The end of regionalism

 

            There are popular cuts in spending. The government has done some work to reduce the degree of regional government in England, but it should do more. Many of us would be cheering in the aisles if the government said it could no longer afford any regional government, and rolled it all up. It could leave local matters to Councils, and English national matters can be decided at Westminster.

              Many of us have no regional loyalties. Indeed, we do not even know which region they want to cajole us into. Is my region Thames Valley? Or is it Rest of the South-east?  Is it the South East?  Is it Home Counties?  Is it part of ancient Wessex? Why does my region usually exclude London, where we have strong links and contacts, but may include Thanet and East Kent, which is a long way away?

                It is said the further away from London you go, the stronger the sense of regional identity. I do not myself find Exeter is keen to accept a lead from Bristol as part of the wider South-west, or Plymouth happy to genuflect to Exeter. Liverpool is not a natural subject of Manchester. The senses of City and local identity are usually much stronger than the EU’s regional identities they are seeking to impose.

                    On Monday  night I was invited on to Scottish BBC (there is no equivalent English BBC of course) to talk about English nationalism. I tried to explain that English nationalism is fuelled most of all by the EU. It is our sense of injustice and anger over the way the EU wishes to balkanise England, and wipe it off the face of their maps, that does more than anything else to propel English feelings. The interviewer was not of course interested, as he was seeking to define English nationalism as a response  to Scottish nationalism. He could not grasp that is not how most of us in England define it for ourselves, but as so often the BBC was uncomprehending and uncaring of the English viewpoint.

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117 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Nearly all political debates on the BBC are set up by the BBC to confine the debate to a particular narrow area they are decided “is the issue”. A typical one being are we cutting too hard to fast and risking a double dip the panellist are only expected to debate around that premise not point out that we are not cutting anyway.

    The political agenda of the BBC is hugely damaging to the economy and such democracy as still pertains in the UK. It is without fail pro EU, pro ever larger government, pro devolution, pro the state sector, pro the state sponsored “arts”, anti business, anti real science, pro ever more regulation, pro higher taxes, pro more enforced equality of outcome (other than for the over paid BBC and state sector of course) and pro all the endless worker, tenant, disabled and special interest group protection legislation.

    It need huge change and this is rather unlikely with Cameron and his idiotic appointment of Lord Patten.

    • Disaffected
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Well said. I still do not understand how the BBC could make a £100 million overspend and no one was sacked or disciplined. The Useless BBC Trust said lessons were learnt. Goodness me this would not be tolerated in any other organisation. It is tolerated by the British public because we have no way of introducing penalties as long as the BB Trust remains in its current format. I suggest the public have a greater say, as it is more of our business than advocated by the Government in private sector pay of CEOs, by having elected or random selection of lay panel members who pay their BBC licence fee. As an aside the same ought to be true for the standards committee for MPs and the Commissioner role truly independent. Some of the findings are remarkable.

      John, do you know whether all the licence fee is spent on programmes or is some filtered for the Treasury?

      Reply: The money is spent on BBC matters, which now includes paying for the BBC World Service, which used to be funded by Foreign Office grant.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Could some one please stop the BBC officials (usually on 500K plus huge pension) telling us it is “our BBC” and it “belongs to its licence fee payers”. They clearly have no say whatsoever in it short of risking a criminal conviction.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        About £500,000 odd is top sliced to pay for Broadband Delivery (UK).

        • zorro
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          Of some use then!

          zorro

    • Bazman
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they could do a series on how hard it is to be rich and famous and how they envy the simple life of the average wage earner in a rented house. How the rich get such a bad deal and are often hard done by in favour of richer people than themselves sending many into a pit of despair?
      Astra 19.2 E. is what you will get or another SKY without the BBC from people who on the whole do not watch TV. Middle aged middle class men. Who really want another FOX News channel and it’s fantasies in a British form. Lifelogic only watches the BBC despite his perceived bias and it’s shortcomings. Wonder why?

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        I only watch, to be more accurate usually listen to, the BBC because I do not have much time and I can do other things, as I listen. It is free and without adverts and only half dumbed down. Also it is so very funny (if not a bit depressing) to listen to their absurd lefty, arty, anti science, feminist, pro EU, pro ever bigger state, pro EU, pro ever more tax agenda, pro enforced equality – usually on woman’s hour, today, the world at one, PM and you and yours.

        Anyway the desert island disc archive pod casts are excellent as is the early music show and about 30% of radio 3. The Bach Christmas on radio 3 several years ago, on its own was worth the licence fee that year.

        The BBC could be fabulous for about 25% of the cost just cut out all the lefty, arty loons.

  2. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    This looks more like promoting English nationalism by imagining a common foreign enemy, the EU (surprise surprise). How gullible does one have to be, in order to accept the idea that the EU wants “to wipe England of the face of their maps”! (the EU versus England like Ahmadinejad versus Israel?)
    If I may take my own country once again, the Netherlands comprises 4 Nuts-1 EU regions, but anybody suggesting that this is a design to balkanise the Netherlands would be declared (sorry) “nuts”.
    There have been discussions over here to abolish the regional layer (“proviniale staten”) of government for years (cutting out overlap between various layers of bureaucracy), but the EU hasn’t got anything to do with it or against it. Once again, the EU is made a very easy scapegoat indeed over in Britain.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree, Peter.

      However there is definitely a feeling of being an outsider in one’s own country in England. If you hold majority values and ideals (regardless of your colour) which could be describe as quite ordinary and common sensical then that is to feel continually offended and betrayed by the antics of our institutions.

      The ‘devil’ is most definitely within these shores.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        PS, I mentioned the Devil there.

        I’m an athiest. All scientific research indicates that there is no Sky Pixie.

        That things so often go belly up, however, does seem to indicate that there is a strong possibility of there being a Dark Pixie.

        The Large Hadron Collider is being used in search of Anti Matter. Perhaps it might be better employed looking for this mischevous entity which seems to be Anti every bloody thing.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          @Electro-Kevin: I’ve watched your prof. Brian Cox on TV several times (stargazing and “wonders of the universe”) Together with other scientists,he seems so in love with both the universe as with the endeavors at CERN, that I would suspect, some atheists are very close to pantheists. Still – no devil in either persuasion, neither in mine. Maybe the EU isn’t the evil empire after all?

      • Bazman
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        What makes you live in a state of perpetual Daily Mail moral outrage? The feeling of the outsider is often felt by many a fundamentalist who believes he is the only true believer.

    • Martyn
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, but of all the EU nations only England has been removed from the map. As in abolished, disappeared and, after a 1000 years of history, so far as the EU is concerned no longer exists.

      And you wonder why the English people are so concerned about that? How would you feel if the Holland and the Netherlands were also removed from the map of the EU and you also lost your national identities?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        @Martyn: Can you tell me an internet reference to such a map?
        All I’ve ever seen was a doubtful Czech piece of art, in which the whole UK was absent (and Holland was all under water except some minarets). I don’t know about the map you’re refering to.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Peter,

          You mean this isn’t an EU region?

          Kent & Nord Pas-de-Calais/Belgium
          Region Transmanche http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Euroregions

          Sometimes I think you will try to believe nearly 10 impossible things in defence of the EU before your bedtime

          The EU IS definitely attempting to balkanise England

          • uanime5
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

            The UK belongs to 2 regions; the Cross-channel euroregion which includes Kent and the East Sussex/Seine-Maritime/Somme euro region which includes East Sussex. The rest of the UK doesn’t belong to any Euroregion so it’s obviously not trying to balkanise the UK.

            The Euroregions are little more than the main trade routes between EU countries and neighbouring non-EU countries such as Russia and Ukraine. So for the UK they’re the sea routes between France, Belgium, and the UK.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

            A nice list of cross-border regions to promote cross-border cooperation, and not even confined to the 27-EU or the 47-Council of Europe! (see Poland-Belarus, a new “EU-region”???). This has absolutely nothing to do with imaginary cross-border “regional authorities” or a “balkanisation of England”.

        • Martyn
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes, look at http://www.padav.demon.co.uk/euregions.htm on which the only mention of England concerns the SE E and SW regions. Wales, Scotland are there, not England as a country.

          See also
          http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/images/map/eligible2007/conv_comp_0713_uk.pdf – which for some strange reason includes Cornwall as a separate country plus Wales and Scotland. No England, however….

          • uanime5
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

            The first image is based on a 1995 map, so it’s nearly 17 years out of date. Also the UK Government has divided up England in a similar way (check out the Local Government Boundary Commission website). Even the job site Milkround divides up England the same way to allow people to exclude jobs that aren’t in the region they live in.

            Your map doesn’t mention England or any other European countries because it’s a map of regions, not countries. Most European countries are divided into regions because they have a federal structure where each region is mostly self governing. Here is a list of the administrative division of France, notice how they correspond to the EU regions (there are some exceptions as Wikipedia is up to date).

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_divisions_of_France#Territorial_collectivities

            The second map seems to be a map of the counties in the UK. Though it’s hard to tell what it is meant to represent since you didn’t include any information regarding where it’s from.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            @Martyn: In your first reaction, you wonder how I would feel if the Netherlands were removed from the EU map? Well, that is exactly the case in the map you now refer to! You think the Netherlands’ parliament is concerned? Or that the Belgian parliament is about to protest? Of course not! It has no bearing on our national or regional identities. If only, a separate authority or parliament for England existed, you wouldn’t feel undermined. But . . . it is not up to the EU to erect a parliament for England, wouldn’t you agree?

        • Boudicca
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Here you are Peter.

          The European Union: A Regional Map. I draw your attention to the moving title at the top. “Regional Diversity – the way forward for Europe.”

          http://www.padav.demon.co.uk/euregions.htm

          You will note that England is broken into 9 regions, which Scotland, Wales and NI are each one region.

          The EU is intent on destroying the Nations of Europe: divide and rule is their intention.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Oh, come, Boudicca, you’ve just had it explained to you that like so many other things this is “nothing whatsoever to do with the EU”, to quote from a December 2001 letter to the Bucks Free Press sent by the Conservative councillor who was then Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            @Boudicca: I would tend to agree that regional diversity is indeed a way forward forward for Europe! Diversity may stimulate innovation, competition, etc. I wouldn’t think that homogenizing Europe would be such a good idea, but you may have your own ideas. I fail to discover the imagined hostile EU intentions towards “England”.

    • Ian Campbell
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      But you have a national government in the Netherlands, Peter. England does not. The so-called English regions are lines drawn on the map around the end of WWII to assist in food rationing by a British bureaucrat, much the same as the Brits did in Africa and the Middle East. They have no coherent geography, culture or need for representation. As John says, the vast majority of the English people care nothing at all for their ‘region’. The EU however distributes regional aid (or rather re-distributes funds it receives from members) and therefore PM John Major agreed that the ‘regions’ could be used for this purpose. Scotland and Wales were already recognised as UK regions. This gave UK federalists a wonderful opportunity to campaign for the abolition of England, by dividing it into 12 regions to fit the EU vision and the Labour government made a big push for this, spearheaded by John Prescott. In the end he was sent packing by the people of the ‘North East Region’ who voted 78% to 22% against having an elected regional assembly. That ended the programme. In the Netherlands, I believe that you have powerful and historic provinces. Suppose they were to be redivided arbitrarily and the Dutch government abolished in favour of a Benelux government? We do have historic ‘provinces’ in England, too – they are called counties. They were to be abolished. Their powers have been whittled away by centralised UK governments. They do not figure in the EU plans for regionalisation of Europe. They figure largely in plans for the abolition of England and the determination of the UK government that England will never be recognised as a national political unit in the UK.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Campbell: Thank you for informing me about your situation,which seem more a result of national politics, not to be blamed on the EU.
        In the Dutch case, the 12 provinces correspond to the 12 NUTS2 regions which nicely fit within 4 NUTS2 regions. When I look in Wikipedia “NUTS of the United Kingdom”, your counties or groups of them correspond with the NUTS2-regions. Arbitrary decisions should of course be opposed, but, in case the Dutch government and parliament were to decide on merging two provinves and this would require a change in the NUTS system, I really cannot imagine the EU even trying to oppose it.
        P.S. I can well imagine that England needs it own devolved parliament as the other, already existing, devolved parliaments have become more powerful over time. A kind of future, federal structure still seems better to me than breaking up the UK.

        • Julian
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Peter – whether the eu does or does not want to abolish England is in some ways a moot point. Most us want out of the corrupt, expensive and anti-democratic eu. If you watch the way the european ‘parliament’ deals with dissent it is chilling to observe.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

            Can you provide any examples of what exactly the European Parliament does with dissenters? Given the wide variety of people from different countries and political parties I imagine dissent must be a common occurrence.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            @Julian: You obviously view the EU differently from me. Your challenge will be to translate your view into a H.o.C. majority. Maybe at your next elections?

          • julian
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            where do even start with eu anti-democratic behaviour? Take the cases Marta Andreasen and Paul van Buitenen just to get a small flavour of what happens if you oppose the sovEUt!

    • James Matthews
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      There is no need to balkanise the Netherlands. It is Europhile and relatively small. The EU will not seek to divide Scotland or Wales for the same reason. Why divide and rule when you al;ready rule?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        It wouldn’t make strategic sense for the EU to seek to divide Scotland or Wales while it still needed to persuade the Scots and the Welsh to divide themselves from England.

        If the 1997 referendum in Scotland had not been on whether the Scots wanted a single Parliament for Scotland, but instead had proposed splitting up Scotland into two or more regions with elected Regional Assemblies, then it’s pretty certain that the Scots would have voted against that in the same way as people in north east England voted against having an elected Regional Assembly in 2004.

        That doesn’t mean that there will never be any attempts to split up Scotland or Wales in the future, if/when the time is riper.

    • Billi
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      There are far to meny of us who know the truth. Nine Eu regions the end of local government. As you know we had a civil war here to define the role of the government.
      “There are no regions in any part of the British Isles. We have counties.”

      Regions are an EU construct with the aim of underminding nation states.

      Now lets get on with the next civil war. So this foolishness can be ended.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

        Every other EU country had regions long before the EU existed, as did many non-EU countries. It’s how federal governments run a country.

        You do realise that the 9 regions are a form of local government. Also counties fit into the EU system as NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions.

        If the EU is trying to undermine nation states, which it isn’t, how is a civil war going to fix this? Won’t it just weaken the UK and make it more vulnerable to an EU takeover.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Yes, the regions are indeed intended to be a form of local government; they’re intended to be the top tier of the EU’s local government.

  3. Boudicca
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Of course the BBC doesn’t want to hear any criticism of the EU, or the rise in English nationalism being blamed on the EU’s policy of regionalisation.

    The BBC is part of the internationalist liberal left; it is stuffed to the rafters with people who are completely in favour of the EU and receives considerable funding from the EU and he who pays the piper calls the tune. Of course, the British taxpayer who has to pay the licence tax is ignored because we don’t have any say over whether we fund the BBC’s propaganda machine .

    It isn’t just the EU that us fuelling English nationalism though. There is a reaction to Scottish politicians who are introducing policies which are intended to antagonise the English; and also to our MPs in Westminster who almost never even acknowledge that the English exist as a race.

    The Devolution settlement left the English without a voice. The West Lothian Question has been ignored for far too long; we have no English Parliament and no English Votes in Westminster. The Committee which has finally been commissioned to look at the WLQ is chaired by a Scot and has representatives from Wales, NI and Scotland on it. There is not one person on the Committee whose role is simply to represent the English. You couldn’t make that one up if you tried. Even when deciding if the English are entitled to the same rights as the rest of the UK, our Government seems determined to deny the English any representation.

    Joining the EU was the biggest post-war mistake this country made. The EU is determined to destroy the Nations of Europe in favour of regions which will be so much easier to control. This policy is widely known, yet our Government insists we must remain a part of this evil organisation, which has the destruction of the UK as its aim.

    WHY?

    • Disaffected
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Very well said. Although John did pose the question who speaks for the English. i think the continuation of the mass immigration policy is to colonise the UK and to literally give immigrants the greater voice on what happens in the UK. This was the original ideal and it is still sadly continuing. It does not take two years to say stop while we put in place proper policies. Lord Tebbit wrote a good article on the subject in the DT yesterday. We harbour terrorists through HRA when our troops are in other parts of the world under the guise of stopping terrorism coming to our shores. Ridiculous.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Disaffected – Everyone is saying this. Quite obviously the Tories are in on the plot too.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      “The EU is determined to destroy the Nations of Europe in favour of regions which will be so much easier to control.”

      Given that the EU is made up of politicians from 26 countries the real question is which country wishes to be broken up into regions? If the answer is none then what you’re talking about is obviously nonsense as it doesn’t have the support of any country.

      • Boudicca
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Here is the EU’s proposal for Regionalisation across the EU. I draw your attention to the moving title at the top: Regional diversity: the way forward for Europe.

        http://www.padav.demon.co.uk/euregions.htm

  4. wonkotsane
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I disagree John. Look at the IPPR report – people don’t trust the British government, people don’t identify with “Britain”. Every English nationalist I know (and I know a lot) is an English nationalist because of the injustices suffered at the hands of the British government, not the EU. It’s the government you are part of, currently run by the party you represent, that is behind the rise in English nationalist John.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      There is much truth in this line of argument.

      • zorro
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        Which party took us in…..?

        zorro

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Britain ‘belittles’ England, Europe adds salt to the wound !

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    One second’s googling will show anyone who doubts it that the Regionalism policy is entirely from the EU. Please let us accept that.

    And it makes a lot of sense to allow, say, Baden-Würtemburg or Castile, or Flanders or Eire to govern themselves. Nobody wants, for instance, Cyprus to be returned to the British or Turkish empires. It could make a lot of sense to cut Scotland free for the First Minister to celebrate Burns Night on the cold northern edge of Europe too.

    Like all government decisions, it is almost right. But not completely.

    John Prescott tried to introduce false regionalism into England and failed miserably. We solved the problem of our seven kingdoms with our Viking Kings. That was before history began in 1066. We English people know that we need to cooperate to be successful. Linked with Scotland and Wales, we produced an Empire. Irish soldiers, thinkers, poets and intellectuals were all accepted too.

    Taking our United Kingdom to bits is going to be an outrage: it goes against everything we stand for: co-operation, equality, distrust of politicians and bureaucracy and a loathing for political division and weakness. We are used to being taken seriously in the world. We are never going to get used to being an offshore island for a Europe that grows weaker by the day.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Just did 1 second of Googling and found that the regions policy was invented by the UK after WW2 to coordinate aid distribution. John Major then allowed the EU to use these regions for development aid distribution. So the Regionalism policy always has been a 100% UK policy.

      Your forgot about all the wars to conquer Ireland and how the Irish kept rebelling. You also don’t seem to have an objection to the Republic of Ireland leaving the UK but have a strong object to Scotland leaving. Care to explain the difference.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    John Prescott tried to introduce false regionalism into England and failed miserably. We solved the problem of our seven kingdoms with our Viking Kings. That was before history began in 1066. We English people know that we need to cooperate to be successful. Linked with Scotland and Wales, we produced an Empire. Irish soldiers, thinkers, poets and intellectuals were all accepted too.

    Taking our United Kingdom to bits is going to be an outrage: it goes against everything we stand for: co-operation, equality, distrust of politicians and bureaucracy and a loathing for political division and weakness. We are used to being taken seriously in the world. We are never going to get used to being an offshore island for a Europe that grows weaker by the day.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Your forgot that after 1066 England controlled parts of France until the end of the hundred years work in 1453. Any objection to France not being part of the UK?

      • forthurst
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Why not research the Norman and Plantagenets before making such facile statements.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

          Just research them. Now explain why France not being part of the UK is fine but Scotland choosing to leave the UK is wrong.

      • zorro
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5, have you been taking history lessons with Mr Cameron along with your three leopards on the shirt….?

        zorro

  7. lojolondon
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    John, you are dead right there – the BBC really is curious and wants to know your point of view – as long as you are not English. Or white. Or Tory. Or Israeli. Or a Republican (USA). Or anti-EU. Or a global warming ‘denier'(??).

    It is pretty tough for me, as I am 6 of the 7!!

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Or a rational scientist/engineer (unless perhaps female right on one) nor an atheist.

  8. Anoneumouse
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The only way the chairman of the BBC Trust can keep his pension is by ensuring that the BBC dose not do negative european union.

    Article 213 of the EU Treaty

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:12002E213:EN:HTML

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      A clear, outrageous and an absurd conflict of interest that should not be allowed.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      This very point was put to Lord Patten when the BBC appeared before a recent Select Committee. His response was to point out his “non conformist” track record and to scoff at the very thought of his judgement being in any way influenced by his EU pension. He also dismissed any thought of the BBC being biased as to its coverage of EU matters.

      Make of that what you will.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        His judgement is so BBC think & pro the (anti democratic) EU anyway he will not need to make any adjustments anyway to protect his pension.

  9. Martyn
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    John, I watched your interview and was again struck by your reasoned and clearly articulated response to what the BBC Scotland interviewer clearly thought were leading and potentially embarrasing questions for you.

    Why are you not like other politicians who raise their voices, shout, splutter, err, ummm and shift around in their seats when under pressure? Most of those we see in Parliament and TV or hear on the radio appear to believe that raising their voice and gesticulating in some way adds to the quality of their argument. Debate it is not and causes me to think that too many of our leading politicians act more like immature schoolboys than leaders of our nation.

    Pity the BBC is so biassed against reasoned debate, or we might be able to see more of you on the English side of the border. Well done….

    • GJ Wyatt
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I saw it too. Of course, political debate in Scotland is pitched against the auld enemy. For many Scot(Nats) politics is is the continuation of football by other means, and it’s only the match against England that matters. Europe on the other hand is the land of milk and honey. The notion that Europe could fuel English nationalism is incomprehensible to “Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled”. They think it must have something to do with Scotland.

      The Newsnight Scotland interview is at:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01bcxv9/Newsnight_Scotland_23_01_2012/
      –> go to 6:15 minutes for the JR interview.

      “Scottish people of fair minded disposition … certainly those who don’t vote SNP”.
      Quite! Glenn Campbell, the interviewer, said “we may come to Europe later”, but steered the interview away when it came up.

  10. Paul Danon
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Regionalism, albeit coming from the EU, is a chance for decisions to be made closer to where they have an impact. Country-areas could allow hunting while urban ones ban it. MPs need to stop behaving as if they were mayors and, instead, concentrate on their London-based legislating. However, the people of the south-west are capable of deciding if they want smoking in restaurants and grammar-schools. Socialists in the north can be PC and have bog-standard comprehensives, and we’ll see who’s happier and who does better.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      It’s because those who want to break up England into euroregions will never stop, no matter how many times they’re told “no” by the English people in different parts of England, that we must now have a single Parliament for the whole of England.

  11. Antisthenes
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The media wishes to appear to be clever, antagonistic and full of crusading vigour. To be seen to be pursuing injustices, dishonesty and offering solutions to intractable economic, social and political problems. Sometimes it does that well but more often than not it does not because it is burdened by ineptitude, misconceptions, bias and a need to capture a large subscriber base. They seek answers that fit preconceived ideas like a bad detective will fit the facts to the crime rather than crime to the facts because to do otherwise would throw carefully planned outcomes into confusion and at the same time discredit them. Rather than allow that truth is ignored or distorted. Journalism and journalists are orchestrated not only to report but to report with impact in a way that the gullible, which are the majority of us, will be impressed and roused to express emotion. It is nothing less than manipulation but then everyone does it we start from childhood as children manipulate parents and it is a fact of life. The question is has this manipulation reached a point where it is extremely dangerous and out of control or is it just normal human behaviour which we have to live with as we have always done? I suspect the former.

  12. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “(there is no equivalent English BBC of course)”
    This is because the bbc receive some of their funding from the eu.
    No doubt they mustn’t “Bite the hand that feeds them.”
    You will also notice that on iPlayer there is no mention of England. Regional choices are Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.
    The English, to put it mildly, are getting a bit miffed!

    • frank salmon
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      How much does the BBC get? What are its obligations as a result?

      • Bernard from Bucks
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        @Frank.
        Difficult to say what the current figure is. I don’t know if it is published, but an Early Day Motion No 791 (by Bob Spink) mentioned :-
        “That this House notes that soft loans and payments amounting to 258 million euros over the last five years were paid by the EU to the BBC;”
        http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2007-08/791

      • Ian Campbell
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Part of the BBC’s stated mission is, among other objectives, to promote the English regions. As John says, the BBC rarely if ever speaks for England. It failed to provide an English response to the creation of the West Lothian Commission for this very reason. It has improved in the last few years and is now ahead of the British political parties in that it does mention England whereas the Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dems avoid it if they can, by referring to ‘this country’ (which, please?) or worse, Britain, when they mean England. None of them publishes an election manifesto for England: each has a manifesto for the UK plus separate manifestos for Scotland and Wales. So far as they are concerned, it is the Fawlty Towers approach, “Don’t mention England!” They are terribly afraid that the English will recollect that they are, after all, English.

      • Alexis
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Search for BBC Full Financial Statements… If I’m reading them correctly, the BBC receives:

        £4,993m (income, year ending Mar 2011) (page F15)

        Of which:

        £3513.4m – is from licence fees
        £1479.6m – from other sources

        Other sources include:
        – Sales of goods and services
        – Royalties
        – Rental income
        – Grants from Foreign & Commonwealth office, & Cabinet office
        – Grants from ‘other’ (unlisted) Government organisations.

        The EU gives the BBC a £50m/per annum loan facility through the European Investment Bank (F79).

        This was drawn in full in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

        Whether the BBC sticks to their Royal Charter, which requires that they:

        ” – represent the interests of licence fee payers;
        – secure that the independence of the BBC is maintained;
        – …represent… the UK, its nations, regions and communities;”

        is open to debate.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

          So the EU’s contribution to the BBC is 1% of their budget, while 70% comes from licence fees. I guess it’s safe to say that EU contributions will have very little effect on the way the BBC operates.

          • sm
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            I will bear that in mind when you comment on lobbyists.Its not the size its how it is used and to what effect?

            Restrictive clauses on past EU employees in positions of strategic and operational level could quite easily conflict in areas such as the debate on the EU. (No BBC England for example)

            Is it not possible to find employee’s who are seen to be independent and not potentially conflicted in this way by their EU contracts or similar?

          • lifelogic
            Posted January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            It is very clear that the BBC have a huge pro EU bias relative to voters – it seems rather unlikely that the EU income discourages this.

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I think Richard English’s paper (April, 2011) identifying the three elements of nationalism as;

    community, struggle and power

    is about right. However his paper concluded that there is certainly a sense of community to England, but less a sense of struggle and power. Thus there is a national identity but not nationalism.

    I agree with JR that the power issue felt by many of English identity has been towards Europe, not towards the devolved areas. I think this will change, the combination of Scottish independence and quasi-austerity, together with the simple association of RBS and Mr Brown with Scotland, will make the power question be more than just about Europe (particularly as the PM chose to do nothing on Europe).

    In the case of struggle, the fight to put right wrongs, the English have again tended to look at Europe, the electoral system and now the wrong kind of capitalism – there have been distractions. Will the struggle to right a wrong associate with only the English? I think the West Loathian considerations could go either way on this.

    English community – yes
    English struggle – unclear
    English power – growing, its Scotland not just Europe.

    Hence English nationalism? Not yet, but perhaps not too far.

  14. Robert K
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The more I think about government the more I feel that the most important level is the parish. If you live in an area for a few years and are reasonably social you have a reasonable expectation of knowing, or at least knowing of, most of the members of your community. The parish is where community matters can be discussed, such as whether a proposed development is appropriate or not; tackling vandalism and anti-social behaviour; the uses of a village hall or other local amenities; parking; and so on. And I believe this applies in urban areas just as much as in rural ones.
    The more layers of government you impose on top of these local relationships, the more remote and autocratic governence will tend to be. Instead of people sitting down together to decide a common course of action, the state steps in with its massive coercive powers and makes all the key decisions before devolving them down. The bigger the state, the bigger the problem – one aspect of the Tea Party in the US is the anger towards an overweening Federal state. This is just one reason why I detest the idea that the UK should be subsumed into a federalised eurostate and why I would be very happy for the Scots and the English to go their own ways.
    To address JR’s point on region, I suspect a lot of us have no idea that these layers of regional government even existed. I thought it was enough that in addition to our parish council I might have to interact with a district council, a county council and my local MP.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      In a society that power was truly devolved to the people through wards and parishes then going upwards through constituencies, regional, national and supranational is feasible. Each having functions that are best suited to that level of government but accountable to those levels below it. Even with this number of levels of government it need not be costly or onerous as each level can be limited in administrative size and powers. Those powers limited by that which the subordinate levels are prepared to give it and the administrative size by the fact that the roles undertaken would only be those not wanting to be done by the levels below it. The outcome would be a vast patchwork of differing governmental systems but they would at least be all similar in that they will all be built from true democratic principles. It would need a reversal of political thinking away from centralised downward governance to decentralised upward governance. As politicians do not trust us and will not give away their power and privilege it is an unattainable aspiration.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Re the BBC
    I note President Obamas speech had two important elements
    1 Immigration (i.e. we must sort it out)
    2 “we must reward companies who keep jobs in the US” (i.e. don’t offshore work to India)
    These were features heavily as key themes on international news channels, the BBC of course has not reported those aspects as it doesn’t fit their agenda

    • forthurst
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      transparently aimed at the real concerns of real Americans and will be ignored if he wins a second term since Obama says whatever he reads off his teleprompter whose words are composed by those with a religious dispensation to lie when it benefits the liar.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Was if reported on Sky News or Euro News? If not the reason may be because American policies aren’t relevant to anything in the UK.

      • David Price
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        The US accounted for about 14% of our exports for 2011 Q1 to Q3 so their trade practices are quite relavent.

        I don’t care what Sky or Euro News report as I am not forced to pay for them. I do care that the BBC is biassed and selective in it’s reporting as I am forced to pay for them.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 26, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

          The EU is 53% of our exports yet we seem to hear far more of what’s happening in the US than any EU country. I can’t recall any discussions regarding the elections in France or Spain but there’s a lot of media attention given to the US Republican presidential campaign.

          In any case just because the BBC didn’t report something a foreign politician said that you liked doesn’t mean its biased or selective. There’s too much local news for every speech of Obama to be broadcast in the UK.

          • David Price
            Posted January 27, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            Stick to the point please which was about whether US policies were relevant to the UK. The EU has no relevance to the point that was being discussed.

            As to the BBC, everyone is biassed and selective. I simply don’t want to be forced to pay for the BBC just so they can pander to your biasses rather than mine.

          • David Price
            Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            People keep blithely stating that the EU accounts for over half our exports but merely repeating that figure doesn’t make it so, where is the proof?

            According to our host the real figure for export revenue is less than a third – http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-01-26a.430.0#g438.0, a point made and unchallenged in a back bench debate yesterday.

            Considering that exports to the EU are also offset by our contribution to the EU coffers it sounds like we get a very poor deal indeed and should instead focus on trade with everywhere else.

  16. Mazz
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    What we need, is a new Conservative Party i.e. The REAL Conservative Party. For far too long the Conservatives have been far too Socialist in their behaviour. Imagine if we had an English BBC and not a Scotish BBC or a Minister for Men but not one for ‘wimmin’ or a White Police Association and not a Black Police Association etc, etc. There would be an absolute hue and cry from the Socialists. So, why don’t the CONservatives shout out loud for what the Conservative VOTERS want?

    • Paul Greenwood
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      try UKIP

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        It has to be a proper Conservative party because of the large numbers who are so fixed in their ways that they will never switch to a new party now.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Aren’t you supposed to be logical, for your whole life?

      • David Price
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        I suspect UKIP will need to think of a new name and brand in the near future.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      The TEA Conservatives I think more appropriate REAL has too many nasty connotations to it.

  17. backofanenvelope
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    This government, like the previous 3, is handing out British passports to all and sundry. Anyone, it seems, can be British. In which case, I prefer to be English. Being English is not just a matter of being born in England.

  18. sm
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I guess the Scots cant see past the (English) perceived as the UK union as being the issue?

    Why could that be? Is it possible successive governments have pretended to feign power by embracing hard EU directives and other decisions to pass legislation which is not wanted by the people

    Why cant we address the EU/English issue rather than the Scots issue? We would need an English parliament or equivalent to begin the process. We need to insist that any powers we obtain not only are an available option to all in the UK union.

    Thats why parliament time should be split by days on EU originated legislation and then UK,then the equivalent devolved stuff for England, better still a UK parliament with the a split by origin between EU,UK and English law.

    The BBC and EU funding is a known issue, possibly not fully resolved? Has the new broom resolved this issue?
    http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2007-08/791

  19. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I watched that on BBC iplayer.

    You gave a very good account of yourself, Mr Redwood.

    All I know is that people are very angry about things. It’s not just about the West Lothian anomaly or the EU. Issues are taken to Europe because there are plenty within our country – disatisfied with the findings of our own courts on the rare occaision that they apply common sense – who wish to take them there.

    They know that the final arbiter in Europe is institutionally Left wing.

    The anger has not yet coalesced into to something as tangible as nationalism. The people are, as yet, unaware of the origins of this Anglophobia which is rooted in the English intelligensia – the CofE and the BBC are among the institutions who would do harm to England.

    Let’s hope that the money doesn’t dry up and we don’t end up with ’30s style unemployment.

    The issues of uncontrolled immigration and welfare dependency (beloved of the BBC and CofE) will by then prove to be utterly incendiary when hard working people find they have no jobs, no equity and no welfare.

    Can the likes of Uanime5 not see this ?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      All I see is someone finding scapegoats to try to justify their own opinion.

      How exactly is it bad that ‘Europe is institutionally Left wing’? Since when did being right wing become the correct decision for everything?

      How exactly can the CofE and the BBC be Anglophobic when the majority of their employees are from England? It’s like claiming that the EU is Europhobic because you don’t like their European policies.

      Given that the Government’s plans have lead to increasing levels of unemployment we’ll soon have ’30s levels of unemployment even if the money doesn’t run dry.

      Finally if you want to reduce welfare dependency you need jobs that pay a living wage. Until then attacking people on benefit is little more than bullying.

      • zorro
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Well then to offer better pay for jobs, we need to make sure that we regulate immigration flows properly so that they are not driving down wages, or skewing employment prospects against UK residents, or stoking up the need for increased social costs in years to come.

        zorro

  20. NickW
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    English people who have lived in Scotland will tell you that Scottish Nationalism is 10% about the positive aspects of Scotland and its people and 90% about vilifying the English and whipping up hatred for England and its people. This is certainly where Salmond is coming from.

    All the English nationalism I feel has been engendered by living in Scotland for eleven years under a barrage of Scottish (criticisms of-ed) the English.

    BBC Scotland, being filled with (strident-ed) Scots, understands exactly what their (antagonism to the English-ed) is doing to the English living in Scotland, and what’s more, instead of being ashamed of their behaviour, they are proud of it, and wish to publicise it.

  21. Commenter
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “there is no equivalent English BBC of course”

    Yes there is – it’s called the British Broadcasting Corporation.

    • Iain
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “Yes there is – it’s called the British Broadcasting Corporation.”

      And when has this BBC ever taken up the cause of English people?

      • uanime5
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        What about the AV vote?

  22. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    If you go far enough away from London as to cross the Scottish border you do indeed encounter a strong feeling of national identity! In that sense the Scotts are fortunate in as much as disillusionment with a Westminster government could be resolved with a regional alternative. Indeed, could it not be that general election votes for the SNP are not so much a vote in favour of Scottish independence as a rejection of Conservative, Labour and LimDem, safe in the knowledge that independence can be avoided by voting NO in the referendum voters knew would be held.

    You are right that there is no feeling of regional identity in England. So those living in, say, the North-East and equally disillusioned with a Westminster government are stuck for an alternative voice.

    What there has been is an affinity with counties, but boundary changes and unitary authorities have eroded that identity.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      “What there has been is an affinity with counties, but boundary changes and unitary authorities have eroded that identity.”

      Precisely. Another legacy of Edward Heath and his ilk. Conceptually bizarre and needlessly offensive to those whose sense of identitiy has been consequently eroded. The county of my birth no longer exists and neither does its aboriginal population to a large extent.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      It’s a question of scaling up. As far as the eurofanatics are concerned counties were generally fine as the top tier of local government in the UK, but they are too small and too numerous to form part of the top tier of local government in their projected much larger new country called “Europe”; they are an outdated and redundant layer between the euroregional authority and the local authority, so they must go.

  23. David Hope
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’d agree that these two regional layers aren’t a great thing. I would say though that more tax autonomy in some areas could be beneficial within councils or whatever local government we have. Less Westminster subsidies and more regional competition could improve poorer areas over and above their current state with the Westminster welfare dependency we have now.

    Also I think local government needs to be more accountable to its constituents than Westminster and Europe. When you can’t vote for a bin policy because of the EU and councillors seem more keen on keeping government money flowing than helping local people and no one knows who is in charge or to blame then it is bad for democracy and thus local people.

  24. Anne Palmer
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Your leader John, has already set up the ENGLISH (EU) Regions through the Localism Bill, now an ACT. Is he now going to get rid of them, and our Nation and Country of ENGLAND is to remain whole and not carved up into bite-size pieces?

    The elections for Regional Mayors, for their new Cabinets and all the entourage that goes with that Office are already taking place, without any mention of course where this legislation originally came from. On the information leaflets for those areas that are being ‘picked off’ one by one, there is no information on that either.

    It may dawn on some people that this extra Layer of Governance will have to be paid for through extra taxes. How will they feel when they have to contribute to EU Fines? An extra layer of Governance on top of the Billions we pay to foreigners each and every year for making the laws our own Governments are voted for and paid to do according to our long standing Common law Constitution. We also contribute financially to the very many EU Agencies and I would ask if you could perhaps tell us exactly how many EU Agencies we are paying to. And what is the total cost of them all please?

    I find it absolutely sickening that we contribute to the EU’s Defence Agency (since 2004) yet here we are again, reducing our Forces and can no longer even afford an Aircraft Carrier fully equipped, yet if I know my history, it will not be long before they are needed once more.

    People are going to lose their homes and their jobs, they are having to cut down on many things. This Government is basically destroying our forces by reducing their numbers, yet soon they may be needed as they have never been needed before. I remember one great man waving a bit of paper re ‘Peace in our time’, and then many people were bombed to Hell destoying homes towns and cities. Oh how I wish it really was the end of Regionalism.

  25. uanime5
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Personally I prefer Regional Government and feel they should be strengthen to take power away from Westminster and put it back where it belongs, in the hands of local people. For too long Governments of all political parties have robbed Councils of their powers to enhance the power of Westminster.

    Ruling England from one city has lead to the decline of the country the further you go from London.

    • sm
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Divide England into regions, devolve the few powers that remain at Westminster. The future mid to end game will be the neutering of any sovereign,or economic challenge to the EU and Brussels. Imagine if one region of England is given a Barnett formulae for supporting the EU v and English parliament. ( The pieces of Silver taxed from the regions of England anyway)

      The one city you refer to i presume is Brussels.

  26. Stephen Gash
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is not regulated by Ofcom for political impartiality, it is the BBC Trust that has that role. BBC Complaints is situated in Scotland.

    The BBC sold its soul, in other words its impartiality, the payoff being its promotion of the regionalisation of England. This may be read in its Charter. The language has been toned down in the most recent update, but the aims are still there. The outcome is, there is no BBC England and no news coverage of English affairs, as English affairs, they being subsumed into British news.

    Although the BBC’s own regions do not mirror Labour’s gerrymandered versions, the BBC enthusiastically embraced the regional destruction of England. It is an anachronism and should be funded by subscription only and run like John Lewis. English people could then choose whether they wanted to pay for the BBC’s self-confessed lefty bias (not to mention its flagrant Anglophobia), instead of being compelled to do so; on the pain of criminality for not doing so.

  27. NickW
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I understand that Mr Salmond’s latest intention is to hold an independence referendum in 2014, and negotiate the independence settlement, (if Scotland votes for independence) subsequently, (and hopefully), by 2016.

    Given these facts, the only appropriate referendum question for the Scots is a picture of Mr Salmond with one of his most sincere political smiles, and the question,

    “Would you buy a second hand car off this man?”

    I say this because the Scots cannot be expected to provide a meaningful answer until they know the details of the settlement, in particular regarding defence, national debt and tax and expenditure projections.

    The referendum campaign will undoubtedly have a poisonous effect on relations between England and Scotland, but that will be nothing compared to the effect of the negotiations of the “Divorce settlement” which will be even worse.

    An important question for the Scots is therefore the consideration as to how much of their cross border trade with England would survive the process, and what the impact would be on the GDP and tax revenue of a newly independent Scotland.

    Given that Mr Salmond makes it clear at every opportunity that he regards the English as his enemy, the defence settlement cannot under any circumstances be based on the assumption that Scotland will always remain a trusted ally of England.

    The Conservatives are dependent on the votes of the English for re-election; negotiation of any Independence settlement for Scotland will have to bear that in mind throughout the entire process.

  28. Jon
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Speaking personally the EU began to look wrong from the 1980s when I was a young adult and its gotten worse. Nothing to do with Alex Salmon, Scotlands devolution but retaining a 10% say in Westminster is an irritation but nothing like the threat as I see it from the EU.

    I feel there seems to be a recognition in Parliament that they just moved us more and more into the EU without referring back to us. I think the same could also be said of France and Germany and others. It got its mandate from the politicians but not from the people. Just how did Eire feel when they were told to vote again and tick the right box this time by Sarkozy?

    Also the BBC get so many things wrong north and south of the boarder. I caught a glipse last ight of the English BBC interviewing about the West Lothian question and he couldn’t seem to understand that there was even an issue there.

  29. pedroelingles
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    John, In the copy of an EU Map in my possession which is dated 23 April 2008 I think you will find that you are in “The Manche Region”. You might care to verify this as my information may be a little outdated. It is a large Region commencing with Norfolk and running south along the coast and partially inland as far as Devon and Cornwall. The English Channel has been renamed as “The Channel Sea”; there is no reference to “England” or “Britain”,

    • uanime5
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

      Well the UK is the only country that calls it the English channel. France just calls it the Channel.

      Regarding the regions they sound like the Euroregions, which are used for transnational co-operation. For example one country won’t dump toxic waste into it because it will adversely affect the other countries that use it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euroregions

    • Martyn
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Confusing, is it not? I have a 2009 tourist brochure (in English) for the French Nord pas de Calais region. Its map of tourist attractions tells us that the SE region of England is now a part of the Nord pas de Calais region. Without, of course, any mention of the English Channel or, indeed, England.

  30. Adam5x5
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Not sure about the ‘lack of regional identity/pride’.

    Plenty of it where I’m from.

    Yorkshire. God’s own county.
    There are two types of people in this world. Those from Yorkshire, and those who wish they were.

    On a slightly less tongue-in-cheek note. there is actually a fair bit of pride in Yorkshire at being from Yorkshire. However, very little appetite for anything like a regional assembly.

    At the risk of sounding vaguely like a tv debate politician, I agree with NickW. My national pride never existed til I went to live in Scotland for 3 years. Couldn’t believe the amount of bile and hatred spewed openly about the English up there. Watch ‘Still Game’. It’s a Scottish sitcom that was not really shown in England because all it does is make jokes about us.
    Could you imagine the outcry if we made a similar programme?

    IMHO the EU ignited the spark of English national pride, which has been dormant for a while. Now that it is starting to catch, the people are starting to look at the things Alex Salmond is saying and the deal the Scots are getting for their referendum/WLQ/Barnett formula.

    Where is ours re. the EU?

    These issues need to be addressed by the politicans – or it could get very nasty.
    Remember, nothing encourages war like economic hardship and unfairness.
    At the moment, we have both in spades.

    Reply: Yorkshire is not a region. There are county identities in England.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      This map from the EU regional policy conference 2008 would disagree…

      http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/conferences/od2008/img/partners_regions.jpg

      Unless I am looking at an out-of-date map. If so could you provide a link to a more recent and/or relevant one?

      Much appreciated.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 26, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Yorkshire and Humber on the map.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      I would also dispute that Yorkshire is a county.

      West Yorkshire is a county, Yorkshire is a region made up of several counties.

      but that’s really nitpicking.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      Though ‘Yorkshire and the Humber’ is a region.

  31. Independent England
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Westminster allows this regionalisation by refusing England her own English Parliament. That’s why English nationalism is now the norm. Most English people are fed up with being treated a ssecond class citizens! And yet the Westminster parties ignore the issue. How long has theConservative party been promising action? David Cameron seems to have dismissed the idea of a seperate English legislature even before the Commission has started work. EVoELs. Proved to be nonsense and yet it is probably going to be the proposed ‘solution’. Of course it will never get off the ground and I’m sure the present delaying tactics will ensure nothing gets done this side of 2015. Then there will be more electioneering promises but again no action if the Tories get back in!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, if England is to remain whole then we need a Parliament and government for the whole of England, separate from the UK Parliament and government.

  32. Robert Taggart
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    John, indeed – abolish the English regional nonsense. But, methinks you are marginalised… by your own leadership ! So no chance for any such change?

  33. Douglas Griffin
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Re. the following throw-away remark from your article:
    “…Scottish BBC (there is no equivalent English BBC of course)”

    Leaving aside BBC Alba, the Gaelic-language channel, we have one BBC for the whole of Scotland.

    England, on the other hand, has umpteen regional services. After the 6 o’clock news on BBC, viewers in England have ‘Look North’, ‘South Today’, etc., depending on where they are. In Scotland, we get ‘Reporting Scotland’, which covers the whole country from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway, from Aberdeen to Barra.

    The same goes for radio – BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal. There’s nothing else.

    And yet you still appear to think that Scotland gets special treatment!!

    Reply: My objection is to the way the BBS like the EU seeks to stop an English identity. I would rather be able to watch English TV than South or West or whatever it is called.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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