention to the way historical causation, as discussed in the introduction of this study shows that particular institutional arrangements have a tendency to reinforce them selves and resist alteration, generating a self-reinforcing dynamic (Pierson, 2004). Path dependency anal ysis suggests that early events can push particular aspects of a po litical system onto a di stinct path that is reinforced over time. It permi ts an examination of the te mporal context and the longterm processes usually ignored by theories of actor-centered functionalism, such as rational choice. Path dependency helps identify these long-term processes, and critical
298 junctures provides the focus needed to discove r how initial political or social events occurring at one point in time reproduce themselves later. According to Collier and Collier (1991), there are three com ponents of a critical juncture. First, it must mark a significant change; second, the change has to have taken place in Â“distinct ways in different casesÂ”; third, the explanatory hypothesis about its consequences must produce a specific legacy (p. 30). Following this description, this study identified the process by which each of the Celtic regions was incorporated into the British state as the firs t critical juncture. First, each event was the significant culmination of a long process of conquest an d domination by a much more powerful state: England. Second, the process of incorpor ation was distinct in each of the different regions. Finally, the legacy of that proce ss laid the foundation for a residual national identity that would perceive the new politic al arrangement as either productive or disadvantageous and later determine whether a particular form of devolution satisfied future problems of governance. For Scotland, incorporation into the Br itish state was a long and incremental process. First, Scotland had been a united ki ngdom at the time of the Norman invasion of England. However, early on, the Scottish kings recognized the power of the AngloNormans and paid homage to its king. The Sc ots also recognized the economic model the Normans introduced to England and willingl y permitted their entry into the kingdom, allowing the Scots to replicat e a similar economic model. By the end of the thirteenth century, the lowlands had been Anglicized and had a social-e conomic structure similar to EnglandÂ’s. However, tensions between t he two kingdoms persisted for centuries as England attempted to dominate it s northern neighbor through fo rce or establish dynastic
299 unification through marriage. After decades of struggle between the two kingdoms, both England and Scotland embraced the Reformati on and became Protestant states, but under different circumstances and for differ ent reasons. By 1603, the kingdoms were united when the two crowns joined under t he same monarch, James I. However, the turbulent seventeenth century witnessed a brutal civil war that impacted all regions of Great Britain and Ireland. By the end of the century, Britain began to experience unprecedented economic growth, accelerated by colonization of the new world. With ScotlandÂ’s economic success in doubt, Scot s saw an opportunity to unite the two kingdoms further in order to gain access to English markets and participate in the successful colonization of the new world. T he result was the Act of Union, which saw the Scottish Parliament subsumed into t he English Parliament in London. Although political control was still dominated by a parliament in London, the treaty allowed the Scots to keep their church, education system, and legal structure; the Scots retained a limited amount of auto nomy, unlike Wales, which was completely assimilated into the English state. These surviving elements of their previously independent kingdom reinforced and preserved Scottish identity fo r another two centuries before devolution. Retaining these long-standing in stitutions later helped promot e that perception that governing Scotland was different from governi ng England. This perc eption led to calls for devolution when the parliament in Londo n was clearly unable to understand the unique problems confronting Scotland and lack ed the institutional resources to devote the time and energy to them. On the other hand, the way Ireland was conquered and colonized before incorporation clearly dictated a sense of identity that was conf rontational in its
300 perception of the English stat e. This conflict was reinforced by a sectarian difference among the majority of the Iris h people. Finally, the incor poration was viewed more or less as an annexation, for the region was still essentially treated like a colony instead of a partner in a mutually beneficial arrangem ent, as Wales and Scotland had been. Therefore, devolution or home rule was never an acceptable solution; it was seen as merely another institutionalized form of colonization, making independence or separation the only acc eptable alternative. When a national revival em erged in the nineteenth cent ury in both Scotland and Wales, it occurred after relatively peaceful tr ansitions into the English state, which had been embedded for centuries. In Scotland, the demand fo r some form of regional autonomy was acceptable, for the partner ship with England had proved beneficial enough over time to make separation unlikely. However, in Wales, the national revival was not a unifying movement; rather, it was centered on the Welsh language and occurred at a time when the lower classes were being Anglicized by the industrialization of south Wales and a public education system focused on establishing English literacy had been introduced to the Principality. In both regions, the result was a second critical juncture. In Scotland, the national revi val was pacified with the introduction of administrative devolution in 1886. Wales expe rienced a similar policy offer, but not for another seventy years, for the national re vival was limited and did not place great political pressure upon the central authority. In fact, administrative devolution was introduced primarily as a politic al expediency to improve bur eaucratic efficiency, for the Tories had already introduced a limited form of it, and Labor felt obligated to improve upon the initial offering. Later, both institutions became advocates for their regions in
301 London and essentially self-reinforcing expr essions of devolution. Any future improvements in governance of the regions would build upon the already established structures. At this point, the second part of the model enters the analysis, using the dimensions of disorder to examine how the administrativel y devolved structures became the starting point for a policy initiative to placate the Nati onalist threat to Labor from the 1960s to the present day. This part of t he analysis demonstrates how the multiple political orders pulled and cl ashed, producing a policy outc ome that had really never been the intent of t he Labor Party in the 1960s. LaborÂ’s original implementation of a royal commission was to make the probl em disappear. However, the unintended consequences were to legitimize the unwanted po licy just at a time when the Nationalist parties were starting to enjoy some electora l success. The result was to push the Labor Party to add devolution to their election m anifesto in order to stave off a Nationalist onslaught in the following election. Unfortunate ly, the strategy failed, but the party was now committed to the policy. And as the Labor governmentÂ’s hold on political power was tentative, the party was forced to intr oduce a bill to retain the parliamentary support of the Nationalists and the Liberals. However, because the leadership lacked any enthusiasm for the bill, it painfully work ed through the legislative process and was forced to accept a referendum in order to ma intain the support of its own backbenchers. Therefore, they backed a piec e of legislation that, to be passed, had to contain a failsafe mechanism that would c ause it to fail later. Howeve r, the referendum campaign set the stage for a future political landscape t hat would determine whether the demand for
302 expanded devolution would em erge. Thus, this study recognizes the referendum campaign and its outcome in both regions as a third critical juncture. The campaign witnessed elements of cros s-party cooperation but on a limited scale in Scotland and not at all in Wales. In fact, in Scotland, the Â“NoÂ” campaign even utilized the argument, not that a Scottish Assembly was wrong but that the present proposal was inadequate or that the Tories could offer a better package. Indeed, there was extensive support for such an arrangem ent because the proposal itself was not demonized, as it had been in Wales, but was framed as inadequate or not worthy enough for Scotland. And when the referendum ac tually passed, but fell short of the Cunningham requirement, it created a sense of resentment that the will of the majority had been denied. In Wales, the referendum was defeated outright by an overwhelming majority, even being defeated in the pr edominantly Welsh-speaking communities. These particular outcomes determined w hether a future demand for home rule would emerge and the structur e the movement would take to press its demands. In Scotland, because of the prevailing be lief that home rule had been stolen against the will of the majority, an i mmediate grassroots movement emerged to initiate a new organization that would demand home rule for Scotland. This movement started slow but eventually grew using a grassroots approac h and finally enlisted the support of the Liberal-Democratic and the Scottish Labor Parties. This spirit of support and cooperation eventually produced a blueprint that would be incorporated into the actual legislation in 1997. Whereas ScotlandÂ’s movement was a bottom-up approach, Wales experienced no such demand, fo r most thought the issue wa s dead as a result of the referendumÂ’s definitive outcome. Therefore, John Smith promoted home rule for Wales
303 in order to diminish the belief if it was only implemented in Scot land it would appear to many as essentially a path to independence and nothing more. Therefore, the entire process in Wales followed a top-down approac h to generate support first in a reluctant Welsh Labor Party and later a skeptical publi c. This assertion is particularly supported by the voting results in the 1997 referendum. ScotlandÂ’s passed with a clear majority, which would even have passed under the old Cunningham formula, and it did so with even an additional question asking voters to give it the power to levy additional taxes. In Wales, it barely passed and only after the last county had reported its vote tally in the early hours of the morning. Last, in light of the changes within the Labor Party and the ascension of Tony Blair to leadership, the electoral incentiv e was paramount. LaborÂ’s decision to update its structure and message to wage a modern polit ical campaign in a world now dominated by the television media was imper ative. Started by Kinnock an d completed by Blair, this modernization was essential in a world of fading party loyalties and growing dealignment in the British electorate. Along with modernization, the Labor Party had to move itself to the center on many issues and to convince the electorate that it was competent to govern. Blair understood this problem completely and had a plan to accomplish this exact goal. First, he had to change the partyÂ’s image as a socialist party; he achieved this goal by changing its constitution, especially Cl ause IV, and by moving it to the political center on a number of issues. For instance, he stole the iss ue of crime from the Tories by talking hard on criminals and tough on its causes. As a result, the party could still support policies that were originally a part of the social welfare stat e, but framed now as
304 components of Â“social justice.Â” He also talked of modernizi ng the governmental structures by bringing them into the 21st century. By bundling reforms, such as devolution, with democratization and consti tutional reform, he presented them as attempts to improve accountability, tr ansparency, and efficiency. The emphasis on efficiency was couched in terms of delivery, playing to the consumer idea that services were now products available to a discriminat ing consumer. However, the most important part of the strategy was to enlist the support of the Liberal-Democrats who occupied the political center and, in pr ocuring agreement with them, va lidate their own image as a responsible party through associ ation. And the carrot he used to enlist their support was constitutional change, parti cularly electoral reform. In the end, he used constitutional change, and devolution in particular, to enhance the partyÂ’s credibility as a government and to deliver on promises the party made. Although he was not very keen personally on devolution, by quickly implementing the most fundamental constitu tional change since the Great Reform Act 1832, a change that Labor had failed to deliver in 1979 and the Li beral Party had failed to achieve in the 1880s and 1890s, he enhanced the partyÂ’s credibilit y and clearly demons trated that it possessed the competence to govern effe ctively. The referendum in 1997 and eventually the actual legislati on showed that they had clearly learned from failures in the 1970s and had managed a flawless process. The first part of the mo del analyzed the historical causation that shaped the political landscape and determined the directi on in which it would evolve over an extended period of time. The incorporation process did not establish devolution as a future policy, but it predet ermined the residual level of national identity that would
305 establish the political divisions over devol ution and its capacity to placate demands for political autonomy. Once devolution was offer ed as a policy direction and established in its initial form, the opportuni ty cost of meeting simila r demands for autonomy in the future was lower. That is, subsequent inst itutional changes would build on already established structures. In Scotland, where a secretary is estab lished originally, the institution later expanded to m eet the growing demands of gov erning, particularly when the desire for more attention or autonomy were made known to the government. This expansion was done in a layered fashion, following SchicklerÂ’s (2001) theory of disjointed pluralism: as each competing inte rest places its demands on the system, that interest gets layered onto the already prevai ling structure. Thus, by the 1970s, a very robust bureaucratic structure was in place in both regions to meet the prevailing needs of its respective communities. By the 1960s, administrative devolution wa s alive and satisfying the concerns of most citizens. However, the political landscape had changed, and the dynamics of the macroeconomic structure were influencing those changes and realigning political cleavages, particularly in Wales and Scot land. The second part of the model helps explain why devolution reappeared as a signific ant issue. The choices made within the micro-structure of Parliament in order to sustain political power unleashed forces that later demanded macro-institutional changes in the current political arrangement. Decisions made for short-term gain had the unintended consequence of propelling demands for long-term political change that the actual policy setters never really wanted. Therefore, a long, sometimes in coherent, movement towards devolution refused to follow a straight line to its comp letion; rather, it twisted and wound down a
306 narrow path to its end, which is really no end at all but a still-evolving narrative in the present.
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327 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lance Bardsley is military veteran who re tired from the United States Army in 1997 after 21 years of service. He comp leted his undergraduate degree in 1976 at Temple University, earning a B.A. in history and graduating cum laude He later completed his M.A. at the Un iversity of Texas in Austin on a U.S. Army Fellowship, graduating with a degree in governm ent in 1984. He entered the doctoral program at the University of Florida in 1998. He is curr ently employed as an assistant professor at Gainesville State Co llege in Georgia.