The Questionable English

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Okay, here goes. As BondBloke intimates, this mob tactic is a pretty standard game of the English Nationalists. I suspected that saying the “wrong” thing about the English would get me on a list somewhere and, lo and behold, that is precisely what has happened.

Whatever, I’m going to try to answer as much of the substantive argument as possible.

Barry G:

Votes may well have dropped for the Nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales, but this is because the mainstream politicians are now Nationalists. They do not go to Westminster for the good of the UK, They go to represent their own countries.

Note, dear reader, the capitalisation of “They”. It’s always “They” isn’t it? Keeps them neatly dehumanised.

But, to go back to the substantive: if anything, Scots and Welsh MPs from the main parties behave like English MPs. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t bother turning up to votes on English matters, would they? What basis in fact does Barry G’s claim have?

France, Germany and Italy are represented in the EU England is not.There are a Scottish and Welsh voices at Brussells but no English voice.

Absolutely not true – the EU is one of the few places where England DOES get a voice alongside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Celtic Fringe has a total of 14 MEPs; England has 64 MEPs. In the Committee of the Regions, England similarly outnumbers the Celts. Only the UK is represented at the European Commission and Council of Ministers.

True, England is slightly under-represented according to population size, but that is because of the degressive nature of the way each English region and nation is represented – in short each constituency is guaranteed 3 representatives. There certainly is a case for creating more numerous, smaller English regions, as I have already argued.

Regions sound good in theory but in reality they do not restore democratic parity and constitutional equality to the people of the UK. Far from being devolution – as we were told – they infact anti-devolution (power being moved away from grass-roots to regional centres with precious little being handed away by the centre), a form of centralisation that goes by the maxim ‘power devolved is power retained.

That depends entirely on how you constitute regions. Yes, Labour tried selling us a pig in a poke – the answer is to have a decent settlement, not dismiss all models just because one model proved universally unpopular.

Toque:

Give us a referendum and let the people decide, otherwise charges of Balkanisation will stick because they have merit.

Again, I entirely support the principle that if enough people call for it, there should be a referendum on the issue. The Power Inquiry spells out a system for Citizen’s Initiatives, and it is something I support. But I’m willing to bet that if such a system were adopted, we’d have polls on devolution within certain English regions a long time before we get a poll for an English Parliament. And I’d be willing to bet even more that it would result in a resounding “no”.

I should add that I am open to the idea of devolving power to English provinces and cities. However, this should be decided upon by the English as part of a far-ranging English Constitutional Convention.

Maybe so, but that Constitutional Convention will get nowhere if, as the CEP insist, it has to support an English Parliament from the outset.

Tommy:

As an English man myself I just hate the fact that I am being completely ignored by the UK government, they have taxed my arse off with stealth and are now quite happy to regionalise England without asking anybody for an opinion or what they want.

How would an English Parliament prevent people from having their “arses” stealth taxed off? Personally, I’m rather more exercised by the amount of income tax I have to pay, but that’s by the by. And Parliament for England (pop. 50m) would be as unresponsive as a Parliament for the UK (pop. 60m).

M Peck:

The UK is a dying animal, Labour killed it by dismembering it in order to pacify the nationalists in Scotland and Wales. Scotland has a parliament which is already asking for greater powers, Wales has an assembly which is steadily gaining powers and which will eventually be a parliament in all but name, the Irish will be self governing as soon as Westminster thinks it can safely get rid of it and it’s troubles – so will someone please tell me, an Englishman, why I can’t have equality with these nations? Why am I stuck with Westminster, why am I at the mercy of Scots or Welsh MPs who can decide my fate? I want an English Parliament now that the UK is bleeding to death.

This post is so overblown, and so devoid of any factual basis, that I thought I’d just provide it here as light relief.

wonkotsane:

An English Parliament wouldn’t create an assymetrical federation and if you had sat and thought about how a federal UK would work you would know this.

I know it because it is a simple fact that can be verified if you happen to posess a pocket calculator. England contains 85% of the UK population. A federation of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England would be asymetrical. Where’s the argument?

An English Parliament would only deal with devolved matters.

But it wouldn’t be very devolved, would it? From the POV of the average Englisher, it would be just as centralised as what we have now.

In the US, California has the most money, Florida has the most people and Texas has the most space. None of them dominate the federal government because they all have equal representation in it.

All states in the US have equal representation in the Senate, but not in the House of Representatives. This gives the smallest states a grotesque amount of power at the expense of the larger state and gives the Republicans an inbuilt advantage. No thank you!

The same would apply in a federal UK. If each home nation is given equal representation – say 10 representatives each – to the federal government then what’s the problem? How representations are made to those federal representatives would be down the the individual parliament to decide. The 4 home nations could easily be divided up into 10 federal constituencies.

Quaequam Blag! This really is nuts! Are you sure you aren’t secretly Scottish, Mr Wonk?

So, instead of a situation whereby England has 83% of the votes in Parliament to decide UK matters, you want us to have just 25%? How on Earth does that solve the problem?

Toque (again!):

I’ve been reliably informed that the poster is a WWI poster so it has nothing to do with the Nazis full stop.

Not sure about that, but fair enough. So you are comparing the Scots to the Kaiser in WWI rather than the Nazis in WWII – it is still ridiculous, overblown and scarily militaristic.

Funny how this blog has categories for ‘Scotland’ and ‘Wales’ and yet nothing for England – I wonder what the subtext for that omission is?

I thought maybe you might want to explain that for us?

Hereward the awake:

The “union” has been broken up for years. It happened when Tony Blair and his anti-English bigots did the deal with the scottish and welsh nationalists.

Well, actually what happened was there were two referendums and a majority of the Scots and Welsh voted for it, but why let the facts get in the way?

It is not a union when scotland and wales get much more money per person from the “United” kingdom budget than English people per person get!

The Barnett Formula was set up decades before devolution, and if you bothered to read my post rather than hectoring, you would see that it is the number one priority on my “to sort” list.

Oh the old “England’s too big” and “it wouldnt bring democracy to the people” lies!

This line of reasoning is so childish! California is the big earner in the USA. Does it demand that the rest of the USA do what it says? No!

California represents about a 10th of the population of the US – it is more comparable to Scotland than it is to England.

I note that you DO NOT state that the present state of affairs is wrong!

Er, yes I do. I said:

Politicians need to tackle the English Question, and quickly.

…and went on to set out a four point plan of things that needed to happen.

[choosing to dress our arguments up in flag-waving nationalist nonsense] is our right. We live in a democracy don’t we? Obviously not! Well, according to you that is!

Well, actually, not only do I think you have every right to spout as much nonsense as you want, but I’m allowing you to spout it on my own personal website.

They [the Scots and Welsh] are [the equivalent of Nazis]. I agree with you at last.

QED.

Seriously, if you think it’s okay that English people DO NOT get adequate funding and DIE because of it then youre a fucking cunt!

Charming.

See, you make comments but dont say why it would be a good idea. Pathetic! Flags? I thought you didnt like flags? ha! ha! Oh there will be an English parliament trust me.

… you can tell he was drooling when he typed this, can’t you?

I’ll leave you to read the rest. It just seems to sink into a cesspit of derangement.

Hereward the deranged begins again:

The Welsh and Scots see them selves as on the road to Independence in Europe.

I’ll say it again: the Welsh and Scot Nats votes are in collective freefall. Plaid Cymru is even embarrassed to use the word “Cymru” in its name these days. The voters are increasingly voting against independence in Scotland and Wales.

Oh for crying out loud, they are doing that because they see the reaction in England.

Er, what reaction? Apart from a handful of people, no-one is talking about independence for England or an English Parliament. There may well be an upswing in English Nationalism, but we haven’t seen it yet.

And what do you mean “freefall”? Thst doesn’t mean anything anyway.

It means their votes have been falling since 1999. Wasn’t tricky, was it?

The Ballad of Hereward continues:

THE BBC ASKED: Should there be an English parliament?

Yes 70.71% No 29.29%
2352 Votes Cast

Yes mate. That’s because you and your pals swarmed onto the BBC website – just like you’ve been doing here – and block voted. Are you seriously claiming that a webpoll like this is in any way indicative of public opinion?

I suppose these BBC polls don’t count?

Let’s quote the BBC, shall we?

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

D’oh!

HomeRuleforEngland:

Teletext poll 95% in favour of an English Parliament. BBC Poll 74% in favour.
Referendum (unrigged) please.

*Sigh!* It doesn’t matter how many times you vote in a bloody teletext poll, it doesn’t mean the majority of the population agrees with you. Do I have to draw you a picture?


The Remittance Man:

None of the ideas are perfect, but the current situation is untenable and could in itself lead to the breakup of the Union if English resentment at the democratic and financial imbalances keeps increasing.

I entirely agree – it’s why I took the foolhardy decision to blog on the issue in the first place.

Michael Knowles:

They say we are ‘fervently opposed to decentralisation’. Rubbish -or tripe as we say in Manchester. Utter tripe! We want power shared equally among the three nations of this islands. We want England to have its own parliament with all the powers Scotland has.

In other words, you oppose decentralisation. You are happy for England – population 50m – to have the same level of decentralisation as Scotland – population 5m. You want to waste years of time, energy and campaign resources on a white elephant that does nothing to bring decision making closer to the people. The first point and end point of your campaign is an English Parliament – not devolution within England, which you repeatedly dismiss and criticise. Just how am I misrepresenting you here?

Why should be Scotland be 75% independent of the Union government while England has no devolutuion whatsever, absolutely none, and Wales has very little in comparison?

I oppose this, and if you’d bothered to read this post before commenting, you’d realise that. The difference is, I want decision making made at a much closer level than the English level.

All the other stuff some of you are suggesting, like a mayor here and there and such like is peanuts in comparison when it comes to decentralisation. Mere peanuts!

You enjoy repeating yourself don’t you? But I wasn’t calling for mayors, I was calling for actual decentralisation at a metropolitan and county level. As a starting point, there is no reason why an area such as Manchester shouldn’t have the same level of devolution as the Welsh Assembly.

The way forward is to respect each of the three nations of the Union, to decentralise equally to each one of them -and the powers of the Scottish parliament constitutes a superb exemplar, that is genuine devolution- and then for each of the three parliaments to decentralise to its counties and cities and districts as suits its own perspectives and cultures.

So, 20 years down the line when your system has been sorted and its nice and balanced and neat, then, maybe, you’ll consider tackling the democratic deficit within England? Thanks a bunch!

Eleanor Justice:

England has no voice.

You seem to be managing okay.

83% of MPs represent English constituencies. I’ve already listed how England is represented at an EU level. You don’t think, maybe, you might be over-egging the pudding a touch? Maybe?

Eric:

Simple logic alone dictates that England needs a parliament.

One thing this thread ought to make crystal clear is that logic has nothing to do with it. The “logical” solution would be a fully federalised UK with regional government, but that is apparently intolerable to “England”.

Anything less is intolerable to most average Englishmen’s sense of fair play – and they are the ones who will cast their votes on this arent they?

What does fair play have to do with logic? Again, you’re talking about emotion here.

In the 21st Century, IMO, we face a struggle for identity, as much as we ever did over class.

Do we? I don’t have a problem. I’m English, I’m British, I’m European. Job done. I know who I am. How would having a Parliament change anything?

Enough of this. I’m boring you already. I will simply end with one point to consider. I’ve sat down and listed all the things I can see an English Parliament having a decision over that wouldn’t be better decided at a UK level, or better devolved to a lower level (whether it is to a region, a province, or a city – whatever). What I’ve come up with is this:

  1. Cultural issues: flags, anthems, etc.
  2. Er…
  3. …that’s it!

They day someone can convince me to make that list a little longer, is the day I will accept there is some sense in having an English Parliament. Any suggestions?

25 thoughts on “The Questionable English

  1. More power to your elbow mate – although you don’t expect them to take any notice of reasoned argument do you? The sacry thin is that their requests will not only unravel the union (which by the way the English spent several decades achieving to bring the Scottish to heel) but it will unravel the regions of England, especially as most of these people seem to be centered in the South East and Home Counties. I have to say If I were Welsh I would be very worried by these people, especially as Wales is in the unfortunate position of being unable to be self sufficient, having been raped of iits natural resources (coal) by the English. If I were Northern English these people would be encouraging me to open negotiations to move the Scottish border a bit further south, because you can bet that the North of England will get a raw deal as all of the provinces have done in the past.

    I have visited their websites and found that many of the forums are not available to public readership, only to those who ahve a username and password, now that makes me wonder just what they have to hide, especially when one of the forums appears to be about religious issues. These people are not interested in public debate, or logical arguments they are simply more interested in attacking people like us who don’t agree with what they say; basically they are no more or less than playground bullies…

  2. Cheap accusations…..

    So BBC polls are all lies because they support what you are against?

    And Bondbloke really needs to get out a bit more considering he doesn’t know what he is talking about! An example from Bond site

    “Funny I thought that the English Flag belonged to the BNP and the neo-fascists these days”

    ————————-

    Wheres the referendum?

  3. “So BBC polls are all lies because they support what you are against?”

    Er no, they just aren’t indicative of public opinion, which the polls themselves state.

  4. THE BBC ASKED: Should there be an English parliament?

    Yes 70.71% No 29.29%
    2352 Votes Cast

    Yes mate. That’s because you and your pals swarmed onto the BBC website

    ———————————–

    Sounds like an accusaton to me.

    heres an update to that vote.

    Should there be an English parliament?
    Yes
    74.19%
    No
    25.81%
    3010 Votes Cast

  5. Why are you so frightened about the fact that England represents 83% of the UK population? Why is the argument made that “devolution strengthens the Union” when we are talking about Scotland and Wales, but not when we are talking about people living in England?

    Why is it acceptable for Scottish and Welsh MPs to vote on matters that only affect England, but there is no corresponding right for English MPs to vote on matters devolved to Scotland and Wales?

    I’d love to know why people get so apopleptic about English people asking for Equality with the other Home Nations. No special favours. Just equal treatment.

    Oh, and you can leave out the bit about the CEP being a southern English plot. I’m from a deprived area of Yorkshire. The Barnett formula distributes money based upon nationality, not need. If the money were distributed fairly then Cornwall, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, the North East and probably Wales for that matter would all receive more money.

    But it’s not distributed according to need, but according to nationality.

    Me, I call that blatant discrimination.

    I was a founder member of the Liberal Democrats, and stood as a Parliamentary Candidate on 4 occasions incluing a Parliamentary By-Election. And I am ashamed that the Party I supported is so bigoted towards me and mine simply because we are English.

  6. “Why is it acceptable for Scottish and Welsh MPs to vote on matters that only affect England, but there is no corresponding right for English MPs to vote on matters devolved to Scotland and Wales?”

    Because we don’t have a written constitution, there is nothing stopping English MPs voting on matters devolved to Scotland and Wales if they were to bring a bill forward (and they do on those occasions when Sewel motions in the Scottish Parliament send matters back to the UK level, but that’s complicating the argument). The UK Parliament remains the sovereign source of our laws and at any time the majority of MPs representing English constituencies could snatch power back from Scotland and Wales.

    The benefits that Scotland, say, is receiving from devolution is that decisions are being made much closer to the five million people they affect. An English parliament representing 50m people from Cornwall to the North East is little more devolved than the UK level. Giving an area like Devon and Cornwall the sort of freedom to manage its own affairs that the Welsh Assembly or Greater London Authority has would result in public policy much better tailored to local situations and with greater ownership by the people it affects.

  7. Thanks for a fantastic read. I agree entirely, there needs to be real, tangible devolution down to local communities within England not some daft, massive white-elephant of an English Parliament. Luckily, all 3 main parties reject the idea and all 3 parties are coalescing around the idea of devolution to much smaller locally defined units – be they local authorities or new city-regions. About time too.

  8. Oh dear, Oh dear, they’re out again – seems that they just can’t understand what a reasoned argument is – take bits of people’s writing twist it to their own ends and rgurgitate a load of nonsense to support it – I’m probably due another visit now for saying that…

  9. Devolution for Scotland and Wales was on a *national* basis.

    In Scotland there are enormous cultural differences between Gallic speaking highlanders in the West, lowlanders in the middle, and Anglo-Norse in the North East. Similarly between Welsh/English speaking areas in Wales.

    Equivalent devolution to all the regions of the UK that took account of these differences is something I supported.

    But it’s not what we got.

    And now that Devolution has been carried out on a national basis for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it has to be carried out in the same fashion for England as well.

    I would support a re-organisation and strengthening of local government after that. But right now devolution is *national*, and it is England’s national devolution we are being denied.

    I didn’t want devolution like this. It is letting the nationalistic genie out of the lamp, encouraging extremism, and encouraging separatism. And attacking English devolution, attacking the English as “xenophobic little Englanders” is just throwing fuel on the flames, and quite frankly driving people into the arms of the far-right.

    So it’s not surprising that those of us trying to reintroduce fairness and equality into the UK devolution settlement get a bit miffed at ill-thought out prejudice towards our cause.

  10. >>>But I’m willing to bet that if such a system were adopted, we’d have polls on devolution within certain English regions a long time before we get a poll for an English Parliament. And I’d be willing to bet even more that it would result in a resounding “no”.

    I’m pleased that you are prepared to put your money where your mouth is. I hope that Ming Campbell will stand by this letter that calls for an English constitutional convention. If there is no need, or support, for an English parliament – or English Votes on English Matters – then you will have nothing to fear from such a convention.

    I rather fear that you have fallen into the Lord Falconer trap – arguing passionately and fiercely against somthing for which there is apparently no need or support.

  11. This is the reason for the Falconer outburst
    http://crossofstgeorge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7852&start=0
    15 pages of letters to the press, and probrably many more than we know about.
    If there is no problem, why worry?.
    If there is no problem why have senior Lib/dems called for an EP?.
    New Labour MP’s are on side too.
    This issue has been debated numerous times in the Lords and Commons.
    Convince politicians there is no problem not us.

  12. I am so glad you changed your argument James. NOW, youre saying that there is no need for an English parliament. BEFORE you were saying something else. Looks like we won the argument James. Looks like you would rather talk about something OTHER than the real issue James. Why is that James?
    And then of course you make snidey comments about England and the English, which you have since taken off your blog. A very amateurish and childish move on your part James. A kid could do what you did James.
    What’s the matter James? Youre an amateur James. I knew you’d attack the messenger instead of talking about the message. How amateur James. How predictable. How new labour / liberal democrat of you James. Attack us personally all you like James it wont make an ounce of difference in the long run! WE WILL HAVE OUR ENGLISH PARLIAMENT IRREGARDLESS OF WHAT BIGOTS LIKE YOU SAY OR DO!
    Actually, James the more people like you attack English folks the better it is for us you plum! Ha! ha!

    Now what way will you turn James? I bet you going to use another “argument” tommorow James. Anything but talk about how SCOTLAND and WALES are stealing ENGLISH TAX PAYERS MONEY ah JAMES?

  13. You write a lot of rubbish about polls. you indicated theyre arent indicative of public opinion BUT when talking about scotland and wales getting their parliament/assembly you said the bbc polls regarding that issue stated that the scottish and welsh wanted their own parliament/assembly!!!
    SO FOR ENGLISH ISSUES POLLS DONT REALLY COUNT, BUT FOR SCOTCH WELSH ONES POLLS DO COUNT?

    YOU ARE AN ANTI-ENGLISH BIGOT!

    LIKE ENGLAND OR LEAVE IT!

  14. GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU ANTI ENGLISH CUNT! JUST WAIT TIL WE GET OUR PARLIAMENT WELL HAVE YER

  15. Regions are a nice idea in principle but they have no basis in any historic or cultural ties. England, as David said above, is a nation and as devolution was decreed to that level so it should be for the constituent nations.

    Cynical though it may seem, there are lots of reasons for suggesting that there is advantage for a left-wing party (the LibDems and Labour) to stop the English being represented separately. An English Parliament, for example, would be more likely run by a Conservative government than is the UK Parliament. While this is vehemently and rightly not the argument of the CEP, anyone concerned about being overtaxed (by a Chancellor who’s legitimacy post-devolution is questionable at best), as you purport to be, should welcome an English Parliament as the best tool to bring that about.

    Yes, that could be achieved by a smaller devolved unit, but there’s no suggestion in anyone’s policy of devolving the same powers to Regions…. I’ll write more later!

  16. Intemperate comments from any quarter do not help the debate.However the anti-English Parliament case is couched,one simple fact remains:we English are not being given a right to decide for ourselves via a referendum.This is just not right.

  17. I said:
    An English Parliament wouldn’t create an assymetrical federation and if you had sat and thought about how a federal UK would work you would know this.

    You said:
    I know it because it is a simple fact that can be verified if you happen to posess a pocket calculator. England contains 85% of the UK population. A federation of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England would be asymetrical. Where’s the argument?

    My response:
    The size of England in relation to the rest of the UK doesn’t matter one bit. An English parliament will deal with devolved matters, the federal UK parliament with reserved matters. The size of England should have no bearing on the federal government because their areas of responsiblity would be mutually exclusive.

    I said:
    An English Parliament would only deal with devolved matters.

    You said:
    But it wouldn’t be very devolved, would it? From the POV of the average Englisher, it would be just as centralised as what we have now.

    My response:
    No it wouldn’t. The English parliament would be English whereas the British government is British. We wouldn’t have unaccountable MP’s elected outside of England running English departments and it would be MP’s elected in England and answerable to English constituents that would be making legislation for England. As I said, regional government under an English parliament would probably be acceptable to the English people but not under a British parliament.

    I said:
    In the US, California has the most money, Florida has the most people and Texas has the most space. None of them dominate the federal government because they all have equal representation in it.

    You said:
    All states in the US have equal representation in the Senate, but not in the House of Representatives. This gives the smallest states a grotesque amount of power at the expense of the larger state and gives the Republicans an inbuilt advantage. No thank you!

    My response:
    And this doesn’t remind you of the UK now? All the MP’s in the UK have equal rights in England but not in Scotland or Wales and Scotland and Wales have a grotesque amount of power at the expense of England which also gives Labour an inbuilt advantage. Are you a closet CEP supporter?

    I said:
    The same would apply in a federal UK. If each home nation is given equal representation – say 10 representatives each – to the federal government then what’s the problem? How representations are made to those federal representatives would be down the the individual parliament to decide. The 4 home nations could easily be divided up into 10 federal constituencies.

    You said:
    Quaequam Blag! This really is nuts! Are you sure you aren’t secretly Scottish, Mr Wonk?

    So, instead of a situation whereby England has 83% of the votes in Parliament to decide UK matters, you want us to have just 25%? How on Earth does that solve the problem?

    My response:
    I believe that everyone in the UK should have the same access to democracy and political representation. I think that in a federal government, the four constituent nations should have equal representation. Scotland, Wales and to a lesser extent Northern Ireland, have more power in Westminster than England. The number of representatives in Westminster from those three home nations is disproportionately high and because most of the legislation in Westminster only relates to England, the Labour whip is easily wielded. When (not if) and English parliament is established, the day to day running of England will be taken away from Westminster which will become the federal government of the UK. As it will only be dealing with matters affecting the whole of the UK then there is no reason why England should have more of a say in that federal government.

  18. >>>When (not if) and English parliament is established, the day to day running of England will be taken away from Westminster which will become the federal government of the UK.

    This also has benefits for the other devolved nations because the UK parties will deal with UK matters, and their manifestos will limit themselves to reserved matters.

    At the moment UK parties have policies on matters that are devolved to Scotland and Wales, and pressure is bought to bear on the devolved Scottish and Welsh parties by the UK party machines – also the executive and legislature of Scotland has to bear in mind what legislation it inacts with respect to what the UK Government is doing. It’s all very sloppy and doesn’t make for good devolution. We always see the galling spectacle of parties urging the Scottish electorate to vote for them on issues reserved to Westminster during elections to the Scottish Parliament, and it’s no wonder, asymmetric devolution has resulted in a shambolic mess.

    We need English parties with English manifestos. To be fair the Lib Dems did this on paper for the last general election (they were the only ones to have a separate English manifesto) but in effect it did not work because it was just a cosmetic exercise, and given the West Lothian Question and lack of English government it was fairly pointless.

    As I said earlier devolution was given to Scotland and Wales because ‘devolution is power retained’. It always will be like that until an English parliament is introduced to offer everyone, not just the English, true devolution and divergence of policy on this island, and hopefully fiscal autonomy to boot.

  19. Jo: Yes, I’d support a written constitution, or something similar – a binding codification of powers at different levels of government and the circumstances under which those could change. Goodness knows what a BBC poll would have to say on the issue 🙂

  20. You guys can dissect each others arguments all day the only way to give the English what they want and not what you think they should have is an English vote with two questions
    Do you want an English Parliament or do you want English regions.

  21. jolly:

    Sounds like an accusaton to me.

    That’s because it IS an accusation, you twonk!

    David Wildgoose:

    Why is it acceptable for Scottish and Welsh MPs to vote on matters that only affect England, but there is no corresponding right for English MPs to vote on matters devolved to Scotland and Wales?

    It isn’t. This whole thread began by me saying it isn’t.

    The Barnett formula distributes money based upon nationality, not need. If the money were distributed fairly then Cornwall, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, the North East and probably Wales for that matter would all receive more money.

    But it’s not distributed according to need, but according to nationality.

    And that’s why, IF YOU FUCKING READ WHAT I WROTE, I said the number one priority should be reform of the Barnett formula. Having an English Parliament wouldn’t end the Barnett formula, which is in the hands of the UK Government.

    I was a founder member of the Liberal Democrats, and stood as a Parliamentary Candidate on 4 occasions incluing a Parliamentary By-Election. And I am ashamed that the Party I supported is so bigoted towards me and mine simply because we are English.

    And attacking English devolution, attacking the English as “xenophobic little Englanders” is just throwing fuel on the flames, and quite frankly driving people into the arms of the far-right.

    No-one’s making you go there. It’s where you choose to go.

    Alfred Smith – thanks for making me laugh. I assume that was a spoof? I particularly loved:

    JUST WAIT TIL WE GET OUR PARLIAMENT WELL HAVE YER

    Gavin Ayling:

    Cynical though it may seem, there are lots of reasons for suggesting that there is advantage for a left-wing party (the LibDems and Labour) to stop the English being represented separately. An English Parliament, for example, would be more likely run by a Conservative government than is the UK Parliament.

    Balls. In 2005 the combined Labour/Lib Dem vote in England was 58.3%; the Tories got just 35.7%. In order to form a government in England, the Tories would have had to had a deal with either the Lib Dems or (more probably) Labour.

    wonkinsane:

    The size of England in relation to the rest of the UK doesn’t matter one bit.

    It does if the argument is whether it would form an asymetrical Federation, it would.

    As I said, regional government under an English parliament would probably be acceptable to the English people but not under a British parliament.

    Oh, come on. You can come up with more useless tiers of government than that? How about another two? How about five? Let’s spend all that money we currently give to the Scots on pointless bureaucrats, shall we?

    And this doesn’t remind you of the UK now?

    Yes it does. That’s why I support regional devolution.

    As it will only be dealing with matters affecting the whole of the UK then there is no reason why England should have more of a say in that federal government.

    Yes there is: there are 10 times as many of us as there are of them! Why should, for example, the decision to sign important international and EU treaties be made with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having a combined total of 75% of the votes. I presume ALL you English Nats feel the same way about this? Sheesh!

    Okay, bored now. Here endeth the thread.

  22. Reading the same old stuff over and over and over again this is just becoming boring and more boring by the day Reading what thes guys have to say is a bit like listening to the Llama Song!

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