Monday, March 13, 2006

Roy Hattersley in Good Article Shock

It's very rare that I say this - brace yourself - but Roy Hattersley has written a very good article in today's Guardian on the questions of an English Parliament. Regular readers will know where my sympathies lie on this vexed issue - the banner's a bit of a giveaway I suppose - but it is good to know that this is now becoming an issue that is being discussed widely and gaining support across the political spectrum. Read Hattersley's article HERE.


Serf said...

He ruined it a little with the last comments about regional parliaments.

Otherwise it was amazing to see the man talk sense.

Anonymous said...

A lot of what Hattersley writes is fairly appealing... I quite like the articles written for the Daily Mail about how England used to be and the differences between that and how it is today.

In many respects Hattersley is very much a social conservative

Anonymous said...

Its very encouraging and positive that the idea of an English Parliament is being discussed more and more, it is vital for England, the country which gave Parliamentary Democracy to the World, to once again have its own Parliament, whatever the cost, even if it means the end of the "Union" and dont fall for the Labour trick that an English Parliament would cost too much money, we already have the building!, the Mother of them all, Westminster.

But dont be fooled, an English Parliament would not "wreck the Union" as the Scot Falconer desperately says, it is the only way to SAVE the "Union" because one things for sure, the present situation is untenable and if it continues then the "Union" will definitely be finished, in my eyes its null and void anyway as of 1998 when the Labour regime gave Scotland and Wales their Parliament and Assembly.

Once England does get its own Parliament then each nation of the "UK" can have referendum on EU membership, with England almost certainly voting to leave and Scotland and Wales almost certainly voting to go in more, no doubt adopting the EU CONstitution, otherwise known as hundreds of pages of inferior dangerous socialist clap-trap, and no doubt they will adopt the EUro also.

Perhaps in the long run the "British Union" is just untenable, however if it happens like above then it wont be England that brings this about, lets at last put England first, we never should forget that England gains nothing from either Union, the British or the EU, actually its quite the opposite.

The only alternative to England not getting its own Parliament is England being completely abolished, broken up into "regions" and to be ruled from unelected unaccountable "commissioners" in the EU (once upon a time this used to be called a Dictatorship) its not an option is it, even at the expense of the "British Union".

Rigger Mortice said...

Personally,I'm against adding any new layers of govt because in reality it means more jobs for cronies.However,on this issue,there is no choice.If it's good enough for the Scots and Welsh,why is it not a good idea for England.Simple answer-because it would have a Tory majority and Blair knows it.
He likes his democracies that he can't control

Anonymous said...

More About Lord Falconer And England...

The BBC English Parliament poll at 15.22:

Yes - 71.08%

No - 28.92%

Received this morning, an interesting e-mail from Sue Campbell, King's Hedges:

So Lord Falconer says no parliament for England. Not today. Not tomorrow... blah, blah, blah...

That's what he thinks.

My dad is a Scot - born and bred, proud, occasionally (very) anti-English (although he married an Englishwoman and lives in England) and he generally believes that England owes Scotland. Big time...

I don't. Let's scoff down a few bones of contention...

Some Scots: "It's oor oil":

It's British oil until the Union breaks up - and then some of it will be in English waters. Scotland has benefited many times from England, the country was saved from bankrupcy at the time of Union by England, and many subsidies and special favours have been done for Scotland over the years. Scotland benefited from being a mover and shaker in the British Empire movement and basically has done very well out of the Union. It's connection with England has given it opportunities and a louder voice on the world stage than it would ever have had on its own.

Then, good fortune - oil! But that's "oor oil. Scottish oil."

Spoilt brat attitude, I'm afraid.

Some Scots: "We deserve to have a go at England because of Thatcher."

Why? The vote at the time of Thatcher was split by the emergence of a new political party, which was not without Scottish influence, and the Mag Monster benefited. Certain parts of England certainly didn't benefit from her reign. Many Scots were in favour of the early arrival of the Poll Tax in 1989.

And that's the way it goes. For better, for worse. Good times and bad. A union. All over now. Water under the bridge.

None of it justifies John Prescott stomping all over the English countryside, Peter Hain advocating apartheid, the government imposing regional assemblies on England, and the establishment of an elected national assembly for Wales and a parliament for Scotland. Or the West Lothian Question. Or the continuation of the Barnett Formula.

It is not fair. It is not democratic. It is not indicative of the Scots and Welsh MPs being Union minded. Unless it benefits them.

Of the countries of the UK, England was the most submerged by the Union. When some Scots and Welsh folk wittered on and on and on about Big Bad England over the years, answer usually came there none. That's because many of us didn't identify with England - we were too busy having "Britain" rammed down our throats, and being scapegoated for the British Empire.

Now, people like Lord Falconer think they can do what they want in England. England has gone. Gordon Brown desperately screeches "Britain! Britain! British! British!" and if you speak up for England you are a "little Englander", a stock, nonsensical phrase, trotted out for years by people who don't like the concept of England.

The problem here is actually Little Scotlanders and Walesians - dedicated to buttering their own parsnips; it's the PC crowd in England, demonising their own country and flag; it's England's MPs - so lazy and comfortable; it's the lure of the EU on MPs. Now, I favour communication and interaction with Europe and the World, but the EU is becoming less and less democratic. Very like New Labour. Very like Lord Falconer on Friday and his dictate to the people of England.

Big bad unified England has had its way for too long? No.

The whole system of government needs adjusting to take account of the needs and wishes of the people of England? Yes.

Down with undemocratic regionalisation of England. Down with New Labour dictates. Let the people speak.

posted by Drew & Debs at 4:11 PM

Lord Falconer - The Union Is More Important Than Democracy For England...
No sooner do Drew and Debs leave the building, bound for an unseasonal Brighton break, then things start becoming interesting within the world of the CEP. Unfortunately, Drew and Debs don't have a mobile phone ("yuppie toys!" they call them - it's as if the 1980s never ended) so I just have to depend on a single daily call from them and busk it the rest of the way.

So it was with Joy Dobbs and CEP Cambs' contribution to the Office of National Statistics census dust-up, and now with the Scottish Lord Falconer business - you know, the pal of Tony Blair's, who declared on Friday that England cannot have a parliament. No way. No how.

Sorry Lord F., but you are no position to dictate. Actually this entire government should not be in a position to dictate - we're supposed to live in a democracy - but just take a quick look at the unelected regional assemblies, and our rights vanishing like spit on a griddle left right and centre.

Scary, eh?

Anyway, unelected constitutional wallah Lord Falconer seems to think that the Union is far more important than democracy for England. His refusal to let us have even a say, let alone a parliament, has reverberated long and loud - leading to the BBC featuring an online poll on whether or not we should have an English parliament (just over 70% of over 2,000 voters think that we should at the time of writing).

Well, I dropped cork-legged. The BBC - allowing such a thing for the people of England! Stunning.

If this is the sort of thing that happens when Drew & Debs go away on holiday, they must do it more often.
posted by Drew & Debs at 2:03 AM

Anonymous said...

rigger mortice is totally correct. I despise the amount of money being poured down the drain by thick leeches who have no prospect of being employed in the private sector.

An English parliament would mean more representatives with their large allowances, more officers, more 'cohesion' managers, more faceless 'project officers' and more expensive new shiney state of the art buildings for them to work in.

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Gareth said...

"Once England does get its own Parliament then each nation of the "UK" can have referendum on EU membership"

That's wrong. A UKIP myth. The UK is the member nation of the EU and the decision to leave or intergrate further will rest with Westminster regardless of a devolved English parliament or devolved English regional assemblies.

Because England can never be an EU region it is incompatible with the EU's 'Europe of the Regions' model and so would serve as a block to EU federalism.

Anonymous said...

Toque, I have never heard or read that as being as a UKIP myth, I'm not doubting your word though, I'm just trying to think what would be the best situation for England, or what would most likely happen when England gets its own Parliament.

Another way to look at it, sure the "UK" joined (got conned into) the then called EEC, but "England" never joined anything, maybe an English Parliament could simply tell Brussels where to go, anyway i agree that a strong United England is a block to the EU's agenda, thats what they and their puppet Labour regime are terrified of more than anything.

Antony Calvert, England would not require a "Shiny new building" as we already have the Mother of all Parliaments in Westminster, that will simply be converted once again into an English Parliament, and when it sits it will have less MP's in it that it does now under the "British" guise as Scots, Welsh and N Irish MPs would not be allowed to have any say, that to me is not adding another layer of Politicians and red tape but removing a useless layer of Politicians and red tape, hence less expense and personnel.

So long as the "British Union" remained it could sit one day a week at Westminster, or rotate it one day a week between the English, Scottish and Welsh Parliaments/Assembly for all non devolved matters.

Any of this is a better option than the current situation where England is being balkanised out of existence and ruled by the EU.

Anonymous said...

Tuesday, 14 Mar 2006

Don't Vote for Scots

David Curry MP writing in the Yorkshire Post is at least honest:

Let us now return to a scenario of two years hence. Gordon Brown has won a General Election in Britain with a vastly reduced majority, but the Conservatives hold most of the English seats. Over most issues the Prime Minister can only command a majority thanks to his Scottish Labour MPs.
We have arrived at the big question – how legitimate is that government? It has a name: the West Lothian Question.

Basically, this question begs four alternative courses of action: do nothing; empower the English regions; disbar non-English MPs from votes on purely English matters at Westminster (the Tory solution); or set up a parliament for England.

The present Government is in favour of the do-nothing approach, translated into high constitutional theory by Lord Falconer. It tried English regional government, but got a whopping bloody nose from the only region in which it dared to hold a referendum – the North East.

Both remaining solutions pose huge difficulties, not least in defining what is purely English (higher education funding, for example, impacts on the thousands of students who cross the border to go to university.)

I believe that there are two powerful arguments against an English parliament, whether it is achieved pragmatically by de-barring non-English votes from English matters at Westminster or formally by establishing a new institution.

The first is the disproportional size of England within the Union – a size which previous Conservative administrations used to roll out policies across Scotland on the back of English votes.
Assertive nationalism on the part of a small minority is often irksome and small-minded but, ultimately, it irritates rather than undermines. To try to address it by empowering England would, I fear, make the whole notion of the UK unsustainable.

The second, linked objection, is that it would make it very difficult to maintain stable government.
If a party won the General Election but was unable to deliver the majority of its policies, because they fell under the remit of an English parliament which that party did not control, where would that leave the whole idea of UK-wide elections for a UK Parliament? The road to separation would beckon ever more openly.
So I believe that we English have a decision to make. If we value the idea of the Union, we are going to have to roll with the punches occasionally landed from Scots/Welsh/Irish politicians in varying combinations.

If we are not willing to carry the burden of size, let us unfurl the flags of St George and sing Land of Hope and Glory. We will have decided that the Union is no longer ours for the keeping.

If that's the best they can come up with then they are no longer the Unionist Party. I very nearly see that as an instruction to start campaigning for independence. English Votes on English Matters is looking increasingly like a fraud leaving the Conservatives' answer to the West Lothian Question as this:

Of the leaders of these parties, only one is English – David Cameron. All the others are not only non-English, but they represent non-English constituencies.

"Don't vote for Scots".

Theres nothing "anti-Scottish" about this, its about Democracy for England, and Scottish members of the "British Parliament" who have Scottish seats should now have no say over English affairs as they have no mandate, they dont even have any say of 80% of legislation in their OWN Scottish seats as that is handled by the Scottish Parliament.

What a mess the Labour regime have created all in following their EU masters orders.

Anonymous said...

Press Release from We Are The English

English Parliament

The Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer has stated this weekend when asked about an English Parliament "Not today, not tomorrow and not in any kind of future we can see. There is no evidence that they (the English) resent the fact that their is no English Parliament in dead quite the reverse.”

Surprise, surprise like the rest of Tony's cronies he's a Scot. He's yet another Scottish member of this Scottish dominated government and he's an unelected one at that. He's dictating to the English people that they can't have their own Parliament to look after the interests of their own people. It might just be because we'd demand some of the billions back from our Welsh and Scottish cousins with which they are currently unfairly subsidised.

You can e-mail your comments to Lord Falconer here (there's a copy of Julia Howman's complaint at the bottom)

Vote Yes to an English Parliament on the BBC Site

Schools Vote

I think the big vote on school reforms is tomorrow. I don't know enough about it to be able to comment but I do know this. IT DOESN'T APPLY IN SCOTLAND. So it looks like Scottish MP's could once again save Blair's skin by voting on an issue that applies only to the English. The same measures in Scotland are the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament so although they can impose issues on us we have no say in whether they are implemented in Scotland. The Scottish MP's are regularly used to impose legislation upon England. Can they not see the hypocrisy of voting in favour of foundation hospitals and tuition fees in England even though they were ruled out by the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish people. With Blair's majority cut at the last election he will rely more and more on these 'foreign' MP's.

Prescription Charges
Prescription charges are going up again in England by 15p to £6.65 from the start of April. In Wales they are actually going down and will be completely free by 2007. And remember all those English women going to court in order to be given expensive life saving breast cancer drugs - they are all readily available and Scotland.

Waes haeil

Dear Sir,
I am outraged.

How dare the Scotsman, Falconer tell listeners to Radio 4's today programme this
morning, that the English do not require an English Parliament.
For one, he is Scottish so should not be commenting on how the English feel about
anything! In fact whilst discussing this subject, he proudly proclaimed his Scottishness although he resides in England.

Secondly, the English have a right to have their own Parliament and there must be a ban
on non English MP's voting on English policies and this decision is very long over due. Its very unjust.

Thirdly, the Scots people have their own Parliament which is run solely by Scots
who vote on the own policies. How would they like English MP's to go up there and vote in policies which will affect the Scottish people? This is what we English are expected to put up with. It was the Scottish vote that carried through the yes to Foundation hospitals in England and yet when this was debated in Scotland, the same MP's voted against it!

And finally, there must be a complete stop to payments to Scotland via the Barnet Formula
in which billions of English taxpayers money is given to Scotland despite its very small population of only 5 million people. We have elderly in England who die every year from hypothermia and yet in Scotland, thanks to this extra English money, the elderly can receive FREE central heating, how fair is that I ask?

We English want equality and justice for our country and the last thing we want to hear is a Scot, and lets be honest, most of the Government seems to be made up of them, telling us English what is best for US in our own country. if the boot were on the other foot, boy would there be a riot by Scots, good job we English are a tolerant nation but the tolerance is dwindling and we mean business, we will not pack up the campaign until we have our Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Howman
Campaign for an English Parliament,