Don’t break up England just because some want to break up the UK


The reaction of some in the Lib Dems and Labour to the moves in Scotland to leave us or to loosen the Union ties is to seek to demolish England at the same time. In proposing this they gravely misjudge the mood of the English people.

Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for the idea that Scottish MPs should no longer vote on English matters. What part of that do Labour MPs from Scotland not understand? If they want their party to have a chance to do well in England they should withdraw from English votes, just as the Scottish Nationalists have done.

A majority of proposals for elected Mayors have been voted down by English electorates. There is no sign of  huge pent up demands for more powerful elected local government. If it is wanted that will remain possible with an English Parliament, just as it has been on offer from the UK Parliament. Mr Clegg will have to come up with a better idea than more powerful cities. And why in Mr Clegg’s world of unfair and lopsided devolution do cities deserve better than suburbs or rural areas? Why should Sheffield have more devolution than Wokingham?

The old idea of elected regional governments was even less popular than elected Mayors. In Labour’s  favourite place to try it, in the North East with traditional strong Labour support and as far away from London as possible, an overwhelming majority said No to regional government in a referendum. What part of that did people  not understand? Why do some think they can revive this idea? Do they not see that England, a Eurosceptic country, has no wish to be broken up into Euro regions.

Liverpool does not want to be placed under Manchester control in the North West. Sunderland and Newcastle have made their views known on the North East. Cornwall does not fancy being governed by either Exeter or Bristol, and Exeter and Plymouth would be suspicious of Bristol claims to be the heart of the South West. My part of the country is in  several regions that we do not recognise and do not  wish to govern us – Thames Valley, rest of the South-east and the south.

If the problem is the potential break up of the UK, the answer is not to break up England. It is time for England to have her voice and her own unity.


  1. Mark W
    September 16, 2014

    This pathetic attempt at regions is infuriating. I guess it’s because they see large metropolitan areas being left wing.

    I see myself as on the cusp of East Anglia but believe the demarcation line would split me from our natural centre and place me under Nottingham or Leicester in the East Midlands along with Glossop of all places. Idiotic.

    I’m happy with being with Berwick and Penzance, Dover and Bangor, I was also happy with Durness and Thurso but not to be packaged up under the dominance of two large cities and become a forgotten rural backwater. In the whole of England there’s a lot of market towns and backwaters, in split regions we are nothing.

    1. Hope
      September 16, 2014

      Paragraph four says it all JR, this is about how it might wreck the EU plan. The EU were always happy to let Scotland and Wales be regions of the EU, England worried the EU masters and want it regionalised. Good article by Hitchens on this.

      I hope Scotland goes independent, it scares the LibLabCon that the EU referendum question will have to be answered ASAP, hence the US and EU interest. Their fear is not about Scotland, but that we might might choose to leave the EU.

      Italy appears to be in an economic mess at the moment because of the Euro. Something Scotland needs to think about, follow Isle of Man currency union with England not the Euro.

      1. Max Dunbar
        September 16, 2014

        Let’s worry about the EU some other time, along with the weather. Right now you are facing the distinct possibility that your country is to be partitioned (wrecked).

        1. Hope
          September 17, 2014

          The regionalisation of this country through devolvement was not an accident and it has inevitably led to this position, as our host forecast some years ago. Whether you like it or not the EU is part of this debate and why we are in this position.

  2. bluedog
    September 16, 2014

    Excellent comment, Dr JR.

    Scotland may or may not leave the Union. If Scotland does leave the Union, a weakened England is the worst possible outcome for what remains of the Union. Only those who wish England ill could advocate a fragmented England in the event of Scottish secession from the Union. Which constituency, in the broadest sense, do those destructive and fragmentary voices truly represent? Not the people of Britain, that is certain.

    The UK faces unparalleled turbulence on two fronts; its own cohesion and the evolving pattern of events in Europe, where the future of the Eurozone and subsequently the EU itself must be in doubt.

    A review of British constitutional arrangements is in order, so that in an ideal world, a strengthened Union that includes both Scotland and a united Ireland stands ready to face the challenges ahead. Falling short of that lofty objective should not be criticised, but an interim step in the form of an English parliament can only be a positive.

    The lack of constitutional equality in the current Union is in no small measure a factor in Scottish separatism.

    1. Andyvan
      September 16, 2014

      In what way does Scotland leaving the union weaken England? Scotland sucks the lifeblood out of England with it’s intense socialism and exporting hard left MP’s to Westminster who then wreck our economy (Gordon Brown for instance). The union was only formed because Scottish leaders wrecked their own economy and England bailed them out which has been a continuous process ever since. Is Switzerland weak because it’s small? Is Monaco weak because it’s tiny? England would be economically stronger, politically more united and militarily less aggressive without Scotland. Bring it on.

      1. Anonymous
        September 16, 2014

        I fear that they won’t vote YES, Andyvan. I really do.

      2. a-tracy
        September 16, 2014

        I just watched some young students on C4 news saying Scotland hasn’t had a government it’s voted for in over 25 years and I was thinking what the …..! We had a Labour government for 13 years 40% of the cabinet was Scottish, we had a Scottish chancellor who got us in a right pickle and a Scottish Prime Minister in Blair that made so many mistakes that the rest of us are still paying for. Scotland think back and also take a look at the RBS with its Scottish Chief who didn’t do due diligence when he took over ABN Ambro and wrecked his institution, Goodwin thought he was buying Shangrila and Alec Salmond is doing the same thing and convincing people he will make them better off.

        It’s like watching a car crash. I just can’t see how this can be resolved, with Scot against Scot, I just hope it’s not a knife edge finish whichever way they choose.

      3. bluedog
        September 16, 2014

        Andyvan asks, ‘In what way does Scotland leaving the Union weaken England?’ Answer, on two fronts, defence and economic. Read comment by the defence chiefs on the importance of Scottish bases, and the Scottish promontory itself, to the defence of England. Little Englander attitudes don’t cut it when it comes to defence, you need to think geographically rather than being bounded by your political presuppositions. economically, Scotland is both an efficiently and cheaply accessed market and a resource base. Take a look at the size of Scotland’s EEZ.

        1. Max Dunbar
          September 17, 2014

          Very good points that have not been given the importance that they warrant.

        2. stred
          September 17, 2014

          Portsmouth and Plymouth have been closed down because of Scottish dominated government deciding to ‘rationalise’ production in Scotland. The transfer would be weclome and possible. As for the old belief that the Scots bagpiper terrified the enemy, the reason he survived was because the defenders were told to shoot the ones with weapons. rather than some berk blowing bagpipes.

    2. Richard Hobbs
      September 16, 2014

      You have got it right, John. These England breakers are infuriating and I am asking everyone I know in England to oppose them. Isn’t it enough that UK already faces breaking up without these people also trying to break up England too. Do I sound angry – too right – I am. I am so fed up with all this and not having a vote in what is going on. I am also having a hard time keeping my language calm. Perhaps it is time for the English to stand up for themselves. I am so glad you are there – we need you.

  3. Mark B
    September 16, 2014

    Good morning.

    Please take into consideration the following on what ultimately is being proposed here:

    That most UK law is now made elsewhere, and not just the EU.

    That which is being offered to Scotland, in the form of Devo Max, to which not even UK and Scottish MP’s have a say over.

    Denying Scottish MP’s ability to vote on English issues.

    I would like to ask our kind host and other readers this question:

    What is the purpose of having Scottish MP’s in the first place since, they can no longer do or say anything on any matter whatsoever ?

    Remember, our foreign policy is now governed by the EU and international treaties.

    It seems to me, that our kind host has not thought any of this through. We will, ultimately, be paying for people, from Scotland, to do and say, nothing. Since there is nothing that they can do or say.

    If our kind host wants English laws made by English MP’s, then he and his fellows are going to have to grasp the nettle, and go for Devo-Max for England.

    Of course, I would be happy for this to be put before the people of England via a referendum. And I would be happy to share a stage with our kind host and argue for my proposal and against his, so long a he is willing to accept the will of the people as I am.

    After all, the Scots and the Welsh were given a referendum, why not us ? Or do we not qualify for equal and fair treatment from our elected representatives ?

    I do not ask for more, or expect less. What I ask for, is the SAME !!!

    1. a-tracy
      September 16, 2014

      With a more powerful Holyrood, if the Scots vote for No and for Devo Max, perhaps the current crop of Westminster MPs could challenge the SMPs representing Scotland on devolved issues (that would be a huge cost saving to spend the money in Scotland) and then travel to a central point in the UK (with quick transport link connections -so not Leicester or any other unconnected place) a new United Kingdom chamber to discuss national issues leaving Westminster for an English Parliament.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 16, 2014

        Sounds pretty unworkable to me, because you are linking together the schedules for four or five different assemblies. Assad does something or other, there is an emergency debate on whether to bomb Syria, so double hatted representatives abandon their planned work on devolved matters in their national assemblies and stream to the federal UK assembly to debate a reserved matter. And such things would keep cropping up.

        1. a-tracy
          September 17, 2014

          Isn’t that what happens now? MPs drop what they’re peacefully working on to debate big matters, Cobra would have a representative committee from each nation and the individual nations parliaments could discuss in their chambers and feed back their decisions. There must be a better way. How on earth does the USA do it with such a big area it makes me laugh when we talk about how far Scotland is from London when the USA is United over a much larger territory or Germany for that matter.

          1. Denis Cooper
            September 17, 2014

            Like most federations around the world the USA has federal institutions and separate state or province institutions, it is not expected that the same elected representatives will serve simultaneously in one of the state legislatures and in the federal legislature, and it may not even be permitted.

    2. DaveM
      September 16, 2014

      I agree with most of your pro-English rhetoric. BUT:

      “Remember, our foreign policy is now governed by the EU and international treaties.”

      Absolutely not true. It ties in with them but that is down to the current international situation. The UK foreign policy is determined in Westminster, and were the UK to project its foreign policy – as it has never been afraid to do – it would include the deployment of Scottish servicemen and women (who have fought and died bravely for the UK for centuries). Therefore Scottish MPs would HAVE to be included in the formation of plans within the HoC and Whitehall.

      The projection of foreign policy is a British matter, to be decided by the UK government, not an internal English matter (which I agree 100% should be decided by an English Parliament with no Scottish, Welsh, or N Irish involvement). The general consensus across the forums and debates is that, even if there were devolved governments for the home nations, that Foreign Policy, Defence, and all other INTERNATIONAL matters should still be determined by a UK government.

      1. Mark B
        September 17, 2014

        Clearly you have never heard of these people.

    3. Faustiesblog
      September 16, 2014

      “What is the purpose of having Scottish MP’s in the first place since, they can no longer do or say anything on any matter whatsoever ?”

      The purpose is to ram through any socialist legislation which wends its way from the EU through to Westmonster. Since the English (or at least the older, non-politically conditioned of the race) are largely conservative, self-determining types, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, aware that legislation emanating from the EU is of a “collective” nature, know they need to quell the English voice. They way they choose to do this is via the Scottish vote.

      Just look at the legislation that this awful administration managed to ram through parliament with the help of the Left. That is why Cameron aimed for (and got) a coalition government: he knew he could not get that legislation through had he obtained a majority in 2010.

      Cameron is no conservative. In fact, I would be so bold as to suggest that Cameron was groomed as an EU “sleeper” agent. When he grabbed the Conservative leadership from David Davis, many were amazed at how he managed to do it, proclaiming that it must have been his brilliant speech. Can it not have been below-the-radar manipulations by the unseen hands that have been running this country from before Heath’s time?

      I suspect so.

      Let’s not forget that butchering England into city regions was first mooted by Osborne. So we can probably safely assume that it formed part of an unwritten agreement between EUphile Cameron and Clegg when they agreed to go into coalition.

      1. Mark B
        September 17, 2014

        The UK Government does not need to be Socialist in its make up to pass EU Law. EU gets transposed in into UK Law regardless of who is in office, thanks to the ECA 1972 brought in by the Conservative Government.

        As to Cameron. I do not believe him to be a sleeper agent, that’s just plain silly. But he does seem to be a sleep on most things.

    4. Faustiesblog
      September 16, 2014

      PS: I meant to add to my previous post that the the problem that the English people have is that they insist on “asking” their politicians if they would please grant them their wishes.

      We should demand, not ask. Think about that, for a second. By “asking”, we are affirming what they believe – that they have the right to make the weather under which we live. Who the hell gave them that right? I certainly did not agree to live under the yoke of an authoritarian liberal Mafia class. Did you?

      They will not grant us our wishes: we will have to take what it is we want, one way or another. Westminster should be in no doubt that we mean business. Let us please stiffen our spines and be prepared to go to war with the political classes.

      1. Mark B
        September 17, 2014

        Correct ! These people are public servants. But it is OUR way of demanding. A bit like saying excuse me, when we really mean; “Get out of my way.”

    5. Hope
      September 16, 2014

      Well said.

    6. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      Many months I suggested here and elsewhere that on the same day as the Scots had their referendum there should be a referendum in England on whether we want a separately elected Parliament and government for the whole of England with the same devolved powers as the Scottish institutions.

    7. Steven Carmichael
      September 16, 2014

      The Scottish MP’s will be able to provide a balance that is required to make sure the Scottish people know their voice is being heard. A point the Nationalists keep making is that they are not represented in London. To take this accusation away the MP’s will be required to prove to the Scottish people that they are fully representative within British Parliament. In addition, Scottish MP’s will have the experience of assisting in running of Scotland which will be invaluable to Westminster.

      1. Mark B
        September 17, 2014

        Yes, good points. The Scottish people do need to be heard but ! As we are members of a Supranational body and, since that body has more powers over what happens here, and the Scots are represented in that Parliament also. What is the point of having Scottish MP’s as the power has gone elsewhere ? Whether this be Holyrood or Brussels.

        1. Steven Carmichael
          September 17, 2014

          They will be able to work on Westminster issues that affect the UK as a whole. I understand most of them are Labour MP’s, however the different perspective that they will bring can only value us all in the UK.

    8. Stuart Campbell
      September 16, 2014

      As a Nationalist I can only wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Scottish MP’s are superfluous and will offer you next nothing. Most decisions, no matter the outcome of the referendum, will be made in Scotland. Labour will use them to vote through their agenda.

  4. Lifelogic
    September 16, 2014

    Yes but since Cameron has lumbered the country with the LibDems he is unable to do anything much. The chances of an overall conservative majority are only about 11%so it seems that Labour (with or more likely without the Libdems) will clearly fix the new system to suit them.

    This all thanks to Cameron’s broken compass, EU/IHT ratting and green crap expensive energy, un-selective immigration & lefty leadership. Can he still fix his compass in time? It need to be pointing to no EU, for some real English democracy, for lower taxes, for fewer regulations, for cheap non religious energy and for far less government.

    Cameron is alas, heart and soul, a Heath, Major, Blair, BBC think person. Worse still he has thrown away his credibility by constantly ratting and saying one thing while doing the complete opposite.

    He is alas all we have. Can someone please fix his broken compass/brain in time? Only seven months left.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2014

      He could still win (even at this late stage) but certainly not on the current path. Does he want to win or not?

      1. APL
        September 16, 2014

        lifelogic: “He is alas all we have. Can someone please fix his broken compass/brain in time?”

        If Cameron loses the Union, he should resign.

      2. Mark W
        September 16, 2014

        Here’s the problem.

        Cameron is in a win win. He wins the election or he loses the election and takes up the lecture circuit as an exPM. Few quid in that lark.

      3. JoolsB
        September 16, 2014

        He could certainly win if he addressed the English Question but it seems our Liberal anti-English Prime Minister would rather lose the election than do that

    2. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2014

      Inheritance tax (at an absurd 40%) now the norm in the South East I read. Why on earth should people in the South East be penalised in this way. They have already has to pay more for their smaller houses, travel further to work, paid more tax and paid more interest on the mortgages – why this further kick in the teeth from IHT ratter Osborne?

      Start the Conservative repositioning with a promise on this for May 8th 2015 and keep it this time!

      1. Bob
        September 16, 2014


        “Inheritance tax (at an absurd 40%) now the norm in the South East I read.”

        There is only one political party who’s policy is to abolish IHT.

    3. scottspeig
      September 16, 2014

      Problem is, even if he corrected his compass, I’d just think he was electioneering and would be unconvinced.

      Alas, only a new leader with proven track record along the Tebbit-Tory policies will bring me back. So our host would do for one.

  5. Lifelogic
    September 16, 2014

    You ask “What part of that do Labour MPs from Scotland not understand?” I think it might the part that means they would lose their powers in England perhaps.

    1. Richard1
      September 16, 2014

      What Labour MPs understand very well – Mr Balls has just made it clear – is that real devolution of tax-raising powers would mean a tax-borrow-and-spend Labour govt (like the last one) wouldn’t be able to get its budgets through. They know they need the Celtic fringe to get big state socialism. We in England must insist that if the Scots get real devo max as a prize for voting No, we have the same thing in England. After all it was a Scottish MP, Gordon Brown, who wrecked the British economy. We cannot have any more interference by Scottish MPs in English matters once devo max is in place.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 16, 2014

        No idea why Balls thinks that, it’s as absurd as the idea that without Scotland there would be perpetual Tory government in England.

        1. Richard1
          September 16, 2014

          England voted Conservative in 2010 but got a coalition.

          1. Denis Cooper
            September 18, 2014

            One election, and I believe just the third election since the war when votes cast in Scotland swung the UK result.

  6. Roy Grainger
    September 16, 2014

    Seems your opinion is totally irrelevant John, policy these days is being set by proclamation (“The Vow”) by Cameron/Miliband/Clegg with no recourse to Parliament or the voters or a referendum at all. We’d better just wait to see what they tell us their decision is on English devolution.

    1. formula57
      September 16, 2014

      That Vow looks disingenuous to me wherein it talks about “continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources” and yet claims the UK will be “sharing our resources equitably”. To be clear, it cannot do both and it is unacceptable to pretend that it can, even if it is only for a few days and to naïve, foolish Scottish voters.

      1. Roy Grainger
        September 16, 2014

        It is a very odd vow. It seems to be saying the Barnett formula will continue in perpetuity whereas I thought governments couldn’t bind the hands of future governments in that way. Maybe it means the Barnett formula will continue for as long as those three are party leaders which could be a much shorter time of less than a year. I assume it must be the latter.

        If a two-speed NHS develops with lavish public funding in Scotland health tourism from Wales will be a boom industry.

    2. matthu
      September 16, 2014

      Where does a “vow” rank alongside a “pledge” or a “cast iron promise”?

  7. Old Albion
    September 16, 2014

    Too many politicians and political commentators continue to compare English identity to all that is evil. It’s a form of self-loathing that i find hard to comprehend.
    The same people laud Scottish/Welsh identity as they do French/German/Canadian etc. In fact anyone and everyone who isn’t English.
    This once united Kingdom is on the road to dissolution. Fifteen years ago with the advent of Devolution i predicted the departure of Scotland (even a ‘No’ vote will still begin their departure, thanks to Devo max,max,max.) I suggested then we needed a new constitution built on Federalism. I wrote to politicians and of course was dismissed.
    There is still a chance for Federalism, but time is slipping away.
    England deserves no less than Scotland. Balkanisation is an insult to this nation. It would never be proffered by any g0vernment anywhere else in the West/Europe.
    If the next government fails to grasp the truth of this, the end result will be England seeking independance. The precious Union will then be gone, for ever.
    We need an English Parliament. Yesterday i agreed with you that creating a situation in Westminster where English constituency MP’s vote on English issues is a beginning. It must not be the end.

    I know there is not a vacancy at the moment. But should the leader of the Conservative party become open to nominations. Please put yourself forward John. England needs you.

    1. agricola
      September 16, 2014

      Yes I would support such a nomination. Sadly political parties shy from people of intellect and integrity. Witness what the mediocre rabble did to Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher. I sense we are moving to a pivotal point in UK politics and no one person, in a position of power, has any sense of direction that involves anything other than survival. Worst of all they are terrified of consulting the people because the answer they will get is not what they want.

    2. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      “England deserves no less than Scotland”

      I agree, but Cameron, Miliband and Clegg do not agree; and I’m sad to say nor does our kind host, who as far as I can understand thinks the English could make do with some kind of fudge with the UK MPs at Westminster rather than having their own separately elected Parliament and government exercising devolved powers for the whole of England.

    3. Mark B
      September 16, 2014

      I agree with much of what you say.

      Sheer Political cowardice and the obsessive desire to hang to power and control over us has brought us to this point.

      What is lacking here from the Political Class, is leadership, imagination, belief, and the desire to establish a new relationship for ALL the people of the UK over and above petty party political considerations.

      They, the Political Class, are willing to destroy everything in order to maintain their precarious positions, such is the sheer short sightedness.

      Making promises that should not be theirs to make, so late in the day, and for a people that quite frankly, would not be having this referendum had it not been for the oil.

      Greed and the naked and selfish pursuit of power has driven this, nothing else. The people of Scotland are being sold out by their own, yet again.

      I cannot truly find the words to express my utter disgust.

      Whilst I take on board that which, Dennis Cooper quite rightly points out regarding separation, I cannot help but feel, that a YES answer, will be just rewards and deserts to all those responsible for this mess. It would have the effect of making an awful lot of very bad people face up to their part in our countries destruction.

    4. forthurst
      September 16, 2014

      “Too many politicians and political commentators continue to compare English identity to all that is evil. It’s a form of self-loathing that i find hard to comprehend.”

      Not necessarily self-loathing if, in point of fact, the vituperators are not English; they also don’t like our religion much either and, on the contrary, are keen to promote alien peoples and their cultures as exemplers of our nation quite besides deprecating us.

      It’s all about pattern recognition; once you have recognised that typical behaviour and identified the primary vectors of that behaviour, it then becomes apparent who your enemy is.

    5. Bob McMahon
      September 16, 2014

      Which party will form the conduit for an English pro-independence movement? All the parties I see in England are inflexibly, Britishly British.

      1. James Matthews
        September 16, 2014

        Try the English Democrats. I am not a member, but if Cameron tries to carry out his pledge of more powers for Scotland while keeping the Barnet Formula I may well become one. The Barnet part of his unjustified and unwelcome promises is particularly malign. It means that all the major parties will argue that there can be no reduction in the voting rights of Scottish MPs at Westminster because almost all Westminster Government decisions have financial implications for Scotland through the application of the Barnet Formula. Cameron should never be forgiven for this and if Conservative MPs support it, neither should they.

  8. Antisthenes
    September 16, 2014

    The UK,s current form of democracy is no longer fit for purpose as political parties especially those on the left, individual politicians and vested interests put self before the good of the country. By and large that has always been the case but modern societal complexities and bloated government now allow corrupt and authoritarian practices and incompetence to flourish on unprecedented scales. A much better form of democracy is now needed that puts accountability, transparency and one that gives the populace as a whole a greater say in how the UK is governed.

    There is no hope now of better democracy or good governance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The former two are mired in socialism and the latter has problems peculiar to itself and only considerable time and events will corrector or not. However England if allowed the same autonomy with their own parliament have the opportunity to build a democracy and governance that actually works to the benefit of the country and it’s people.

    1. agricola
      September 16, 2014

      Read Douglas Carswell “The End of Politics”. He offers a few guide lines as to how politics should develop in the UK in the future.

  9. Mike Stallard
    September 16, 2014

    In the olden days, the County Councils and The Rural District Councils and the Town Councils ran the place. They were full of independent elected representatives and they really represented local people. Now the power has crystallized into two party control and the two parties are run centrally, even down to the representatives being on the end of a phone!
    No wonder there is a protest!
    The attraction of the Regional Councils – still there even though keeping a very low profile – is that they hand out dribbles of tax payers’ money to little organisations like the one I am involved with. And, of course, they stimulate the economy by providing yet more and more bureaucrats!

    1. alan jutson
      September 16, 2014


      “in the olden days”

      Exactly, there seemed to be some sort of sense of responsibility then, and clear demarcation lines as well.

      A lot to be said for going back to that sort of a set up in my view.

      Party politics and Party yes men and women, are slowly wrecking our Country.

    2. CdBrux
      September 16, 2014

      I agree, as I set out in some length here a few days ago.
      We need an English parliament as set out by Mr Redwood, a good way of having such a thing without creating additional layers of politicians and all the machinery that goes with it.
      Then that English parliament needs to find a way over time to let more decision making be made, and be seen to be made, by the local councils, on what are clearly local issues. I accept there will be much debate about where the boundary lies between local and national competencies, but first I would like to see at least a principle established. Much of the country of England feels remote from the Westminster / Whitehall decision makers. I did think at the start of the Coalition that there was an appetite for this from both parties, but little seems to have happened.

  10. Richard1
    September 16, 2014

    This is no surprise. Generally there is no majority for big govt socialism in England, so of course the left will try to obfuscate this by ‘devolving’ to a useless new tier of local govt with few real powers. Obviously Manchester, or the East of England wont get to set their own tax rates. That’s what this is about. There must be matching devolution for England as for Scotland. Meanwhile we hear the unfair Barnet formula for higher public expenditure in Scotland is to continue. This isn’t going to work.

  11. Excalibur
    September 16, 2014

    Has Sky been ‘bought’ by the EU ? In its introduction to the signed statement by the three party leaders in the Scottish Daily Record today, Sky depicted the Prime Minister behind Ed Miliband who was behind none other than Nicholas William Peter Clegg. The conclusion to an objective observer would be that Clegg is leading the quote joint historic promise unquote. Why is this rabid European who wishes to see the regionalization of England constantly placed to the fore ?

    1. mactheknife
      September 16, 2014

      The newspaper in question was the Daily Record a socialist / labour / left wind rag. Therefore giving Moribund top billing is a nod to their readers and political masters.

      1. Excalibur
        September 17, 2014

        I do not follow you, mac. I was talking about Sky and Nicholas Clegg; you are talking about a newspaper and Ed Miliband.

  12. Anthony S
    September 16, 2014

    I agree, John, but in a Parliament where Labour & Lib Dems, who have a vested interest in breaking up England and can outvote the Conservatives, how can one prevent it?

    Additionally, much as I want Scotland to say, I don’t feel, as G Brown evidently does, that rUK should have to sign up to the Barnett formula in perpetuity. In my naïveté, I would rather give the oil rights to Scotland and keep the tax money in the rest of the country.

  13. NickW
    September 16, 2014

    The Labour and Liberal Democrat view is based entirely on the desire of the Scottish Labour MPs to continue to govern England. It has absolutely nothing to do with practicality, principle, morality, ethics, fairness or the will of the people.

    Cities already have elected councils, Counties already have elected councils; what on earth is the point of introducing another layer of local Government to consume money and provide jobs for even more politicians?

  14. alan jutson
    September 16, 2014

    One is forced to ask.

    Why are they looking to regionalise England?

    All of these areas have elected Mp’s who should be representing their own local constituents in a meeting house, which happens to be in Westminster.

    Surely the most sensible thing to do is to make each constituency of similar size, so that we get equality in representation rather than regionalise areas..

    Let us have an English Parliament first, and see how that works out before we do anything else.

    The only reason we are governed from London, is because that is where Parliament is situated !

    If Parliament was in Reading or Newcastle, would they complain that we were being governed from Reading or Newcastle. ?

    Sometimes I really do wonder how some Mp’s think and argue.

    Perhaps they should be reminded that they should represent the people, not themselves or their Party.

    1. oldtimer
      September 16, 2014

      Why? It is an EU stitch up. Cameron must go. To JR can we please have your views on the so-called “Vow”?

      1. oldtimer
        September 16, 2014

        Late in the day I have now been able to read the “Vow” signed by Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. It is as clear a case of attempting to gerrymander the Scottish vote as one could imagine by effectively entrenching the power of Labour to elect Scottish MPs, with no prospect of an English Parliament or its equivalent (confirmed by Cameron on Newsnight).

        The “Vow” also contradicts itself by offering the “sharing of our resources equitably across all four nations” yet at the same time confirming the “continuationof the Barnett formula for allocation of resources”! Which of these “Vows” should we , or more importantly, the Scottish voters believe? They cannot both be true.

        This is a digraceful and utterly unacceptable betrayal of voters in England. They are reduced to the status of third class citizens. The Conservative party should sack Cameron for putting his name to this “Vow”. Scottish voters should treat it with the contempt it deserves. I hope they reject this last minute and crude attempt to buy their vote and instead vote “Yes”.

        1. alan jutson
          September 17, 2014

          O T


  15. ian wragg
    September 16, 2014

    This is inspired by the dreaded EU and no doubt your party under CMD will have a go at implementing it.
    You really must think we are completely stupid to be taken in by this divide and rule tactic.
    I see CMD was telling the Jocks he won’t be PM for ever. I think he should have said for only another 33 weeks as he is doing his level best to ensure you finish up in opposition. When are you going to cut him adrift John. Are you a party of sadists??

    1. agricola
      September 16, 2014

      Sado – Masochists might be more accurate.

  16. Liz
    September 16, 2014

    Neither Nick Clegg or Ed Milliband are true democrats – viz the way they combined to fiddle the constituency boundaries. It is all about power which they want for themselves – and they can’t see that they’d get it with an English Parliament or similar. Hence the desire to break up England purely to serve their own political ends – they don’t care a fig for democracy or the English voter. Nick Clegg is following Brussels policy to the letter., Neither of them have any feeling for England.
    Some of the things being said about the English in the current independence campaign by Scots would land them up in the courts on charges of racism if said by Engilsh about Scots and there is no mention of zenophobia about their fanatical nationalism which would be levelled against us. Double standards all round.

    1. Anonymous
      September 16, 2014

      Note how UKIP are called nutters but Scots nationalists are afforded full respect. (By the BBC and all other parties)

  17. James Matthews
    September 16, 2014

    “If the problem is the potential break up of the UK, the answer is not to break up England. It is time for England to have her voice and her own unity”

    Exactly right.

  18. Home Rule
    September 16, 2014

    Can’t you start up a break away government for England? Mr Cameron has announced that England can’t have its own Parliament, Labour and the Lib Dems want to smash us into expensive, unworkable regional parliaments and Salmond is supporting it. Shouldn’t that be a clue to them?
    This must not be allowed to happen. Why is it?

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      Mainly because the English keep making bad choices in general elections.

      1. Terry
        September 16, 2014

        You forget the Scots, N Irish and the Welsh also vote in the English General elections. Given the choice would you have voted Gordon Brown or Dithering Dave?

        1. Denis Cooper
          September 17, 2014

          They vote in the UK general elections.

          1. stred
            September 18, 2014

            The proportion of Scots living in England and English living in Scotland is about the same. The absolute number differs by about a factor of 10. There are many more Scots living in England.

            The number of Scots/English, such as Cameron, is far higher. They have always seen the UK as theirs to rule. and that is why they fight so hard to preserve it, at no matter what cost on both sides of the border.

  19. Fieldea1
    September 16, 2014

    Well said. Once we have English devolution we can then decide ourselves if we want to devolve more to the regions/cities. The Lib Dems and Labour are only proposing regional devolution as a way to hang on to power.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    September 16, 2014

    I find this whole debate unnecessary. English MPs are voted in to the UK Parliament to represent their English constituencies. If we can make the MP more accountable to constituents and less beholden to party this issue goes away.

    The right of recall is an area that would be more worthy of exploration than English MPs in their own Parliament which is a hammer to crack a nut. It is the party system which is more in need of dismantling. The UKIP approach where the party seems to have little control is probably too extreme but certainly indicates a good direction of travel.

  21. Sue Jameson
    September 16, 2014

    I’m sure they’ll vote NO. After all, they’re now being bribed with our money, without OUR representation having a say on the matter.

    Democracy? Don’t make me laugh, they don’t even pretend we still have it.

    I’m sure when the time comes, the EU will probably use the same tactic. A little rebate here and there and we’re all happy as Larry.

    1. Mark B
      September 16, 2014


      It will take more than threats and bribes with our own money to change my mind regards the EU. They know that if we leave, it’s GAME OVER !!!

    2. Anonymous
      September 16, 2014

      They’d be mad not to vote NO. The issues for voting YES are rather childish and petty.

      The problem will come after. The NOs will not lie down and the English will resent this deal.

      How has our, until recently, stable and settled country been wrecked like this ? (So too with mass immigration)

      I can see us becoming deeply divided and conflicted and soon going by the rate of change.

      1. Anonymous
        September 16, 2014

        “The problem will come after. The NOs will not lie down and the English will resent this deal.”


        The problem will come after. The YESs will not lie down and the English will resent this deal.

      2. NickW
        September 16, 2014

        How has our, until recently, stable and settled country been wrecked like this ? (So too with mass immigration)?

        The answer to your questions is that Blair began it and the self confessed “Heir to Blair” took over where Blair left off and finished the job.

        A simple and deadly truth.

  22. Iain Moore
    September 16, 2014

    You attempt to delude yourself by blaming the lack of response to the English question on the Libdems for your party leadership is as much to blame.

    Cameron never raised the issue of the EQ as leader of the opposition, even when faced the embodiment of it in Gordon Brown. His manifesto promise on it was about as weak as he could get away with. You get the distinct feeling that he was relived the Libdems opposed any recognition for England, so he could park it, and even when his Devo Max will create a grotesque constitutional irregularity of having the Scots set their own income tax rates, then have a role to set ours, he STILL defends the Barnet formula, and STILL defends Scottish MPs meddling in English laws.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    September 16, 2014

    JR: “Do they not see that England, a Eurosceptic country, has no wish to be broken up into Euro regions.”
    They pay no regard to the wishes of the English people; if their masters in Brussels require it then England as a country must go. That is why we must leave the EU.
    What has struck me listening to recent discussions about the aftermath of this week’s referendum is that most senior Westminster politicians never refer to England by name when talking about devolved powers. It is as if England as a whole country no longer exists in their thinking.

  24. Douglas Carter
    September 16, 2014

    It does rather seem the future British Constitution is evolving at breakneck speed right now. Disturbingly, without any particular evident Parliamentary consideration or scrutiny.

    I’m presuming that Parliament will invoke its powers against the Executive if it can be shown that the usual constraints on procedure have been breached? In particular, I’m hoping Mr. Speaker will be calling the member for Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath to public account to request of him the dates upon which the relevant debates took place in the HoC? Those debates, the results of which entitled him to assure Scots voters of the specific articles they were to be offered, and the dates upon which he assured that these legislative articles would be in place?

    From what I understand, my own MP is unaware of having been invited to take part in those debates?

    I would be more than a little miffed to find that proper due scrutiny and procedure had been bypassed and would remain a matter in which no proper Parliamentary accountability would be sought?

    Because if that remained the case – why bother with the tedious ritual of a General Election next year? Apparently there is a small unit of demigods in the party line-up entitled do simply do as they please these days without recourse to previously established limitations?

  25. Bert Young
    September 16, 2014

    David Cameron is right when he said ” I will not be here forever ” . Indeed , each of the leaders who made the promises to Scotland should bear in mind that there is a point of no return in their leadership – party members are likely to have just as much regret in their utterances as the electorate . Of course , now is not the time to do so – there are too many crises threatening our existence , but , give it a year or so when the scenery changes , they will rue their ways . We have suffered poor and unreliable leadership for a considerable time and the patience of the country is exhausted ; changes have to be made . The rumblings in the ranks of the Conservative Party are no different to that in the Labour Party – dissent is rife . Hopefully commonsense will prevail out of this and our dignity and independence will emerge from the mess once again .

  26. Richard
    September 16, 2014

    Mr. Redwood,

    You are right and again I thank you for pursuing this matter.

    Unfortunately you are not the leader of your party.

    All 3 main UK parties, Con/Lab/Lib, are so Europhile that they are continually working to implement the EU’s wish to break England up into smaller regions to reduce the possibility of England leaving the EU and to reduce its strength and influence.

    You seem to give the impression that these EU policies are only followed by the Lib Dems and Labour but your own leader is no less a Europhile. Not only has he said that he wants us to stay in the EU but wants the EU to expand all the way to the Urals and include Turkey.

    By the way, I did email my Conservative MP to ask if he would campaign for England to be given equal devomax powers if Scotland votes “no” in the forthcoming referendum but I am still waiting for a reply.

    The leaders of all 3 main parties understand very well the wishes of the English to not be broken up into EU regions, and to have their own Parliament should Scotland vote for devomax, but they are ignoring us just as they have ignored Scotland’s wishes for many years.

    If the English want to have their own Parliament, leave the EU and reduce immigration then they will have to stop voting for the Con/Lab/Lib parties.

    So long as these 3 parties garner 90% of the votes at a GE then they will continue to argue that the majority of the population agree with their policies on these matters.

    The only way to achieve change is stop voting Con/Lab/Lib, just as Scotland has done by voting SNP.

    1. Bryan
      September 16, 2014

      I emailed my Tory MP with the same question, without reply. He is clearly waiting for the line to take, although he does talk a good talk at election time. No matter because he will not get in again next year.

  27. Bill
    September 16, 2014

    John, I think you will have a fight on your hands. I smelled a rat yesterday when the Guardian was writing in favour of regionalisation. It is natural, of course, that each group in any shake-up will seek advantage for its own position but surely there are bigger people out there, people who still see the benefit to the country as a whole, of seismic changes. I would actually suggest that it would be in the interest of David Cameron and the Conservative Party if the vote for independence in Scotland succeeds. That would get rid of a load of Labour MPs at a stroke. So, it seems to me that the Conservatives are acting out of national interest rather than merely out of self-interest. The same cannot, of course, be said for Clegg or Milliband.

    However, the Conservatives will need to act together if they are going to punch their weight in the new world. I encourage you to call a meeting of like-minded MPs to oppose regionalisation and to attempt to protect the national interests of the UK (a) without Scotland and (b) with Scotland.

  28. English Pensioner
    September 16, 2014

    As I pointed out the other day, where I live we already have four levels of government leading to confusion as to who does what, and I suspect leading to higher staffing levels than necessary. We certainly don’t need a regional council as well!
    Why we need both a District Council and the County Council is, to me, a total mystery, and whilst it seems a good idea to have a local parish council, they have very little powers or money to do anything other than look after the gardens in front of the old town hall. Meanwhile the poor council taxpayers have to pay the expenses and costs of all these unnecessary councillors, many of which seem to be paid for a full time job with huge expense allowances.

    1. stred
      September 18, 2014

      Try asking a Councillor to intervene against the Executive. The answer will be neutral. In other words – useless.This is because they are on the same gravy train as the Chief Executive.

  29. bigneil
    September 16, 2014

    “Don’t break up England ” – why? – is Cameron’s promised job in Brussels dependant on him delivering the whole package to the EU? I really don’t see DC as giving one ounce of care what happens to this country or its people. He is concerned about himself and his “big finance” buddies. The rest of us are having to pay taxes which is handed over to the masses who walk in here with their hands out, knowing they will then have a better life, for free, than a lot of the people who were born here and worked here all their lives. The plan for “Race Replacement” is well under way. I will be well gone before it is completed -but I feel sorry for what your party is doing for the future of the young English of the present. They have nothing to look forward to -just a seething mass of foreigners taking out of a system until their numbers reach a high enough level to take over.

  30. Denis Cooper
    September 16, 2014

    “It is time for England to have her voice and her own unity.”

    And its own clearly identifiable and constitutionally entrenched devolved governmental institutions for the whole of England; that is, a separately elected English Parliament passing laws for England and holding a separate English government to account.

    Not just a subset of the UK governmental institutions, but separate identifiable English institutions like those granted to the Scots, the Welsh and the Northern Irish.

  31. Mark W
    September 16, 2014

    I hear a lot of complaints that run along the line of Scottish and Welsh nationalism = Good, English nationalism = Bad.

    I think there is a misunderstanding here. Scottish and Welsh nationalism does on the whole, really reflect a patriotism more than hardline nationalism. However English nationlism gets very mixed up with the “British National Party” which is a different thing altogether.

    1. Max Dunbar
      September 16, 2014

      There is a dichotomy of the Left here in Glasgow.
      The communists who have a permanent weekend stall in Buchanan Street (city centre) have a very good NO leaflet that they have been putting out. They get no aggravation from the other Marxists for doing this. All the hard-line left, including Labour for Independence, are fanatical separatists and anyone carrying a Union flag or displaying the Union flag is attacked verbally by the mob and in some cases physically. This is not about patriotism but a desire to impose a totalitarian far-left administration on the people of Scotland – in perpetuity; and never mind the almost half a million Scots who voted Tory last time because they do not count. It is also about destroying the ‘imperialist’ British state and the Conservative Party. As for UKIP……

    2. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      Nonsense. The great majority of English people are quietly patriotic and their nationalism is of a gentle and tolerant kind and they are generally accepting of foreigners even if most are not enthusiastically welcoming. There are however limits with everything, and it seems to me that the UK government is setting out to test the mildness of the English to destruction.

      1. James Matthews
        September 16, 2014

        For once Denis I can agree with you without reservation. Only those who wish English Nationalism (and patriotism) ill seek to associate it with the BNP. Jack Straw and Vince cable being egregious examples.

      2. Bryan
        September 16, 2014

        To paraphrase Winston Churchill – do not stir the sleeping English lion because, when it roars, it really roars!

  32. Peter holmes
    September 16, 2014

    Apart from your good self John, it seems that the rest of the Tories are behind the curve. With current constituency gerrymandering and Scottish labour votez it’s difficult to see anything other than a lab/lib got after 2015. They will pursue balkanization along city and regional lines because they would have less luck with a purely English parliament with equalised constituencies.

    If there is a yes vote or massive devo max I find it unacceptable that MPs representing Scottish constituencies should barter on behalf of rUK a body which they will not represent. Loyalties divided.

  33. margaret brandreth-j
    September 16, 2014

    We really do need to await the results. Fears for both sides are being highlighted and the Scots want a vote without fear. We will come to the English bridge when we get to it.All the cards should not be shown on this occasion.
    Personally I cannot see what they will gain except more risk of isolation or on the other side of the coin, dominance from the EU .

    1. Cliff. Wokingham.
      September 16, 2014


      I think the whole episode has been very divisive. I have heard Scots being anti English and English being anti Scottish. No good can come out of this process, especially if the result, one way or the other, is as close as it looks as if it’ll be.

      I think Mr Salmond is a nasty little egotist and is appealing to the more nasty side of nationalism. I think our PM and Messers Clegg, Milliband and Brown come across as being rather pathetic with their “Ohhh please don’t leave us” pleading.

      In my view, just the facts needed to have been put by each side without the emotional blackmail and emotive language.

      I think our surrender monkeys have made a big mistake offering almost a blank cheque to the Scots if they vote to stay. It is my opinion that we should have said “You know what the union is; you’ve been in it for best part of Three Hundred Years; take it or leave it.”
      This kissy kissy approach we’ve witnessed will just lead to more and more hatred and each other UK member nation looking for similar deals.

      I have now reached the stage that I can’t wait for Friday because I’m sick and tired of the whole thing now.

      In your opinion, is the oil Scottish oil or UK oil? If Cornwall found vast reserves of oil under it’s land, could they, as part of our nation, claim the oil to be theirs and breakaway taking “their” national asset with them?
      If Scots do vote yes on Thursday and they don’t get their currency union, who would be responsible for honouring all those British banknotes and balances in bank accounts Scots have? I was reading a piece in a numismatic journal this week which stated that the Scottish and English currencies started off on an equal par but, over time, the English Pound was worth twelve times that of the Scottish one ie; One English Penny was valued the same as a Scottish Shilling; do you think the same would happen again?
      Thank you in anticipation.

      1. stred
        September 18, 2014

        The Scots hope that the new oil reserves west of the Shetlands will pay for the Socialist Largesse. What if Shetland decides to join Norway?

  34. lojolondon
    September 16, 2014

    John, this is a pure Labour play – they know that losing Scottish votes will consign Labour to the role of opposition for the forseeable future, so their plan is to break England up and run some areas. A very, very bad idea, just as bad as the original ideas from Bliar to give Scotland and Wales their own parliaments.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      Well, at present the projected Labour majority after the next general election is 44, so it is not clear to me that Labour would definitely not win in the absence of MPs elected in Scotland. And as there would still be some LibDem MPs, even if Labour didn’t win an overall majority they could perhaps form a coalition to keep the Tories out. When Labour have done well in UK general elections they have done well in England, and only occasionally needed their MPs from Scotland.

  35. Kenneth R Moore
    September 16, 2014

    Just a battle between the Politically correct England hating establishment versus John Redwood’s logical version of ‘truth . It’s like him fighting a fire by hitting it with his fists.

    A battle that has been surrendered by his party . It is a pitiful and embarrassing spectacle watching David Cameron on his knees begging the Scots to stay in the Union. What he fears is the English voting for a properly Conservative government that would be despised by him and his Liberal friends.
    If the Scots wish to leave let them go so England can have the parliament it elects.

    England ‘Oppressor’ – hated by those on the left.
    Scotland, Ireland – ‘Victims’ supported by the left.

    The poor treatment meted out to England wont be reversed until the evil PC doctrine is eradicated.

  36. Peter
    September 16, 2014

    Just been watching BBC news with my stress ball. If indeed we do get an English parliament, then the Beeb’s taxpayer funded status will become even more untenable as it further left than Pravda and gets more anti-Tory and anti-English by the day.

    How can the national broadcaster be so divorced from public opinion?

    1. Mark B
      September 17, 2014

      In answer to your question.

      I think it is because they are not dependent upon it. If we were able to vote with our wallets and not fund this mob, for a mob is what they are, I think they would either have to change their tune or, close.

      Of course, if Parliament and her MP’s were to do their job, and hold the BBC to account regarding its Charter obligations, then we would probably see less of this CiF drivel.

  37. ian
    September 16, 2014

    England case it must be done by referendum like Scotland and then you live with it

  38. Alte Fritz
    September 16, 2014

    A few weeks ago, the BBC could not be bothered to screen the first Darling/Salmond debate outside Scotland. They thought it was of insufficient interest. Now we are living in an atmosphere of hysteria promoted by the media. No one has asked me what shape the UK should be if Scotland leaves, still less what should happen if it stays. Something tells me that no one will.

    The performance of our political class is such that one could hardly blame any Scottish voter for opting to leave.

    September 16, 2014

    A look at our regional, local and party democracy in England reveals very few members indeed attend their own party meetings. Some meetings have to be cancelled because they are not quorate.

    Even public meetings on major outstanding issues usually only ever appear huge because of the smallness of the meeting place.

    So which members of the public, which members of the electorate are requesting regional independence?

    What are all the motives of certain party activists regarding regional “independence” ?
    Take a look at UKIP. Just as soon as their numerically minuscule local branches succeed in convincing a worried public to vote for their MEPs, a demand is made for UKIP MEPs to be made into Lords and Ladies.
    With regionalism I fear we could very well see a King and Queen of every nook and cranny, industrial estate and moorland bog throughout an ever diminishing England , with the word ” Quorum ” sounding even more like a ghost from our Latin past than it does even now.

  40. The PrangWizard
    September 16, 2014

    I see all the parties are falling over themselves again in announcing more powers to Scotland if there is a NO vote. By what and on whose authority do they say these things? It is sickening to see such behaviour, and yet still we hear nothing from the same people about the needs and legitimate rights of the people of England. There is no doubt the English have many enemies in the British Establishment and on the Left who are pushing their regionalisation agenda.

    I am still hoping to be the first person to throw the first brick through the first window if this does not change.

    1. stred
      September 18, 2014

      I would suggest you organize a polite protest gathering of the English ignored taxpayers around Whitehall. Many of us might come. And be ignored.

  41. Sam
    September 16, 2014

    I think there is a chance that regional devolution could lead to a rise in enthusiasm for small government, lower taxes and deregulation at a local level. Once parts of the country that had formally been dependent on redistributive public spending realise that they must compete with their neighbouring counties and cities in order to attract private sector investment, and once taxpayers in those same regions realise that they can only buy the public services that they themselves can pay for, attitudes will change.

    All the same, it is possible that voters will take an increasingly “more for us” attitude towards the UK parliament, in the same way that the Scots now do. That could result in bipolar governance of the nation, with economically liberal regional parliaments and an entrenched “tax and spend” majority at Westminster.

    This could well be the worst of all worlds, and it is likely to be the one that a Labour government (perhaps with the collusion of the Lib Dems) favours. It must be resisted. Whichever way the Scots vote on Thursday (I hope they remain with us), English voters ought to make clear that they will not be divided by their political class, nor will they suffer being treated as second class citizens in what remains of the union.

  42. REPay
    September 16, 2014

    Party interest is driving the Labour Party as usual. The West Lothian question had to be addressed…your solution is the easiest and cheapest way to achieve it. We have ENOUGH government already in the UK. We managed very well before the splurge of bureaucracy post WW2! Labour wanted Devolution to keep Scotland Labour. Instead, they got what you (and others predicted) devolution. Our political class should have foreseen this. I will oppose any Balkanization of England to ensure labour keeps it clout! The people don’t want it!

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 16, 2014

      If you oppose the Balkanisation of England then you need more than a change in the standing orders in the Commons so that MPs elected outside England do not vote on laws that only apply to England. And as I pointed out before, last year in fact there was not even a single Act passed which did only apply to England, so it would hardly be something that people in England would have noticed. If you want to give England the best chance of remaining whole then you need separate and identifiable governmental institutions for England with their positions and powers entrenched in the UK constitution, so that they were not vulnerable to attack by the UK MPs including those elected in England itself. Note how there is no pressure to break up Scotland, even though arguably it could be divided into two or more EU regions, and how Cameron tells the Scots that their Parliament is permanent but shies away from using the same model for England.

  43. Amanda
    September 16, 2014

    Seems to me the Westminster Village is full of idiots.

    Mr Redwood, when is your party going to get rid of the traitor Cameron? He’s not going to lead you to victory, and he is now trying to break up our country (England) at the behest of the EU. Why is he still there? Why are you all still behind him? When a General is leading his men to defeat then what should they do? Certainly not follow him like a load of lemmings.

  44. Hysteria
    September 16, 2014

    At the end of the day, the issue is one of nationhood – who we are as an island people. Many of us, me included, thought ourselves British, comfortable with our “home”country birth as well as our wider UK sense of being. Nationalism of course strips that away – reducing us to a simplistic “us v them” world view.

    It doesn’t much matter where this starts – but the end is the same. I hope for a a strong “no”, but fear the end is inevitable. How utterly depressing that we have been led to this…..

    1. Max Dunbar
      September 16, 2014

      Absolutely agree Hysteria. Those who delude themselves about a ‘strong’ England resulting from this tragic fiasco are not prepared to see that the Scotland issue is but a harbinger of what may be coming in England.
      We in Scotland are not united. A YES win will never be accepted by those of us here who consider ourselves British first. I have come to dislike the Saltire flag intensely. It will never be the same again and we now face an Ireland situation for decades to come. Who knows; it could end in civil war.
      Our politicians have not just let us down, they have betrayed us.

  45. ian
    September 16, 2014

    The three pledge more money and power for Scotland and no English parliament. The only party now at next years election offering a English parliament is ukip it in their manifesto. Dave&george have let you down once more. The companies and the elite rule no vote for you MR.M.HESELTINE plan will stand. There could be a change if Scotland vote yes but I don’t think so. you will be in salved forever. You will have to fight for it, i cannot see you doing that. You might talk and write about it but that it.

  46. William Grant
    September 16, 2014

    Someone wrote in to the letters page in the Telegraph, saying it says in the Act of Union that England and Scotland would be joined until the end of time itself. Please vote no, people of Scotland!

  47. ian
    September 16, 2014

    Even if the conservative party win the next election on back of house prices you will still not get a english parliament what ever they say

  48. acorn
    September 16, 2014

    So all we would get is a smaller version of what we have now, with circa 533 MPs instead of 650. Supposedly we would have to have Federal days to include the other 58 MPs from Wales and NI, and probably the 59 Scottish ones as well.

    So, Westminster / Whitehall would still run everything centrally with the only “local” tax still being Council Tax, which will raise only 15% of local government spending. No attempt to convert England to a full Unitary structure. (Like Scotland and Wales before their devolved parliaments were formed.)

    Down here at street level nothing will change; not one iota. Frankly, I don’t see that as a very good offer. We will still have the sclerotic legacy political parties, playing Punch & Judy politics. On the rare occasions we get to vote for anything, we will still be electing legacy party lobby fodder.

    One way to break out of this sclerosis is to have Primary Elections. Particularly in the case of English voters; having no experience of such a system, a non-partisan blanket primary would do the job of disconnecting party insiders from the candidates. The candidate chooses the party he favours if any; the party does not choose the candidate that will be allowed to represent them (i.e. the lobby fodder). .

  49. JoolsB
    September 16, 2014

    Scottish MPs have got away with voting on English only matters partly because there hasn’t been a word of protest from those MPs with English seats. If they could have been bothered to kick up a fuss just once over the last fifteen years every time Scottish (and Welsh) MPs were voting on English only matters maybe the matter would have been resolved long ago. Tuition fees in England only got through because of Scottish MPs’ votes and not a word of complaint, not a murmur was heard from them. It was insulting to England to watch Cameron and the Tory party using Danny Alexander to champion the the yes vote to increase tuition fees to £9,000 and then happily sit back when 117 Scots, Welsh & NI MPs voted on it, knowing full well it would not affect any of their constituents. So we can’t just blame the Scots MPs for the undemocratic manner in which England is governed, all those MPs squatting in English seats are just as culpable.

    We are where we are but the answer is not ask the Scots MPs to refrain from voting on English matters, the answer is to ban them (and Welsh & NI MPs) with immediate effect. If they can rush through the extra powers for Scotland, then they can rush through the same powers for England at the same time. Of course this won’t happen because not enough of your colleagues have stuck their heads above parapet yet and demanded any form of fairness for their constituents. After all “we mustn’t upset the Scots” must we?

    One thing is now for certain John, EVEL is not enough nor is your suggestion of MPs with English seats doing the job of both UK and English MP. England, the largest part of this union deserves just as much representation as the rest of this dis-UK have got, not less. And I would go one step further. The present incumbents (yourself excluded) must not assume they automatically take on the mantle of an English MP when England gets it’s parltiament. They have consistently failed England and their constituents badly. They must go and England elects a fresh set of politicians, patriots, ones who care about England. That is not something you could credit any of the present lot with.

    It’s not true John that SNP MPs do not vote on English only matters. They voted on the increase in tuition fees using the Barnett consequentials as an excuse for doing so. The same Barnett consequentials that Labour’s Welsh Secretary on Daily Politics yesterday unashamably said was a reason for Scots & Welsh MPs to carry on voting on English only matters after Thursday. The answer is simple, END the Barnett Formula. It’s an absolute disgrace that all three parties have promised to continue with it in the event of a no vote proving even now that they still couldn’t give a stuff about England.

    1. Anonymous
      September 16, 2014

      Jools – Then we must stop voting Lib/Lab/Con

      Simple, isn’t it ?

    2. stred
      September 18, 2014

      Correct. Lord Barnet was on radio 4 last night and said that the Barnett Formula was unfair and only brought in as a temporary measure.If the inventor thinks it’s shit, it’s shit.

  50. Elliot Kane
    September 16, 2014

    Absolutely right, John. Thanks for fighting our corner on this.

  51. ian
    September 16, 2014


  52. Derek
    September 16, 2014

    At the 2010 general election the Tories got a mandate from the English electorate to stop non English constituency MPs from voting on English matters. That was four years ago but nothing had been done! Why John? Any ideas, because if you haven’t then I regret to say that all your words are just words. We English want action not words!

    1. fred
      September 16, 2014


  53. Steve Garrett
    September 16, 2014

    The utter insanity of the past week has been something to behold. Seldom seen such craven grovelling by Cameron, Clegg, Miliband – and of course the Creeper in Chief, Gordon Brown. They, with their juvenile ‘we’ll give you this, that and the other’ tactics have ensured that whether the Scots vote yes or no, the union is now doomed. It was always the English who held the key, once stoically putting up with their shoddy treatment by a Celtic-obsessed British Establishment, we have now had enough of being the cash-cowed country who’s name is never uttered. It’s time for all English MPs of all political persuasions to discover their backbones – and follow your noble course of action, John… If national empowerment is good enough for every other country in the western democratic world, then it’s good enough for us. No more waffle, no more kicking it into the long grass, English Parliament NOW! It’s called national democracy, time we in England actually had some…. The people of England really are losing patience, the question is, will the 3 stooges notice while they’re so obsessed northward?

  54. mactheknife
    September 16, 2014

    I think the Rotherham experience shows what can happen when local councils are left to run the show, particularly Labour run councils. It would result in financial carnage across England.

    However the new Devo Max option will still give English taxpayers a nice bill to pay as Scotland, even with new tax raising powers, keeps the Barnett Formula largesse. How does that work and who gave LibLaCon the power to promise this ?

    1. NickW
      September 16, 2014

      What has not been mentioned by any of the party leaders is that if Scotland is to be given tax raising powers, it must also be given full and sole responsibility for discrete and named areas of public spending. Full control of tax and spending, stopping Scotland from bribing its electorate with an endless supply of English money.

      Anything else turns the offer of tax raising powers into a sordid bribe, to be paid by an English electorate whether they like it or not.

      And they don’t.

  55. evad666
    September 16, 2014

    Sir will you be asking how the three leaders of the main political parties(the 3 stooges) feel about being responsible for taking the union to the brink of destruction?

  56. agricola
    September 16, 2014

    So CMD does not see a remote need for an English Parliament. I frankly do not see a need for CMD.

    As a bribe he intends to continue subsidising the population of Scotland to the tune of £1600 per capita per annum. Has he asked the English from whose taxes it will be paid. Has he even bothered to ask Parliament. He is behaving like the typical socialist he is by promising to spend other peoples money.

    The Scottish Parliament can already spend more on the Scottish NHS if they so choose. They have the freedom to increase tax in Scotland should they wish. Being rampant socialists they prefer to spend other peoples money. They wish to govern without the responsibility of charging their own supporters for the privilege, and CMD thinks this is acceptable to English taxpayers.

    I will tell you what is unacceptable to the English. CMD is happy that English university students pay £9000.00 per annum while those in Scotland pay nothing. CMD is happy that the elderly pay for old age care while those in Scotland do not. CMD is happy with the subsidy that the English pay the Scots to the tune of £1600.00 per capita. CMD is apparently happy that a bunch of Scottish and for that matter Welsh socialists can vote at Westminster on matters that only pertain to the English. CMD is also happy to support our membership of the corrupt undemocratic EU against the wishes of the English populous.

    Time for CMD to go, along with his quisling cohorts.

  57. Atlas
    September 16, 2014

    Agreed John – it is an old EU region policy being re-heated and hawked again.

  58. Martin Ryder
    September 16, 2014

    Three points. Firstly I agree with your plans for an English parliament. We have had a parliament in Westminster since before the Union, which simply added Scottish and then Irish MPs to the English and Welsh ones. Now that the Scots have their own parliament; the Southern Irish have left us; and the Welsh and Northern Irish have their assemblies, there is no need for anyone other than MPs representing English constituencies to be present when the major part of domestic politics is discussed.

    My present MP is Scottish and I would have no problem with Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish citizens representing an English constituency provided that they are British and have been elected properly. Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish politicians have served us well in the past and could continue to do so. They could also form part of an English Government.

    Secondly, not only do we need an English Parliament we need an English Government! This should be composed of MPs from English constituencies and should govern only England. Where British issues (Defence, etc) are concerned representatives of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments should meet with the English cabinet to discuss them. England has 85% of the population and so must have the major say in decisions but the views and needs of the other British governments must always also be taken into account.

    Thirdly (slightly off topic), I consider that, should the Scots vote Yes on Thursday, the UK should continue to use the Union Flag. Saying that the UK losing 8.4% of its population means that it is no longer the UK is like saying that a man losing an arm is no longer a man. The Union Flag is no longer just an amalgamation of the English, Scottish and Irish flags but is a very important symbol in its own right. To despoil it by changing it would be an insult to all those people, including many, many Scots, who have fought and died under the flag and who carried it to the four corners of the globe. Please add this to your ‘to do’ list.

    1. Max Dunbar
      September 16, 2014

      You make a very good point in your last paragraph Martin. The Union Flag must remain, come what may. And your kind mention of the Scots who have fought and died under the flag must not be forgotten either.
      Many of them are still alive and must be horrified to watch the country they love being torn apart by the scabrous vultures who have flopped down from the crumbling roof of Granny’s Heilan Hame to peck and fight over the head of the British carcass.

  59. Terry
    September 16, 2014

    There is no doubt. Pure logic dictates that England MUST have its own Parliament.
    We must have a core of English MPs who make decisions about matters that affect England. The Scots, Welsh and N Irish have theirs, so there is NO reason to deny the English citizens the same rights. If this right is to be denied, Downing Street will answer to the electorate.
    It is diabolical that our PM is attempting to bribe the Scots with OUR money and increase the National debt in order to appease them and save face for a fiasco entirely of his own making.
    Again it demonstrates the arrogance of modern political leaders in this country who show their contempt for the electorate by withholding a democratic vote in Parliament for our elected representatives to decide the course of action. For a Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of 60 Million English in such an important sovereign matter, without the support of the majority, is a disgraceful and duplicitous misuse of power. He really is acting as a Blair clone.

    1. Anonymous
      September 16, 2014

      As for his future negotiations on our behalf in Europe ?

  60. eeyore
    September 16, 2014

    One would not have to be a very jaundiced cynic to fear that, despite the promises of party leaders, an independent Scotland (Jocks away!!) will be offered a currency union after all.

    Can we rely on Tory MPs, and others with the honour and dignity of England at heart, to insist that no currency union will be granted without a referendum of the people whose taxes and chequebooks will be on the line?

    And if, as many expect, a busted and broken (though surely not wiser or chastened) independent Scotland seeks to return to the fold in 10 years or so, will the English be given a referendum on whether to readmit them?

    We might, of course, be as forbearing as the father of the prodigal son, who killed a fatted calf in joy at the return of him who was lost, and was found again. Or there again, we might not. But it should be for us, the people, to decide.

  61. ian
    September 16, 2014

    Bank of England moving tones of cash notes to Scotland for Friday. The pound going down the pan with the stock market and pensions the arm forces and so on if it a yes vote. Have the politician master minds have plan for that because usually they don”t plan more one day ahead the only time they plan ahead is when it come to the EU to stay in. WE SHALL SEE IF IT YES VOTE. Hold on tight

  62. Stu Saint
    September 16, 2014

    Totally agree, Parliament must be the place to aggregate English opinion. I hope you are working closely with colleagues across England to put a solid clear view together for every interview, party meeting and parliamentary session to ram home the English message against the recently stated opposition of the Prime Minister.

    Copy Salmond without the lies.

  63. fred
    September 16, 2014

    The genie is out of the bag, all polls unanimously show support for an English Parliament.
    Anyone who goes against this is going to be finished, not to mention we have been to war for such things and cannot escape the energy and anger is there now. A Full English Parliament in a federal UK of four countries and nothing less.

  64. john robertson
    September 16, 2014

    I remember starting to watch the Scottish parliament many years ago. I was initially confused because I didn’t see any Scottish MPs. It dawned on me the way they set it up was that these are glorified councillors with no responsibility or akin to the UK or Parliament. From what they spouted back then it was no wonder they were almost all anti UK Parliament as they had no responsibility to it.

    If the English want devolution I really hope it’s not that model. We need MP’s who consider the wider UK issues to be the English MPs who decide on English issues. I hope we don’t follow Scotland and elect local councillor types with no responsibility to the UK Parliament to represent us. That was the big mistake of Labour. If we follow that then forget the Union.

    As for the 3 main leaders pledging powers to these insular councillors over the heads of Parliament I think thats a mistake. They don’t have the authority and they should listen to the elected MPs not these glorified councillors!

    The way they set up devolution was mental and bound to cause this. I’m sorry to say England has the same crackpots, there was a councillor from Yorkshire the other day wanting devo max there. If England gets more control that has to be with UK Parliamentarians the MPs. We are gone if its not!

  65. Demetrius
    September 16, 2014

    Voted. A while back I posted on an English Parliament suggesting it be located at Tamworth, not quite North and not quite South and incidentally once capital of Mercia.

  66. Max Dunbar
    September 16, 2014

    The Roman Empire went this way in the end I believe.

  67. Chris S
    September 16, 2014

    Dear John

    You know from my posts that I am a conservative supporter on the Redwood wing of the party. Christopher Chope is my MP.

    I admire and support everything you both do but David Cameron brought me to breaking point yesterday when he dismissed any thought of an English Parliament.

    I simply don’t understand how this man can be a Conservative. I have put up with Gay Marriage, his having to be dragged kicking and screaming to offer an EU referendum and his complete bungling of the Scottish referendum negotiations.

    But to be an MP for an English constituency and not be prepared to put right the running sore get is the West Lothian Question is, for me, the final straw.

    If the Scottish Referendum is lost in my view you all need to use it as the principle reason to oust him from the leadership. Enough us enough.

    If, despite the ineptitude, Scotland votes no, Conservative and fair minded Labour MPs need to get together and refuse to put through any more devolution for Scotland without in the same bill the provision for an English Parliament.

  68. fred
    September 16, 2014

    With the mass of Support for an English Parliament now, ant political types would have to be suicidal to go against majority public demand for it. Ukip are promising one.

  69. Boudicca
    September 16, 2014

    Balkanisation of England by breaking it up into regions is the EU’s policy.

    It must be resisted. The English are a nation and we should have a national Parliament.

    By resisting a fair democratic settlement for the English, Cameron is signalling that he would rather see the Conservative Party utterly destroyed than block EU policy.

  70. Fieldea1
    September 16, 2014

    Please for the sake of all of us English keep pushing this issue, you seem to be the only MP who acknowledges the problem. We cannot any longer tolerate spineless politicians, particularly Lab and Lib Dem, not dealing with the situation, as you suggest. Can you please rev up your fellow Tories. Why should the Barnett formula remain, you as ex Welsh Sec would understand how they also lose out. We must have an English assembly as part of any settlement after the referendum. The Vow is the final straw, enough is enough!!

    1. formula57
      September 16, 2014

      Well said, Fieldea1.

      The Vow is a disgrace and will have to be repudiated (which necessarily means ejecting those persons who made it). Not a good day’s work by our leaders today.

  71. Douglas Carter
    September 16, 2014

    For the specific purposes of pre-emption – I note a significant number of my fellow contributors here have noted that Parliament seem to have been dispossessed of any influence in the current rapid flux in the UK Constitutional condition.

    It could well be that senior members of the Westminster Parliament may claim that events were proceeding at a speed at which normal scrutiny procedure could not take place.

    Notionally, an outside observer might rightly assert that such a claim would be abject tripe. (*)

    Parliament, it’s associate mechanisms and party structures have had a considerable number of months in which to put in place ancillery, contingency or even emergency plans to allow for the one-out-the-only-two results this referendum could have returned. It also has a very, very substantial and experienced – let alone well-funded – administrative facility by which to coalesce those plans. Has the opportunity been adopted to properly take advantage of those many expertises? I would say the latter should not be seen as a rhetorical question?

    That those figures may not have done so (which is certainly my suspicion) would be a definitive case of negligence. To claim that the outcome was ‘unexpected’ would be the mantra of the demonstrably incompetent, and thereby any failure to emplace proper preparation for that unwelcome outcome would be solely the remit of the authority which presided over that negligence.

    The notion that Parliament would need to be dispossessed of the authority to pass proper scrutiny of the alleged proposed modified ‘No’ settlement due to timetable constraints and circumstance will be no excuse in any respect. Neither would there be legitimacy in aggressive whipping of such impromptu Legislation.

    Those negligent figures will need to account for those crass shortcomings very quickly, and very definitively. The electorate should expect nothing less.

    (* The observer may choose to substitute language possessed of greater fortitude.)

  72. JoeSoap
    September 16, 2014

    Brown being interviewed defending benefit levels being higher in London for housing, Wales for disability etc. Totally looking at the wrong side of the coin. Who pays for all this?
    We don’t need this man any longer in UK politics.

  73. Lindsay McDougall
    September 16, 2014

    The three amigos – Messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg – have published a VOW in the Daily Record. Among the promises are:
    – The Scottish Parliament is permanent
    – It will get substantial (as yet unspecified) additional devolved powers
    – The hated Barnett formula will be retained
    – There is no commitment to John Redwood’s idea of an English Parliament

    They have had little or no effect. ‘No’ exceeded ‘Yes’ by 52% to 48% previously, and it still does.

    Among other things that the Prime Minister has carried out are:
    – Attempting to (undermine ed) the House of Lords
    – Forcing through (Gay marriage ed)
    – Failing to add detail to his EU renegotiating stance
    – Only reducing the fiscal deficit from £159 billion to £110 billion
    – Allowing a house price bubble to develop
    – Mismanaging the money supply

    I don’t think that his record is very good.

  74. The Masked Marvel
    September 17, 2014

    Well said, sir. Your recent statements on behalf of England have been most welcome to the sane. Those who hate England – Labour and the Lib Dems – are very afraid, and one is encouraged that there’s someone in the Conservative party who sees it for what it is.

    If I may echo a sentiment expressed by several above: David Cameron must go now. His priorities are askew, and he is revealed as an incompetent manager.

  75. crhistopher carr
    September 17, 2014

    There is something seriously, it seems systematically, wrong with the way our government and parliament work.
    Tony Blair took the nation into a coalition to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime. But none of his ministers, civil servants or any on his enormous payroll had planned for what we should do when the battle ended. The result is well known.
    Now we see the same utter lack of planning for Scots’ independence. Gordon Brown has scratched on the back of an envelope and proclaimed Devo Max, without any attempt to say what that is. The other party leaders nod their heads and squeak from their budgie cages. What it means will perhaps be revealed, and almost certainly rejected by the partisans of Yes. Then England, Wales and Northern Ireland will want parity with Scotland. And the people we pay to control our government have done nothing to prepare for this.
    And for this we pay them money!

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