Farewell, Labour leadership’s support for devolution

It is always easier to stick with your principles when it also benefits you.

That is why George Osborne deserves at least passing praise for supporting radical decentralisation of health and social care services to Greater Manchester. A Tory Chancellor moving power away from the Treasury and away from the Tories.

But as for Labour, or rather the national Labour leadership… Despite the devolution giving more power to predominantly Labour politicians locally, their national reaction led by Andy Burnham has been one of surly complaint.

Not only have they failed to properly welcome devolution, they’ve done so in the terms of centralising control freaks through the ages. Opposing devolution because it means things won’t be the same everywhere and because it involves new ways of doing things aren’t just opposition to this one particular measure. They reveal a mindset that simply doesn’t like devolution, period.

If Labour’s leadership doesn’t even back devolution when it takes power from Osborne and gives it to their colleagues, what chance Labour ministers ever being willing to give up some of their own power?

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