Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reasons for an English Parliament: No 94

I see Ming Campbell and Charles Kennedy are leading the LibDem rebellion on tuition fees. Er, they represent Scottish constituencies, which are unaffected by any change. What the hell has it got to do with them?

English Parliament, anyone?

37 comments:

Salmondnet said...

Too right - and the BBC keeps giving Ming Campbell air time to say how principled he is on the issue, without ever challenging the legitimacy of his involvement. No doubt they will do the same with Kennedy.

FF said...

As a Scot, I wouldn't argue against an English parliament.

Ming Campbell being MP for St Andrews has a large number of English students in his constituency, so is strangely better qualified to speak on this issue than many.

I don't think the same applies to Charles Kennedy up in Dingwall, though

Aidan said...

Scottish students still study in England though, and pay fees (as I did!). I agree re: English Parliament anyway though for all the other West Lothian reasons..

matt said...

Er, weren't you railing against the cost of local government earlier today?

Jimmy the Short said...

Possibly because they are

A, members of the lib dems, who are in the process of betraying everything they stand for.

And

B, its the right thing do do?

I know the second one may be hard for grizzled politicos to grasp, but give it a try..

clemthegem said...

Even a Leftie like me can see the point of an english Parliament Iain, but why shouldn't Scot MPs contribute to the debate, given that we do not have one as yet?
Hardly an oppressive move to campaign against tuition fees is it? We are not going to have to wear compulsory tartan any time soon...

AGilinsky said...

Oh Iain.

Not only will the plans for English fees have an impact on Scotland, but this is how our system works.

There are certain pieces of legislation that do not affect certain regions, all the time. Scotland is just a more common example.

p.s- Why not just abolish the Scottish Parliament. That'd be way easier.

Cogito Dexter said...

To save costs, I wouldn't want an English parliament, but simply to prohibit votes of MPs from areas where the subject of the vote is a devolved matter in their constituency. It would be a very simple piece of legislation and save a shed-load of money in admin.

Paul Walter said...

From the Press and Journal:

"The proposals could have a knock-on effect in Scotland because they could reduce finance from Westminster through the Scottish grant.

This would leave institutions north of the border facing competition from better-funded English ones and Scottish students would face the same fees regime if they followed a degree course south of the border."

See - it all fits together. It's call a union.

toryardvaark said...

Where do I sign up?

Opinicus said...

Yes please

But it won't be from this government

He is called Cameron

Byrnsweord said...

I should think that there are many more convincing reasons than just this, but this is of course only happening because Cameron wants to protect the Union. He also can't see that this sort of thing - much more than the idea of an English MP- is the true unfair anomaly in British politics.

Jah'sSword said...

Ah, the West Lothian Question. Trouble is an English parliament is a a break up of the union by another means. It, in effect, would be England declaring UDI. Which would be good, but won't happen with this government. Neither will the stopping of Scottish MP's voting on purely English matters. The English need a non-xenophobic serious pressure group to put the case. Set one up Iain!

Q said...

I didn't notice you or any other Conservatives complaining in the 1980s, Mr.Dale, when English MPs lined up to ram Conservative policy through in Scotland even though English constituencies were unaffected.

In principle I have no objection to an English parliament. However it is a disgusting display of hypocrisy to whine about Scottish MPs voting on English matters when, for almost 300 years, the reverse was true and nary an objection was raised.

dazhat said...

No, not a whole parliament that would be a stupid exercise in bureaucracy/ Requiring a majority of English MPs to vote in favour of issues affecting only England would be a good idea.

AndrewSouthLondon said...

Wouldn't an "English Parliament" have a natural Conservative majority? Rid of fifty or so Labour MP's and no need for the coalition. Self government for England. (Well run by Brussels actually, but I won't tell if you don't)

wonkotsane said...

English Parliament, anyone?

Yes please.

B, its the right thing do do?

No, it's wrong for any MP elected in Scotland to vote on something for England that is devolved in Scotland.

but why shouldn't Scot MPs contribute to the debate, given that we do not have one as yet?

And how many MPs elected in English constituencies debated tuition fees in Scotland?

Not only will the plans for English fees have an impact on Scotland, but this is how our system works.

The system is wrong. Having no fees in Scotland impacts England - it deprives English universities of students from Scotland because they don't want to pay for education when they can get it free at home.

To save costs, I wouldn't want an English parliament, but simply to prohibit votes of MPs from areas where the subject of the vote is a devolved matter in their constituency. It would be a very simple piece of legislation and save a shed-load of money in admin.

A Grand Committee of British MPs passing British legislation for England isn't an answer to a devolved national parliament with politicians elected to represent only their national interests. A few years ago Chris Gill, a former Tory MP who has since seen the light and joined UKIP, submitted a costed paper to a House of Lords Committee on the constitution which in today's money would save almost half a billion pounds per year by creating a federal UK.

Where do I sign up?

The Campaign for an English Parliament - http://www.thecep.org.uk

Trouble is an English parliament is a a break up of the union by another means. It, in effect, would be England declaring UDI.

Rubbish. Devolution is power loaned, not given away. It acknowledges the supremacy of the British government.

The English need a non-xenophobic serious pressure group to put the case. Set one up Iain!

There's been one since 1998, the Campaign for an English Parliament - http://www.thecep.org.uk

didn't notice you or any other Conservatives complaining in the 1980s, Mr.Dale, when English MPs lined up to ram Conservative policy through in Scotland even though English constituencies were unaffected.

There haven't been any English MPs since 1707 when the English Parliament was replaced with the British Parliament. It was British MPs in the British government. And it wasn't even the same situation - there was devolution in the 80's so every British MP had the same moral right to vote on any law because there was only one parliament.

No, not a whole parliament that would be a stupid exercise in bureaucracy/ Requiring a majority of English MPs to vote in favour of issues affecting only England would be a good idea.

No it wouldn't. For a start it's what 7 out of 10 people in the UK (not just England) want. A Grand Committee of British MPs elected in England is not the same as a devolved government.

It's time the British government stopped dicking around making up excuses for denying us our democratic rights. I want my country back.

wonkotsane said...

English Parliament, anyone?

Yes please.

B, its the right thing do do?

No, it's wrong for any MP elected in Scotland to vote on something for England that is devolved in Scotland.

but why shouldn't Scot MPs contribute to the debate, given that we do not have one as yet?

And how many MPs elected in English constituencies debated tuition fees in Scotland?

Not only will the plans for English fees have an impact on Scotland, but this is how our system works.

The system is wrong. Having no fees in Scotland impacts England - it deprives English universities of students from Scotland because they don't want to pay for education when they can get it free at home.

To save costs, I wouldn't want an English parliament, but simply to prohibit votes of MPs from areas where the subject of the vote is a devolved matter in their constituency. It would be a very simple piece of legislation and save a shed-load of money in admin.

A Grand Committee of British MPs passing British legislation for England isn't an answer to a devolved national parliament with politicians elected to represent only their national interests. A few years ago Chris Gill, a former Tory MP who has since seen the light and joined UKIP, submitted a costed paper to a House of Lords Committee on the constitution which in today's money would save almost half a billion pounds per year by creating a federal UK.

wonkotsane said...

Where do I sign up?

The Campaign for an English Parliament - http://www.thecep.org.uk

Trouble is an English parliament is a a break up of the union by another means. It, in effect, would be England declaring UDI.

Rubbish. Devolution is power loaned, not given away. It acknowledges the supremacy of the British government.

The English need a non-xenophobic serious pressure group to put the case. Set one up Iain!

There's been one since 1998, the Campaign for an English Parliament - http://www.thecep.org.uk

didn't notice you or any other Conservatives complaining in the 1980s, Mr.Dale, when English MPs lined up to ram Conservative policy through in Scotland even though English constituencies were unaffected.

There haven't been any English MPs since 1707 when the English Parliament was replaced with the British Parliament. It was British MPs in the British government. And it wasn't even the same situation - there was devolution in the 80's so every British MP had the same moral right to vote on any law because there was only one parliament.

No, not a whole parliament that would be a stupid exercise in bureaucracy/ Requiring a majority of English MPs to vote in favour of issues affecting only England would be a good idea.

No it wouldn't. For a start it's what 7 out of 10 people in the UK (not just England) want. A Grand Committee of British MPs elected in England is not the same as a devolved government.

MikeyP said...

Well. tell Wavy Davy then. He could initiate the process easily.

Salmondnet said...

In response to Campbell and Kennedy's various defenders, for 300 (ish) years English MPs voted on Scottish matters and Scottish MPs voted on English matters. This is known as reciprocity.

Scottish MPs now vote on English matters while English MPs can not vote on the same matters in relation to Scotland. This is known as undemocratic.

English MPs had no vote on the fees regime of Scottish Universities. Scottish MPs should have no say on the fees regime in England.

Obviously decisions in one country will often have indirect effects on the other. That does not justify a system which allows only one of the two countries an extraterritorial vote.

Wyrdtimes said...

Definitely.

Perhaps if we had an English parliament spending English taxes on England we could afford to help our own youngsters get a decent start in life. And sort out all the other areas where the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish get a better deal than we do.

Home rule for England.

Toque said...

Well said Iain, Charles Kennedy is quite the hypocrite

Ed Miliband said...

That Gordon Brown started it all off with using Scottish votes against the wishes of the english!

At least Tony instigated policies the Tories could at a stretch help implement.

wildgoose said...

The only reason why Charles Kennedy is sticking his oar in is because he's concerned about the effect on Scottish Universities - he couldn't give a damn about students from England. (The reason why English students in Scotland have to pay when Scottish students don't is that the Lib Dems insisted on this as part of their price for joining a coalition with Labour in Scotland).

Kennedy is a hypocrite with no democratic mandate to interfere in any matters in England that have been devolved to Scotland.

The lack of an English Parliament is a running sore that will end up poisoning the Union if it isn't dealt with - and soon.

johnpaul said...

It would have been terrible in 1989 for an Englsih tory gov't to have inposed the poll tax on aScottinsh electorate,For the record as we don't have a Welsh or NI parliament but a devolved chamber, if we have an english parliament then we shlould have a Welsh one too,

i albion said...

Yes!Yes!Yes! A Parliament for England.

Matt said...

Two failed Scottish Lib Dem leaders, it needs to be pointed out.

'mists' as the wv puts it so succinctly.

trevorsden said...

Oh Aglinsky - things the French do affect us but we do not have a vote in the French parliament.
English issues are a matter for English MPs not Scots.
So called 'effects on scotland' are just a transparent excuse for scottish labour MPs to still dictate to england.

I fail to see the need for an expensive English parliament; the scottish local govt is already a waste of time. english votes for english matters.

Interestingly my WV is 'minglyba' which I believe is defined as dribbling rubbish spoken by ageing and/or drunk scottish politicians.

Hamish said...

Could I introduce a note of principle here.
The United Nations Charter reognises the right of all nations to self-determination. It stresses that the colonial power has no say in the matter.
The English are one of the most civilised nations on earth, so they tend to think the biggest compliment they can pay is to regard another nation as 'one of us'.
With great respect, I am not English, and the English are not Scots. The sooner we go our separate ways, the better for both nations.

SomersetScouser said...

The political elite keep banging on about their "passionate belief in the Union". Truth is, the Union died when the Scots and Welsh opted out, back in 1999. They now enjoy an autonomy they cannot actually afford. It has to be paid for by English taxpayers.
I have no problem anymore with Scottish and Welsh autonomy; only with having to finance it.
If there really is a "Union" then each nation within it must be treated equally. The Welsh Assembly must be upgraded to parliament status, England must be granted its own parliament, and each country must finance itself. (No more Barnett Formula.)

Euan said...

It'd be much easier just to prevent Scottish mps voting on non-scottish matters, instead of setting up another parliament.

Malden said...

Absolutely not, Iain. I'm afraid it has a lot to do with the Scots. England is 85% of the Union in terms of population and economic clout, so England's spending decisions have unavoidable and huge ramifications across the border.

An English parliament would accelerate the breakup of the Union by making England go in its own direction without consideration of its fellow British countries, prompting them to secede.

Your choice - English sovereignty or maintenance of the Union. English devolution within the Union would only start the slippery slope.

Salmondnet said...

Malden: Ah, the usual "Union will break up" blackmail. It is of course an empty threat. If the Scots or Welsh wish to leave there is only one sensible answer - bye then, best of luck. Don't forget to pay all your banking bills before you go and to close the border firmly behind you.

Actually, there seem to be very few Scots who would wish to deny the English a separate Parliament, either within or without the Union. The opposition comes mostly from the British political class for their own doctrinal or electoral reasons.

Malden said...

Salmondnet:

I did not mean my post to be a description of 'blackmail' as you call it. I am born and bred in Essex - as English as they come. I'm not threatening anything. I'm merely explaining the consequence of such an unwise constitutional change.

If you don't care about the Union then it's not going to bother you. Fine; I respect, but don't agree, with that statement, but you may as well campaign straight for the breakup of the Union instead of the painful, temporary halfway house of English devolution.

I know full well that Scots would have no problem with England having its own parliament, and I don't blame anyone for thinking it makes sense. It works in theory, but not in practice.

While in principle it is desirable, in reality it would be inherently unstable. Those in favour of the Union should oppose it. Those who don't care about the Union should not even bother with it.

And your comment about doctrinal self-interest is insulting. Unlike you, I have studied the issue closely. I used to support a federal Britain - I now appreciate it is impossible.

Home Rule for England said...

When are you going to raise this when you appear on the tv Ian? Apologies if you already have, but I've never heard you mention it.

Ryan said...

Two words...

Barnett consequentials