Devolution and Power in the United Kingdom.
Devolution and Power in the United Kingdom. Alan Trench, editor.
Manchester University Press. [pounds sterling]60.00. xiii+316 pages.
ISBN 978-0-7190-7575-9. When the Blair administration set out to remake
the Constitution they brought in devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland with varying support and success. This collection of twelve
essays looks at the nature of power in the working of devolved
governments up to the end of 2005. After an introduction by the editor
there are papers devoted to an overall-view of the country's new
Constitution, the formal structure of devolved power, the power of
money, the role of HM Treasury, practical outcomes as seen in
policy-making, a close look at devolution and health policy (the system
whereby the Scots and Welsh get better treatment for which the English
pay), intergovernmental relations and the resolution of disputes, the
role of political parties and intergovernmental relations, the role of
the EU, the UK as a federalised or 'regionalised' union (yet
more 'regional' governments to increase the number of
politicians even further) and a conclusion by the editor on the
territorial distribution of power in the new system. In this he argues
that the present 'benign' system with much theoretical power
and much Whitehall control will, in time, crack and then the fun will