From: Ken Westmoreland, Eastgate Gardens, Taunton.
IN response to John Blundell (The Yorkshire Post, September 27) while the UK helped set up the existing federal system in Germany after the Second World War, Germany has had a tradition of federalism even before its unification, which was only interrupted by the Third Reich. In fact, smaller states were merged into larger ones, resulting in less devolution, although this was by referendum, as in Baden-Württemburg.
Thankfully, we allowed historical names to survive, and did not impose ugly Orwellian names like “North East” and “South West”, as we did with the English regions, a fate that Yorkshire has largely escaped.
Other states were carved out of Prussia, like North Rhine Westphalia, under a British scheme called Operation Marriage. Prussia itself was wiped off the map by the Allies, demonised for dominating Germany as England still does the UK. Yet while it accounted for 63 percent of the area and population of pre-war Germany, the Free State had an upper house to represent its provinces, a Social Democrat-led government until the coup in 1932, and accepted the borders of other states.
To this day, there are city states in Germany like Bremen and Hamburg. Ironically, while Berlin sought to merge with the surrounding state of Brandenburg, the state’s voters rejected this, resentful of how West Germans already dominated the former East. It is also worth noting that after the War, the Allies barred the people of West Berlin from voting in federal elections, and were represented in Bonn only by non-voting delegates indirectly chosen by their city’s Parliament.
Perhaps the response to the West Lothian Question is the West Berlin Answer.
From: Iain Morris, Saltaire.
WILL Yorkshire being given more power really boil down to Leeds being given more power? Who was it that has dreamed of a “Leeds City Region”? Historically, Bradford has never been a part of Leeds, so why should it be now?
From: Robert Craig, Priory Road, Weston-super-Mare.
THERE is only one answer to the asymmetry which David Cameron has created with his mishandling of the Scottish referendum and that is to give England proper i.e., north of the Wash, a parliament in Leeds, the south (Saxland) one in Bristol, and the federal territory of London an assembly with the federal parliament at Westminster.