Tories Press for English Devolution -- With the Scots promised more powers after they rejected independence in last week's referendum, the constitutional settlement in the UK appears to be in a severe state of flux. While the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish all have some kind of local legislature, there is no such thing for England. At a conference today at Chequers, many Tory MPs have made it clear to the Prime Minister that they want "English votes for English laws." It would only be fair. [22 September]
Scots Vote to Keep the Union -- The votes were counted by breakfast this morning, and yesterday's referendum on Scottish independence went down to defeat 55% to 45%. Turnout across the kingdom was 84.5% with some areas topping 90% of the electorate casting a ballot. This is the highest turnout in any election since universal suffrage became the law in 1918. The people have spoken, and yet, change is coming. [19 September]
Congress OKs Arming, Training Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIS -- The House and the Senate have both voted to allow the US government to arm and train Syrian rebels for the purpose of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS, also known as ISIL]. This is probably the best option of a crop of bad choices. Once the US botched the occupation of Iraq, something like this was almost inevitable. The trick now is to understand that no matter what happens, a certain amount of awfulness is built into the situation. [18 September]
Scots Should Vote for Independence Tomorrow -- Tomorrow, Scots will go to the polls to vote on a very simple and very complicated question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" It is simple because the answer is either Aye or Nay. It is complicated because it changes the political landscape that has existed for 307 with the Act of Union of 1707, unsettling just about everything. The Kensington Review recommends to all those with a ballot to choose Yes. This journal backs the yes-to-independence choice not for reasons of sentiment or emotion but because it is the only option that will truly allow a restructuring of the British constitution that should have happened with the end of the empire. [17 September]
Major UK Parties Offer Scotland More Power for "No" Vote -- The British Conservative, Liberal Democratic and Labour parties have all signed onto a declaration offering Scotland more powers to control its own fate if the kingdom opts to remain part of the UK. Foreshadowed a few days ago by former PM Gordon Brown and printed on the front page of the Daily Record, the brief declaration suggests that the status quo is gone regardless of how Scots vote on Thursday. On October 16, Mr. Brown will reveal a 12-point plan in the House of Commons for Scotland's future. The problem is the referendum comes a month earlier -- a case of a day late and a dollar short. [16 September]
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