Who speaks for England?

 

My question this week in the House is a fundamental one for government to answer in a few days time.

If the Union survives the Scottish vote, we will immediately need the government to produce proposals to honour the three parties’ pledge (and UKIP’s) of more devolution for Scotland. As I have explained, we should not  come up with proposals to strengthen devolved Scottish government, without at the same time tackling the problem of England.

Labour hopes we can just have a “Scotland” bill, giving Scotland new powers of self government. This is unacceptable. It needs to be a UK bill, giving the same powers to England – and probably to the Welsh  and the Northern Irish Assemblies as well assuming their representatives want that.

It appears that one of the powers Scotland will gain is the power to set its own Income Tax rates. There is no way that we can have a situation where Scottish members of the Westminster Parliament can vote through Income tax rates for the rest of the country that do not apply to Scotland. This is a more extreme version of the West Lothian question. Only MPs for people and places paying the tax should be imposing the tax.

So my first request of the government is simple. Who, after next Thursday, in the government will represent England’s needs for devolution? Which Minister is going to be in charge of the devolution bill generally, including devolution to Scotland? England needs to know  both who to lobby, and which Minister or Ministers is looking after our interests.

I and many of my Parliamentary colleagues will help the party leaders honour their promises to Scotland as long as it does so on a basis which is also fair to England.

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99 Comments

  1. mickc
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    There is not the slightest chance that what you propose will be accepted.

    The Party leaders panicked and made policy on the hoof-or was it Gordon Brown, who is not a member of the Government?

    There needs to be an entirely new Constitutional settlement, even if Scotland leaves the Union. Westminster won’t provide one.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed panick.

      How can a competent government grant a referendum and yet not have a sensible plan or even a mechanism for dealing with both outcomes.

      I see John Major says a vote for independence would be disastrous and he is
      “desperately concerned” at what is happening. A shame he was not so “desperately concerned” about the huge damage he pointlessly inflicted on the Union with his ERM, foolish attempts to join the EURO, failure to appologise and the dreadful Maastrict treaty (or perhaps according to fig leaf Cameron no longer a Treaty)

      If the Scottish are so daft as allow the two, left wing, economically illiterate, green crap, high tax, fishy named charecters to control their destiny, then they must be less sensible than I thougt they were.

      Keep up the good work for the English JR, I see you are to be on the daily politics today.

    • APL
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Mickc: “Gordon Brown, who is not a member of the Government?”

      He is a semi detached member of the Westminster Parliament, since the last election, you can count his appearances there on the fingers of one, possibly two* hands.

      *I may be according him excessive leeway there. But it’s difficult to know since the political class close ranks around such things.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Like most Scots MPs, Gordon Brown is living proof that they don’t have much reason to be at Westminster nowadays unless of course it’s to interfere in English only business.

  2. Steve Cox
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron must be regretting his foolish decision some two years ago to allow a Scottish referendum. If you remember Mr Salmond wanted to make the referendum based on a multiple choice question, including a devo-max option. No doubt Mr Cameron thought he was being terribly clever at the time reducing it to a straight Yes/No question. Now instead we are treated to the rather pathetic and unedifying sight of the senior politicians from all three parties bending over backwards to offer Mr Salmond and Scotland pretty much anything they want as long as they don’t split the UK. Devo-max, Independence-Lite, what would sir prefer with your haggis and neeps? Mr Cameron and his advisers come across as rank amateurs in this debacle. It’s fine for a Prime Minister to make a huge gamble as long as he’s certain he will win it. It now looks like Mr Cameron is our very own 21st century Anthony Eden. Even in the event of a No vote I suspect that his credibility will have been so badly damaged (his own party may not be best pleased at being called ‘effing Conservatives’) that he will have lost whatever authority he once had. This was compounded by his petulant refusal to allow civil servants to prepare contingency plans in the event of a Yes vote. If he had a wiser head on his shoulders then we would probably already know the answers to your questions, John.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      A series of misjudgements, and I hope that he will not crown them with another, final and fatal, misjudgement that in event of a “yes” victory on September 18th, however narrow, the UK government and Parliament would be bound to dissolve the Union as speedily as possible come what may.

      It would be a different matter if this referendum was on whether to accept or reject defined terms of separation; but it is not, and many of those voting “yes” will be voting for a fantasy which has been sold to them by the SNP but which would not materialise from the negotiations with the UK government and the governments of the other EU member states.

      Therefore once the terms of separation had been defined and voters had a truer picture of what they would actually be accepting or rejecting there should be a second referendum in Scotland; and to deter the UK government from ceding too much in the negotiations, to their unfair disadvantage, people in the rest of the UK should also be allowed to vote on those terms in a referendum.

  3. Mark B
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;

    ” . . . fair to England.”

    And not just England, but Wales and Ulster.

    This whole issue has opened a can of worms, with ramifications far and wide. And even after Thursday’s vote, matters one way or another will not rest.

    Not since the dark days since 1939 – 45 have this nation seen such a threat to its existence. The EU, like in the Ukraine, has encouraged this.

    What we need right now, are people with both leadership and a clear vision for the future. Anything less will create a vacuum, and into that vacuum usually steps in some pretty nasty ideas and people.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Actually, according to their own pronouncements, The EU and its ‘leading lights’ have not / do not encourage these separatist movements.
      That said, their position would appear to be counter intuitive – divide and rule would serve their purposes just fine – methinks they know that – even if they refuse to acknowledge that.
      Signed – English Nationalist Euro Sceptic !

      • cosmic
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        But the whole thing is based on what a mess nationalism made of the world, so they had a community of established states, the establishment of which could be bribed one way or another and their machinery of government of which could be left in place as hollowed out facades.

        The UK, which had to keep one eye on two or three regionalist movements, which could be reinforced to increase the distraction, would be fine and would dilute the idea that the UK had a particular identity. That one of these regionalist movements is getting out of hand and becoming a nationalist movement with passion, and in practical terms, likely creating a new state which fits nowhere in the established order, is the very thing the EU was designed to stamp out. Worse still, it expects to slip effortlessly into the EU scheme, looks to it as a saviour with a touching naivete, and is being formed on the basis of ludicrous expectations.

        It’s a hard problem and looked at purely from a legal and procedural point of view, the new state should be declared taboo and left to swim and probably drown. OTOH, it’s mainly a nuisance to the UK, which has problems with compliance, so maybe there’s some opportunity presenting itself here for adjustment such that the UK pays to have the nuisance relieved and becomes more compliant, and the project can continue without having an unfortunate precedent created.

        Dunno, but on recent performance, I can’t see Westminster playing hardball with a newly hatched foreign state on a land border, but I can see it wimping out and snivelling to the EU for help.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Indeed the English need to agree to the changes and they need to be fair to the UK, it is not merely a matter for Scotland it never really was.
    Clearly were Scotland and England the same size the spit would have to have had a UK referendum.

    A fair settlement (and indeed fair constituency boundaries too) should be agreed.

    Alas Cameron lumbered the country with the LibDems who, with Labour, will probably resist any such fair & balanced arrangements. Their main interests being their partly political advantage as we saw over the boundaries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      The answer as to who speaks for the English surely has to be just the English MPs sitting in Westminster. The last thing the UK economy needs is any more government and government overheads. With perhaps 10% of the time all the MPs sitting to deal with issues such as defence that affect all regions.

      Trying once again to split the UK up, against the will of voters would also be an outrage.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Read Dan Hannan’s piece in the Telegraph today which covers this. A group of part-time citizen legislators in Parliament and the meaty stuff done in the regions. Perhaps the Swiss-style Canton system and direct democracy will arrive after all, by this rather circuitous route of a no-vote in Scotland! If not, I can see both UKIP and or host’s folk pushing for it and the Cameron-Brown types resisting it, but as it was their suggestion done in a panic for Scotland, they can hardly say no for the rest off the UK!
        Happy days!

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – including all those Celtic Carpetbaggers – for whatever party !

  5. Old Albion
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Once again JR, I thank you. You seem to be the only MP speaking up for England (though i think Frank Field and Harriet Baldwin would be with you on this)
    It is now vital to obtain a full democratic solution to the lop-sided chaotic mess caused by Blair’s devolution.
    Fifteen years ago i was predicting Scotland would head toward independance if Government didn’t act by moving to a fully Federal structure for the (disintergrating)UK.
    We (you) must not allow England to be Balakanised. A ‘solution’ proffered by many. Particularly those who favour rule from Brussels.
    England is a “proud and historic country” too and must remain so. Any devolution down to counties or cities must come from the English Parliament.
    We need a new UK federation with parliaments for all four nations assuming Scotland stays. If not? Then all three nations.
    It would also be a good opportunity to bring to an end the House of Lords. With Unicameral Parliaments working under a Federal body, lords would not be needed. Bringing the bonus of a massive financial saving.
    It was an embarrassing shame that Hague responded to your question at PMQ’s in the manner he did. Like so many in Westminster he cares not a jot about England, just his own position.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron and his followers have called it very badly wrong on UKIP. They should have been uniting the anti-EU vote and they have in fact bitterly divided it.

    Mr Cameron and his followers have badly underestimated Mr Salmond. He has run a blisteringly successful campaign. He ought to have been exposed much earlier.

    If these two mistakes are compounded by a give-away to Mr Salmond of a lot more debt-money and a lot more welfare goodies to Ralph C Nesbitt, then I honestly do not think, whatever Mr Miliband says, there will be a Conservative Governemtn after May next year.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Good points Mike,

      Rab C. Nesbitt once came out with a good one-liner:

      ‘They’re going to turn Scotland into a giant theme park. They’re going to call it Disney Land. Disney work, and Disney vote Tory.’

      There’s a clue in there somewhere about the Scottish people and why some see the need to break away from the United Kingdom. They feel they’ve got a raw deal, and a situation where disaffection exists, never exists for ever. Sooner or later, someone comes along who can articulate their grievances so people get behind them. Mr Salmond does have my respect in that regard, but some of the things he proposes for Scotland have many serious flaws. For instance, he wants Scotland to belong to the EU, which gives the lie to his wish to be seen as the saviour of the Scottish people. He wants to leave something that could now give the Scottish people a positive advantage, and join something else that could see it diminish both democratically and financially.

      No matter what happens next week, I feel the countries that presently make up the UK, are going to be very different places politically, and it’s about time we English also had our wishes acceded to. I think John is to be commended for raising the matter of an English parliament at PMQs, and I’m hopeful this is the beginning of a shift towards greater democracy for everyone. More frequent reference to the people on matters of great import would effectively stop the con-men who have sold us down the river with our membership of the EU especially, but not exclusively. Yet greater democracy need not produce layer upon layer of unnecessary bureaucracy as Prescott would have done.

      Smaller government is desirable and attainable, but it seems to me, a lot of people conflate that with reducing the number of Westminster MPs, and the two are quite different. I’d like everyone to get behind our host and give him every assistance in giving the people of England a better deal.

      Tad

  7. Cheshire Girl
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    This is quite off topic, for which i apologise !

    It says in the the Daily Telegraph that the BBC has banned talk about the Scottish vote from the Proms. In my opinion they are quite right to do so. Who are these ‘senior figures in politics and the arts’ to suggest that the finale of the Proms should be a public show of unity to ask Scottish voters to stay in the United Kingdom! As far as I’m concerned the Proms are about entertainment and not about politics. These people are all to keen to trumpet their new found patriotism, but i will take no lessons from any of them!
    There are only a few days to go now. I suggest that the Scots are left to make up their own minds, and not be constantly harangued by politicians and those ‘celebrities’ who will soon move on to the next ‘big thing’. !

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Look out for any Saltires or even Lions Rampant amongst the flag wavers.
      Hoping someone waves the White Dragon flag – the flag of England for us atheist republican nationalists !
      That said, once the ‘serious’ music is over oneself will not be watching / listening – Pomp and Circumstance et al have become such a cliché.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 13, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        I always thought it to be a Wyvern ?

        • Robert Taggart
          Posted September 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Nope – a Wyvern has two legs and two arms – a Dragon has four legs.

  8. Richard1
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    What the left will try to do is Balkanize England. Perhaps revive John Prescott’s ridiculous and unwanted plan for regional parliaments. This must be resisted. We need powers for England to match those for Scotland. But powers is one thing, the other question is who is on the hook for what? Will the devolved parliaments be able to borrow just for the individual nations? Will the UK stand behind that borrowing? WhaT happens when they run out of money, will there be extra transfers? If this is the case the whole settlement should be made subject to referendum approval by the whole country. I’ll vote against. Devomax must mean responsibility goes with power, can’t have one without the other.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Not just the Left. If you have been watching the news recently, you would have seen Alexander putting the case for London to become a City State. If that is not Balkanization, I do not know what is.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 13, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        I would include LibDems as part of the left. Its essential we focus on the need for powers for England to match those of Scotland, without interference from non-English MPs as outlined by JR in his latest post above.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    “Labour hopes we can just have a “Scotland” bill, giving Scotland new powers of self government. This is unacceptable. It needs to be a UK bill, giving the same powers to England – and probably to the Welsh and the Northern Irish Assemblies as well assuming their representatives want that.”

    How can you possibly say that you want to give the same powers to England as the other three parts of the UK, when they all have separately elected assemblies and governments exercising devolved powers but you reject out of hand the proposal for England to have its own elected parliament and government, presumably because you do not believe that we English deserve the same as the others?

    Reply I am trying to get us our own elected Parliament and government! I just don’t think we need another building and another lot of politicians to do it. Economy and democracy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Scrap the Lords – full of talentless cronies now. It was once a sop to the aristocracy after the English civil war. The aristocracy are now gone. Use the Lords’ house for an English parliament instead.

      The elephant outside the room is the EU. We worry about the Scots voting YES while all the time it doesn’t really make a difference. The EU is killing our country anyway.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      We need a separate English Parliament and government, and preferably located somewhere in the Midlands away from London where the UK federal Parliament and government could remain. The cost of this would be minor, a small fraction of the costs of the inferior government we get from London.

      Reply You now always wish to be different from everyone else. Politics is about forming majorities, not trying to make it impossible for anyone to reach your standard.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        It is about ideas ! Neither you, Dennis or I have the answers to everything. But what I am sure we can all agree on, is that come Friday next week, whatever the result, things are going to have to change.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’ve been arguing for a separately elected devolved Parliament and government for the whole of England, and against any fudge based upon the UK Parliament such as you are suggesting, for many years, so there’s no question of “now” seeking to be different; and according to a recent opinion poll mine is the majority view in England, not yours.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 13, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        The costs of extra institutions of government are very far from trivial, not to mention the scope for conflict and confusion that they generate.

        We are already grossly over governed
        – The EU is a totally unnecessary tier of government
        – The most efficient form of national government is a Unitary State, with a single parliament at Westminster. Utilise modern communications to deal with the remoteness issue.
        – Devolution, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff should be scrapped.
        – Do we need County Councils, District Councils and Parish Councils? Two out of three will suffice.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          On the scale of the country’s finances they are very small.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      I agree. We do not need another building, or another assembly. Just get rid of the House of Lords, turn it into a Senate with an equal number of elected Senators from the Four Home Nations, and have the HoC as the English Parliament like it was once before.

      Oh, and while we are at it, can we get rid of the useless London Assembly ?

      • Chris S
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Mark : how can you possibly suggest an equal number of Senators from each of the home nations ?

        That would be profoundly undemocratic. We need, say about 120 Senators, that is one for each 500,000 of the population across the UK.

        • Mark B
          Posted September 13, 2014 at 5:38 am | Permalink

          Chris

          Because you need a set up that does not disadvantage minorities. The Swiss have such a system for their country. A country with FOUR distinct languages and a stable union. I wish to copy what they have done and, ultimately, their success.

  10. Andyvan
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Fairness to England was abandoned long ago. Why do we not get a vote on a union that we are part of? As the part of the union that pays for all the rest should we not be able to express an opinion?
    Well I’ll express mine right now. For far too long our “leaders” have given away our money to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and we have got precisely no benefits at all. We are told the UK is better as a whole. Why is never is never explained. The only reasons I can see it being better is to reinforce political interests and allow PMs to swagger around the world pretending we are an important influence for good whilst supporting war and suffering across the globe. I say end the union. If Scotland or Wales want a socialist paradise let them have it. Let them suffer the consequences of their actions instead of us constantly bailing them out. Yes England would be smaller but most of the richest countries in the world are smaller than us. Every day we hear politicians witter on about how important democracy is but I don’t see any sign of them actually practicing democracy unless they’re pretty sure it will give them the result they want. Let’s hope we get the Yes vote next week and get the earthquake in Westminster that the party leaders so fear.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Andy – We English have had to suffer all sorts of insults and criticism without response. Been expected to just soak it all up and be adult about it. Hollywood has played no small part in all of this. Spreading lies about us and making us the villains of every piece. We shouldn’t underestimate the role that Braveheart has played in strengthening the YES vote.

      We are like the hard pressed parents going without food to feed the spoilt teenagers.

      Are we ever credited for it ?

      No. In fact we’re the only people that our PM dares to mock. (Fruitcakes and loons)

    • waramess
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Nail and head spring to mind

    • waramess
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Andyvan, just to say I love the sanity you bring to this topic and for those who might doubt what you are saying:

      http://mises.org/daily/6878/Is-Scotland-Big-Enough-To-Go-it-Alone

      We could of course transpose Scotland for England.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Scotland’s tax raising powers should be accompanied by a revision of the Barnet formula. Taxes raised in Scotland (including oil/ex-regio) can stay in Scotland, taxes raised elsewhere do not need to be transferred north.

    The caveat and covenant is the Scottish government may not spend more than they raise guaranteed by the UK. It may overspend by the same ratio as planned by the rest of us but no more. We will continue to try to reduce the deficit even if only through lip service like our current Chancellor.

    Policies for the whole of the UK are sufficient for England, we need no more bureaucracy, but England needs to be protected from favouritism to other parts of the UK and overseas countries to whom we seem happy to dole out our money. This protection should be afforded by sitting MPs of English constituencies.

    We need less government not more.

  12. The PrangWizard
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Will your party be providing a Manifesto for England? Will your party accept that there should be a true English parliament? Until we get some real commitment on these and the appointment now of Ministers for England, your party will have no credibility on the issues and the rest is tinkering. The answer given by Hague to your question is nothing less than an insult to the all of the people of England and shows that even now they care nothing for the identity of the nation. The man is a major embarrassment to Yorkshire and England – I feel it more because that is where I was born. These people must be removed from office, they cannot be trusted to act faithfully England’s best interests. The British and Unionist Establishment may think of England of their plaything but it is going to be snatched away; their arrogance is plain to see.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      I’ll go along with that TPW, you just saved me writing a post on the subject.

      Tad

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        I go along with both those sentiments. William Haig was making the whole thing into a comedy scenario and as far as I can see, there is not much to laugh about. Disgraceful behaviour and an insight into how they see the whole issue – not important. We need someone to head this in a way which means that once again the English aren’t being penalised. Many of us think that Salmond wanted this outcome all along as he knows he is onto a winner rather than a Yes vote where he would be exposed as a fraud and the people of Scotland will realise that it was all pie in the sky.

  13. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Very well done John in highlighting this glaring unfairness in our system.

    I noticed this morning that the state’s broadcaster is reporting that Mr Clegg wants to see more power to the English regions; what is it with socialists and regions given that Mr (Now Lord) Prescot’s plans were rejected when put to the vote?

    England is a country whether our senior politicians like it or not and we should have our own English parliament dealing with English matters just like the other nations within the union.

    • DaveK
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      I have a vague memory of years ago reading a comment online referring to the EU intentions for the UK, this appeared to be seperating Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland and then England (which was removed from the map) was to be split into 9 regions. I believe Labour attempted to kickstart this with the Northeast who they must have thought as a Labour stronghold would go for it.

      Dave (Atlantic Region of UK).

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Agreed 🙂

      All I want to see is only English MPs voting on English matters – no more, no less…

      And don’t spend £500 million on a new English Parliament, the current one will do just fine.

  14. They Work for Us?
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    John, there is great concern that a Scottish no vote will produce a deep sigh of relief from the political class with a determination to carry on with business as usual and milk the English cash cow and continue to treat it as part of their personal fiefdom. Ignore it will all go away.
    Ask the English ? Why they might give the wrong answer about something and then it would be even more difficult for us to do business as usual. Hague’s answer to you was farcical and dismissive, disgraceful to an electorate that pays his salary. Thank you for the good work, time for 100 MPs to approach the 1922 committee. Cameron should be asked the same question at PMQs when a more considered answer might be given.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      We need 100 good men and women to reflect our growing resentment and need for equality. Hearing Salmond on our news every night begs the question do we need our own English National Party or will our MPs begin to work on the matter of an English fair deal and only English MPs voting on the same items devolved to the other nations as a matter of urgency. I also think if you put it to a vote of English people they would prefer our Westminster MPs to vote on these issues without the need for a second parliament within our England, after all we’re the ones that have to pay the tax to fund it. If the Scots if independent want to pay twice that’s their problem and cost.

      I’ve written to my MP please everyone do the same.

  15. JoolsB
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Good luck John. It’s obvious you will have a struggle on your hands. We only have to look at Hague’s disgraceful non-reply to this question in the commons this week and Cameron’s refusal to respond when you asked the same question in parliament recently, despite Hague when he was leader and Cameron in the 2010 manifesto promising to address the WLQ.

    This problem should have been addressed four years ago but instead Cameron capitulated to the Lib Dums’ demand to drop it and now time is running out as it is almost certain Labour will be in power next May, with the help of their Scottish MPs of course. Not only have they absolutely no intention of addressing the governance of England for those very reasons but they are intent on balkanising England into regions to prevent any chance of an English Parliament. The Lib Dums propose the same and neither intends to put it to the English people. It will be regionalisation or nothing. Not that the pathetic Conservative party are suggesting anything different.

    England is waking up and if they continue to be ignored whilst Scotland (and Wales) get devo max, there will be rioting in the streets. All three parties have and continue to treat England with contempt and we have had enough.

    We wish you well John and thank you.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Do not let this question go away John.

    It is so important.

    We simply cannot have the Scottish Parliament having the power to set its own tax rates independent of the UK, and at the same time have their Mp’s voting in the UK on payments/handouts from Westminster to Scotland, because we (the rest of the UK) may then be subsidising a low tax Scotland.

    Great if they can get it, Daft if we allow it.

    If Scotland does get Devo max, max, with no English equivalent, then expect very, very real resentment between the other Countries in the UK and Scotland.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      “subsidising a low tax Scotland” – aren’t we – through our “contributions” (more like payments to the Mafia) – subsidising god knows how many other countries in the EU? And also millions of their people who through being here and on low wages, getting more in benefits than they are contributing? Mr Cameron doesn’t give a damn about anyone except himself – throwing taxpayers cash to anyone other than the people of this island, and borrowing yet more to subsidise the lives of any who wish to freeload here.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Quite right, BigNeil.

        We have been right royally turned over and this is distracting us all from the EU and our sacrifices to it.

        ‘Britain’ is just a fiction now anyway, only the people as a whole don’t know it yet. What terrifies the political class most is that the whole charade that they hide behind, the flag, the Queen, the so called ‘unity’ could come to an end next week.

        The rotten husk that they have made of this country could well be revealed.

      • Richard Hobbs
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and we are still not paying our expat pensioners the pensions they have paid for. Must be because we are British (or even, dare I say it, English)! Perhaps my wife and I will return and pretend to be from Eastern Europe.

        The matter of the Scottish vote is big news here in Canada, especially in view of our own separatists in Quebec, but many of these seem to have now realised where they are better off. From a distance, I find the whole issue so sad and am very frustrated by the way in which England is being treated.

  17. nick
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I entirely agree, however this idea needs to be made more of a hot topic for debate; the ‘England’ question is something that, worryingly, just seems to appear in small comment articles in the quality newspapers or on blogs such as this. The mainstream newspapers should be encouraged to make this issue top priority; unless it’s on the front pages, the idea won’t gain the momentum it deserves.

    Reply I have written articles for papers who say they will publish them.

  18. Sandra Cox
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much Mr Redwood. I am relieved to think we have at least one MP who is not afraid to speak for England but, hopefully, more will follow.

    Following on from your piece yesterday on William Hagues’ response to your question, I am shocked to the core to see comments made by various politicians, including him, as far back as 1999. Like many of us then, as many of the electorate now, I think I must have been too busy earning a living to get too involved in the nitty gritty of politics and, naively, expected my government and opposition to look after the individual interests of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as the country as a whole.

    Yes, I took my eye off the ball! Four grandchildren later, and an ever-increasing concern for the future of the UK, my only hope is that we all put pressure on our MPs to support you in your mission to draw attention to the democratic deficit in England, and the UK as a whole.

    Regardless of the outcome, I think the Scottish referendum campaign has shown us that the English must become more involved in the political process and ensure that we hold our MPs to account. I have been asking my own MP for years now – just where are the patriotic politicians when you need them – politicians who will look after the very best interests, not only of England, but the UK (or whatever is left of it). Country before party, media, big business and, let’s not forget, the EU!

    I see on the news this morning that the BBC is busy pushing the idea of devolving power to the regions/cities of England – a divide and conquer strategy, pushed by Prescott et al (at the behest of the EU)? My view is that, before all else, we need an English parliament, with equal powers to those of Scotland – and I shall certainly continue to lobby my MP along these lines. I know some will quibble about the cost, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the mindless waste we have to endure elsewhere. Can we really put a price on fairness and democracy?

    By the way, I do enjoy reading what I think is one of the best and most balanced blogs around, so many thanks to you and to your excellent contributors (of all political persuasions). You give me hope!

  19. James Matthews
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    A laudable aim Mr Redwood, which has my support, but I won’t hold my breath. Given the Conservative leadership’s grovelling to the Scots and its really quite shameful and stomach turning capitulation on devo-max after one unfavourable YouGov, poll there seems absolutely no reason to believe that the mainstream of your party is in the least interested in fairness or democracy for the English.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      James,
      I agree and extend that sentiment to Labour and Lib Dems too!

  20. oldtimer
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    In the event of a No vote,the grant of Devomax powers to Scotland with no other changes for rUK is simply unacceptable. The rest of us will have been relegated from 2nd class citizen status to 3rd class status. If the Westminster political establishment think they can get away with this – evidenced by Hague`s demob happy reply to your question posed at PMQs – then they will be getting a rude awakening come the GE.

    The handling of the Scottish independence question has raised bungling incompetence to a new level. Those responsible (Labour, Conservative and LibDem) are unfit for office.

  21. Bert Young
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I agree with all the points you raise in your blog this morning . The situation is messy and a clean up of some consequence is required . The English taxpayer must not come off the worse as the result of this mayhem and those responsible have to pay the price . Cameron is a very wounded man whose record was badly damaged before the Scottish vote and his ability to continue to lead the Conservatives and this country is now flawed beyond repair .

  22. Antisthenes
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The left of course will want the penny and the bun; allow Scotland and Wales to be dominated by them and keep the old system so as to keep dominating England. With the prospect of a Labour government next May then opposing that is going to be very difficult and not only will Wales and Scotland become a socialist wastelands so will England go the same way. The answer of course is a federal system so that England can have the same rights as the other countries that make up the UKGBNI and run it’s own affairs. Perhaps the H of C should become an English parliament and the Lords the UK parliament.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    JR: “Who, after next Thursday, in the government will represent England’s needs for devolution?”
    No one. You don’t really imagine that anyone in government or the official opposition cares about England do you? They will be scurrying around to placate the Scots and then, guess what, it will be general election time. The whole handling of this Scottish independence referendum has been short-sighted and shambolic from day one.
    I think many outside Scotland would agree with Salmond when he said: “Together, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are the most distrusted Westminster politicians ever”. Roll on May next year.

  24. agricola
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Were CMD to appoint a minister to speak for England, I suspect said minister would be there to keep a lid on the real issues. William Hague would be a perfect candidate for CMD. In which case you and like minded MPs need to go for the jugular and give them a very hard time. Any post referendum settlement Yes or No must take account of the needs of the English.

    Should Scotland vote Yes then existing Scottish MPs at Westminster should loose all voting rights immediately. They would be there only to discuss the break up.

    Should the Scots vote No then the talk will be of devolved powers. Like CMD’s repatriation of powers from the EU, I doubt it has been thought through. The bribery in pre referendum talk suggests that they could become virtually self governing.. If this is a reality then we the English must demand that we have no more Scottish MPs at Westminster. To enable debate on the remaining UK questions I suggest that members of the Scottish Parliament be invited to attend Westminster.

    Labour will not like this because it could put an end to socialism in England. The could however continue their miss begotten experiment in Scotland and Wales.

    I look upon you and like minded colleagues in Westminster to ensure that something along the above lines in made to happen.

  25. Paul
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Please, Mr Redwood, can you and your colleagues push this as hard as possible.

    As far as I can see we are just handing promises over left and right to Scotland to not leave apparently led by a failed Prime Minister who is a member of the opposition.

    I do not know anyone personally who actually really cares whether Scotland is Independent or not, but I know quite a few who are not happy about the complete imbalance in political power.

  26. Martin C
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    As the inestimable Dan Hannan points out today the introduction of Devo-Max for Scotland is going to throw the West Lothian Question into stark relief.
    With tax, spend, healthcare, education etc all devolved to Holyrood, whats the point of Scottish MPs? they have no authority on these matters in their own country, but they will have full voting rights on these matters and so can force Labour policies on England.
    That is unacceptable.

  27. Richard
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    You are right and I thank you for pursuing this matter. The current situation is undemocratic and totally unfair to the English.

    [By the way, I do not think any of the current ministers should be in charge of the Devo Max negotiations should Scotland vote no. England needs negotiators who are prepared to negotiate on England’s behalf ! Left to Mr. Cameron or Mr. Miliband England will be well and truly fleeced.]

    However, I am not convinced that England should be represented by English UK MPs. I think England, as for the other parts of the UK, should have its own MPs. Perhaps to reduce the costs the number of UK MPs could be severely cut and the current Parliament building used.

    Of particular worry is the EU wish to split England up into smaller regions. I am sure that not only are Labour and the Lib Dems keen on this policy but also the current Europhile Conservative leaders and they all will be hoping to use the coming constitutional changes to implement this division.

    It will therefore be vitally important for English voters to know at the next GE the views of each party or candidate on this issue.

    • Richard
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      PS :

      At the moment English, Welsh and Northern Irish students pay Scottish university fees but students from other EU countries do not.

      This is totally unfair.

      If Scotland votes “yes” in the forthcoming referendum, and decides to stay in the EU, then this discrimination will stop as England, Wales and Northern Ireland will simply be EU countries.

      If, however, Scotland votes “no”, then as part of the devomax deal that is being put forward for Scotland I would expect equal treatment to apply to all citizens across all four UK nations as well as devomax also for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        “At the moment English, Welsh and Northern Irish students pay Scottish university fees but students from other EU countries do not.”

        It’s not just Scotland who discriminates against England’s young seeing as it is only English teenagers who pay £9,000 wherever they study in the UK. NI tuition fees are capped at £3,600 when studying in N. Ireland so they would be mad to study elsewhere. Welsh students’ fees are capped at £3,600 courtesy of the Welsh Assembly (English taxes) wherever they study – Wales, Scotland and even when sitting alongside a £9,000 fee paying student in an English university, the biggest insult of all.

        It is only English students who are discriminated against because they are fleeced wherever they study in the UK and Scotland is no different to the UK Government which is why they have never objected to this discrimination against England’s oung. In some ways their discrimination is greater because it is a Tory led Government which has discriminated against it’s own – the English.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          Correct Jools very very annoying.

          See: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/apr/29/welsh-university-students-financial-support

          A report comparing the different funding systems for 2014-15 shows that low-income Welsh students receive the highest cost-of-living grants and incur the lowest debts to pay for their degrees. The report compares grants for various incomes across all four UK nations, plus fees and student loans. Welsh students will be protected from increased tuition fees.

  28. NickW
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The people of England lack more than a Minister who speaks on their behalf.

    They lac k a political party to represent their interests.

    They lack MP’s who represent their interests.

    They lack a Parliament to represent their interests.

    What is going to stop Salmond from setting deliberately low rates of tax, then demanding that the English fill the shortfall out of our own pockets?

    Absolutely nothing is the answer. (see above).

    There is a political tidal wave heading rapidly towards all English MPs which they are incapable of seeing. Hopefully it will sweep them out of office permanently.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Support and join the English Democrats, the only party -still small and mostly ignored by the media, the BBC in particular, because it does not dance to their tune – which puts England and the people of England first. The only party campaigning for a true English parliament and all that goes with it.

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Must qualify the statement as Robin Tilbrook, Chairman was on the BBC’s ‘Daily Politics’ but Jo Coburn, on behalf of the BBC, as part of the British Establishment, had to have its ritual dig about alleged racist members. The BBC is shameless and a disgrace. When is it going to raise genuine issues, of anti-Semitic statements for example? etc ed

  29. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Just wondering when I might have to let my Scots in-laws live with me in England. They are in retirement with a mortgage and an older child at home…almost unemployed. Despite that they are behind the SNP…always have been?

    No details…not thought through! Ok for younger/fitter people in Scotland but for the retired/unemployed this is a massive problem on the very near horizon. And a full financial divorce has to happen….very threatening to the weak in body and head.

  30. Bryan
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Why are politicians like Mr Clegg scared of treating England as a Country rather than as a set of regions?

    England is already split into Parish, Town, District, County and goodness knows what Councils. Nobody knows who is responsible for what and duplication seems to exist everywhere. Civil Servants rule the roost.

    MP’s and their Parties, in the main, want to perpetuate this, increasing the cost and confusion whilst giving the illusion of ‘local power’.

    It beggars belief.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely.
      Not sure about the precise funding arrangements, but, methinks it be thus…
      Expenses Only – Parish and Town Councils. Regional Assemblies / Bodies – such as they were – under the last Liebore government.
      Salaried – District (Borough / City / District), County Councils.
      Money for old rope !

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Why are politicians like Mr Clegg scared of treating England as a Country rather than as a set of regions?

      It’s called divide and conquer, they are doing their masters ‘the EU’s’ bidding as England is the most Eurosceptic nation in Europe. Also just like Labour, they depend on Scots MPs to help them govern England. The Tories won a 63 seat majority in 2010 and if England had it’s own parliament, we would never have been lumbered with Cleggie and the Lib Dums.

  31. Vanessa
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    It is astonishing that as the EU tightens the cords around the 28 countries with “ever closer union” that the consequence is a breaking up of countries, which have been content to rub along together for hundreds of years, now are suffocating under the appearance of a prison.

    Quite ironic that Britain is the first to offer this option given that we are tolerant of most tribes under the same roof. I would have said this is the EU’s dream of “divide and rule” but it seems to be driven by the EU.

  32. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I find this constant fawning reference to the needs of Scotland rather irritating so it must be even more infuriating for people in England to have to listen to this sort of talk; ‘… the party leaders honour their promises to Scotland …’
    The party leaders already represent people in Scotland, they represent a majority of the people of Scotland at the moment. The SNP do not speak for all the people of Scotland even though they are the ruling party at the inferior (to Westminster) Holyrood parliament for the time being.

  33. Martin Ryder
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The 2015 UK General Election should be held separately (but on the same day) in each of the three or four nations in the United Kingdom. The aim of each election would be to form a national parliament and government for each nation.

    The English Parliament and Government would be in London, as it was before the Union was formed. The English Government would govern England as the British Government does now. The governments of the two or three other nations will govern their nations with the same powers that the English Government has.

    The three or four nations would be bound together, as now, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If there are only three nations in the Union the name remains the same. The European Union does not cover all the territory in the European continent, nor is it likely to, but it still calls itself the European Union. The same goes for the USA and the Republic of Ireland.

    England, with 85% of the population in the UK will have to do the ‘heavy lifting’ in the Union. The English Government Departments (Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Home Office, Treasury and the MOD) that have ‘British’ responsibilities would recruit staff from all nations in the Union.

    Wales, Northern Ireland and, hopefully, Scotland would send ministers to work alongside English ministers in the departments so that they might look after their nations’ interests. First Ministers from Cardiff, Belfast and, hopefully, Edinburgh would attend ‘British’ cabinet meetings and, with members of their parliaments, ‘British’ parliamentary debates.

    Each national government should be responsible for its own taxation and spending but there should be a UK central fund that all taxpayers contribute to, which will look after ‘British’ issues.

  34. Iain Moore
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Who speaks for England?

    Well not Labour they enacted the constitutional discrimination against the English.

    Not the Libdems for they were and are cheerleaders for Labour’s constitutional discrimination.

    Gobsmackingly nor the Cameron Conservatives, who have meekly gone along with any constitutional dogs breakfast Labour came up with.

    Not the MP’s sitting in Parliament who though are squatting in English constituency seats , bar the very few exceptions, can be bothered to challenge the constitutional discrimination levelled against their English constituents.

    Not the BBC, who is institutionally blind to England, and doesn’t see fit to have a BBC England, though it dose represent all the other nations of the UK.

    Not the rest of the British print and broadcast media who have kindly not embarrassed the British political class by asking them the English Question, so they don’t have to answer it.

    Basically Mr Redwood, no one speaks for England or English people, and that is why we have and are being royally screwed.

    • David Price
      Posted September 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      That is the problem, and the opportunity

  35. Faustiesblog
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Notice how all calls for devolution for England is met with the ruse that power should be devolved down to city level in England.

    Why?

    Because Cities are the placeholders for the EU Regions that the people of this country soundly rejected. The EUphiles do not want the UK or any part of it – particularly England – to be a power of any note. That’s why they are keen to break it up into regions and that is why hell will freeze over before Cameron, Clegg or Miliband ever agree to devolution for England.

    If we want devolution for England, we are going to have to take it – it will not be given to us. On that you can bank your life savings.

    • Martyn G
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Faustiesblog – right on – “If we want devolution for England, we are going to have to take it – it will not be given to us”. But as things stand (see my comment rather far down the list on John’s yesterday “Mr Redwood’s Intervention…). It seems very clear to me that England will never again be allowed to reappear as a named country within the EU.

      The majority of our politicians of all hues are frightened of England and the English, as is the EU, wherein dwell many in positions of power who are absolutely determined that England shall not be resurrected. The pity is that the majority of our politicians are in sympathy with that view, which brings shame on them all. I would that it were otherwise…

  36. A different Simon
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    London has a population of almost 3 times that of Scotland yet exerts an influence over England many more than three times greater .

    The Westminster Govt is completely London-Centric and does not give a toss about England , Scotland or Wales .

    That is problem . Not Scotland .

    The question should be “who represents the provinces ? “

    • James Matthews
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      The population of London is about eight Million and that of Scotland about five million. Your initial contention of fact is as inaccurate as your conclusion.

      Westminster is London centric only to the extent that it is located in London. London is represented by MPs in proportion to its population which is about one seventh of that of England and one eighth of that of the UK. If the other six sevenths of English MPs can not assert the interests of their constituents there is something seriously wrong with them.

      Given your complaint, perhaps provincial MPs are indeed exceptionally deficient .
      The solution is not to balkanise England into a nightmare group of competing regions fighting like rats in a sack but to demand an English Parliament and elect better representatives to it.

  37. JoolsB
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Just watching you on Daily Politics John – nice to see you on all the airwaves at the moment banging the drum for England – keep it up please, despite Cameron. You’ve said the majority of your colleagues agree with you which is the biggest surprise. If that’s the case can you ask them to take their self imposed gag off please and stick their heads above the bl—dy parapet for a change? England is waiting.

  38. cosmic
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I can’t add much to what other posters have said.

    We need a political representation for England – not some fudge along EU regionalisation lines which destroys our identity and has only been presented to the electorate once and was rejected, but seems to proceed on the sly anyway.

    It’s much to your credit that you realise this and are pushing for it, when the leaders of the three main parties seem more than happy to fudge things as they go along rather than produce a proper solution.

  39. Chris S
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Let’s assume that Scotland votes No. The clamour for a full and equally fair devolution settlement will be so intense that it will have to be addressed in England, Wales and NI.

    If we are to stave off labour and Clegg’s regionalisation we will have to come up with a proposal for England that keeps our Country united, adds almost nothing to the cost of Government but takes proper account of the views and needs of the Regions.

    Wales and NI just need to be offered the same powers as will be given to Scotland as they already have their Assemblies and a dedicated minister responsible for each.

    As JR has suggested, we will need English MPs to sit as our assembly on three days a week but this is just one part of the solution.

    It is important to note that none of this has been thought through at all.

    For example, almost everyone posting here believes that the only fair solution is for equal devolved powers to be delivered to each nation in the union.

    But, let’s look at the position if a general election gives us a Labour Government across the UK but the Conservatives have a majority in England. This is not a hypothetical situation : it seems a very likely outcome in 2015.

    In this situation the Conservatives will be rightly entitled to be in control of those powers devolved to England. This is likely to include full budgetary and tax raising powers.

    Labour, on the other hand, would no doubt want to try and form an English administration to run the devolved powers with LibDems MPs, if there are any left.

    Imagine the furore if a similar situation happened in Scotland and Labour tried to form an administration with the LibDems when the SNP had the most MSPs ? It would cause riots on the streets of Edinburgh.

    For equal and fair devolution, England will need a First Minister. As I have suggested, this would not always be the Prime Minister because he or she would have to come from the party with the most seats in England. That party would have to provide an English-only Cabinet to formulate policy and make decisions on devolved matters for England.

    Consider another scenario : If the PM came from and represented a seat from one of the other Nations within the UK, even though he or she came from the party with a majority in England, English MPs would have to chose one of their number to become First Minister of England.

    I can’t think Labour will be happy with this scenario and will resist it with everything they can bring to bear.

    Turning to the Regions of England :

    To better represent the view of the regions, we will need something like a Grand Committee for each region consisting of its MPs and Local Authority leaders meeting in the Region, not at Westminster. The PM and the Chancellor would have to attend at least one of each Grand Committee’s meetings each year.

    The English First Minister will also have to allocate a minister to represent each region in the English-only Cabinet.

    Time will have to be set aside at Westminster for regular regional debates on the three days when English-only matters are discussed.

    If we get our act together and ensure that the feelings of the English Electorate are properly taken into account, we might just head off the Labour/LibDem demand for a Federal structure. It won’t be easy.

    Reply Its easier than you think. The English Parliament will choose its Ministers from its majority, which may or may not be the same party as the majority in the Union Parliament. It will be just like the Edinburgh Parliament, only we MPs will do both jobs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      You mean the English Grand Committee within the Union Parliament, not the English Parliament, it being deemed that the people of England do not deserve a their own separately elected English Parliament. What if we don’t always want the same people to deal with both the federal type UK matters and the devolved English matters, why do you insist on imposing that on us?

  40. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I believe the Better Together Campaign are speaking for England. Judging by their encouragement of financial and commercial institutions to rubbish the people of Scotland and their ability to forge a viable Country, they simultaneously forget that Scots and Scotland are at present part of the UK.

    They even speak and take actions now which are undermining the stability of the UK Pound and the financial stability of UK companies whether they be based in Scotland ( part of the UK ) or the rest of the UK. They are indeed speaking for England at the expense quite literally of the United Kingdom. An English mistake. Scuttling your ship whilst you are still onboard to rid it of perceived (trouble ed).

  41. ian
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    It makes no difference the sun is slowly setting on the west of the world and rising in the east. USA is a good place to look at, ripping them selves apart, turning into a third world country. The USA will ruin it self, just like all white lead country in the west, it just a matter of time. The west believe in digits on paper which can disappear in a day but east like gold silver oil gas metals the real thing in life while the west politician, establishment and the elite fight with their people over fraudulent worthless paper with digits on them. The people are starting to wake to this while their standard of living is going down and the promises made slowly going with freedoms being taken away. So what to do to try and take the people minds off of this, misdirection, terrorism and war. Like the vote in Scotland and the EU, three year fighting about the union and the EU everyday on the tv and in the papers none stop while they are all telling you how your life is so good with all these extra people coming to your country and how well your doing.

  42. Atlas
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    John,

    You asked a good question – and the answer from Hague was vague.

    By the way, should you be interested to know the where some of the Scottish desire for Independence eminates may I suggest this Wikipedia article:

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

    Indeed the English folk Group Steeleye Span recorded in 1973 a version on their eponymously named LP “Parcel of Rogues”.

    Neither the link nor the LP are “sweary”.

  43. Duyfken
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    As an individual located in England and a nobody to boot, my opinion is worthless. Nevertheless I would have welcomed a “NO” vote were it to be decisive, such as 60/40, but the outcome is likely to provide just a couple or so percentage points between the two.

    That is a disaster (I blame Cameron for utter incompetence), so I suggest it would be better for “YES” to come out top, to clear the air. There seems to be nothing good coming out of this farrago, so may we just let the SNP have its way, ruinous though it could be to so many, in order to build a better UK constitution from the wreckage.

  44. Robert Taggart
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Agreed Johnny, but, without your leaders support – what be the chance ?
    England, Scotland, Ulster and Wales (Kernow too ? !) – should all be on a par vis-à-vis their legislative powers under the United Kingdom.
    England, as you suggest, should not have an entirely new institution for this – simply give the English Constituency members ‘two hats to wear’.

  45. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I would to see Britain ruling British matters and certainly don’t want to count my chickens before they have hatched. My perception is this is divide and rule. Lets us hope as separate Countries all have enough economic strength and nouse to make it. This decision is one way , there will be no ‘U’ turn .

    • Margaret
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Here you go again you lot tying to separate the inseparable. Politics is about ideas,workable solutions to problems, fairness, justice , trying to persuade others that there is a better way of doing things and having the majority to take ideas forward.

  46. Iain gill
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    On this one John you are very much in line with the vast majority of English voters.
    However on this issue, like notable others like immigration, the whole of the political class and journalistic bubble is massively at odds with what the ordinary people think. I am cynical that the current political system is going to resolve this amicably in the short term, far too many people of the same thought processes are selected as political candidates for all the main parties so I struggle to see how the people ever get a chance to vote for what they want.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood’s proposals are the best of a bad job. Even so, there will confusion, disagreements and bad blood for years.

    I place on record that the Prime Minister has no mandate from the Conservative Party for further devolution, either from members of parliament or from party members. Christopher Chope made precisely this point. So until David Cameron has consulted widely within the Party, he does not have my support.

    Let’s face it, devolution has been a disaster from the start. Alex Salmon says that devolution has led to a better Scotland. Not so; the Barnett formula, financed by English taxpayers, has led to a cushier situation for Scots. Better if Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont had never been born.

    The old Unitary State was much more efficient. The remoteness from Westminster of Scotland, Northumberland, Cornwall and parts of Wales could be overcome by delegation and communication technology. Each MP from a remote constituency would attend Westminster and appoint an assistant to mind the shop at home. Communication systems between the two and with Whitehall departments would be set up. It’s workable and would be the cheapest solution by a very long way.

  48. Mark B
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    To all members of this here Diary, and to our kind host:

    I have taken the liberty of writing to my MP (Conservative) and asking him to speak for England also. If our kind host permits, I shall cut’n’paste the letter I sent and hope others will do the same. I did it via; “Write to them.” A website dedicated to writing letters to MP’s

    https://www.writetothem.com/

    Dear Sir,

    As a regular reader and contributor to your good friend and colleague, John Redwood MP’s Blog / Diary, I am writing to you concerning the forthcoming referendum in Scotland and the matter raised by your colleague in the House. Namely; “Who speaks for England ?”

    I was concerned that not enough Members and RH Members seem to take the matter of what people, such as myself feel on this issue. That is why I am writing to you. It is an ‘issue’, and one that I think must be given more importance. The Conservative Party had a clear majority in England remember.

    Your friend John Redwood MP has taken it upon himself to speak up, and I would be grateful if you could also raise the issue on behalf of one of your constituents. He should not be a lone voice on this.

    It is right for Scotland and her people to decide their future. And it is also right, that their decision be respected. But if they decide to remain in the UK, I feel any new settlement must also mean a new settlement for England and the English. In short, I do not seek more than any other member of the UK, I seek the ‘same !’ And if I do not get the ‘same’, then it cannot be said that I am an equal member of the UK, and that my Government, my Parliament and our MP’s view me as a lesser person. And I am sure that you do not consider me to be any less than anyone else, whether they be fellow citizen of the UK or not.

    So, as my elected representative I sincerely hope you will give a voice to mine and my fellow Englishmen and women, and support your good friend too.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mark B.

    PS I am happy for you to show him this letter.

  49. Chris
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Off topic in some ways, but who does speak for us? “MPs vote through proposal making it legally binding for Britain to spend at least 0.7% (£11 BILLION) a year on foreign aid”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2753761/Government-backs-new-multi-billion-pound-foreign-aid-spending-commitment-despite-Tory-backbench-fury.html

  50. Mr Smith
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Here is one way to make your opinion known. English Commonwealth have started a petition to instigate an English Constitutional Convention.

    http://englishcommonwealth.org/campaigns/english-constitutional-convention/

  51. ian
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    The elite pull out 206 billion pounds so far this year the most since 2008, do you think they paid their tax on that or just claim oversea.

  • About John Redwood


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

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