Sunday, September 13, 2009

MPs Boycott "Regional Crap" Grand Committee

It's amazing what you discover when doing a little research for the Bedford Open Primary. Do you remember that six weeks ago I wrote about the Eastern Regional Committee Meeting and suggested that it would probably be inquorate. Well, I wasn't wrong. The report in Bedfordshire on Sunday makes for interesting reading. Only 14 out of the 51 Eastern Region MPs turned up, rendering the meeting inquorate. Andrew MacKinlay stormed out half way through describing the whole event as "regional crap". Quite.


Gawdi said...


This was on the regional news last week. TV cameras were there to record the glorious and historic meeting taking place..
They did not have a chance to postpone the meeting before start time, and your right only 14 arrived for it (and I believe it was not boycotted by Tory Party).
Barbara Follett's face was a picture - she does struggle to put on a brave face...
Much knashing of teeth and arse kicking followed I believe..

Roger Thornhill said...

More that crap - borderline treasonous when you know what they are for. Still, I expect the eu to ip the sinecure and other inducements to try and get enough "useful idiots" to attend. Prolly have to involve more from the county level.

Anonymous said...

The link to the paper links to your old post.

Unknown said...

We have "Regional Crap" in Wales, the difference is we have 60 politicians who have a gravy train to ride, is there any help out there?

Rob said...

Sadly Stonemason no, we're stuck with them taking a slice of the money to pay for their beauraucracy. It would be much better to see the moeny devolved one step further, down to the councils, police and helth authorities, etc (But with the heads of these authorities being democratically accountable. We'd get more for our money, better councils and have the ability to change things we're not happy that's why it would never happen.

Unknown said...

Speaking of regional politics:

is the Icanhazcheezburger concept applied to Birmingham politics.

Anonymous said...

"Where Britain becomes as it should be, a Britain of Nations and Regions"

Gordon Broon 2000.

1. Undermining of Parliament As Parliament’s existing powers over, e.g. education, health, transport, planning etc. are handed to the regions, it continues to weaken the authority and power of Parliament, already gravely weakened by the massive transfers of powers to Brussels.

2. Passing power to Brussels
The proposed Regional Assemblies, now operating as ‘shadow’ regional assemblies, already have strong links to Brussels, with E.U. observers on them. If and when they become elected, E.U. Directives from Brussels will be enforced directly by these regional assemblies and their funds will be increasingly drawn from Brussels not Westminster.

3. ‘A Europe of Strong Regions’
There is voluminous literature published by various E.U. institutions emphasising that Europe is to be a ‘A Europe of Strong Regions’. It doesn’t take an Einstein or rocket scientist to work out that a ‘Europe of Strong Regions’ is likely therefore to be one of relatively weak nations. The President of the Committee of the Regions recently described regions as “a factor of European integration”.

4. Pre-Planning
Evidence that break-up of the government of England into nine Regional Assemblies has been meticulously planned over at least two decades includes:
(1) The existence and activities of the E.U.’s ‘Committee of the Regions’. The plan is for each of the 111 already-mapped-out regions of the European Union each to send a total of four representatives to the Euro Committee of the Regions in Brussels. It is a classic case of undermining the role and influence of national Parliaments. The legal basis of the Committee of the Regions was established by the Treaty Establishing the European Community.

14. England uninvited to the Brussels ‘Constitutional Convention’
A major E.U.-wide conference, lasting over two years, began this spring in Brussels. It is being held to discuss the constitutional future of the E.U. - in particular, to develop a written constitution for the coming Euro-state. Representatives from many ‘E.U. regions’, like Scotland and Northern Ireland, will be invited because they have law-making powers. Wales may get an invitation as their Assembly has limited law-making powers. But England isn’t invited, nor will any part of England be invited to meetings of this ‘Constitutional Convention’ - not unless and until we get regional government here with law-making powers in each region. Those regions which get law-making powers will then be able to take seats at meeting of the Constitution Convention. Could the E.U. agenda of killing off the unity and identity of England by Regional Assemblies be any plainer?

British Canadian Club said...

I would have expected this response. There is no attachment to these Come Dancing regions within England. Yet people are strongly attached to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies.

But without some distinct English institution the discontent will continue.

Federalism won't work because of the population imbalance. The only solution is a confederal system based on equal powers or powers shared on an equal-nation basis.

That is the challenge for the Conservative party to meet otherwise it will only be trying to keep the lid on the boiler like Labour has been attempting.

Has David Cameron got the mettle to finally grasp this nettle and reverse the decline of the Commonwealth with it?

For at the nub of this issue has been politicians at Westminster trying to make Britishness into a nationality with the result that the Commonwealth countries have sheared off and the nationalities of the UK have been discomfited and unhappy.

By recognising those individual identities as nationalities and Britishness as the identity of a family of nations (and establishing a constitution to meet that reality) David Cameron and the Conservatives could be credited with reviving a Britishness that is not only meaningful but also attractive to those other Commonwealth nations.

From there we could re-establish some meaning to the Commonwealth with more shared institutions. Defence should never have been divided in the way it was but the selfishness of power-politicians created discontent in the Dominions.

There is an opportunity here for David Cameron to recognise before it simmers any longer.

wonkotsane said...

It was crap but rather disappointingly Tory MPs turned up despite saying they were going to boycott them nationally.

There's more on this at the CEP blog:

Cynic said...

One of the complete wastes of time and money this governmnet excels at

Cynic said...

" without some distinct English institution the discontent will continue"

I disagree. That institution should be PArliament. The Hosue will continue to be dominated by English interests - about 85% of people live in England.

The problems e have had had stem from:-

* rule by a Scottish clique of Minsiters that was seen as not in England's interest
* excess funding to the devolved administrations which get too much money for too little and can afford to lavish things on their populace that England cannot afford or that make political sense but are bad economically
* the emascualtion of parliament as a check on the Executive and a reviewing chamber.

Cameron can revers this by radical reform of the whole system incluidng:-

* cutting the numbers of Ministers
* bringing back Cabinet Govern,mnet
* enhancing the role of the House
* decentralising power to local governmnet while holding them firmly to account and driving up the quality of concillors and the Governance of Local Authorities
* reforming funding for Scotland Wales and NI

All of that is a huge challenge but will be welcomed by voters. The english regions make no sense. Poeple dont identify with them and they should be abolished

Anonymous said...

You CANNOT have a (so called) "Union" where all constituent nations do not have parity!, England needs, and will i assure you have, its own Parliament, and if that means ending a null and void in all but name as of 1998 "British" Union then so be it! the only thing England gets out of the "Union" is the BILL!.

Throw out of Westminster the MP's not elected in England, and revert it back to an English Parliament, thus solving that problem and REMOVING a tier of Politicians in the process!.

Another point it, how can you have a "Union" within a "Union" (the EU Dictatorship), you cant!, and its obvious it is scotlands destiny to be a 'Independent' (ho ho!) EU Region ruled from Brussels, let them have it, and the euro, and the Lisbon Constitreaty, who cares, just stay out of Englands affairs.

Scrap the Barnett formula aswell, the Party is coming to an end.

Anonymous said...

So left in the hands of the British government, this is how England will be governed. A shambolic regional grand committee of British MPs who may or may not actually be elected to a constituency in the euroregion the grand committee is supposed to represent with no powers that less than a quarter of MPs can be bothered to turn up and costing £2m every time it sits.

And the British government tells us that an English Parliament would be too expensive. Unbelievable.

And lets not beat about the Bush, Broon and Mclabour are against an English Parliament, and "all for Regions" simply because they are in the EU's pocket and are merely trying to carry out their agenda of carving England up into EU Regions and hading them over on a plate to Brussels to rule.

With Scotland, Wales, N ireland and ROI all being nothing but EU Regions each in their entirety.

Person 1 said...

Anonymous, you've got your figures wrong. £2m a sitting?! Where's that come from? An argument is much more persuasive when based on fact, not vitriol... The total cost of ALL these meetings is less than £1.5m. Feel free to rant about that instead.

ash said...

I would be happy if I thought it was a "boycott". It sounds more like "couldn't be arsed" to me! What do we pay these people for? I'm not allowed to pick and choose what I do in my job!

We should know if the boycotters/ couldn't be arsed brigade were working or skiving while this meeting was held. I suspect the latter.

nick said...

If we're stuck with these Euro-regions, can Hertfordshire put in a transfer request for a move from the East to its natural home in the South East? We have always had far more in common with fellow London commuters in Bucks, Berkshire and Surrey than we have with rural Norfolk and Suffolk.

wonkotsane said...

Ash, we don't have to have regions, we can leave the EU instead and solve this and many more problems. Unfortunately, you won't get that by voting for David Camoron because he's said many times he intends to keep us in the European Empire.

Wyrdtimes said...

Home rule for England