A Force For Good was outside Inverness Town House on 28 July 2018 when we counted 3,386 SNP-marchers and not the 14K they lied about!
In the olden days, the centre of government – whether in Scotland or England – was where the Monarch had his or her Royal Court. If it moved around, then the government moved with it.
In the modern era, the first time the British Cabinet – the highest ranking Ministers of the Crown – met outside London was on 7 September 1921, in Inverness Town House (pictured).
This year is the centenary of that event.
The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was on holiday in Gairloch, Wester Ross. He had received a letter from Eamon de Valera, and he called his Cabinet to Inverness to discuss. It took place at 11am and 16 members including Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill were in attendance.
A Force For Good has always advocated that the British Cabinet should rotate around the United Kingdom at least once and, ideally, several times a year. The idea of "Regional Cabinet Meetings" was started by Gordon Brown, but has since fallen into abeyance. We mentioned the idea in our Wee Book for the Union.
This should not be too difficult to really push. It is a colourful idea which helps to educate about our constitution and history, and, importantly, it is a chance to bring the beating heart of British democracy closer to other parts of the UK.
It helps to move away from the 'London-centric', 'Westminster bubble' and 'Metropolitan elite' elements of Britain's government.
Where could these Cabinet meetings be held?
They could be held at the devolved assembly buildings, Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont. These places already have the infrastructure, resources and security in place. This would help to integrate the devolved assemblies with the British Parliament in the public mind, rather than leaving the impression to linger that they are in opposition to each other.
Or they could be held at a British Government building such as the new Queen Elizabeth hub in Edinburgh.
We are pleased to note that this is already being considered; and that after 21 years of devolution, there is visible evidence of the British Government in Edinburgh again! According to this report (10-8-20) the 'hub' includes Scotland's first dedicated UK Government Cabinet meeting room. Glasgow is also going to get one of these 'hubs' too, which is more good news!
Indeed, the huge Union Jack on the side of the Queen Elizabeth hub means that even if the place did nothing else, it's already paid for itself in terms of propaganda, as we stated in this video.