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.
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 â€˜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.
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.
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).
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 itâ€™s troubles – so will someone please tell me, an Englishman, why I canâ€™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.
An English Parliament wouldnâ€™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 whatâ€™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?
Iâ€™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 â€˜Scotlandâ€™ and â€˜Walesâ€™ 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?
The â€œunionâ€ 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 â€œUnitedâ€ 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 â€œEnglandâ€™s too bigâ€ and â€œit wouldnt bring democracy to the peopleâ€ 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 donâ€™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.
Seriously, if you think itâ€™s okay that English people DO NOT get adequate funding and DIE because of it then youre a fucking cunt!
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.
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 â€œfreefallâ€? Thst doesnâ€™t mean anything anyway.
It means their votes have been falling since 1999. Wasn’t tricky, was it?
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 donâ€™t count?
Let’s quote the BBC, shall we?
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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?
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.
They say we are â€˜fervently opposed to decentralisationâ€™. 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!
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?
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 Englishmenâ€™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:
- Cultural issues: flags, anthems, etc.
- …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?