John Halewood-Dodd column

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.
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I was quite flattered by the number of people who contacted me to say they had missed my column last week.

pparently, it wasn’t my literary skills (?) that were missed but there had been genuine concerns for my welfare.

The fact that I am back may be disappointing to many, but at least it ‘Scotches’ rumours that my previous no-show was as a result of being kidnapped by a disgruntled band from North of the border following my tongue-in-cheek article about Scotland prior to the referendum on Scottish independence.

Apparently, there were suggestions that Alec Salmond had ordered I be taken off the streets and bundled up to Edinburgh to be paraded on the walls of the castle wearing a kilt whilst being force-fed haggis, neaps and tatties.

I am obviously extremely relieved that the majority in Scotland voted ‘No’ and rejected independence from the rest of the United Kingdom.

On a serious note, I was pleased with the outcome as I feel we are stronger together.

Furthermore, the whole independence issue has led to, what I feel is, an important and healthy debate about devolution of power away from Westminster.

I believe that most of the political decisions made by this government, and many that have preceded it, favour London and the South East.

With this in mind, I am very much in favour of further devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as to the regions of England.

I feel that the people who would be best placed to make decisions that affect their area are those that actually live there.

If we need a good example of how this works we need look no further than the most prosperous nation in Europe, being Germany. They embrace a federal system where each region has it’s own assembly with many more far-reaching powers than our councils.

I feel that we need something akin to that here. It would seem that the concessions that the major political parties made to the Scots in the run up to the referendum makes this ever more likely.

I hope so, as in the words of one of my childhood heroes, “Wolfie” Citizen Smith, there’s nothing better than “power to the people.”