John Redwood speaks out against regional select committees

Speaking during the parliamentary debate on the Government’s proposals to bring regional select committees into the House of Commons yesterday, John Redwood strongly criticised plans to introduce yet another unnecessary lawyer of bureaucracy and the attempts to divide England into unwanted regions.

The full text of John Redwood’s contribution to the debate, taken from Hansard, follows:

Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): What part of “no” does the Leader of the House not understand following the referendum result in the north-east on elected regional government? Does she not understand that the people of England do not want to be balkanised and regionalised at their own expense?

Ms Harman: We are not proposing to the House what was proposed in the north-east.

Mr. Redwood rose—

Ms Harman: If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I can get on and explain what our proposals are.

Mr. Redwood: Does my right hon. Friend understand that the Labour Government seem to have this awful fear of England? They devolved power to Wales and to Scotland, but they will not devolve any power to England. Instead, they want to break it up.

Mrs May: My right hon. Friend’s point leads neatly into my next comment, which is that the unwritten intention behind the Prime Minister’s proposal was to find a solution to the West Lothian question. The message we should send clearly to the Leader of the House is that whatever else the expensive new structure will do, it will not answer the West Lothian question.

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16 Comments

  1. Richard
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    You brilliantly sum up the government's plans to create EU regions and destroy England as a coherent entity while milking it for cash to pay for the rest of the country.

  2. E Justice
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood
    Thank goodness there is one Englishman willing to speak out .
    But if these figures are right about the voting on regional select committees,No votes224 Scottish 1 Welsh 4 NI.5 result 214
    Ayes 254 Scottish 33 Welsh 26 total 195.
    If voting had been confined to English constituencies(which it should have been)it would have been defeated,
    But the fact that so many MPs in English constituencies did vote for them …well when you know that about them you know everything

  3. Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Eric Pickles said recently that Conservative councils will not co-operate with the government,I hope they start with these un elected regional ministers. There seemed to be a lot of MP's absent for the vote , are they cowards?.
    Well done for fighting England's corner.

  4. Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    My calculation is that 202 'English' MPs voted against the motion and 203 voted in favour. What happened to the remaining 124 'English' MPs who are supposed to be representing our interests?
    If this is the level of interest from 'English' MPs in the future of England then the Grand Committee solution to asymmetrical devolution clearly has no credibility
    Scilla Cullen
    Chairman, Campaign for an English Parliament

  5. Helen Wright
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Margaret Beckett appeared on QT last night, wearing a port cullis pin badge. That sums up their attitude to our democracy.

    Well done, Mr Redwood. But the Celtic fringes once again had their way. Words are wasted on this government. They only understand action. Why aren't England's politicians turning their backs every time a Scottish, Welsh or NIrish MP discusses English business?

  6. John
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    The vote against regional government in the North East of England in 11/2004 was won by a majority of 77.9%.

    Thats a pretty emphatic statement of political preference particulary when one considers the huge amount of taxpayer funded propaganda spent to push the governments position in an otherwise Labour area.

    Makes one wonder why the Conservatives don't build upon this to declare for a referendum in England for an English parliament which we know from the debate at the time would be hugely popular in the North East.

    you know – just like the referenda in Scotland and Wales!

    its time.

  7. Posted November 14, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Careful John, you'll soon be accused of being an English Nationalist!

    This latest constitutional camel will no doubt go the way of all the others – millions will be spent on comfy seats, flashy stationery and gold coloured credit cards only for Brown's successor to come along and shove it all into the big rubbish skip round the back of number 10.

    The ONLY answer is an English Parliament. As 70% of all Westminster business is exclusively English-relevent, the resulting creation of our own legislative body will ensure the largesse, waste and frankly embarrassing behaviour (as demonstrated by many Labour MPs at Wednesday's PMQs) will be a thing of the past.

    What is not up for debate is mine and 50 million others democratic emasculation. It is not within the gift of Gordon Brown, Falconer, Cameron etc to decide whether we should be granted our democratic birthright or not.

    It is ours. It is we the English who invented the modern, two tier parliamentary system. It is we the English who are the oldest nation state in Europe. It is we the English who produced the Magna Carta – the world's first written document detailing the rights of the individual – the very document that has been copied throughout the world – including by the founding fathers of the American State and the United Nations…

    It is we the English who are fed untruths, who are victims of a mushroom policy of misinformation and duplicity. It is we the English who are the only nation state in the whole of Europe without a national government.

    The UK administration travels the world, rattling their sabres, lecturing those poor unfortunates who have not had the sense to 'go democratic' whilst here at home, 50 million people are routinely ignored, victimised and persecuted by a complacent ruling elite.

    When do you think the penny is going to drop?

    BTW, as Education, Health, Planning, Transport, Local Government etc have all been devolved to the responsibility of the Scottish government, what exactly do Scottish MPs do for their constituents????

  8. Don Beadle
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Well done John Redwood but horribly done the MPs from non english constituencies who should not have been involved in discussing and voting on this subject affecting constitutional democracy solely in England.

    Also a black mark against the many English MPs who failed to turn up.

    In a period of economic prosperity with full purses and rising house prices and investments the people of England may have been apathetic about the unfair way in which they are governed but all this is about to change and they will be clamouring for an answer to the fundamental English question of who is governing us.

    An answer is urgent if the Union is to continue. If it fails the responsibility will lie with all the parties and MPs in Westminster who for too long have been behaving like ostriches.

  9. Patrick Harris
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    All this from a member of the Party that has, for 10 years, been the mainstay of the "regionalisation" process in England.
    Most "regional Assemblies" in England have a Tory majority and it was (probably too late now) within the power of the Tory party to bring the whole system to a halt by removing their cooperation from the scheme but no, in line with their European aspirations, Balkanisation was a price worth paying – no good crying now me ole son, your game is over.
    The pity is that the game is over for the English nation, you and your traitorous buddies will have a lot to answer for, roll on the judgement day.

  10. Stephen Gash
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    MPs at Westminster are only looking after their own jobs. To my knowledge an English Parliament has never been debated in Westminster, let alone voted on.

    The Scottish Parliament has made Westminster MPs redundant in Scotland, so Scottish MPs vote to bust up England to give themselves something to do.

    An English Parliament would make Westminster MPs redundant everywhere which is why none of you want one.

    Since devolution calls for England's independence have risen from next to nothing to 34%, if polls are to be believed.

    Votes like this one on England's replacement with regions won't endear the UK to English people.

    The one element in the equation of England's government is the English people. Their wishes have not only been ignored, they have been suppressed.

    Reportedly, 20% of Tory MPs favour an English Parliament. Their silence id deafening. I suspect that this 20% is spread across the whole House, which is why so many MPs were absent from this vote.

    It is time for Westminster to call the separatists' bluff. Put the question of an English Parliament before the House and give the English a referendum on one. Scare the pants off the SNP and the rest.

    It is time MPs in England fought for their own constituents.

    When my MP Eric Martlew, and David Cameron were asked on the Politics Show about the Tory rail link proposal not including Carlisle, they both eagerly mentioned Scotland! Why? Salmond would not even think about Carlisle when talking about Scotland. This is the problem for the English.

    Anyway, thanks for voting against England's abolition.

  11. Stephen Gash
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    The one element *missing* I meant to write.

  12. Fred Forsythe (not t
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    John,
    Change your name to Martin McGuiness or Gerry Adams and lead us.
    It will ultimately go that way so why not make a name for yourself and pick up the Crown at the end of it.

    Reply: I have no intention of changing my name, and have every intention of using the pen – and the blog – to influence things for the better.

  13. Posted November 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    What happened to the remaining 124 ‘English’ MPs who are supposed to be representing our interests?

    31 of the missing were Tories.

    The bar must have been packed with politicos enjoying subsidised beer at taxpayers' expense. They make me sick.

    Bizarrely, my MP, Norman Baker, seems to trooped through the lobbies for divisions 317 & 318 but missed division 319. Presumably penning his latest conspiracy theory.

  14. Colin Baker
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    At last, a poltician that is prepared to stand up for the last British colony – England

  15. Banquo
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    What's a "lawyer of bureaucracy?" (para 1)

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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