Tomorrow Parliament will vote on whether to give the go-ahead to the creation of thirteen regional select committees. Each chairman will have another £12,000 added to their salaries. Each committee will recruit a clerk and admin staff. It has been estimated that the cost of running the committees will exceed £4 million.
Having had to ditch John Prescott' regional government plans they are now trying to reintroduce regionalisation by the back door. The Conservatives have already said they will abolish the ubdemocratic regional assemblies. If they are being consistent they will not only commit to abolishing these regional select committees, they will refuse to serve on them in the first place.
You evidently haven't a clue about the purpose of these new committees. They are being established to bring more democratic scrutiny of regional quangoes and the like, while also trying to bring greater understanding of departmental spending/co-ordination in different parts of the country. Politics isn't all about getting over-excited by something you've heard in the Crussh Bar.
I would also imagine that at least two of these Committees - perhaps three - will be chaired by Conservative MPs, and that will also be a good thing for democracy.
Tories going to scrap their City Minister as well, Iain?
I am very well aware of the role of these committees. And that's why I believe they should be boycotted.
I imagine you are right about Conservative MPs chairing a couple of them. And I still think they should be boycotted.
I agree Iain - Regional Committees are yet another brilliant New Labour wheeze that will cost money that the country doesn't have, to provide a platform for endless 'hot air' discussions that the country doesn't need. "Jobs for the boys ... mine's a treble ... hic !!"
Its part of the Labour party plan to Balkanise England.
Are any of the Regions to be subdivisions of Wales or Scotland ?
Typical anti-English spitefulness and waste by the Labour party who won less votes in England than the Conservatives and are determined to make the English pay for it.
Anon 6:17 - why no devolved Parliament for England ?
Ans- Because it wouldn't return a Labour first minister.
The rest is smoke / mirrors by the anti-England Labour party.
I assume you are also aware of contradictions between Cameron and Osborne's comments in past year on RDAs and that of Feral Eric, ie he'd abolish them while they would keep those deemed worthwhile by the business community.
Would it not make sense therefore that any RDAs that survive a Con govt review are given proper Parli scrutiny?
Iain, There are those EU supporters within the Tory Party that will even accept the Chairmanship!! Watch this space!
Boycott is not quite the action required here, The Concerned-a-bit Party MP's should be leading the revolutionary mob in identifying the most suitable lampposts. Oh and by the way VAT should be removed from hempen rope
I thought the purpose was to give more money to labour MPs before they get kicked out.
but whilst the RDAs exist and waste vast amounts shouldn't our public representatives actually provide some scrutiny of them.
Sure get rid of them once in power but whilst the govt with it's current mandate is continuing to spend money through them it's surely a duty to ensure some degree of accountability
One can hardly credit the antics of those wishing to enhance the New Labour Project. We are up to our eyes in National Debt and all they do is increase the number of people dipping into the pot. I suspect that this is once again all to do with Europe and the prospective break up England. Surely some of our English MPs can see this but where are they?
In these testing financial times, the Conservatives ought to at least push for the measure to be revenue neutral. Hell, the easiest way for that would be to use existing admin staff and have committee places be without reward. Being a politician is supposed to be a vocation isn't it?
If Government and Parliament want these things scrap the obscene communications allowances.
Faced with a financial downturn that began on one of the outer moons of Jupiter, Britain needs to take difficult decisions for the long term, which is why we're getting on with job and providing a key fiscal stimulus to erm.. John Lewis.
So weak Iain. You may think a boycott is a good idea for some reason or other but you don't explain it. What will constituency MPs feel about it? Will it give them more of a voice for their constituents or not?
I'm not sure about this. But you are offering no argument and no analysis.
These are essential Euro building blocks and must go ahead.
It's interesting that Drapers drones refuse to post on here under their own name preferring to be anonymous.
Frightened are they?
Well said Iain. the less the state has to do with my life the better.
Not just another £12K on the salaries of 13 appointees, but presumably increased pension entitlements as well. Am I correct in thinking that MPs are still on a (extremely generous) final salary scheme? That should come in very handy for those MPs destined to lose their seat at the next GE.
And guess who's paying for all this?
Consistent; Cameron's version of Conservatism? Don't hold your breath Iain.
Please tell me how our government has the right to take a 13 year old girl from her home and family against all their (well informed) wishes and force major surgery on the child that will probably kill her?
I thought that what the Nazis did was bad but never did I imagine this would be possible in modern day Britain.
Should all Conservatives withdraw from the Regional Assemblies then?
"Each committee will recruit a clerk and admin staff."
And your basis for this assertion is?
More informed sources believe that each committee will be staffed by an existing clerk and other administrative staff already employed by the House, probably doubling up with the responsibilities they already have.
Iain why do you comment on anything about the Tories - you are as liberal and left wing as any new Labour supporter you were rumbled last week
If this didn't go ahead it would save £4m according to what you say. Why can't George parcel this with other waste and go for an income tax cut?
The various regional quangos exist to deal with regional economic matters, and they are not going to go away. The pretence that economic regions don’t exist is barmy - a particular subset of nutty, head-in-the-sand conservative thinking. The new regional minsters will be answerable to the regional select committees. Where I live, a Labour regional minister will report to a mainly Tory select committee.
MPs will not boycott these committees and if Dave were ever to get into power, he would not abolish them.
Hurrah for Mr Dale, the conservative activists’ hero.
If there is nine regional ministers for England,one for scotland, wales and northern ireland,is there any need for the other 500 odd MP's?
The pretence that economic regions don’t exist is barmy - a particular subset of nutty, head-in-the-sand conservative thinking
Ahhh I see its inevitable, I have dealt with SME`s for twenty years and they are to the last one blissfully unaware of these supposed embryonic principalities. The wasted money sleaze and cronyism surrounding the regional development bodies is epic and a disgrace especially in these times .
The true fault line is this . Labour require Scotland to have double counted votes to win an election. This is a standing absurdity which must be resolved by a reduction of Scottish Power in Westminster . Labour would like to distact attention from there gerrymandering by inventing English Regions with no basis in reality at vast cost and no benefit to anyone . This will additionally make it easier to ignore the settled wish of the English to rule themselves outside the European Empire . They have been deafted in the open even in their client region , the North East and now they are imposing their plot by stealth
Well said Iain I could not agree more. This back room fix sghould be dragged into the light.A failure of the Comnservative Party to make a stand would be a betrayal .
The Tories could have boycotted the un-elected regional assemblies after the North East voted NO to regional assemblies. but no,they participated in the abolition of England. I have no faith in the Conservatives any more. Cameron is now believes Cornish Nationalism is a good thing according to a Scotland on Sunday article last week,but I'm sure he still sees his supporters in England as "sour little Englanders". The toty leadership is pro EU so they will go along with New Labour's English hating agenda.
These "Select Committees" have nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with denying us our own Parliament and putting Labour footholds in constituencies where they currently have few or none at all.
They will also allow Scots, Welsh and NIrish to continue interfering in English matters and taking English taxes. They say - we pay.
And the Tories will not boycott them. They will take the money and take their places, as they did with the Regional Assemblies.
The sooner GB Ltd is abolished, the sooner democracy can be restored to all of Enlgand's citizens; not just the privileged few who can afford to bypass such "trivia."
Not good enough.
It should be made very clear to Conservative Councillors that to serve on one of these bodies is in direct contradiction to an important plank of Party policy and that anyone joining one of these regional bodies will be not be allowed to stand as a Conservative Councillor at future local Government elections.
In almost all cases this would be a political death sentence. Those that went ahead anyway we would probably not miss very much.
If this were a matter of conscience or of deeply held political beliefs then I would never suggest such action; but this is a case of a party policy being undermined for kudo's and profits by egotistical Councillors so to hell with them.
The chairmen of these committees should get together to form an All-England Committee and elect a chairman from among themselves to speak for England - since no-one else does.
The chairmen of these committees should get together to form an all-England Committee and elect a spokesperson from among themslves to speak for England - since no-one else does.
Shortsighted. These committees will in fact hugely increase accountability of the bloated regional government offices and RDAs and, I confidently predict, will provide the Tories with a rich vein of stories about NuLab waste and inefficiency. To call it regionalisation by the back door is baloney. We already have (unelected) regional government, this is just a way of making it more accountable.
Where do you get 13 from? I thought it was just the alleged regions of England excluding the city state of London, which comes to eight: NE, NW, Yorks & Humber, East, East Mids, West Mids, South of Eng and SW or have we been sub-divided further?
David Cameron, Dec 2007.
"It is essential that we seek answers to any unfairness in the Union, and to questions of accountability, justice and democracy. It is a sign of Labour’s weakness and irresponsibility that they prefer to sweep these questions under the carpet, pretend they don’t exist, simply because they are difficult."
And since then? Deafening silence.
What do we expect from the Tories over the unwanted balkanisation of England? Nothing.
I hope I'm proved wrong, but I doubt it.
Well said Iain.
The regions are Labours final solution for the English problem. We can't let them break England up.
The clue is in the title "The European Union of the regions"
"Regional Select Committees" are a front for the breakup of England.
There is already a Minister of the (nether) Regions.
The way to solve the "regional qango oversight issue" is to ABOLISH THEM.
Rather than make a small political point by boycotting Regional Select Committees, Tory MPs should use their time and political capital to push for clarity on the party's policy on the future of Regional Development Agencies, and their 2bn-plus annual budget.
We're looking into RDAs now, and will report back in a few weeks (www.centreforcities.org). Could the Tories be the first party to put forward radical new plans for the English regions - with development agencies to support weaker economies, and greater devolution elsewhere?
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