Who governs England?

 

Assuming Scotland votes to stay in our union this September, we will find devolution back on the agenda soon afterwards. All three main parties have promised more powers for Scotland. All three will I am sure wish to honour that pledge.

This time it will not be possible to duck the issue of who governs England?  It will be too unfair for Westminster to carry on as if nothing had happened with respect to the government of England, whilst the rest of the UK led by Scotland gets yet more powers for self government in their own Parliament and Assemblies. The SNP agrees with me about this. The SNP does not think their MPs at Westminster should settle matters for England that are settled for Scotland in the Scottish parliament.

I write again about this because recently I was invited onto a 5 Live  discussion to tackle the issue of England. My fellow disputants were Jim Murphy for Labour and Menzies Campbell for the Lib Dems. The other two are both Westminster MPs sitting for Scottish seats. Their approach was simply unacceptable to England.

It is true they did preface their remarks by saying this was primarily a matter for England. They could say no less, as they and the whole political establishment have always said Scottish devolution and independence is entirely a matter for Scotland. However, they both went on to accept there will be an English devolution problem, and expressed the view that this could be handled by more devolution of power to regional government or local government in England.

No, No, No. I had to force my way back into the conversation to remind them I was the only one representing England. I spoke for England, and said my country was fed up with attempts from outside to balkanise and split it up. The last Labour government  attempted this, and were strongly rebuffed in their own heartland of the North-east where the public said they did not want regional government. If Scotland is going to have control over some of its own taxes, so will England expect no less. We will not need the help of Mr Murphy or Sir Menzies Campbell to impose taxes on England when Scotland is doing her own.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

69 Comments

  1. ian wragg
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Brussels!!!!! That’s who runs England (or area 304 of the federation) with the connivance of 90% of Westminster.
    CMD will do nothing to address the English question as he doesn’t recognise that there is a problem. This is the man who continues to sign us up to a European State whilst talking of repatriating powers.
    This is the man who was complicit in destroying our armed forces stating that wars were a thing of the past when in fact we are nearer to WW3 than at any time in the past 50 years.
    I see we are about to buy American AWAC’s after chopping up our own. That’s a real saving, exporting jobs and knowhow to the US, no doubt they will maintain control of all maintenance codes etc etc.
    Tossers.

    • BobE
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Agreed

      • Hope
        Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Well said Ian. Also using inflammatory language about Russia and nothing about how the EU expansionism into the Ukraine created this mess. Last year he made a speech stating how far he wanted the EU to expand, he is more careful as the election approaches because the mood has swung to get out of the dreaded EU.

        I also note that Germany should be sanctioned for having too big a surplus, the rest too scared to mention even though it has a dramatic effect on Southern Europe economies. Sanction Germany not Russia.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Well said…Euro apologists justify the position by claiming the Eu had kept the peace for 50 years – now the world seems more dangerous and divided than ever before.
      As ever the answer from the EU commission and Lord Redwood’s colleagues in the Conservative party will be more EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes Ian. These entirely false – and dangerous – economies through outsourcing.

      We have taken a terrible path. A low wage, low skill future and dependence on other countries for vital resources.

      I could have f&%#$*d Britain up for a fraction of the price we were charged.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Will Cameron be able to do anything sensible in the time available? after all he could not even sort the constituency boundaries out this to the libdums he saddled us with.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      What a sad loss of an almost lone voice of reason Owen Paterson is on the green religion is. I passed countless stationary wind turbines on my drive to the south of France one again. Sort out the BBC green propaganda crap unit too.

  3. Peter Richmond
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Correct, whatever the outcome of the referendum in September, there will be no room for Scottish, Welsh or even MPs from Northern Ireland to govern in England or have any control over decisions taken for England. These are for English MPs alone.

  4. Mark B
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Well, it seems to me, that you co-guests have also seen this map:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/

    Labour know, that if England gets its own Parliament, they can pretty much kiss good bye to having power again.

    Scots voted for the SNP, despite Labour setting up an electoral system specifically designed to keep them out.

    The Welsh economy cannot support Labour policies without money from England. Something our kind host might like to be made more aware of, since this will have a dramatic effect on the way the Welsh vote.

    England would undoubtedly get a Conservative Government, but that does not necessarily mean a good one or, one that is good at looking after its core vote. Remember, the Conservative brand was very strong in Scotland, it isn’t now, because they took the Scots for granted. Similar to Labour, hence the SNP vote.

    To answer the question above, who rules England ? Currently no one, since England is treated as not being a Country in its own right. It is seen, and spoken of, in terms of Great Britain, or just Britain, and rarely England. But since the UK’s laws are most derived from Brussels, either directly or from higher bodies, who’s to really say.

    I just know that I do not have the same voice, or the same weight of vote as others do in the UK. And that is what is really unfair and needs to be addressed.

    I would like to ask a question of our kind host.

    How much support, both from within your party and across the benches, do you think you have on this issue ?

  5. Andyvan
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Better all round if Scotland goes it’s own way and England can become a bit less socialist and a bit less indebted paying for Scottish benefits.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    At the moment the Westminster EU puppet government governs England. Not that you would know it! as the words England/English seem to be banned in parliament.
    There is a temporary lull whilst we await the outcome of the Scottish referendum. Following that, when Scotland is awarded Devo-max as compensation for failing to secede (which secretely is what Salmond has always most wanted) it will fall to you to tell Cameron ‘it’s time for England to be recognised’ this may cause some embarrassment within the Conservative party and will rule out any advance in your career. Maybe England is worth that sacrifice? You will not have many allies but may wish to consider speaking to Harriet Baldwin and Frank Field? As far as i can tell they hold a similar opinion to you.
    If this (dis) UK is a democracy? It’s time for some of it in England. Only an English Parliament will give that.

  7. Chris Rose
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I am certainly against establishing regions which to the English psyche are meaningless, and would be a waste of money. I would like to see the power of counties strengthened, but counties have largely been balkanised into rambling district authorities, and so I don’t I think that idea is feasible any more.

    So I think we must have an English parliament meeting for part of the week in Westminster. It is not totally satisfactory, as we shall lose contact even more with what is going on in Scotland, but I think it is the best idea available.

    I notice that the Scotsman reported yesterday that the EU is now telling the Scots that they will be able to join after independence, even though Junker and Barroso had previously said they wouldn’t. More treachery from that quarter!

  8. James Matthews
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Well said Sir, though it should have been said with equal force seventeen years ago and repeated constantly thereafter. Will your future actions, and those of other Conservatives, match your words?

    May we have the date and time of the broadcast for reference purposes?

  9. Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I did not listen to 5 live ,but it sounds as though the three of you were actually talking in competitive terms on behalf of those who want to divide and rule . Where there are not any traditional territorial boundaries, other factors take precedent. The suggestion that local governments should rule and bite into our history is one which if happened ,would lead to further competition from the various factions who locally want to take over.

  10. formula57
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    That attitude of your fellow disputants provides yet more reason to hope that Scotland votes to leave the Union. (Alas, as stated hitherto, the voters of Scotland will not do that as they know upon which side their deep-fried Mars bars are battered.)

    What would seem to be needed now is for UKIP to promise an English Parliament in order to bring the other parties into line so the aspirations of the English people can be realized.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Both Nigel Farage and UKIP’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall have both said they favour an English Parliament, however they have gone very quiet on the matter recently. If/when they make it official policy, you can bet your life Cameron will suddenly declare he was always in favour of one after all. No chance of Labour or the Lib Dums doing likewise, they need their Scots (& Welsh) MPs to help them govern England.

      Whichever party has a manifesto for England in the same way they have a manifesto for Scotland, Wales & NI, one which promises an English Parliament will be a big vote winner – shame the Tory party are too stupid to realise this.

  11. gjwyatt
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The UK Westminster parliament should have days devoted solely to English affair when only English MPs vote on them, and other days for UK level business when both English and Scottish MPs are entitled to vote. There has to be a clear demarcation of what issues belong where, and no doubt there will be ambiguities and overlaps. But, please, leave England as a coherent entity and no devolution of powers within England.

  12. Richard1
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Quite right,the left are terrified of this. The last thing they want is the obvious simple solution: English MPs sit as an English Grand Committee and determine all matters in England which are decided by devolved assemblies elsewhere in the UK. The left’s response is absolutely as you say, to try to Balkanize England – Labour’s appalling attempt to get regional assemblies launched was the clearest example.

    We should move to a federal style system. The UK determines foreign and defence policy, certain minimum tax rates are set at a UK level, beyond that the 4 nations of the UK should be free to make their own laws and to set their own additional taxes.

    The one key point though is we can’t have devolved assemblies voting, as they do now, for popular high spending policies which arnt then paid for by their own voters and taxpayers.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    You are correct John in everything you say here.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I must be a missing something but I don’t see why a NO vote in the Scottish referendum should mean they get even more devolution (Devo Max) – why is it the assumption that that is what the NO majority wants ? I would have thought it was equally likely that the NO anti-Salmond vote would not be happy about awarding him even more powers when he loses. In any event shouldn’t Devo Max be subject to a specific referendum on its own ?

    I assume Labour would be opposed to excluding their Scottish MPs from voting on purely English matters as that is likely to be the basis of any small majority they may win in the next election.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Of course we don’t want more devolution if we vote NO, which is why we will get it of course, and the Conservatives wonder why people are voting UKIP. Cameron is a disaster with his stupid impositions and will go down in history as the Man who Destroyed Britain.

  15. The PrangWizard
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The debate should not have been structured with two Scotsmen and one Englishman at all. Why two to one? Why any Scotsmen, when the issue is about England? The future of England is a matter for the people of England alone. The BBC knows this but we know they do not recognise England as a unity and have no interest in it, they wish to promote regionalisation. There is no BBC England, yet there is a BBC Scotland. They follow the EU on regionalisation. They have to, because they beholden to the EU. They may claim ‘balance’ but such a claim would be perverse.

    In terms of future politics and administration, and given also the forthcoming General Election, quite apart from the result of the Scottish vote, your party must produce a manifesto for England. There can be no policy proposals on matters already devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without mentioning that they would apply only in England, and the idea of qualifying every such item is a nonsense. So a dedicated manifesto document for the whole of England is essential, and unambiguously so, otherwise we have deceit, a deceit against the people of England whose existence will not thus be recognized. An immediate start in the recognition of England would be to appoint a Secretary of State for England. If your party talks about devolution to the regions and cities instead it will be a betrayal, and confirmation of their intent to break up England as the EU wishes.

    We have a situation where the British political and cultural Establishment have so long considered England and the English intertwined with Britain and the UK that they cannot think of the English or England in the same way as they think of Scotland and the Scots. They step out of their British museums, galleries, political offices directly into England. So to them there is no distinction. But they have to go, to travel, to Scotland. So it is already a different place in their minds. Not so England. They must start to concede that England is not one and the same with Britain, it is one of the significant problems we, the English, have to overcome, to break the complacent and unthinking Establishment mindset, which cannot see us as a nation in the same way as they see Scotland, before we can regain our identity. It is almost as if, in doing nothing, they are denying it to us. There are many more.

    The cultural institutions themselves are not recognizable to the English. Take just two. The National Gallery. Which nation would that be? Is it England? I think not. Scotland has its own National Gallery of Scotland. But there is no National Gallery of England. And the British Library? Scotland has its Libraries of Scotland where people can go ‘to learn about Scotland and the Scots’. So where do the English go ‘to learn about England and the English’.

    There must be change. The English deserve their nation and identities back.

    • William Grant
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      According to the Scotland/Borders edition of the Radio Times, BBC1 and BBC2 are BBC1 England and BBC2 England respectively and the ‘minor’ nations just insert occasional local programmes into England-issued schedules. Isn’t there also a syndicated England-wide programme in
      the evenings on BBC local radio these days? It is unfortunate that the medium wave frequencies occupied by BBC Radio 5Live aren’t given over to a Radio England, because Scotland, Wales and Ulster still have their medium wave stations as well as local FM ones. In Scotland’s case it is used for extra sports commentaries/discussion(mainly football) and occasional live politics from Holyrood(FM Questions) and Westminster(Scottish Questions) and is also broadcast on Freeview’s radio service. Multiply that extra broadccast time by ten for a sports-dominated Radio England, which could be removed from the transmitters in the smaller nations. I vote it takes the cricket coverage, which should never have been dumped on Radio 4 Long Wave. 5 Live Sports Xtra could be turned into the new Radio 5Live with sports and news for the UK-wide audience.

    • Richard
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Only the English are not allowed to have their own national anthem.

  16. Timaction
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The EU Governs the UK with 70% of the laws made by its unelected officials. The balkanisation you express was discussed in the FCO document 30/1048 of 1971. This is and was to undermine beliefs in nation states (mass migration included) whilst the legacy parties crept stealthily along a path of ever closer union by giving away our sovereignty and democracy by incremental treaty change. The irony is that you ALL know it but can’t admit it as the game would be up and the public would remove you.
    Well knowledge is power and there is a patriotic party who will get the truth out there. The rest is spin and propaganda supported by a tame legacy media.
    We don’t need all these different self serving levels of Government that serves only the officials within it.

  17. Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Surely it’s quite simple.
    No Scottish MP should be able to speak at Westminster on any subject which has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Similarly no Welsh of Northern Ireland MP should be able to speak on any subject that has been devolved to their Assemblies. Thus only those MPs elected from English constituencies should be able to speak about, say, the English NHS at Westminster.
    As the non-English MPs would only then be working part time, a pro-rata salary reduction for the others would then be appropriate; perhaps one of these zero-hours contracts!

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Where are all the English people demonstrating outside the Houses of Parliament about the undoubted iniquity of having to tolerate Scots voting on matters that affect only England? Have any of you trekked over to see your MP about it? Too much effort? Embarrassed? Scared? Not prepared to pay the train fare to get there? What’s stopping you? Either back up the moaning with action or dry up.

      • David Wildgoose
        Posted July 22, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        I’ve done all these things. So have many other people. We are simply being ignored – and the anger is building. Personally, I sincerely hope Scotland votes “Yes” as the first step in the long overdue dismantling of the so-called “United” Kingdom and the re-emergence of my country free from malign interference by those who only ever conspire to do us harm.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Good to hear that someone who posts on this site takes real action to back up their beliefs but you are the only person to have responded to my, admittedly, rather provocative questions so far.

  18. Iain Moore
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Not the English if Cameron has his way.

    Labour were honest in their contempt for England, and at least gave English people a say in the NE if they wanted to be regionalised. Cameron has learnt from Labour’s failure, and seeks to regionalise England by the back door with his Hesletine inspired City fiefdoms.

    I have never been able to find out what the English have done for the left virulently hate them, more confusing is why the Conservatives also hate the English, when their electoral existence relies on them, perhaps, as the Heir to Blair, Cameron is just mindlessly following the policy agenda Labour put in place.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      You are right Iain. Cameron has left the ratchet of socialism firmly in place in true pre-Thatcher Tory tradition.

    • Richard
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      No, Mr. Cameron is following the EU agenda to destroy England as a nation by splitting it up into smaller regions.

  19. alan jutson,
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    John you talk about fairness, and that would be nice, but is there such a thing in politics ?

    Perhaps we would all like to think so, but evidence and actions over a whole range of policies, over very many years, suggest it does not exist.

    Scottish parliamentarians could simply refuse to take part in many debates now, if that is what they really wanted and really felt.

    The Scottish referendum question is all about power, and the ambition of one man, his party and sidekicks.
    The last Government thought that by giving him enough rope he would hang himself, but all that has happened he has tied you all up in knots.

    Mr Salmond is a very clever politician, he promises the Scottish people a paradise at no cost, using the old English enemy, and self determination argument.

    The fact is the UK does not have self determination itself due to EU membership, so how can it give that to others.

    Given that all three main Party’s have already promised Devo Max or Devo More he has already won concessions before any referendum result, due to the stupidity of our politicians.

    As outlined before, if we are to have so called National Parliaments in all county’s of the UK, then they have to have some powers, otherwise there is no point in them being in existence, but the powers should be identical for all four Nations, and no cross subsidy if they are to be given tax raising powers.

    Face facts, devolution has been an absolute disaster for the UK as a whole, and will eventually cause its break up if not handles in the correct manner.

    You suggest an English Parliament WILL HAVE TO BE DISCUSSED, but I will not hold my breath, just as I will not hold my breath on the EU renegotiation/referendum issue.

  20. Atlas
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Quite, John.

    If the outcome is No to Independence but ‘home rule’ instead for Scotland, then it has to be ‘home rule’ for England as well.

  21. Northerner
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    If you’ve been following devolution regarding England as long as I have (you stuck to EVoEL for long enough!) you will know, of course, that the British consider England too large for the liking of her neighbours and want to divide it into bite sized pieces with county councils reorganised and ruled still by the British Parliament. EVoEL cannot work, which is why it has not been enacted, even though promised by Cameron.

    If England is too large (and England could be lost in New York State even) then how about France or Germany, both of whom have their own National Parliaments?

    The dismantling of England is nothing less than window dressing for anti-English hatred by the neighbours and those British in Parliament who espouse their racism with the support of our British government. Consider Cameron’s Scottish speech upon his crowning, where he blamed anti-English racism by Scots, on the English themselves, saying we don’t show enough respect. Well, we’ve shown too much. Jack Straw saying the English are violent towards their neighbours, Prescott saying England does not exist as a nation, Kennedy saying Regional Assemblies bring into question the very existence of England as a nation and so many, many more examples of British sponsored hatred of England and the English.

    Well, this far, and no further ! We’ve surely taken enough.

  22. Bryan
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    This is an issue that is now smoldering.

    Even the use of the words England or English is considered in some quarters as racist.

    I cannot understand why the main parties refuse to consider that there is a major problem here which may just cause a flair up. Yet I do:-

    England,with its taxpayers and economy, is the cash cow that keeps the rest of the UK afloat! An independent England would stop that very quickly.

    Whatever happened to no taxation without representation?

  23. oldtimer
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Murphy and Campbell represent the thinking that was spectacularly rejected in the referendum about a N-East regional assembly. It is signficant that this referendum was allowed only because it was in support of a cause to serve the interests of Brussels. Clearly nothing has changed in Labour or Lib-Dem policy thinking.

    It leaves the question you effectively raise. What is Conservative party policy thinking on the matter? It sounds as though you and like minded MPs have much lobbying work before you.

  24. Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “No , No, No” does sum the situation up . I congratulate you on your robust response and fully agree that the representation for England must be settled once and for all . We have been wimps in allowing unfair and unrealistic representation in the way we reach our decisions and are governed and we must draw a red line at this stage . The Scots have received more than their fair share of our economic wealth and the dangling of further carrots at this stage of the game irritates me no end . As far as the EU is concerned , my irritation grows to an expletive I do not wish to print ! The United Kingdom is a natural piece of geography and the inter-mixing of our cultures has been a straightforward aspect of this relationship ; for too long the Scots have imposed one sanction or another to discriminate against those to the South ( charging UK students at their Universities but not EU students is a typical illustration ) and only our foolish lack of response is to blame . I simply cannot imagine Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher putting up with this kind of discrimination and I blame our current leadership for the mess . So “No ,No,No” is where to start .

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Cameron cannot complain about the discrimination against England’s students because he is doing exactly the same. It is only England’s students who have to pay £9,000 tuition fees. Thanks to the skewed Barnett Formula (English taxes), something else which is blatantly unfair to England and which the Tories have refused to address, NI & Welsh students have their fees capped at a maximum of £3,600. Even Welsh students studying in Scotland or more insulting studying alongside £9,000 fee paying English students in English universities still qualify for this cap. It is only English students who have to pay £9,000 fees wherever they study in Scotland, Wales or England.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    If you’d asked me say ten years ago I would have said that it would probably be enough to change the standing orders in the House of Commons so that only MPs elected in England were allowed to vote on England-only laws. But since then it has become clear that those who wish to break up England will never stop, never, until they are stopped by the creation of a devolved Parliament for the whole of England. And that is precisely what none of the three old political parties will support, because while they are united in agreeing that the Scots deserve their own devolved Parliament, and the Welsh and the Northern Irish deserve their own devolved Assemblies, which could be renamed as Parliaments, they are also united in the view that the English do not deserve their own Parliament. So why should the English keep voting for the candidates of parties which hold them in such obvious contempt? It beggars belief that they do, and in so many cases allow themselves to be deflected into blaming the Scots and the Welsh and the Northern Irish when common sense says they should blame the 82% of Westminster MPs that they themselves elect. And how did this drive to smash England into pieces gain its momentum? Through Major’s Maastricht Treaty on European Union, which inter alia established the EU’s Committee of the Regions, that’s how.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      People vote for candidates, largely out of ignorance. It is not that the vast majority of people are ignorant per se – just ignorant of the details which political anoraks are prepared to spend hours dredging up. Most people just want to get on with their busy lives (made needlessly busy by politicians) and take care of their families and futures.

      Unless there is a concerted effort to reach these people with the message that their MPs are against English representation, they’ll simply never know.

      As was said at the last Bruges Group event, the various factions should put aside their disagreements on other things and unite to to gain what it is we want.

      Someone has to make the first move. Someone has to have that initial idea. And someone has to have the determination to make it succeed. It is not sufficient just to want it to happen.

      It is not just the populace who is being divided for conquest – it is the politicians, too.

      Every action begins with a thought. Ergo, without that initial thought, there would be no consequent action. Positive thinking has power, if the will is in accord and action follows.

      It’s time to formulate a plan and put it into action. Pronto.

      Are you game, JR?

  26. Robert Taggart
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Agreed, Johnny, but mefears it will never happen…
    Liebore will never support an all England political construct – because they be unlikely ever to hold outright power in any such.
    LieDims will never support such – for exactly the same reason.
    Cons, alas, will never support such – Blighty being far too much part of their DNA – they will fear the end of their ‘overlordship’ over all other parts !
    Ergo – England / English be stuffed !

  27. Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    John,

    It is now blatantly obvious that as long as Cameron is in charge of the Conservative party, there is no chance of England getting any constitutional parity with the rest of the UK. For a start Cameron has proved he doesn’t give a toss about England and added to that Cleggie won’t let him and he won’t want to upset the Lib Dums, after all he is one.

    The Tories won the popular vote in England in 2005 and a 63 seat majority in 2010 and yet England alone, unlike the rest of the UK, continues to be denied the government of it’s choosing. We had Gordon Brown the self annointed PM who could dictate policy on health and education in England but had absolutely no say on health and education in Scotland. England had tuition fees imposed on it’s young thanks to 59 Scots Labour MPs voting in favour of them when the Scots Parliament had already rejected them for Scotland and yet not one word of protest was ever uttered at the time by the Tories, not a peep. They have totally ignored the blatant discrimination against their English constituents whether it be tuition fees, prescription charges, care for the elderly, selling of English assets to plug the UK deficit etc. etc. and they continue to avoid saying the word England at any cost.

    England may well decide to vote Tory again in 2015 but England could still end up with a an even more anti-English Labour Government or Lab/Lib coalition governing it and Labour will stop at nothing until they have completed their mission of balkanising England up into bite-size EU pieces. They and the Lib Dums are already talking of ‘giving devolution to the regions’. Their proposals are only ever devolution ‘within’ England but never ‘to England’ and if this happens, the Tory party will be every bit as culpable for deliberately ignoring the English Question whilst they had the chance.

    There will be less than 8 month between the Scots referendum and the next General election. Why does England have to wait until after the Scots have decided before devolution for England can even be considered? It’s all a stalling game by our self serving politicians. It has nothing to do with ‘upsetting the Scots’ many of whom cannot understand why we English have allowed ourselves to be treated so badly by successive UK Government for so long. Many would probably support England having the same as them, our own parliament, why wouldn’t they? The real reason is more likely to do with the politicians as always thinking of themselves first and foremost. After all if England had it’s own dedicated parliamentmost of the 650 UK Unionist MPs sitting in Westminster would be out of a job and they know it. Bye bye to the Westminster gravy train. If you John and any like minded colleagues (if there are any) believe in justice for England as you keep telling us you are, start demanding it now and stuff the Lib Dums and if Cameron is opposed to it, ditch him.

    England wants equality and it wants it’s own parliament now. An ENGLISH PARLIAMENT for England and England only, not some half baked idea of EVfEL or MPs with two hats sitting some days as UK MPs and others as English MPs. It means our own dedicated parliament with 100% dedicated English MPs there to represent England and the English only. England has waited long enough!

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    But JR you were taken in by Cameron’s “cast iron” say one think do the opposite, lies and deception and voted for him. He threw that last election with his ratting, modernising drivel, green crap, incompetence and Clegg on TV. This saddled us with the Libdems who would not even give him fair constituency boundaries in return. Now we have Cameron firing perhaps his most sensible minister Owen Patterson and Gove too.

    Cameron is just a Heath/Major/Lord Patten/Ken Clark man who is prepared to deceive with weasel words near elections. Cameron does not care about the English or rather the English regions one jot. No one who could put Lord Patten at the head BBC trustees and employed Ken Clark for so long can be trusted one thou. His recent reshuffle is clearly a complete we are no sceptic (look at us on the ECHR) con exercise.

    Miliband will be worse but a price worth paying.

    Reply Mr Cameron is the first PM and party leader of a party with Westminster seats to say we need a new relationship with the EU, to say he will negotiate one, and to say we will get an In Out referendum. That is why many will vote Conservative on My 7 th next year, to get that referendum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      We are now sceptic, I meant. But only until May 8th 2015.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Technically that is true, JR, but only because the shyster Wilson was not Prime Minister but Leader of the Opposition when he made the same promise.

  29. Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    !The last Labour government attempted this, and were strongly rebuffed in their own heartland of the North-east where the public said they did not want regional government. “

    Nevertheless, Cameron is delivering unto England regional government by the back door – in the form of city ‘states’, police commissioner elections and mayoralties. This is creeping regionalisation, in the Fabian tradition.

    I’m surprised that you do not recognise this.

  30. Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    When will the rest of the Tory party wake up to this issue?

    What is the feeling of the rest of your colleagues John?

  31. William Long
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I wish I thought there were sufficient others who feel as strongly you do on this issue to make me confident, if as seems probable, the Scotch vote to stay with the UK, the matter will be addressed either by Milliband or Cameron, or whoever succeeds him, after the next election. I think the most likely way for it to be dealt with is if Scotland leaves the Union, so I hope it does.

  32. Vanessa
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    England, rather like Germany in the EU, props up the United Kingdom with our taxpayers’ money keeping the 3 other regions afloat.

    This has got to stop. If Scotland gets more control then England should stop funding its excesses and start looking to our areas of decline – the north etc. Scotland has free prescriptions paid for by us, Scotland has free care for the elderly, (I think), paid for by us. Wales and Northern Ireland will soon expect more control (as long as England plugs their gap). A ludicrous situation when we have such an enormous deficit which means our debt keeps rising.

    Brussels governs this country and is happy for it to contribute the second largest amount into its ever hungry budget but could not care less about our woes so long as the money keeps flowing their way. We have lost control of everything and must ask Juncker or whoever if we want to change anything. Look at our “colleagues” regarding the plane shot down in Ukraine – they are all protecting their own behinds – some colleagues !!!!

  33. Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    On whose authority have all three “main parties” promised more powers for Scotland? These powers have not been specified – or at least not jointly specified. Any by what standard are the LibDems counted as a “main party” while UKIP is not? Have you forgotten that UKIP are consistently polling ahead of the LibDems and that Nigel Farage thrashed Nick Clegg in their two head to head debates. The very least you do is to find out UKIP’s opinion on further devolution.

    It needs to be said that a currency Union between countries with different levels of taxation, public spending and fiscal deficit is a complete nonsense. And if Scotland remains in the Union and is allowed to increase its level of public spending, the temptation will be there not to increase taxation sufficiently and to dump the additional deficit on England. Indeed, the Barnett formula is an example. Look at what is happening in the Euro zone, where the Club Med countries are attempting to dump their excessive public expenditure on Germany.

    Whatever Scotland’s future status, we need an agreed settlement on North Sea oil revenues. The settlement will take into account the sums invested by England and overseas companies in exploration and rigs, plus the fact that it is not Scotland’s oil but Scotland and Shetland’s oil. The emotional attachment of Shetlanders is first to Norway, second to the United Kingdom, third to England and last of all to Scotland.

  34. Sir Graphus
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Sneaky response by LibLab; they want to split England up into less powerful areas, and dresss it up as increasing local democratic accountability.

    We could always ask the voters what they wanted.

  35. David Wildgoose
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    All we ever hear from Scots is that England is “too big” and “must be broken up”.

    At least the SNP are open about only being interested in what is best for Scotland.

    That’s more honest than the so-called Scottish “Unionists” who are only “Unionists” because they think it is to Scotland’s benefit rather than because of any shared sympathy with the English.

    Moreover, don’t forget that Ming Campbell signed a public oath (“The Scottish Claim of Right”) that he would put the interests of Scotland above all others. He clearly has no interest in what is best for England, but rather only in what he perceives is best for Scotland. Not an honest broker, just like all the other Scottish MPs who are continually invited to discuss matters that should should solely concern England!

  36. Eleanor Justice
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    This is why the next step must be a Parliament for England,the Campaign for an English Parliament have heard every weaselly argument against it for years,non off which stands up to scrutiny,we hope you will back the CEP Mr Redwood when push comes to shove.

  37. REPay
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The last thing England needs is more government, and we don’t want the Heptarchy back!

    The simple solution would be to stop Scottish, Welsh and NI MPs voting on English domestic issues. English business could be held on Mondays and Fridays – giving the Scottish and Welsh MPs more time in their constiuencies.

    I realize that this is a problem as in would create two classes of Westminster MP (could we ever have a Scottish or Welsh constituency MP as PM if this was the case?). This is fair. An MP for a Scottish constituency would be an MP for British issues by definition. The same person could still be UK PM whilst not expecting to be able to vote on English education or healthcare. We should relable Minister jobs accordingly.

    The Labour Party should have thought this through before devolution in 1999. Their typical short termism and their false calculation that devolution would give them two eternal fiefdoms in Scotland and Wales, is scuppering the idea of the UK. I expect they will be attracted, as was John Prescott to the idea of regional assemblies in the north whose only role will be to scream for more money from London, and which will be eternal bastions of Labour government.

    • Barry Hamblin
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      REPay, and how does your solution give me as part of the English electorate democratic parity with the Scots, Welsh and NI electorate, thus I get two votes just like they do? It does not does it? I want to able to vote for an English Parliament to suit the needs of England. England does not need more govt and so it should not, if anything an English Parliament would not need 550 mps more like 350, and just like the UK sends reps to the EU, an EP could send reps to the UK Govt

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      I am sorry but I believe that to be a load of rubbish. England needs its own Executive, we cannot rely or trust the British political establishment to do what is right by England, and their lobby fodder will do as they are told.

      As for creating two types of MP, for gods sake wake up, there is already two types of MP at Westminster, you have the British MP squatting in English constituency seats , who might consider his constituents needs when close to an election if he is in a marginal, and we have the Mercenary British MPs sitting in non English constituents , who doesn’t have to worry about his constituents for his Common’s votes will never effect them, his vote is there to be bought by the Executive for career advancement favours.

    • Andy
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      With due respect you have not thought this through. Take 2010. In that election the Tories got a 63 seat majority in England, so why don’t the Tories have full control of Health, Education, Justice etc all of which are devolved matters ? Why do LibDems have any right to meddle in these matters ? And therein lies the nub of the problem. What of we get a Labour Majority in the UK as a whole, but not in England ? Who would be the Secretary of State for the above ? Tories sitting in a Labour cabinet ?

      The only solution is to separate out these ministries and create an English Government and a UK wide Government. It is a very complex problem and requires a creative solution.

      One last point it is outrageous that Live5 thought it was appropriate to get two Scottish MPs to pontificate on how England should be governed. It shows all too clearly what devolution was all about.

  38. John
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well said John but you should have a serious word with Douglas Carswell, he wants to break up England to county level. I do not want British MPs, even the ones elected in England, to speak on my behalf because many of them are Welsh, Scottish and Irish and therefore have no empathy with the plight of the English people.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      “[Douglas Carswell] wants to break up England to county level.”

      Well, he’s right; the county is the traditional unit of local administation; it has existed for a thousand years or more, although, latterly it has been messed about by Edward Heath, arch messer and traitor, and more, recently. We have no history of regions equivalent to the German Lander. The problem has been that central government has appropriated to itself most of tax raising and spending and the mismanagement of local services on a one size fits all basis. As usual, politicians are misdiagnosing the problem, entirely of their own making and then wishing to offer further layers of complexity in an attempt to mitigate the problem that they have caused. There would have been no need for Welsh and Scottish parliaments or referenda on independence if Westminster had not meddled in practically everything.

      Ever wondered why historic town halls and othe public buildings are so much more impressive and what about all those grammar schools, destroyed? etc ed.

  39. Richard Jenkins
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    “It will not be possible to duck the issue of who governs England”. Oh yes it will. Mr. Redwood, you underestimate the skill of your fellow politicians at ducking issues that they do not like.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      The British political establishment don’t want to talk about English devolution, they also don’t have to worry about being asked any difficult questions about it as the British media have a similar aversion engaging in the issue of English devolution.

      When you get close to the Westminster bubble you enter a zone of indifference to English devolution, for it is an area stuffed with people who either don’t want to talk about, or don’t want to ask about it.

  40. David
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Well said.
    The mantra, if England does get a mention in all of this is regionalisation for England. The establishment parties and Scotland fear big England and would do anything to diminish it. What galls me is the persistent use of ‘rest of the UK’ concept after independence. The UK will have been dissolved. There will be no UK, no rump, no rest of… just the Kingdom of England.

    The left in particular are fearful of England as they have ignored and demonised the English working class. the last census indicated that up to 70 per cent of the people of England identified as English only. Panic set in and the adopt and adapt strategy to nullify the white English identity has begun. It is too late. Multiculturalism, mass immigration, and rule by a foreign power has reinforced the desire to return to traditional Island mentality. No benefit has been gained from it only loss and future civil war. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

  41. Chris S
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree entirely with your views on the future governance of England.

    Labour will never concede equal devolved powers for England because they know that it will pretty well spell the end of credibility for any future Labour administration. After all, who will take a labour PM seriously if he is in number 10 but can’t command a majority amongst English PMs sitting as an English parliament ?

    As far as the Conservative Party is concerned, what is the attitude of the key players towards English devolution ?

    It’s a subject that is never discussed yet I would have thought devolving exactly equal powers to English MPs would be very much in the interest of the party.

    If you are in government after May 2015 will your party bring forward equal devolution for Scotland and England ?

    If not, what would be their reason not to.?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Cameron’s suicidal political strategy to a issue that doesn’t come from Metropolitan land is to first ignore it, then abuse people, and when the Conservatives are haemorrhaging votes, to scramble around trying to recover the lost political territory. He did this over the EU, he is doing it over English devolution, unfortunately he has only got to the ignore us phase, the abuse phase comes next.

      Regretfully this is all going to come too late for the Conservatives to realise their disastrous error, for the election is going to beat them to any change in policy, then Miliband is going to inherit a back door regionalisation of England policy, that Cameron put in place with his City fiefdoms, which Miliband will see as Labour’s saviour , and a chance to ensure they can advance their client vote in England, to the expense of the Conservatives.

    • Richard
      Posted July 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      The leaders of the Conservative Party do not want to see devolved powers for England.

      This is because they want see England broken up into smaller regions as planned by the EU.

      Worse still for them is that a separated England nation would very likely demand to leave the EU.

  42. Stephen Gash
    Posted July 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, David Cameron and Boris Johnson are determined to Balkanise England too.

    The very first thing that should be established is an English parliament. Any further devolution of power within England should come after, if necessary.

    An English parliament will not mean any more politicians. Both Lords and Commons could be halved in number and equivalent numbers elected to the Senate and Congress of an English parliament. Thereby, proper scrutiny of English legislation would be assured, unlike in the devolved chambers.

    There is no case to be made against an English parliament re-established on this model, especially if elections are conducted using the same system for Holyrood.

  43. Richard
    Posted July 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Who governs England ?

    Unelected bureaucrats in Brussels via unelected quangos and EU funded pressure groups.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page