No representation without taxation


The Conservative Manifesto in 2010 said ” Labour have refused to address the so-called West Lothian Question: the unfair situation of Scottish MPs voting on matters which are devolved.  A Conservative government will introduce new rules so that legislation referring specifically to England, or to England and Wales, cannot be enacted without the consent of MPs representing constituencies of those countries.”

So was born a form of devolution to England in the manifesto of a major party. It was interesting last night stating the case for England. I was asked to appear before the speech  on Scottish and N0rthern Irish BBC programmes,  but not on any English programme! The BBC just does not do England. As a result I declined their invitations. They would not see the irony. They think dev0lution is an issue just for the parts of the UK they do recognise as countries or nations, and does not apply to the biggest nation of the Union. When they asked me to do a UK  national interview the interviewer called it the Scottish Parliament issue when first greeting me!

The injustice for England has been apparent in the treatment of English students over tuition fees at Scottish universities. That is as nothing compared to the sense of unfairness if tax raising powers are devolved to Scotland after the vote yet Scottish MPs at Westminster can help impose those taxes on England that they cannot impose on Scotland.

The old cry was no taxation without representation. That was a fine cry for liberty and accountable government. The English Parliament grew on the back of enforcing just such accountability on the Crown. We lost the American colonies by violating our own beliefs on just this issue. The new cry will be no representation without taxation. People will not see the justice of Scottish MPs voting tax burdens on the English  that their fellow countrymen and women may not have to bear.




  1. Alte Fritz
    August 13, 2014

    This is an issue which will eventually make its mark. If Scotland votes ‘No’ then, as night follows day, the fact that a substantial minority voted ‘Yes’ will be seen as a mandate to move towards ‘devo max’.

    Especialy as London becomes separate from the rest of England as something of a city state, the remainder of England will begin to demand a voice, as will those in London who are not sharing in the extraordinary wealth bubble there.

  2. Lifelogic
    August 13, 2014

    Yet another broken promise by Cameron after he threw that last election with his ratting, modernising, Clegg on TV and his lefty green crap agenda. What is the point of Tory Manifestos under Cameron they are totally worthless? Is there anything (sensible) in the last manifesto they have actually done?

    Cameron’s opening paragraph of his pathetic opening letter says “Our economy is overwhelmed by debt”….. “we can overcome this”. Cameron’s & Osborne’s way of overcoming this has been to borrow more than Labour did in 13 years and leave total government debt about 50% higher by 2015. This while continuing tax borrow and waste and the feather bedding of the state sector and the feckless. Also continuing the mugging of private sector pensions, endless tax increases and ratting on their IHT promise.
    Meanwhile tipping money down endless drains like HS2 and green crap.

    It also says “We will strengthen the Union”. It will be interesting to see what lies and drivel they put in the next manifesto.

    No representation without taxation would be a very good move, but Cameron in Scotland has even allowed people to vote at 16 thus making it far worse. Without this you are just asking people “would you like something for nothing, that other will have to pay for” – you tend to get the answer, yes please.

    The BBC (and indeed this government’s) anti English bias is an outrage. Tory supporters are largely in England and largely in the south of England, yet they are treated with complete contempt by Cameron just to be mugged with his 299 tax increases.

    1. Anonymous
      August 13, 2014

      Then stop voting Tory !

      1. Lifelogic
        August 13, 2014

        I have not voted Tory since I foolishly voted for Major fist time thinking he was Thatchers choice and not the lefty, big state, pro EU, incompetent he proved rapidly to be. Before burying the party for 3 plus terms so far. Still no ERM apology I note.

        I cannot vote as I now live outside the UK, but anyway not voting Tory will just put Miliband in. This is clearly worse short term than Cameron but only by a tiny touch, and is a better long term option than returning the ratting, 299 tax increasing, pro EU, green crap, lefty fake Tory Cameron – just to watch him rat on Tory voters yet again.

        1. Bazman
          August 14, 2014

          What is this green crap that you and others such as Cameron agree is crap and green? Subsidised energy? It is all crap if the subsidy is not viable by this logic. Insulation subsidies are crap?
          If in the future a wind turbine or PV panel on you roof which I have to say is pretty much crap at the moment in this country at least was able to erode your bills including maintenance and purchase costs by a quarter each year would it still be crap?

          1. Lifelogic
            August 15, 2014

            Indeed subsidies for wind are green crap and subsidies for insulation are also green crap, they distort the market and makes people do daft things at others expense and reduce competitivity and overall wealth.

            Insulate if it saves enough energy to justify it and not if it does not. Three time the price intermittent offshore (and even onshore) wind is clearly bonkers.

          2. Lifelogic
            August 15, 2014

            In fact the over taxation of energy (relative to insulation) already distorts the market toward over insulation even before subsidy.

          3. Bazman
            August 16, 2014

            I’ll ask you again about massive subsidy to nuclear and other energy sources. No reply. No idea. You do not own the facts.

          4. Edward2
            August 16, 2014

            If you search on Google “relative energy subsidies” the first item is a report presented to the House of Commons select committee.
            A quote from it:-
            The subsidies paid to the various forms of energy production relative to their energy output involved are:-
            Coal 20p per MWh
            Oil 55p per MWh
            Gas £4.00 per MWh
            Electricity £6.00 per MWh
            Nuclear £33.00 per MWh
            Renewables £55.00 per MWh

  3. Mark B
    August 13, 2014

    We can go a lot further with this.

    How about various parts of England being responsible for their own tax system ? Why should parts of the South East and West, subsidize parts of the North West, just because their local governments have wayward spending policies. If local government became the main collector of revenue, and spend what it collected on what it needed, we can do away with much of the waste that is Central Government.

    I think we all know what, Alex Salmond’s game is. All the power and little responsibility. And when things either go wrong, or he cannot get his way, he will play the; “It’s all Westminster’s (code word for English) fault !”, or “They (English) are interfering in ‘our’ affairs !” It seems we can never win.

    It is because of the complexity and the high emotional nature of the subject, that I have come to believe that a total overhaul of the ‘system’ needs to be considered.

    I have long believed that, we need regional governments, and a second, federal government, which would be responsible for defence and security, foreign policy, ports, airports, mainline road and rail. Pretty much everything else, can be devolved to the regions. And to cover the financing of the above, there should be a ‘flat-fee’ charged to everyone over the age of 18. Regional governments’ will be responsible for individual, business and local taxation. And none can run a deficit, and if they do, they can borrow from the other home nations or from the markets.

    I am sure I am not alone in saying, that the UK, irrespective of what Scotland decides, is finished. Unless those who inhabit both the Westminster and Whitehall bubbles start to grasp some fundamental ideas, we will just lurch from one internal crisis to another. Such a situation will leave no one any happier. Trying to hang on to old ways will prove both futile and damaging.

    Many here I am sure, will have their own ideas on what they would like to see. But in the vacuum of workable ideas and patchwork solutions, a sane workable plan originating from the ‘bottom up’ might just prove to be our nations savior.

    1. Bazman
      August 13, 2014

      The problem is with this deluded nonsense is that the south sucks money from the north as the utility companies and supermarkets are are based in the south, not to mention almost every other service or consumable item. and all profits flow there. The shipyard is spending national taxation on wages don’y forget. Everyone in this country has a similar standard of living backed up by the benefits system or taxation. Are they all to move down south.

      1. Mark B
        August 14, 2014

        First off. You are entitled to your opinion. But if your opinion amounts to nothing more than slants and pure conjecture, it ain’t worth much.

        So you think that all the money that goes into supermarkets flows south do you ? What about the wages paid to the staff and the rates to the local government ?

        If you are referring to profits, then just because large companies have their share prices announced and traded in the south, does not mean that is where all the profits are spent. People all over the place, including the north own shares, and are entitled to receive dividend on them. And you claim I am talking“deluded nonsense”. Check you’re facts mate !

        The fact that the shipyard is being supported by national taxation is scandal. And the benefits system should not either be used as a means of wealth distribution or alternative lifestyle. It is a safety net that we pay into, hoping never to draw from.

        Oh, and if Socialism is such a wonderful thing, why hasn’t 13 years of it solved anything up north ? To answer my own question, because the first thing the Socialists do, is feather their own beds first and sod the little guy. And you support such people. And I know, because I have seen it first hand.

        1. Bazman
          August 14, 2014

          Much depend on Geography and geographically isolated town are a problem.
          Submarines, ships etc are built from taxation how else are they paid for? Many of the workers there will be getting benefits to supplement their wages, as will the low paid supermarket workers to support their lifestyle alternative or otherwise. Where do these low paid and unemployed get the money for the shopping? Thats right benefits, which flows south as profits which pay for benefits. The profits flow south is my point and wages and rates are operating costs. Private business does well out of these ‘socialist’ benefits do you not agree? Many of the ex shipyard workers will be receiving benefits to support their families as they were made redundant due to government policies of the day. A fifty five year old shipyard worker with three children who had these in good faith when the shipyard was booming is now a scrounger and and should have made sure he had the money for life first he should now just move down south should he? On his own or with his family? Property is out of reach and paying for two household is not real as well as leaving children behind is not too. As I said deluded.

          Reply How do the profits flow south? Each town and area has to adapt and change as people’s needs and wishes change. Neither south nor north can make a living out of yesterday’s products. The way forward for places with higher unemployment may well include better transport links, as well as better education and training for the workforce, construction of good modern homes etc.

          1. Bazman
            August 16, 2014

            This report by the high pay The High Pay Centre an
            independent non-party think tank makes some good points on this. According to the report, supermarkets, “Big Six” energy companies, major mobile phone networks, chain clothing stores and chain petrol stations – which all have a market share of at least 97% – extract from the North East most of the income they generate in the region.
            The report says that most products sold in the North East by major corporations are made elsewhere, stored in distribution hubs and transported across the country. This means that hundreds of pounds spent by each North East household on essential items alone leaves the region each week.

      2. Monty
        August 14, 2014

        “….. the south sucks money from the north as the utility companies and supermarkets are are based in the south…”

        That is weapons grade idiocy.
        Profits by and large go to shareholders, including individuals and institutional investors, such as the pension funds. Those beneficiaries are spread out all over the UK, and beyond.

        1. Bazman
          August 15, 2014

          What planet are you on? You do have a point though with massive housing benifits payments also go to private landlords too in particular in the North East. Billions going into fat cats wallets and off shore tax havens from housing benefit would be better spent building houses and homes for working people. Is this what you mean by spreading of wealth?

    2. acorn
      August 13, 2014

      If you mention regions on this site you will get replies quoting Balkanisation. Assuming Scotland votes NO, the only way we will get an English Parliament is to brake up the UK into its 12 (NUTS 1) EU Regions. Nine of those are in England, including one for the whole of London. Once regionalised, a federal structure for the four nations of the UK would be simple to arrange on a unicameral basis, the HoL would be abolished.

      The EU Commission will love it. Its ultimate aim is an EU of (currently) 97 Regions; not 28 States. Most of those regions already have names like Scotland; Wales; Catalonia; Schleswig-Holstein and Aquitaine etc.

      The UK is the most centrally controlled and financed of any State in the EU. 95% of state spending and taxing is controlled from Westminster and Whitehall.

      As Max Plank Institute said:- “The EU is a supranational governance organization which is quasi-federal in institutional structure and quasi-pluralist in policymaking processes. As such, it has had a significant impact on all member-states’ institutional structures, whether federal or unitary, and their policymaking processes, whether statist or corporatist.

      But it has had a greater impact on countries such as France and Britain, which are unitary and statist, than on a federal, corporatist country such as Germany, where there is better goodness of fit. The problems of democratic legitimacy, which occur not only at the EU level but also at the national level, are therefore again greater in France and in Britain than in Germany.”

      1. Mark B
        August 14, 2014


        First off. Thanks for those links too those maps. Very informative !

        Yes I am aware of the EU’s plans to Balkanise our country (England). But I am think post Brexit / Flexit. What we do here in England, is our business. As Malcolm Rifkin said in an interview on Scottish Independence (sic), that regionalisation was rejected by both the North East and North West. And if they did not want to go down that route, it is unlikely the rest would. The London Assembly and Mayor, was imposed on us from on high. It has few powers and quite frankly, needs to be abolished.

        But looking long term, I think the only way would be to go down the route of regionalisation but on a Swiss type arrangement. Let them be responsible for the monies they raise from their own voter base. If they want lots of benefit goodies, let them pay for it.

        Think about it 😉

      2. Denis Cooper
        August 14, 2014

        “Assuming Scotland votes NO, the only way we will get an English Parliament is to brake up the UK into its 12 (NUTS 1) EU Regions.”

        That is precisely why we need a single devolved Parliament for the whole of England, to make damn sure that England will not be broken up into 9 EU regions however much the eurofanatics may wish for that.

    3. Nick
      August 14, 2014

      Does this mean, if we devolved to counties, we might hopefully get some local income tax regimes that reverse the disgusting and unjust retrospective taxes introduced by Brown, then opposed by Tory MPs, and now supported by Tory ministers?? I’m referring to the notorious Section58 which WILL bankrupt literally thousands. Those thousands depended on the current government to correct the injustice of retro taxes and they thoroughly betrayed them and reneged on their undertakings, now supporting it!! Shocking abuse of trust and something for which they will undoubtedly pay.

  4. petermartin2001
    August 13, 2014

    ” People will not see the justice of Scottish MPs voting tax burdens on the English that their fellow countrymen and women may not have to bear.”

    That’s true. Its not just Scottish MPs though. There’s really only two alternatives. England will either have to put up with a measure of perceived injustice or an English Parliament will have to be created with the same powers as the Parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Then there’ll need to be a Federal Parliament which handles all matters relating to the Union.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2014

      Correct, the choice for people in England is between putting up with a measure of perceived injustice or installing a devolved Parliament for the whole of England with powers comparable to that of the devolved Scottish Parliament. In my view the time when some kind of “English Votes on English Laws” fudge within the UK Parliament might have been acceptable has long passed, and nothing less than a separately elected, and I would add separately located, English Parliament and government will do. However I do recognise that not everyone in England would necessarily agree with that proposal, so let’s put it to a referendum of UK citizens in England and see what they really want rather than leaving it to UK politicians to decide what they think the English people should want.

      1. Timaction
        August 13, 2014

        I would suggest that any English Parliament is a side issue as our real leaders are now firmly in Brussels with its 70 % majority law making and control of our borders and many other competencies. No one elected them and we cannot remove them. That is the festering sore that needs to be healed. We are either a sovereign democratic state or in the EU. We cannot have it both ways. After 40 years of lying the truth must come out and we need to remove the legacy parties from Westminster and restore our own nation first. We can then bicker over the crumbs.

  5. Gary
    August 13, 2014

    now the govt, via the central bank, just prints money it doesn’t have to pay its profligate spending.

    Taxation is a nominal demand only to underpin the inferior Fiat currency, which would otherwise collapse much sooner.

    A truly Alice in Wonderlans system.

    1. Nick
      August 13, 2014

      Except that for inflation linked debt, unlike fixed rate debts, you can’t print your way out. For the simple reason inflation linked debt is a promise to deliver inflation linked baskets. The state can’t print tins of beans.

      That’s why MPs hide the pensions debts from the public, deliberately.

      Reply I am not trying to hide the debts! I have been one of the main sources of the true state of UK debt.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 13, 2014

        The way out of inflation linked debt for the government is selective taxation of these over generous state sector pensions. Doubtless, in order to get this through parliament, they will some how define MP’s pensions as not being “state sector ones” for the purpose of this tax. Just as they have conveniently ensured that MP’s will be able to access their pensions early under the new proposed pension regulations. Unlike many other (unfunded) state sector pensions, largely an artificial distinction/ruse for this purpose.

        Still we are all in it together as they lied in the last manifesto!

      2. Lindsay McDougall
        August 13, 2014

        Could you give us an update on:
        (1) How the hospitals’ PFI debt is progressing
        (2) How Network Rail’s debt is progressing
        (3) What the annual payments are to meet Royal Mail pensions obligations

      3. APL
        August 13, 2014

        Nick: “Except that for inflation linked debt, unlike fixed rate debts, you can’t print your way out. ”

        Unless the government systematically and chronically under states the real rate of inflation.

    2. petermartin2001
      August 13, 2014

      Not at all. But to truly understand economics it is sometimes necessary to view the world through a looking glass. Things are usually the opposite way around to the way they are commonly perceived.

      All currencies are Fiat based. Even when gold was still used as a standard it was arguable if money had a financial value because of the link to gold, or if gold had a financial value, or an increased financial value, because of its link to currency.

      Paying grocery bills using lumps of bullion isn’t really a convenient option. Is that what you are advocating?

      1. waramess
        August 13, 2014

        What nonsense. Money is but a medium in the of exchange of goods and services that two or more people are willing to accept.

        Therein lies it’s intrinsic value, not in gold or silver coins or in coloured pieces of paper printed by governments or even in sea shells which might serve as money from time to time.

        1. Gary
          August 14, 2014

          And your comment contains its own answer, and contradiction. Would people willingly accept money that cannot be divided ? Would they willingly accept money they could not carry, that disintegrated, or was as ubiquitous as salt or was consumed by industry ? And most of all, would people willingly accept money easily counterfeited, like paper?

          In our system money counterfeiting is endemic, but only by an approved monopoly authority called a bank.

          All those desirable properties of money are satisfied by extremely few items. In fact gold is the only substance that satisfies all properties. Tick them off.

          However, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have even more monetary properties, except it remains to be seen if it is durable.

          1. waramess
            August 14, 2014

            I don”t follow your thread.

            Money is used as a medium of exchange precisely because it is divisible. It can take many forms but whatever it happens to be it has no intrinsic value. Only the goods it acts as a medium of exchange for have an intrinsic value.

            Presently money is represented by coloured bits of paper issued by Central Banks but, without a doubt, should the paper money cease to be accepted as a medium (Weimar Republic fashion) then the government would be the first to refuse it as payment for tax liabilities

  6. alan jutson,
    August 13, 2014

    You are right John, the BBC do not seem to get it.

    Just a thought on the student fees situation you make.

    Thought under EU law you were not allowed to discriminate against selective people.
    We are often told, all should be treated the same.
    The reason/argument/excuse often given about the Benefits to migrants issue.

    How does this discrimination work against English Students in Scotland, surely the same EU rule applies as Scotland as part of the EU on account of being in the UK. At least at the moment.

    Thank you for making a case for England, support will eventually grow, as it surely must.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 13, 2014

      The BBC do get it – but they are just part of this huge deception:- on this issue, on the green crap, on the ever larger state and on the EU.

      1. Bazman
        August 13, 2014

        You don’t pay for the BBC do you in you utopian tax haven? Are you watching for free?

        1. Edward2
          August 14, 2014

          Watching TV from pirate downloading sites is free as well Baz.

          1. Bazman
            August 14, 2014

            This is my point.

    2. JoolsB
      August 13, 2014

      It isn’t just Scottish Universities where English students are discriminated against. English students are the ONLY ones who pay £9,000 fees wherever they study in the UK. Irish students have their fees capped at £3,685 and Welsh students also have their fees capped at £3,685 not just at Welsh universities but wherever they study in the UK even when studying at English universities sitting alongside £9,000 fee paying English students. The bulk of their fees are paid for by their respective assemblies courtesy of UK (English) taxes via the skewed Barnett Formula.

      The tiny amount of politicians who are actually bothered by this discrimination like to bleat on about the Scottish Government’s blatant discrimination against English students when in fact the UK Government both under Blair and Cameron are equally as guilty in their discrimination against English students for allowing this higher education apartheid to continue against England’s young.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 13, 2014

        “The bulk of their fees are paid for by their respective assemblies courtesy of UK (English) taxes via the skewed Barnett Formula.”

        That is true for Wales and Northern Ireland, both of which are chronic fairly large scale net recipients of subsidies from the UK as a whole, which effectively amounts to subsidies from England and more exactly the south eastern parts of England.

        But it is not true for Scotland, which contrary to the dangerous fallacy spread by the likes of Boris Johnson is not a chronic net recipient of subsidies from England.

        Or at least it would not be seen as such, if the oil revenues originating from Scottish waters but received by the UK Treasury were correctly attributed to Scotland rather than to the mythical land of “extra-regio” under the EU’s Eurostat system.

        And this has been acknowledged by the UK government in its analysis, its remaining arguments against Scottish independence then being that while on average the oil revenues accruing to the government of an independent Scotland would put it in a rather similar fiscal position to the present UK as a whole those revenues are variable and will decline, and that as a smaller state Scotland would be more vulnerable to economic shocks.

    3. Iain Moore
      August 13, 2014

      An English student studying in Scotland , Emma Block, did legally challenge Scotland’s discriminatory action to level fees on English students, while all the British MPs squatting in English constituency seats did nothing. I should also point out that this discriminatory legislation was proposed by a Libdem minister ( Jim Wallace I believe) in the LibLab Scottish Government . So the Libdems have form about stitching up English students.

      Unfortunately she lost the case on the quite bizarre ruling that a state was not permitted discriminate between European state, but was permitted to discriminate within a state, though I get a feeling that if anybody attempted to discriminate against anybody, other than an English person, they would have lost the case.

      All English students should know the name of Emma Block, for she attempted to do more for them that the 650 useless lot in Parliament, who never uttered a whimper of protest.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 13, 2014

        Well, the EU treaties forbid discrimination on the grounds of nationality, but for the purposes of the EU treaties we all have the same nationality as citizens of the United Kingdom which is a party to the treaties.

        As I have mentioned before, the word “Scotland” does not even appear anywhere in those treaties, its existence is not acknowledged.

        The immediate consequence is that under the EU treaties what is seen as just a regional government in Scotland is free to discriminate between UK citizens on the grounds of their domicile, as stated here:

        “Tuition fees for eligible Scottish domiciled and EU students (except those in England, Wales or Northern Ireland) will be paid to the University by the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS).”

        because that is not discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

        However the downside is that if Scotland ceased to be part of the UK then it would automatically cease to be part of the EU unless the EU treaties were amended; it is a patently absurd claim that a country could be a member state of the EU when its name does not even appear anywhere in the EU treaties, let alone in the list of High Contracting Parties which are the member states.

        And if the treaties were suitably amended, at whatever price other EU member states might extract, then the newly sovereign government of Scotland would no longer be allowed to discriminate in that way against the citizens of another EU member state, the continuing UK.

      2. alan jutson,
        August 13, 2014


        Thanks for the link.

        Was unaware anyone had challenged it.

        As you say, absolute nonsense and confusion.

        Meanwhile we give EU students a grant to study here, and it seems from recent reports in the Press, is very often never paid back after they finish their studies and return back to their own Country,.

        We really must be the laughing stock of Europe for those who line up and take.

        Similar to us paying out Child Benefit for families/children who do not even live here.

        Then we have our free European Health Service for any visitors.

        1. Lifelogic
          August 13, 2014

          Indeed in effect grants (or loans never to be repaid) for many EU students, but just loans for English students. Females are also rather less likely to repay the loans, due to them tending to prefer lower paid jobs to fit in with child care and taking career breaks.

          There is quite a problem with female professionals I understand (vets and several other professions) just giving up working after only a few years if they can afford to. If they are going to spend quite large sums training people for certain professions we need many years to get a real return on the investment.

  7. Richard1
    August 13, 2014

    This will be a massive election issue after the Scottish referendum with all the new promises for Scotland. The Conservatives need to make English votes for English issues, including tax, a major election pledge.

    The attempts by the EU, the British left and the BBC to fudge the issue by balkanising England must be exposed and resisted.

  8. Ian wragg
    August 13, 2014

    A bit late in the day john. You’ve been in power 4 years and done naff all on the west Lothian question, immigration, hra etc. etc. Jam tomorrow won’t wash anymore. Another 5 years of ratting isn’t palatable to the sheeple. Plus man with daft haircut won’t be of any help. Just speed up demolition of non tory party.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 13, 2014

      The last manifesto was a essentially a wet, “Cameron think” Libdem one anyway. Virtually non of the (very few) sensible actions have been actioned. Government debt (largely to piss down the drain on lunacy, the feckless, greencrap, the EU, pointless bureaucrats and quangos) will be up by nearly 50% by the time of next election.

      Will they start the next manifesto by pointing out that the last one was almost completely a fraud or will Cameron just try his smarmy deception & fraud a second time and then throw a second election (that could still be won with sensible Conservative leadership).

    2. Richard1
      August 13, 2014

      You forget its a coalition and the west lothian arrangement suits the libdems very well

      1. Iain Moore
        August 13, 2014

        It only suits the Libdems while the Conservatives can’t be bothered to embarrass them about it.

      2. JoolsB
        August 13, 2014

        Cameron could have made it one of his red lines but apparently it was one of the first things they gave in to in the coalition agreement so desperate was he to be PM no matter what cost to England.

        1. Lifelogic
          August 14, 2014

          Indeed he got virtually nothing, not even fair constituency boundaries from the Libdems. But then he is in essence a Libdem.

  9. Yorkshire Lass
    August 13, 2014

    Actually, I think you are wrong. You are falling into the trap of relating everything to Scotland, when this is about England. The British parliament is not the English parliament and as such, each nation has a right to be there in the dog’s dinner muddled up by ALL of our rulers. That mess cannot be straightened out simply by fiddling with the edges.

    John Prescott’s office once said that England does not exist as a nation. On every possible issue and with every possible chance, we should name our nation and damn them with the constant naming. We need and English Pariament. Not a room in Westminster, operated by the whip system.

    1. Horatio McSherry
      August 13, 2014

      I’d like independence from goverment, full stop. I think most of us just want to be left alone – especially when it comes to tax. Long gone is the time where you tilted your head from one side to the other and thought, “well in the balance of things, I pay for stuff I don’t want, but I get this that and the other if I need it”. Now it’s just legalised burglary. The treasury pull out your wallet, take what it wants and buys itself and its mates all the goodies they’ve been baying for and tough luck if there’s not enough left for you to live on.

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2014

      I think we need an English Parliament, and it should not be located in London but somewhere more central to the whole of England to more effectively bind the country together. London would continue to be the capital city of the UK, but no longer that of England, and it could continue to host the federal UK Parliament and the core departments of the federal UK government. Of course this proposal would be anathema to almost all of the present members of the UK Parliament and government, which is just another reason why we need to boot most of them out and replace them with people who will actually be willing to represent us and serve us rather than looking down their noses at us with contempt if not outright loathing.

  10. Horatio McSherry
    August 13, 2014

    Morning John,

    If the Scottish decide to stay within the UK surely the Scottish parliament can be abolished along with all the taxes and tax breaks that come with it? If they decide to remain within the UK they should play be the same rules. I was appalled to hear the British government say that if Scotland did decide to stay in the Union that they would devolve more powers to Scotland. What kind of catastrophic imbecility is that?!

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2014

      What sort of catastrophic imbecility would it be to tell the Scots that if they vote to stay in the UK then the Scottish Parliament will be abolished? What surer way could there be to induce them to vote overwhelmingly not only keep it but convert it from being a devolved Parliament within the UK to the sovereign Parliament of an independent Scotland, a separate, foreign, country? There are times when I really despair of the sheer stupidity and short sightedness of some of my English compatriots, and especially it has to be said some of those of a Tory persuasion; do you really think that there could any possible long term advantage for England if Scotland reverted to being a foreign country occupying the northern third of the same home island? It would be a strategic catastrophe.

  11. Iain Moore
    August 13, 2014

    Is your speech reported anywhere?

    Reply There was media coverage including a BBC tv interview.

  12. oldtimer
    August 13, 2014

    Last night, on BBC2, Andrew Neill explored the issue of “Scotland Votes: What`s at Stake for the UK?”. Well worth watching as it covered several key aspects including defence and the future of the nuclear deterrent and the huge constitutional issues raised whatever the result of the vote.

    What struck me was the ineptitude of the ruling political class in allowing an issue of such overwhelming importance for every inhabitant of the UK to be decided by a small minority living in Scotland (and where the electorate has been enlarged by reducing the voting age to 16). The rUK, as it is described, has been at best ignored, at worst treated with contempt. It is a scandal. I expect more and more people will become very angry the more they realise this.

    1. Iain Moore
      August 13, 2014

      Not only the ineptitude of allowing the Scots to dictate the constitutional set up the UK, but the sheer complacency they are showing by not bothering to even establish any negotiating position. If the Scots vote for independence they will walk away with the family silver, for the British establishment won’t have got of their lazy backsides, while the Scots will know and get exactly what they want, and the same thing can be said if the Scots stay, for again it appear Cameron and co haven’t bothered to think about the consequences to the rest of us as a result of all the constitutional bribes they have promised the Scots.

      Our interests are not being well served by the British establishment.

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2014

      If the UK is broken up then in my estimation two thirds of the blame for that will lie with the Tory party which allowed these divisions to develop. It beggars belief that a party can be so stupid that it goes from getting more than half of the votes and seats in Scotland in the 1955 general election to being close to extinction in Scotland in 2014, and now there are even English members of that same party who are rooting for our country to be broken up for what they hope will be their narrow party political gain. It is quite disgusting, and I really cannot see myself ever voting for their candidates.

      1. Brian Tomkinson
        August 13, 2014

        “I really cannot see myself ever voting for their candidates.”

        I should think that a large majority of contributors to this site share those sentiments.

  13. margaret brandreth-j
    August 13, 2014

    Did you give the reason for declining? I am sometimes amazed at how dull people are , especially those accredited with important positions or qualifications. They need it spelling out to them.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    August 13, 2014

    How many other manifesto pledges has your party reneged on? I know, it’s all the LibDems fault; those Lib Dems with whom Cameron couldn’t wait to form a coalition.
    What will your next manifesto say? Will it be worth the paper on which it is written? No doubt there will be references to many policies with which you disagree e.g. HS2 but you will sign up and support it. Since, just like the last one, it will have no long lasting validity, I suppose Conservative PPCs will have no qualms about standing on such a platform.

  15. Bert Young
    August 13, 2014

    There is no doubt that regional issues will feature far more because of the Scottish referendum ; this was accentuated in the comments made in the programme last night by Nield – particularly by Gus O’Donnell . Naturally if the Scots benefit from extra give-aways so will the Welsh and Northern Irish join in the queue ; England – one way or the another , will come out the loser creating a very disgruntled English voter and tax payer . Your speech highlighting the need for England to be governed and decided by the English was an accurate forecast of the outcome and a timely warning to our Politicians to get their heads out of the sand ; unless they do this , ours is a lost national cause . Re-creating the United Kingdom is the only sensible way forward with no discrimination of the gathering of tax .

  16. agricola
    August 13, 2014

    Your posts of yesterday and today plus the comment seem to add up to confusion.

    Apply the KISS solution and all is easy to resolve. ( Keep it simple, stupid ).

    Create an English Parliament of approximately 500 MPs, one for every 100,000 constituents. They would vote on all matters pertaining to England and the UK. UK voting would be in joint session with MPs from Scotland, Wales, and NI. who were already in their own Parliaments. These Parliaments could send an MP for every 100,000 of their population, representing all parties within their Parliaments proportionally.

    For most topics outside Defence and Immigration we would end up with an English Parliament acting on behalf of an English population. For my money one of the first things they could do would be to have a “Night of the Long Knives” at the BBC. The aim being to have a politically neutral BBC both in management and broadcasting.

  17. John Wrake
    August 13, 2014

    To quote a Scottish poet and hero: “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.”

    The problems stem from that move by Socialists to begin the breakup of the United Kingdom by creating a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly and a Ulster government at Stormont.

    It was proclaimed as a great step forward in giving a voice to the disenfranchised which government by Westminster had removed.

    There was undoubtedly a case for saying that the Westminster government was not acting properly on behalf of Scots, Welsh and Ulster people, but it was not acting properly for English people either.

    Devolution was the first action in the move to break up the United Kingdom and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

    It was not devolution which was needed – it was reform of a Parliament for the United Kingdom – a Parliament run by professional politicians for their own ends, controlled by Party whips, full of political placemen, passing unconstitutional legislation, venal and in many cases openly treasonous. Lies were common currency, not just over personal expenses, but over international actions, and those perpetrating these abuses were Scots, Welsh, Irish, as well as English.

    Calls for reform were simply a cover to conceal the true intentions, which were and are shared by Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders and their advisers, to end the life of the United Kingdom as a Constitutional Monarchy and an independent nation state.

    Reform of Parliament is needed more than ever now, as plans for the break-up have advanced. Citizens of the United Kingdom will have their chance to bring this reform about at the General Election in 2015, but only if they change their voting habits. It is no longer enough to support a Party because you have always voted that way, or vote for A because you are afraid that B will win, though you don’t agree with either. Forget big names and engaging TV appearances. Vote for individual honesty, integrity and patriotism, whatever the label it carries.

    John Wrake.

  18. Lindsay McDougall
    August 13, 2014

    Your diagnosis is good but you have the wrong solution. We should progressively reduce the amount to devolution to Holyrood, beginning with the abolition of all tax raising powers.

    If the Scots don’t like it, they can vote for independence. Then there would be a change in the Conservative leadership and we could pursue exit from the EU with vigour. This would involve stripping Scots of their right to vote in the 2015 General election and forcing independence on them by that date. To make it stick, we need the appointment of 500 Eurosceptic peers so that the Lords don’t thwart the popular will.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 13, 2014

      So let me get this straight. You think we should break up our country in order to precipitate a leadership contest in the Tory party, in the hope that the new Tory leader would pursue exit from the EU with vigour. Well, how about this as an alternative – we don’t break up our country, instead the members of the Tory party, which took us into the EEC in the first place, against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland more than any other part of the country, and which has done more than any other party to get us deeper and deeper into the EU quagmire, get off their backsides and insist on a change of leadership, and choose a leader who will pursue exit from the EU with vigour, that is if they can find any eligible candidate who would do that. Would you care to name the senior Tory who might fit the bill, who would have some chance of getting the support of enough Tory MPs when the great majority of the Tory MPs are utterly committed to keeping us in the EU at all costs, and who could then be endorsed by the votes of a majority of party members? Of course there isn’t any such person, is there, because Tory leaders past and present have worked hard to make sure that there will never be any such person.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        August 14, 2014

        No, Denis, I wouldn’t have broken up the United Kingdom. The people who conceded more and more devolution to Scotland would have broken up the United Kingdom. Conceding more devolution to the Scot Nats is like throwing vegetable samosas to a ravenous lion.

        Did you never study Irish history of a century or so ago? All the Home Rule concessions made by Gladstone didn’t prevent the Easter rising and didn’t prevent Irish Independence and the coming of de Valera.

        Better no Union than a Union where chaos, monetary and fiscal incontinence and financial blackmail are the order of the day.

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 14, 2014

          Well, you’re correct insofar as Labour thought that devolution of powers to Scotland would put the lid on Scottish separatism, and they also believed that they had devised an electoral system for the Scottish Parliament which would ensure that the SNP would never be in sole control of the devolved government and so it would not be able to use the legal powers and public resources available to that government to pursue its independence agenda. Which has proved to be Labour’s most serious miscalculation, because even though less than a quarter of eligible electors in Scotland actually voted for the SNP in 2011 it did get an overall majority.

          However what’s been done has been done and cannot be undone, and it makes no sense for any Englishman to support making the situation worse. How self-contradictory is it for somebody who believes that the Scottish institutions have already been given too much power under devolution to want to give them much more power, sovereign power, by making Scotland independent?

          1. Lindsay McDougall
            August 15, 2014

            No, sorry. Holyrood cannot be undone but its powers can be progressively whittled down. We certainly shouldn’t be offering it more power.

  19. JoolsB
    August 13, 2014

    John, When your idiot leader is scratching his head and wondering why he has lost the general election next May because the Scots still haven’t voted for him no matter how much he has promised them at England’s expense but England hasn’t voted for him either, just say a couple of words to him on our behalf please – ‘ENGLAND BETRAYED’

  20. Liz
    August 13, 2014

    The BBC’s Scottish (and Welsh/Northern Irish) coverage is very nationalistic in a way that it is not in England. All their Scottish reporters and correspondence are true Scots with absolutely no diversity allowed. The real problem for the BBC, which has accelerated under Tony Hall , is that it is now a political organisation and not primarily a broadcasting one. It is not sympathetic to England political injustices, as it views it as too right wing, its political symnpathies being entirely with the left so naturally prefers to promote Scotland to which it feels more empathy. England will never get a fair hearing under the present BBC regime.,
    Incredibly the Conservative party similarly seems kener on giving more powers to Scotalnd (& Wales/N Ireland) at the expense of England where their support lies.

  21. Roy Grainger
    August 13, 2014

    As it appears all Westminster parties are intent on giving Mr Salmond a Devo Max lolly to suck when the No vote happens (I don’t recall that being in anyone’s manifesto) this issue of English rights will slowly become more high-profile and I imagine UKIP will profit from that. The view of the Labour party, as on constituency boundaries, is presumably that as it boosts their numbers in Westminster they couldn’t care less.

    1. Lindsay McDougall
      August 15, 2014

      You are so right. David Cameron announced his support for giving Holyrood additional powers without consulting me or, as far as I know, any of the other 800,000 Anglo Scots.

      Perhaps John Redwood will enlighten me. Did David Cameron consult his back benchers before announcing this change in Conservative policy or did he – as with Gay Marriage and ‘reform’ of the House of Lords and mothballing the deficit reduction policy – just decide to do it?

      David Cameron must learn that, no matter how great your political gifts, you cannot lead people in a direction in which they do not want to be led.

      Reply He did not consult us in any forum I attended.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        August 21, 2014

        Denis Cooper,

        Please note that reply.

  22. The PrangWizard
    August 13, 2014

    When will the Barnett Formula be ended? If any tax raising powers are granted Scotland the Chancellor must bring it to an immediate end, it is in his gift to do it. He requires no parliamentary or any other approval. Or are we to have more Unionist duplicity on this and more betrayal of English interests?

  23. Atlas
    August 13, 2014



  24. Turbo Terrier
    August 13, 2014

    Taxation that is a funny word a very very funny word.

    The top table of this government have really shafted the electorate.

    Nearly 68 still working and getting beaten up by the HMRC who do not what to talk with you, just demand a payment and they cannot even say how it is made up or how it goes up two hundred and thirty one pounds in two days!! Enough of this madness it is time to throw in the towel and shut down. British Construction Industry has a major shortfall in real tradesman. There is no incentive to carry on working. Everywhere you look the government is totally void of real ideas and when they do receive warnings from very professional people they just ignore it. When it finally does go belly up they will be able to pass the blame to a Lib/Dem as they were trying to put the country back together again. The Scottish Parliament are shafting the British Parliament at every turn and Westminster does nothing as it is outwith their control regarding renewable energy. The South East have no idea on what is really going on and what the real cost is. Medical reports highlight that there is a risk to living with turbines but nobody wants to call a stop for proper research to be carried out. Water pollution problems have been proven but again all ignored. There are nearly 200 turbines not turning here in Ayrshire today and without exception the energy companies will be in receipt of constraint payments on top of their subsidies. The gallant 100 odd in Westminster that have seen the light, wrote the book, made the CD are totally ignored. What is terrifying is that all the other parties have a SNP outlook that everything is fine, just to keep the green vote in case it is needed. Real Taxation would be very different if the billions paid out to energy companies were divided up to give a reasonable profit, reasonable reduction in energy bills and the rest to the exchequer. That would reduce the tax liability for new schools, major projects for investment whatever.
    It could even help the poor suffering long term self employed from throwing their hand in as they only seem to be working for the taxman. Yes John. Taxation is a funny word.

  25. BobE
    August 13, 2014

    Will Farage go into coalition with Boris?
    Boris gets in, Ukip get 11 seats. Cons loose by 10 seats, Cameron gets ditched, Boris gets to be leader. ConUkip Coalition. Worth a bet?

    Reply Good way to lose some money

  26. julian
    August 13, 2014

    I admire your patience in the face of the anti-English discrimination. We seem to have logic by-pass in the bbc but that is true of almost all political issues that they address.

  27. Tad Davison
    August 13, 2014

    ‘No representation without taxation’

    Well we don’t seem to have much in the way of representation for our taxation where the paying of a compulsory licence fee to the BBC is concerned. Their bias is a national scandal!

    Unlike some, I make an effort to listen to all sides of the argument in order to develop an informed opinion. George Galloway isn’t exactly enamoured by the BBC either, and it’s easy to see why. Yet the only way I can get to hear what he says, is to either search for him on YouTube, or on foreign television stations. The BBC seems to want to promote its own Blairite doctrine, and denies the right to be heard to anyone else. They don’t want to permit anyone to challenge this doctrine in case they blow holes in it, as I’m sure many would do given the opportunity.

    It is symptomatic of an untouchable, undemocratic, bureaucratic machine, that complaining about BBC bias to the BBC has little or no effect. There must be a way to hold them to account, but if there isn’t, it is the responsibility of our elected representatives at Westminster to make sure there is one.

    George Galloway says he’s refusing to pay his licence fee until the BBC becomes more balanced in its output, and it’s no longer a criminal offence to withhold payment. I know of at least one case where a celebrity was taken to court for non-payment of the licence fee, and he proved that his actions were lawful, because the BBC had actually supported a terrorist organisation, and it is illegal to pay monies to anyone who does.

    All I want is balanced reporting from the so-called ‘most trusted broadcaster’ so people can get enough impartial information to make up their own minds, and that isn’t too much to ask. And the next general election will be pivotal with the country’s direction dependent upon the electorate making the right choice. The BBC has to be sorted out long before then, as there is too much at stake to keep letting them get away with promoting their biased liberal left agenda to the exclusion or the ridicule of anything else.

    Tad Davison


    Reply Paying a licence fee if you keep a tv in the UK is a legal requirement and you will most likely be prosecuted and punished if you do not buy one.

  28. majorfrustration
    August 13, 2014

    Once the English become an ethnic minority we will be taken seriously.

    1. James Matthews
      August 13, 2014

      Dream on. Unless we adopt street protests and civil disobedience in a way that we have never done before our interests will count for even less than they do now. Even though we still constitute a substantial majority the current hot topic in the Conservative part is how to attract more BME votes, not how to attract more of ours. The major parties fear the ethnic minorities for both electoral and internal security reasons and appease them accordingly. They don’t fear us and so ignore us.

  29. bigneil
    August 13, 2014

    2 nights ago put BBC Parliament on -the item was about “women offenders” – there was the main people, but who are the people who sit behind them at one end? -Reason for asking is that one woman sat there merrily texting away while they were talking. Is she a visitor, reporter or ?

    Reply NO idea as I did not see this

  30. Monty
    August 13, 2014

    “So was born a form of devolution to England in the manifesto ….”

    Sorry John, but that would fall far short of equitable devolution. An English assembly, with free reign to set its own order of business would be needed, as a minimum.
    The UK Parliament couldn’t be trusted to be responsive to urgent and controversial English issues, so long as Scots, Welsh and NI minority blocks exert such disproportionate influence, and the Government gives in to the temptation to simply avoid addressing English issues at all.

  31. HD2
    August 14, 2014

    If the Income Tax Personal Allowance is to be raised even further (to full-time min wage level, as seems likely) then ever more voters – pensioners in particular – will have no interest in Income Tax RATES (just as those same pensioners have no interest in NI rates atm).

    There is this a strong case to be made, as the article is headed – ‘no representation without taxation’ ie – no pay IT = no get vote.

    NB: In the 1960’s someone on median earnings paid little/no income tax AND it was fully-transferable within marriage.
    In today’s terms, that’s around £27k as a Personal Allowance and almost £60k for a married couple (oddly, around the same sum that Family Tax Credits cease!).

    So – how about it – either:
    a) abolish the PA altogether and set IT at a fiscally-neutral flat rate (10-12%), so we ALL pay the same rate on every penny we get, whether from benefits, savings – or whatever
    b) we raise the PA to £27k and set the (combined) IT & NI rate at the fiscally-neutral rate (50%?) that is implied by that AND only those who pay IT get to vote…..

    Both options are truly ‘fair’ but which government will be honest enough to adopt them?.

  32. Robin
    August 14, 2014

    In the increasingly likely event of a No vote, and moves towards ‘devo max’, there is one vital reform that must be put in place, a reform that is even more important than a replacement for the Barnett Formula.

    Currently, Scottish public spending is funded via a block grant from Westminster with no requirement for Holyrood to demonstrate value for money. This has led to projects such as the Scottish Parliament, which went more than ten times over its original budget, and the Edinburgh tram scheme, of which only the less useful half has been built at a cost of much more than double the original budget for the entire scheme.

    Meanwhile, in England, government departments that are compelled to demonstrate value for money are being forced by fiscal stringency to turn down many perfectly viable projects on the basis of benefit/cost analysis because the benefits do not exceed eight times the cost – flood defence projects being a prime example. No such strictures apply to Scotland, whose public spending can only be described as profligate.

    It is time to put an end to this disparity, which will of course help bring to an end Scotland’s embarrassing history of pork barrel projects, the SNP being world class experts in this field.

  33. Richard
    August 15, 2014

    The leaders/policy makers of all 3 major parties wish to follow the EU policy of the removal of nation states, and particularly England which is to be broken up into regions, one of which is to become part of a French region.

    The fact that this leads to undemocratic and unfair situations for England matters not one jot to these people who are furthermore quite happy for Parliament to be sidelined by the EU.

    We are already seeing the consequences.

    Quangos are taking orders from the EU, such as DEFRA being told by the EU to stop dredging rivers in the Somerset Levels.

    Or local councils being instructed this week by the EU to implement 6 separate containers for waste collection.

    Any vote for these 3 major parties will be considered by them as a vote for the EU’s policy to break up England into regions and that there is no need for an English Parliament to look after England’s interests.

  34. Malcolm Edward
    August 16, 2014

    I was at the McWhirter lecture your gave – you were most interesting and informative, running through the parallel historical development of the formation of the United Kingdom and of Freedom and right to Representation – up to the issues of the present day – it was a high quality presentation from a man of knowledge. If ever you had the time, it would be good if you could record an enhanced version – in fact it would make a good program series.

    Reply Thank you. I would be happy to do something like it again if there was an audience for it. I did it off the cuff so there is no text to put out.

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