Friday, March 10, 2006

Falconer: "Absolutely No Demand for an English Parliament"

Listen to the Today programme 8.10am interview with Lord Falconer HERE. How this man ever keeps his place in Cabinet is beyond me. Well, it isn't, I suppose. He's Tony's bessie mate. The one consolation of Gordon Brown taking over is that hopefully Falconer will be out on his ear. He says there is absolutely no demand for an English Parliament and uses such ridiculous arguments to back up his case that you wonder how he ever became a QC. If the really thinks the English do not care about devolution or want their own Parliament it shows just how comfortable his ivory tower is.


Anonymous said...

The worst of it is, the Bias Broadcasting Corporation report all such comments as fact, without the right to reply for ANYONE who can prove them wrong.
Prof Hazel says the English have rejected devolution "several times." Well I haven't been asked once, let alone several.
The Regional Assemblies are not the same thing as an English Parliament.
NO to regional assemblies - YES to an English Parliament.
What will it take? Must I march on London with a pitchfork before I am granted democracy? I'm certainly willing to do so!

Anonymous said...

The Scotch have it in their heads that the English are not patriotic.
I can only imagine they have formed this opinion by observing English MP's over the centuries,
but they have seriously mis-judged
every day English folk.
The Northern YES campaigners for regional assemblies,to help them get a YES vote retained the services of Canon Kenyon Wright, a Scotch lib/dem politician who sat on the Scottish Constitutional Convention, .In an article in the Scotsman he said"In Scotland we have a claim of right,South of the border they have no sense of National Identity".
The late Robin Cook said"England-and I mean England specifically,is an aberration in Europe".
The Scots MP's at Westminster and the Scots in the Lords all supported a Scottish Parliament,they are not unionists,they are Scottish Nationalists.Time for a referendum in England.

Theo Spark said...

Isn'i he another bloody scot!

Steven Uncles said...

Tell an Englishman he can't do something, and he will go out of his way to do it !

An English Parliament will happen.

My personal preference is to kick out he Celtic Constituency MP's from Scotland, Wales and N Ireland to make the House of Commons into an English Parliament - and then make the House of Lords an Elected British Senate - for UK Matters

A federal UK is the only way forward

Steven Uncles
English Demcocrats

James said...

I'm very sure that English people are increasingly getting irritated by the anomalies thrown up by devolution, but what evidence do you have that they see the solution as being a seperate English Parliament. You know that is a fast-track to the break up of the UK as much as anyone. If that's what you want, fair enough, but don't pretend that it is something other than it is.

Mike Wood said...

I feel sorry for any barrister who has to appear before Lord Falconer if he believes that there is no case for an English Parliament then either he's not listening to the arguments or it takes a lot to satisfy his standards of proof.

I do have a little resepect for Lord Falconer after he effectively refused to compromise on his children's education to get into Parliament.
In the middle of the 1997 election campaign, John Glibert was "persuaded" not to restand in Dudley North. Millbank provided the local Labour association with a short-list of one candidate - Charles Falconer. All was going reasonably well right up until someone asked which of the local schools Falconer would be sending his children to. Falconer replied along the lines that they were quite happy at their public schools and so didn't get the seat.
Instead, the people of Dudley North were treated to being represented by Ross Cranston (Blair's other best mate at the time).

jafo said...

I heard the interview - I agree with all your comments. Think what he really meant to say was that the Government (hugely dominated by Scots) have no demand for an English Parliament!

Apparently England can't have a Parliament because it "wouldn't be good for the Union". A strange argument for a Scot who thought the Scottish Parliament was ever such a good thing.

He completely dismissed the total unfairness of Scottish MPs voting on purely English matters when English MPs can't vote on Scottish issues. He behaved as if it was rather bad form to even mention such a thing!

His whole appearance certainly made one wonder how this person became a barrister in the first place, and confirmed the view that he owes his present eminent position to his friendship with the Prime Minister, and certainly not to any abilities of his own.

wonkotsane said...

The BBC want to know if we should have an English Parliament:

Bulldog said...

Nothing to do with the fact that more people in England voted for the Tories that for Labour in the last GE.

Oh no. There's simply no demand.

Labour only likes regional assemblies where they can keep control, like in Scotland, Wales, London & in the ones they were proposing in the North.

The Scotsman said...

The answer to the injustice done to the English is easy. Stop non English MPs voting on English business in the H of C. Creating a seperate English Parliament would be a huge waste of even more taxpayers money! This would also force Brown and Old Ming to face up to the repercussions of the devolution disaster they helped to create

Toque said...

"You know that is a fast-track to the break up of the UK as much as anyone."

I remember the same argument being used to try and forstall the creation of the Scottish parliament.

Let me put it this way - If I don't an English parliament then I will spend my life trying to break up the UK because I refuse to be a second class citizen in the UK. Equality or nothing.

The Union needs to be renegotiated. Until it is, as far as I am concerned, it ain't worth protecting.

James said...

Torque: QED. But you can't equate an English Parliament to a Scottish one as the English Parliament would represent 50 million people as opposed to 6 million. Countries that comprise of one huge state and a couple of much smaller ones break up; there is simply no reason for the large state to respect the Union.

If you want equality with the Scots, you should be campaigning for the same level of devolution, not a monstrous centralised English superstate to replace the monstrous centralised UK one. If you had an interest in keeping the union you certainly wouldn't call for an English Parliament.

I don't mind you having that point of view, I just resent English Nationalists accusing us patriotic Brits of treachery for wanting to find a fair solution that doesn't smash up the union.

Toque said...

I don't accuse you of that James. But I think you either find a solution that is based on constitutional equality or you keep the nationalist passions festering.

The bottom line is that England is a nation every bit as much as Scotland, and as such it deserves constitutional parity, legal recognition of that fact, and any other solution will just continue the break up of the UK.

I will make it my job to.

If the Union isn't a union of partners, with equal rights and privileges, then I don't want any part of it. That is why I believe there has to be a federal UK.

EVoEM would be an unmitigated disaster.

alfie said...

The genie is out of the bag. With the usual paucity of forward thinking - New Labour screws up yet another bit of reform. With apologies to Newton's third law of motion - 'every devolved action provokes an equal and opposite reaction from the hard done by people of England'....

This really is a biggy though! It's 10 on the 'Cock-up-ometer' - and climbing.

The fabric of the UK is unravelling - and no amount pleading by Falconer and co will stop it. They are the catalyst - it's all their fault, they set the chain reaction in motion. If the whole issue of devolution had been considered at the same time, ie in 1998 - on an equal and fair basis - a mature and sensible compromise would have been reached.The problem is the Nu Labour ostriches will not listen and never have - so as time goes by, positions become entrenched - people demand more.

So a cynical and flawed attempt to consolidate their traditional heartlands in Scotland and Wales is rebounding big time - and the way things are going, it will be the Union that will be the major casualty.

Falconer's reasoning in the interview and at the conference today is so flawed as to defy belief. Falconer is on the news, radio and giving a major conference speech proclaiming that the English do not want an English Parliament......

Charlie, if no one wants one - what are you going on about..... He reminds me of Chicken Licken telling everyone that the sky is falling down...

Falconer, Brown and Blair are simply conspiring to try to head off the push......... They haven't got a hope in hell.

Paul Linford said...

As I've said on my own blog, this is the beginning, not the end. English devolution is finally on the mainstream political agenda. Unfortunately for Falconer and Co, they are going to find that it won't go away.

James said...

Torque: I think the bone of contention is that you want nations to be equal within a federal UK, while I want individuals to be equal within a federal UK. That's why I support regional devolution, with a limited English Council to decide on the few issues that would come under that level (mostly cultural things).

However, Labour have comprehensively screwed that one up by attempting to use regional devolution as a Trojan horse to attack local government. Plus, they insisted on regional boundaries that were based on bureaucratic convenience rather than identity (the South East never made sense as a region, yet the South East consists of the largest counties in the UK, each one of which is large enough to warrant devolution to that level).

Devolving to the level of England wouldn't solve the massive centralisation we have in this country and the campaign for it is simply a distraction. Worse, it has allowed itself to be infiltrated by people whose prime motivation seems to be to denounce the Scots and Welsh.

The single most negative image I remember from the 2005 General Election was Alex Salmond launching the SNP's election campaign in Stirling waving a claymore over his head beside the statue of William Wallace (Salmond then had the cheek to claim that he regards a Scot as being anyone who lives in Scotland but actions speak louder than words, as does using an ex-pat - Sean Connery - as a mouthpiece for the campaign). That sort of flagwaving nationalism shocks and disgusts me, yet I see it all the time coming from English Parliament campaigners.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned the "Union" is already broken up as of 1998, it is null and void, it is time for England to have its own Parliament, and we WILL get one, the first step is to remove the Labour regime.

Well, England voted them out at the last general election but thanks to Scots and Welsh voters, who have their own Parliament and assembly, we have them ruling over England again, this situation is untenable, what we need now is for the fools of the Scottish RAJ, like Falconer, to come out with this sort of comment every single day.

No English person should be deluded, England needs Scotland (or Wales) for NOTHING, the "Union" is literally destroying England, who cares if it has to be officially "broken up" (yes the Scots and the Welsh because they dont want the party to end).

I recommend English people to read this article, prepare to be deeply disturbed, yes, you see, the Raj are working for the EU to deliver them England on a plate, broken up into bite sized "regions" of course.
Erosion of vital English values

Historically, in terms of the development of democracy, Englishmen have been unique in identifying, defining and giving voice to seminal values which so many hold dear. These include the right to the pursuit of happiness, the setting of individual freedom as the hallmark of a successful system of justice as reflected in the typically English legal imperatives as the right to equality before the law irrespective of status, the assumption of innocence, the right to trial by jury, habeas corpus and freedom of, and the defence of, free speech. These have largely rode on English Common Law and the ability of Judges and Juries to do a fair job free from political interference.

Such imperatives for the survival of freedom were promoted by the Levellers during the English Civil War and by the group associated with John Lilburne. Cromwell had these inividuals kept in prison. With the collapse of the English Republic and with the return of Royalty their essential writings were very much kept under wraps. The spark which gave rise to a mass revolution in the American Colonies was when the British Crown moved to ban juries because too many were preventing the state enforce arbitrary decisions on innocent "colonists". It is notable that the American Constitutional components which relate to the pursuit of happiness, individual liberty and freedom are largely based on the early writings of Lilburne written in the Tower of London, 150 years before.

Unfortunately there has been a slow erosion of this essential spark, this recognition of the importance of the defence of individual freedom, as a typical English value. This has occurred gradually since the ascendency of the Scottish influence in United Kingdom politics. Scotland, it should be noted, has a legal system based on the European system, Corpus Juris, a codified Roman Law which is completely distinct and almost alien from English Common Law. This sustains a position which keeps the influence of the community conscience in legal affairs and court decisions at arms length.

Elimination through a political Europe

The lack of an English assembly prevents the English from protecting their rights to sustain their nationality as English. The European project, Corpus Juris and the European Constitutional Draft are aimed directly at "standardizing law" which means, in the United Kingdom context that Scottish Law will eventually reign supreme. The breaking up of England into so-called EU regions has been a subtle and politically destructive means of destroying the coherence of the English nation. England has become the only country in Europe to have been eliminated without a war but rather as the result of the manipulations of Brussels bureaucrats and dishonest and irresponsible politicians in Westminster serving their party interests over country.

Toque said...

"I think the bone of contention is that you want nations to be equal within a federal UK, while I want individuals to be equal within a federal UK."

I want both. If one individual's nationality is not recognised whilst another is given a national parliament to persue national politics, promote culture, and given a voice in the EU and internationally, then there can be no equality. I won't feel that I am constitutionally equal until my nation is given constitutional recognition by the state - if you don't understand that then you haven't been paying much attention to nationalist politics in Europe.

"Devolving to the level of England wouldn't solve the massive centralisation we have in this country and the campaign for it is simply a distraction."

I disagree, an English parliament would allow each nation to persue policies separate from each other - true divergence. At the moment the Scottish and Welsh Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative parties are too mindful of what the UK parties tell them to do. Regional assemblies were an attempt to bolster centralisation whilst giving the illusion that they are devolving power; that's why no one voted for it in the North East. 'Devolution is power retained' - Lord Falconer said as much in his recent interview.

And unless English assemblies were to have the power of the Scottish Parliament the West Lothian Question would not be answered, and we would be further lumbered with an asymmetrical sham of a democracy.

The Act of Union was between two nations. Scotland has her nationality embodied in the Scottish Parliament, England too must have similar otherwise there can be no equality. To deny that simple fact will lead to more anti-Scottish and Welsh sentiment from English nationalists and the eventual break-up of Britain. And I'll be one of the people doing the breaking up if the situation isn't rectified. Devolution to Scotland and Wales showed that those who shout loudest get their rewards. You can expect us to be cranking up the volume - we aren't going to go away or be fobbed off with regional quangos or EVoEM.

Anonymous said...

On a point of order, the Conservatives might have won more votes in England, but Labour won a majority of seats in England even if England was independent Labour would still have won the election. Sorry! So the problem is with the first past the post system, not the "evil nasty scheming jocks" who you fear are determined to do England down.
Give it a rest guys. We accept the need to resolve Labour's botched devolution settlement. The majority of the Scots electorate DID NOT VOTE for devolution. It's not excuse to try and whip up hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Mori Poll Published in July 2006, now puts support for an English Parliament at 41% (48% of those with an Opinion)

Scot Lord Falconer, really is out of touch with England.

Steven Uncles
English Democrats