Should the capital be moved from London to Anywhere Else? Watch

MrJAKEE
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#21
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#21
(Original post by young_guns)
Spot on. I live about a mile from the Palace of Westminster and yet I am in a very working-class / ethnically mixed area, with high levels of social housing, and all sorts from Nigerians to Turks to Chinese, to traditional white working class people.

There is no sense that the people of my area enjoy some kind of privilege at the expense of others simply by dint of their proximity to the seat of power.
Perhaps my comment on being a "real part" of the country was in bad taste, but the point still does stand. I'm not trying to create some sort of class war here, but pointing out London has become some sort of bastion within the Uk as a whole, with it's own devolved assembly and over representation I feel. Power needs to be rebalanced in the Uk as a whole.


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MrJAKEE
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(Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
I've been fan of the idea moving government out of London for a while to, for example, Bradford.

The rationale behind this is pretty obvious; it would reduce the London-centric nature of the UK, it could well save money, we'd be able to put Parliament and government in customer built buildings that are fit for purpose, it'd lead to an economic boost for a depressed area of the country and London can absorb the loss.
It would definitely be cheaper. I like the idea of a mobile government perhaps? A parliament doesn't need some sort of fancy building for the politicians, there are many in the UK which could fit the same purpose. Also the politicians could just stay in the nearest Holiday Inn..

In any sense I've read reports saying that the Palace of Westminster itself needs to be repaired for a period of about 2 years. Parliament will have to re-convened at another place.


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young_guns
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(Original post by MrJAKEE)
Perhaps my comment on being a "real part" of the country was in bad taste, but the point still does stand. I'm not trying to create some sort of class war here, but pointing out London has become some sort of bastion within the Uk as a whole, with it's own devolved assembly and over representation I feel. Power needs to be rebalanced in the Uk as a whole.
The people of the north east were offered a devolved assembly in a referendum in 2004; they voted overwhelmingly (something like 75%) not to have a devolved assembly.

I personally do think that further powers could be devolved to county governments and city administrations. Or indeed a Parliament of the North.

However, I don't think London can be blamed for pursuing devolution and taking every advantage of its independence. After all, the City of London's "ancient liberties and customs" are guaranteed by Magna Carta and it has enjoyed municipal government and independence for a thousand years. The London Assembly is entirely consistent with that tradition (I believe that ancient guarantee for the City of London should be interpreted in an expansive way viz Greater London).

When it comes down to it, it is for the people of the regions to ask for what they want. If they want devolution, I cannot see that it would not be granted.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by MrJAKEE)
Politicians more and more are trying to avoid the fact that many have homes in London worth in excess of £1million (especially Labour). Others in the country such as the SNP feel that Westminster only cares about London, and I feel that Westminster is too London centric. I feel that the capital should be moved from London to preferably Birmingham or Manchester, it would aid these cities become more developed with this added interest, become easier for MPs to manage the balance between Westminster and their constituency, but also make MPs less about London, and more about the other ,"real" areas of the country.

Thoughts?


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Who would foot the astronomical cost?
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WharfedaleTiger
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Who would foot the astronomical cost?
The sale of government buildings around Westminster would more than cover any cost of building a new building, if thatwas needed.
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Uw0tm8_
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Yus make Birmingham capital
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WharfedaleTiger
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(Original post by MrJAKEE)
It would definitely be cheaper. I like the idea of a mobile government perhaps? A parliament doesn't need some sort of fancy building for the politicians, there are many in the UK which could fit the same purpose. Also the politicians could just stay in the nearest Holiday Inn..

In any sense I've read reports saying that the Palace of Westminster itself needs to be repaired for a period of about 2 years. Parliament will have to re-convened at another place.


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Mobile government is interesting but very difficult - Parliament is a body of well over 10,000 people and there are few places which can deal with that number of people. Parliament is not just the politicians - its their staff, the press corps, the Library, the select committee staff...

It can't just be convened anywhere and few places in the UK can deal with it - or are suitable for it. Westminster itself is barely big enough and incredibly ill-suited to the numbers and nature of a modern parliament even with the addition of Portcullis House and the other buildings. IMO Parliament requires a new, specially built building.
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WharfedaleTiger
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
It's the capital of England, so I don't think Scotland or Wales should influence it too much. A city like Birmingham would just make the West closer and East further from the capital... it's got to go somewhere!

Australia isn't the best example when relating to England because it's such a huge country for the population size, and I'm not really sure what you mean about Germany having its capital away from the largest city? I think you might want to check your facts somewhere!
Its the capital of Britain not England - and thus the views of the Scots, Welsh and Irish are rather important. Parliament is sovereign for all 4 states within the UK.

Berlin is not the largest or most powerful city in Germany. The largest urban area is the Ruhr which is also the most economically powerful. Wolfsburg has the highest per capita income and Berlin is a relative backwater. Prior to reunification the capital was in Bonn - which, again, is rather small.
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TopHat
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(Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
Its the capital of Britain not England - and thus the views of the Scots, Welsh and Irish are rather important. Parliament is sovereign for all 4 states within the UK.

Berlin is not the largest or most powerful city in Germany. The largest urban area is the Ruhr which is also the most economically powerful. Wolfsburg has the highest per capita income and Berlin is a relative backwater. Prior to reunification the capital was in Bonn - which, again, is rather small.
Berlin is not the capital because someone thought "we need to balance out sociogeographical inequities between the Ruhr and Brandenburg", though. It's the capital because it was the capital of the German nation prior to division, and it was the capital of the German nation prior to division because Brandenburg-Prussia was the most influential and powerful polity in the creation of the German nation-state. The United Kingdom follows pretty much exactly the same principle - London is the capital of the United Kingdom because it was the capital of England, the most influential and powerful polity at its inception. The only reason that Berlin is smaller than the Ruhr is because the populous areas of Germany were strongly divided in the medieval era in a way the populous areas of England were not. It's actually quite difficult to find countries where the capital was chosen explicitly and specifically as either the natural geographical hub of the nation or to counter-balance the claims or influence of other major cities, and that decision as made recently with respect to modern sociogeographical problems (we'll use the post-war era as a referent for recent). I can only think of Brasília for Brazil, and Islamabad for Pakistan.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
The sale of government buildings around Westminster would more than cover any cost of building a new building, if thatwas needed.
No it wouldn't.

There's buildings, it infrastructure, personnel.
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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
Its the capital of Britain not England - and thus the views of the Scots, Welsh and Irish are rather important. Parliament is sovereign for all 4 states within the UK.

Berlin is not the largest or most powerful city in Germany. The largest urban area is the Ruhr which is also the most economically powerful. Wolfsburg has the highest per capita income and Berlin is a relative backwater. Prior to reunification the capital was in Bonn - which, again, is rather small.
I'm sorry, you really need to check your facts! London is in fact the capital of England, and the United Kingdom, but not the capital of Great Britain.

Berlin is in fact the largest (by population) city in Germany, by quite some margin - it's the second largest city in the EU!
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pickup
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I can see that to move the capital would be difficult but I can also see that to move some Government Departments would be doable and have definite benefits for the people currently working in them.

My neighbours were moved years ago from London to Sheffield ( Manpower Services and Midland Bank I think) and though at the time they were all horrified they are now very thankful, having improved their life style hugely. Much cheaper and better housing, cheaper expenses, more access to the countryside etc etc. They all love it.

So, perhaps the Home Office could go to Leeds, the Treasury to Norwich etc.? It would relieve the pressure on London too.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by pickup)
I can see that to move the capital would be difficult but I can also see that to move some Government Departments would be doable and have definite benefits for the people currently working in them.

My neighbours were moved years ago from London to Sheffield ( Manpower Services and Midland Bank I think) and though at the time they were all horrified they are now very thankful, having improved their life style hugely. Much cheaper and better housing, cheaper expenses, more access to the countryside etc etc. They all love it.

So, perhaps the Home Office could go to Leeds, the Treasury to Norwich etc.? It would relieve the pressure on London too.
Some departments have already been moved. Ministry of defence relocated a lot of things to Bristol. NHS England to Leeds. DVLA to Swansea, department of trade and industry to Glasgow.
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Aph
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I think this is a good idea mabe re-unifying with the isle of Mann and moving the capital to Douglass or seperating the executive legislative and judicial capitals and spreading them.
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young_guns
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(Original post by B-FJL3)
Why fix something that isn't broken? High house prices are certainly not sufficient reason to move the seat of power and government from London.

I'm really pretty surprised that the SNP's nonsense about "Westminster" being too powerful has convinced anyone. It's such an obvious and deliberate ploy to reinforce an idea of division, of Scotland being separate. They're very deliberate in their use of language in that way. It's the same reason the SNP, as soon as it achieved a majority in 2007, changed the term Scottish Executive to Scottish Government. It makes them sound more legitimate, as if they are really in power rather than being subordinate to Parliament.

There is only one Parliament (with a capital "P") in this country for a reason. However in love with democracy you may be, the buck needs to stop somewhere and someone needs to take decisions to keep the country running. I'd say that any proliferation of parliaments would undermine this, wasting resources and time.
Excellent points, gemmed.

The SNP has a long history of playing fast and loose with words. Before the 1992 election they promised their supporters that Scotland would be "free by '93".

And they have behaved abominably in the post-referendum period; they are behaving as though they get to determine what is "acceptable" in terms of the next step of devolution, as if they've completely forgotten they were the ones who lost the referendum, they were the ones who completely rejected additional devolution.
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young_guns
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(Original post by Aph)
I think this is a good idea mabe re-unifying with the isle of Mann and moving the capital to Douglass or seperating the executive legislative and judicial capitals and spreading them.
I don't think that's a good idea. At all.

The majority of barristers are based in London, and usually in or around the Inns of Court and close to the Royal Courts of Justice on Strand/Fleet Street, with the Supreme Court just down the road at parliament square.

How would it assist the administration of justice to force barristers to travel from London to, say, Birmingham for a Supreme Court hearing?

And there are already High Court registries all over the country, so you don't necessarily have to go to London in High Court matters.

I believe the administration of justice is well-served by keeping the primary seat of justice in close proximity to both the geographical and spiritual heart of the legal profession around the Temple and Lincoln's Inn, and also to the legislative and executive sources of law at the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace
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william walker
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We need to repeal laws and move government to the city, county and parish level. London is what happens with Progressive Liberalism and centralisation.
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Aph
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(Original post by young_guns)
I don't think that's a good idea. At all.

The majority of barristers are based in London, and usually in or around the Inns of Court and close to the Royal Courts of Justice on Strand/Fleet Street, with the Supreme Court just down the road at parliament square.

How would it assist the administration of justice to force barristers to travel from London to, say, Birmingham for a Supreme Court hearing?

And there are already High Court registries all over the country, so you don't necessarily have to go to London in High Court matters.

I believe the administration of justice is well-served by keeping the primary seat of justice in close proximity to both the geographical and spiritual heart of the legal profession around the Temple and Lincoln's Inn, and also to the legislative and executive sources of law at the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace
Well the legislative could stay in London
and in what way is it better fit them to stay together?
also pretty sure St. James palace is the executive seat
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young_guns
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(Original post by Aph)
Well the legislative could stay in London
and in what way is it better fit them to stay together?
Why would you split the courts from the legal profession? If anything, you'd want to move the legislature from London if you had to move one. Have you ever been to the Inns of Court?

In any case, there's no real reason to move any of it except to pander to vexatious provincial whingers. To me this sounds like a whole load of right-on PC crap.

also pretty sure St. James palace is the executive seat
St James is the official residence of the sovereign.

There is no legal/constitutional definition for the executive seat. If you want to split hairs, the seat of the royal prerogative power is either the 1844 Room in Buckingham Palace (where Privy Council meetings are typically held) or 2 Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y (the location of the Privy Council Secretariat) and the de facto seat of executive power is 10 Downing Street.

The only executive function of St James Palace is diplomatic accreditation.
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young_guns
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(Original post by william walker)
We need to repeal laws and move government to the city, county and parish level. London is what happens with Progressive Liberalism and centralisation.
Blaming everything bad on London is typical right-on PC crap.

This country ascended to the greatest heights of imperial grandeur with London as the capital.
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