English votes for English issues

This week there was a final round of consultations of Conservative MPs by William Hague in order to make decisions on the implementation of the recent White Paper on English votes for English issues.

It is clear that the Conservative leadership now agree that we do not want a narrow English votes for English laws but the wider English votes for English issues. The question, for example, of how the English local government grant monies voted by the Union Parliament are divided up between the various English Councils should be a matter for English MPs alone, as the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly make the comparable decisions in their parts of the UK. England’s rate of Income Tax should not be voted on by Scottish MPs as Scotland will choose her own Income Tax rate.

The leadership also seems to agree that the obvious way to bring about English votes for English issues quickly and simply is to amend the Standing Orders of the House. Most Conservatives wish the House to have an early opportunity to debate and vote on this matter.

The leadership also seems to agree that the second of their three options, the weakest version of English votes for English issues, is not the one to adopt.

The remaining question lies between Option One, straightforward English votes for all English issues, and Option 3 which introduced an English veto on Bills prior to third reading, along with other measures. I favour the simple and general English votes for English issues, and hope they will conclude in favour of that one. It is the one that seems closest to the Prime Minister’s promises in the Downing Street speech, and to past Manifesto wording.

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82 Comments

  1. stred
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    The leadership seems…. Our brand of double glazing seems to be the best.

    You are being mugged. Just as the media are mugging the ‘extremist’ party, which wants the same as the Australians and Canadians for immigration, and an end to tuition fees for the English, an end to high salaries for local officials, and referendums for the voters to decide issues like the Swiss. And above all, to exit the non-democratic and expensive EUSSR.

    There are various chicken artists doing the rounds and a statue to your glorious leader outside the National Gallery, painted in party colours. He appears to have got away with having his main opposition, with 20% of the vote, superseded by one with 5% in a first debate, then relegated to share equally in debates,with other non-extremists ( who want to end capitalism and wind energy to supply industry) and regional parties, who are irrelevant to 90% of the UK population.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I’m sure that viewers in England will be glued to their TV sets keen to hear the persuasive arguments from the leaders of Plaid Cymru and the DUP, as well the SNP, as to why they should vote for the non-existent candidates of those parties who will standing in England, as well as the Greens who will at least be offering voters in most English seats the choice of voting for their candidates.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and Cameron will be able to ignore the main issues that are of concern to the electorate that he has got so wrong. By avoiding any real debate on these main issues with Nigel Farage.

        They are in case he does not know his open door EU, totally unselective immigration policy, his expensive energy by green crap religion, the bloated and often incompetent state sector, the over the top endless daft over regulation of everything, his 299+ tax increases, his EU and IHT ratting, some fair English democracy and his EU/long grass, renegotiation con trick II.

        Avoiding them will not help him with the voters though nor with the election in 15 weeks time.

  2. Mark B
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    What a dogs breakfast !!!

    You have on the table a load of ‘Options’, none of which I or my fellow Englishmen will have a choice over. Not that there is anything for me to choose, as my preferred ‘Option’ is denied to me. And you think yourselves the, ‘Mother of all Parliaments ?’

    You offer a minority of the UK population evermore devolved power yet, the one people who give you the most votes and seats, you contemptuously ignore.

    When do ‘I’ get a say on how ‘I’ wish to be governed ? Everyone else gets a say, why not me ? Why do you, or any of your English elected colleagues give me one good reason why I am denied that which you gift so easily upon others ?

    I do not like what is on offer. Offer me something else ! This is not good enough !

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Well said Mark B.
      You speak for many of us but unfortunately our self serving politicians are not listening. They are clearly not interested in fairness or equality for us English, otherwise they would have asked us by now how we wish to be governed in the same way they have asked Scotland and Wales not once, not twice, but three times. Instead a handful of politicians in a back room is the best England can hope for, deciding what’s best for us and even they can’t agree with one another. They won’t of course consult us because they know they won’t like the answer, which is that England would also like it’s own parliament as poll after poll confirms.

      Meanwhile our ‘there’s Scottish blood coursing in these veins’ and ‘I don’t want to be PM of England’ PM cannot rush through quickly enough his four man vow to give Scotland even greater powers than they have already. More promises at the expense of the English, the idiots who actually voted for him. England deserves much better than this.

      Hopefully when the SNP are dictating income tax levels in England next May to suit their own socialist utopia, the English will finally rise up and say they have had enough of this so called union, which favours everyone except them. Bring it on!

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Well Cameron and the leadership should certainly get a move on.

    If they are to have any chance at all of winning the election then a strong and fair position for English voters is essential. Indeed the English voters should rightly be asked to approve the Scottish settlement (promised, without any authority, from the voters in a last minute panic by the leaders and Gordon Brown). The English taxpayers will largely be paying for it after all.

    The thought of a Labour/SNP coalition or some other dreadful rainbow mess is appalling . When are the Tory leadership finally going to get some sense of direction? Only three months to go and still no working compass to be seen from Cameron just head it the sand and more of the same.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      It could get worse .

      Mrs(Ms) May could become leader of the Conservative party .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Unlikely I think. What little talent there is about in the party, that could ever be selected by this largely wet, pro EU Tory party. Cameron is perhaps better than most, how depressing that is.

    • Hope
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Cameron’s thoughts and prayers are with King Abdullah! A woman was thrashed and beheaded in the street, how does this fit in with Cameron’s PC views on equality, human rights and others who he has criticised such as Putin! He has no conviction or solid views, Hitchens description of him is spot on. Shame on anyone who votes for the likes of Cameron. You cannot believe a word he says.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        “You cannot believe a word he says.” Indeed but then he is a politician. The alternative of Miliband (voice of the state sector unions) is even worse but only slightly.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          And Farage telling everyone what they want to hear? Private NHS safe in his hands? The unions represent millions looking to better their lives. Your deluded financial aristocracy that Farage represents in his Turbo Tory reality looks to benefits the top 1% with the rest promised the trickle down theory.
          Write something sensible and non reactionary if you can.

  4. Anthony Sutcliffe
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    John, I also hope for option 1. But how does this provide for English government, which also is required? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how EVEL and the stability of the union go together. Vernon Bogdanor has cast doubt on the longevity of the plan, for example, and he does know his onions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The same Vernon Bogdanor who described Cameron as one of his ablest students. Rather difficult to take Vernon too seriously after that comment.

      Given the dreadful record of most of the output from the Oxford PPE course perhaps they should look at getting some real economics into their heads rather than the lefty magic money tree, pro EU economic that they all seem to come out believing in.

      Ever more EU, serial ratting on his supporters, failure to win a sitting duck election, about to throw another, expensive nonsense religious energy, 299+ tax increases, absurd regulation everywhere, daft employment laws, open door un-selective immigration and a hugely bloated over paid & yet largely incompetent state sector – what on earth made Vernon think Cameron was able?

      He is totally out of touch with voters wishes, clearly has a compass that is 180 degrees out on the main issues. Perhaps he has the gift of the gab, but you cannot defend indefensible policies for long. How on earth could he debate Farage without looking even worse than Clegg did. You cannot defend absurd policies with a silver tongue voters will see straight through it.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Absurd regulation everywhere, daft employment laws? More repetitive nonsense that you have been challenged on a number of times without reply.
        Regulations like health and safety and the minimum wage?

  5. Old Albion
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Whether it’s EVoEI or EVoEL or some other halfway house, that’s all it is.
    It must be seen as no more than a starting point to the logical conclusion of an English Parliament within a federal UK.
    Imagine if after the forthcoming election, England hating Labour scrape into power supported by (possibly) 50 SNP MP’s. It would lead to chaos.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      For the English that really is the “nightmare” scenario…

      The Scottish tail wagging the English dog.

      And what will the SNP price be for supporting Labour? – What about Alex Salmond as Foreign Secretary, or Minister for Education…that must not happen.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Might be a damn sight worse if he was made Energy Minister. Just think, get rid of Davey and get Salmond. We will be doomed. Salmond is all wind, wind from him and wind power from useless turbines.

        Already Sturgeon has done nothing but complain about EVERYTHING the UK Government has tried to do. Imagine what it will be like if they have a say in UK politics as part of a coalition. We will never get anything done because of the endless arguing. Cameron is not tough enough and I don’t hold out any hope of Miliband being strong enough either.

        We must have English votes for English issues because having any Scottish MP’s involved will be a total nightmare.

  6. Antisthenes
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    2015 could be a very interesting year for UK politics if only English MPs are allowed to vote on English issues. Of course that is if the undemocratic forces of the left do not block it. Presumably Conservatives have done the maths and believe they can obtain the amendment.

    In May there may well be a lefty coalition government made up of Liebour, Lib-Dims and the Silly Nats Party. At the same time English Conservative MPs could be greater in number than all the others in England. How is that going to play out? Not well I think. I suspect in the end the only practical solution is an English parliament coupled with a UK federal parliament and system.

    Reply It is by no means guaranteed we can win the vote, but it is possible – work in progress.

  7. agricola
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Absolutely agree with the direction of your submission. Big question, do you need a majority vote in the H o C to amend a standing order. If yes, you have a problem, in that the Lib/Dems are at best iffy on questions of democracy and Labour out of self interest and against the wishes of the English people will vote no. It will be a Labour own goal, so if it should happen make sure they pay very heavily for it in the run up to the election. The right sort of poster campaign could destroy them in England on this issue.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Simplicity is usually the best option.

    And the most simple option is to have the same devolved powers for all Parliaments within the UK.

    I see after the VOW the SNP are still not satisfied, want more powers, and now going to vote on only English matters, as well as their own.

    Well there is a surprise !

    Will not say I told you so !

    Afraid that the only person to speak with any common sense on last nights Question Time when this subject was raised, was the UKIP representative.

    His comment:….. I am getting absolutely fed up with the SNP and their demands…….,
    did not go down well with THAT audience, but probably summed up how most of us feel out here.

    The SNP will eventually cause the breakup of the United Kingdom as we have known it.

    Once the genie is out of the bottle it is nearly impossible to put it back or even control.

    Devolution has meant we have to have a completely separate English Parliament, where only English Mp’s vote on English matters, and it is as simple as that.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I liked the bit where David Dimbleby went around the panel in reference to the Scottish independence vote said.

      You didn’t have a vote and you didn’t have a vote and you didn’t have a vote and you didn’t have a vote and you didn’t have a vote.

      And I distinctly remember NOT having a vote…

      Also, the women in the audience who clearly didn’t understand what devolved powers means…

      EVEL should be tied to the Scottish getting the “vow”…

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      “Afraid that the only person to speak with any common sense on last nights Question Time when this subject was raised, was the UKIP representative.”

      Indeed, I was quite surprised that Nuttal raised the issue with such force, as UKIP had gone very quiet over English devolution. If they are going to put it on the election table then the Cameron Conservatives are going to have a very uncomfortable time, and as Cameron has shown nothing but antipathy towards the English, it could put the Conservatives in some peril in England and do a rerun of the electoral melt down they achieved in Scotland.

      As for the QT audience response, it was a bit muted, but then that is a BBC audience, but I also feel that as the English argument has been censored off the air waves and removed political discourse , it will take a bit of perseverance to make English people aware of the truly rotten deal the British state gives them, and that the British political classes squatting in English constituency seats doesn’t have their best interests to their heart.

    • peter davies
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Given up on question time long ago. The host does well but the “handpicked” audience and usual panel members with the token UKIP type who often gets set upon for his or her opinions is a bad example of impartiality.

      My time is better spent sleeping at that time of night.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Peter

        Not a regular viewer either, but choose to view occasionally if someone is on, who I would like to hear.

        Knew UKIP were on, so viewed.

        Agree with you that audience always seem to be chosen for their socialist leanings.

        Dianne Abbott was as usual blaming everyone else, in an effort to try and hide the Labour legacy.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        I’ve stopped watching BBC full stop ! Every single show including (especially) children’s TV seems infused with Leftist propaganda.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          Kids sharing sweets son. This is where communism begins….And the other TV channels?

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree with your views here. Question Time is a joke. I noted how often UKIP was told to be quiet. Can’t have too many truths coming out now, can we? You are right when you say the SNP want it all their own way. Living in Scotland (being English) I know many Scots feel embarrassed about the way Sturgeon and her cronies are carrying on. Nothing will ever be good enough for them unless they get their precious independence. Westminster will still be the big bad boy! At least Paul Nuttall had the courage to say what a lot of people are thinking and he is quite right in his views.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Of course Dave doesn’t want a racist English Parliament
    He might have to start enacting some Tory style legislation
    He wouldn’t be able to hide behind the despicable limp dumbs.
    Can you imagine his horror if an English Parliament voted decisively to leave the EU
    What would Angela and Barry O whatsit say then.
    What percentage of the Euro zone bonds will we be liable for via the IMF or Daves aid budget.

    Reply An English Parliament within the UK could not vote to leave the EU as it will be a Union matter.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Yet Sturgeon claims that the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly, should each have the power to veto withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Of course her idea is that if the far more numerous voters in England supported withdrawal while those in one or more of the other parts of the UK opposed it then that could destroy the UK, which is what she wants.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Maybe not but it would certainly show the true intentions of the paymasters. Once we get an English Parliament and it will happen, Scotland can go its own way.
      Northern Ireland can join with Dublin if they want to stay in the EU and the Welsh will follow us.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      But it cold vote to leave the Union, and therefore by default the EU…. 🙂

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Then we will have to leave one union at a time.

    • Paul Voce
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      An ENGLISH parliament may not be able to vote to leave the traitors paradise. It could let it be know though just how much the patriotic ENGLISH dispise it.

    • William Gruff
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      An English Parliament could put the cat amongst the pigeons by expressing the ‘settled will’ of the people of England as determined by a referendum. How could any ‘U’K assembly reasonably ignore the wishes of 85% of the ‘U’K population?

      An English Parliament could do a lot of damage to a ‘U’K assembly.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Now that you have had your final round of consultation within your party, what happens next? Your leadership will choose between the two options. When and how will we spectators be included in this fundamental question of democracy?

  11. formula57
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    And where is the commitment to awarding the English the same deal as the Scots? In line 1 of the manifesto would seem appropriate – and overdue – if it cannot be done this parliament.

  12. English Pensioner
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Queen Nichola has said that the Scots MPs will vote on matters affecting the English NHS, because that would also affect the Scottish NHS over which the Scots have control.
    No doubt, she would also assert the same with English Income tax, if the English MPs were to vote to reduce it (some hope!), the Scots would somehow lose out and she would oppose any reduction.
    If her assertions are true, English votes for English issues could lead to a constitutional crisis as Scotland would claim that they are being deprived of a vote on issues which affect them.
    Taken to extremes, should English MPs vote to abandon HS2, the Scots could complain that this decision would badly affect them and demand it continues.
    Pity they didn’t vote to go and live on their oil!

  13. A different Simon
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The whole thing has become a total cluster .

    Your political establishment needs to contemplate the consequences of the country being so obviously badly lead .

    When the populace can see nobody is in control they start running round like headless chickens and it gives opportunity to extremists like the greens .

    People lose all respect for authority too and it could easily end up with society breaking down and mobs on the street .

    Eventually we may end up having to vote for the party which we think will do the best job of maintaining law and order even if that means draconian martial law and it will all be the current political establishments fault .

    • DaveM
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Hypothetically, assuming your scenario came to fruition, remember that the Armed Forces swear allegiance to HM the Queen, her heirs and successors – not the govt. If the forces perceived that the UK govt was taking orders from the EU rather than the Crown they could refuse to cooperate in instigating martial law, leaving that to the police, who I believe also swear a similar oath.

      Ultimately, that would lead to a military coup if the forces joined with the people!!!!! I, as a commissioned officer, would have trouble living with myself if I ever had to use force against the very people I am sworn to protect, particularly if it was in the interests of a govt which I perceived to be a foreign authority – ie the EU.

      Who would imagine such a thing – in the 750th year of Magna Carta!!!

      • A different Simon
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        DaveM ,

        The presence of HM Armed Forces must have prevented a huge amount of bloodshed in unstable countries of the world . I am sure that many of them must be grateful .

        Once law and order goes , infrastructure like water treatment will follow and civilian deaths will balloon .

        Our country is terribly divided and I don’t think that much of that is as a consequence of revolutions in communications such as the internet .

        The Union has thrashed itself to pieces , particularly over the past couple of years and Westminster must take responsibility for using the Scots as guinea pigs .

        If our Govts had of been a higher standard over the past 40 years the Scottish Nationalists would never have got a foothold .

        What you said illustrates one of the fundamental difference between the UK and the EU in the field of protection of the individual from abuses of the state .

        I don’t believe the EU would hesitate in turning the riot police , army , state on the people .

        How or even whether our wonderful state broadcaster would report it is another matter .

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    In the failure of the English phobic British establishment to properly respond to the West Lothian Question have managed to hand the means to the SNP for them play mischief with the constitution. No matter about their protestations of love for country, it shows they hate the English more .

    What fools.

    As for Cameron’s parsimonious offer to the English people , it is pathetic, but then we don’t expect anything else from someone who has spent his time in office ignoring us, and when he can’t ignore us insult us, and when that won’t work offer us a few mean spirited constitutional crumbs that won’t solve anything, let alone save his beloved Union.

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      “In the failure of the English phobic British establishment”

      Isn’t it ironic that the English phobic English establishment hate England even more than the the I.R.A. and ( Scottish independence? ed)

      They seem to think England and Britain has so much to apologise for and that it is their job to do it profusely at every opportunity .

      Revolting middle class angst .

      No country can call itself great if it doesn’t govern it’s own affairs and make it’s own laws . Time to leave the EU and become great again .

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Quite – and that leftists middle class angst is salved by getting the working class to pay for the sins of the fathers.

        This is Blairism. (Cameron is a Blairist)

        An odd mix of socialist/capitalism – which leads to economic bust because it cannot possibly work.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I was glad to see UKIP’s Paul Nuttall on Question Time last night saying that some form of EVEL should only be the first step towards “a fully-fledged English Parliament”, and I hope that at least the pledge of a referendum in England will be in the manifesto.

  16. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I fear JR is to be disapointed – decades of Eu and covert Whitehall planning have been expended on enacting ‘The Coudenhove-Kalergi plan’. If the UK is to remain in the Eu (which it probably will as our opponents continue to run rings around us) any attempt to strengthen English Nationalism will be squashed. How many times have we looked to the Conservatives to protect us and been betrayed?.

    No doubt Major would sneerily dismiss our concerns as ‘the politics of the four ale bar’ as he so often does with any position that might,god forbid, be popular with the electorate.

    Opposition to the Eu’s plan has been weak at best, critics have been blinded and gagged by political correctness. It is as if we have agreed to fight our battles with one hand tied behind our backs.

    Why can there be a Scottish National party when a similarly titled English national party would be dismissed as ‘right wing extremists’. We are constantly told we have a racist colonial past and should accept Eu domination for our own good.

    For this reason , it isn’t politically correct to highlight the unfairness to England – which probably explains why JR is given perhaps a quarter of the time to speak in BBC debates as his opponents.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The issue of who controls and decides for England is simple – it is the English ! The fudging that is now taking place is because the SNP have declared their intention to vote on English matters . Pussy-footing with the semantics of Westminster is not the way to respond to the Scots . EVEL pure and simple is the only way to go .

  18. BeeCee
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    With 297 English MP’s (+ Bercow?), 8 from Wales and just 1 from Scotland why does Mr Cameron keep his back turned on his core (only?) voters?

    The UKipper who said he was fed up with the SNP and their Oliver demands was right but the problem is Mr Cameron who appears enthralled with the Scots.

    Why?

    • stred
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Is this the current PM Eural Mc Cameron you expect to look after the interests of 85% of the electorate?

    • William Gruff
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      BeeCee:

      … the problem is Mr Cameron who appears enthralled with the Scots.

      Why?

      He’s Scotch, as he never ceases to remind Scotch audiences when he thinks the English aren’t able to hear him.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I always understood “Scotch” was a drink… 🙁

        • William Gruff
          Posted January 25, 2015 at 2:23 am | Permalink

          Scotch is the adjectival sense of Scot in England and was in common use when I was a boy. I see no need to abandon the culture I was brought up with simply because some (people ed) are predisposed to take offence at it. That way lies ruin.

  19. Atlas
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The SNP’s recent comments on their voting intentions have enchanced my desire to see English votes on English Laws. It looks like the 2015 General Election is going result in a real political dog’s dinner…

    By the way: Is it true that, as proposed in the Command Paper, the Secretary of State for Scotland will be able to veto ‘devolved’ Scottish legislative proposals?

  20. Francis Lankester Ph
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    EVEL is a big step towards federalism and, arguably, to the medium/long-term breakup of the UK. There is still no need to hurry until we know the result of the EU referendum. It’s not Conservative philosophy to want to break up the UK & an English Parliament is unworkable. Regional government, which Consrvatives oppose (but for how long?) is the logical next step.

    • Paul Voce
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      What utter rubbish. An ENGLISH parliament is the only answer. EU regional goverment means the end of ENGLAND as a country. A country that has never existed in the EU minds. Remember when the clowns in parliament talk about the Britain of Scotland, Wales and the regions.” Wot no ENGLAND”. Wake up ENGLAND. Your country needs you.

    • philip bauckham
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      How is an English parliament unworkable I for one believe it is the only way to rebalance the union do not want too see England galvanised

      • philip bauckham
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Apologies for the typing error I meant too say I do not want too see England balkanised

        • William Gruff
          Posted January 25, 2015 at 2:25 am | Permalink

          Galvanic action is all that can save England.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      “an English Parliament is unworkable”

      Why should it be any less workable than a Scottish Parliament?

      Oh, would that bet because “the logical next step” is to break up England into EU regions, not establish a Parliament for the whole of England?

    • William Gruff
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Francis Lankester Ph:

      … an English Parliament is unworkable.

      How so?

      Regional government … is the logical next step.

      Why?

      I don’t seriously expect a rational answer to either question but if you do move yourself to reply you might usefully indicate your regional, national and political loyalties and inclinations.

  21. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yes indeed. And cancel THE VOW unless we get it.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, JR, have you read this unspeakable tosh from Cameron?

    http://order-order.com/2015/01/23/the-king-is-dead-long-live-the-regime-david-cameron/

    “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths. My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi Royal Family and the people of the Kingdom at this sad time. I sincerely hope that the long and deep ties between our two Kingdoms will continue and that we can continue to work together to strengthen peace and prosperity in the world.”

    The article continues:

    “So anyway, here are the Saudis cutting off a woman’s head in the street last week”

    and

    “Meanwhile Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces another 950 lashes as soon as his initial 50 have healed enough.”

    Any comments?

    For myself, because I believe in that old-fashioned concept of national sovereignty I’m always reluctant to intervene in what people do in their own country, but nor do I think it was a good UK government policy to make us dependent on……regimes for our energy supplies. I remember the opening of Calder Hall, when we were pioneers in the use of nuclear fission; and I also remember the ZETA fusion experiments at Harwell, even though practical exploitation of nuclear fusion on earth rather than in stars is as far away now as it was then, in 1957; all that advantage was thrown away, and now we have to rely on other countries to provide nuclear technology to provide a practical long term alternative to relying on oil and gas from countries with governments which we should not be feeding with our money which they can then use against us … and yet there are now people who think that it would be a great idea to make us reliant on solar power from North Africa, because that’s where they have lots of sunshine …

    • stred
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      DECC finance for contract for difference subsidy is being sought for a giant solar farm in North Africa. Apart from the generation areas, what about transmission losses and security.. Meanwhile, the Greens propose to do away with nuclear and depend on wind, solar, tide and wave. At least skunk will be legalised, and sometime in the future we will be able to freeze happily.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Not to mention the pinoeering Dounreay Fast Reactor closed down in 1994.
      This was a British designed and built reactor that actually made it’s own fuel and was far more economical than anything in use today.
      However a drop in the price of Uranium and it was shut down – usual story of British short term thinking.

      I do not know why anyone would be surprised by Mr Cameron’s comments or the action of Westminister Abbey in lowering it’s flag for the Saudi King.

      The politically correct revolutionaries will not miss a chance to demonstrate their allegance to their ideology – to show that all cultures are equal however (dubious ed).
      Similarly they wish to send out a strong signal that they do not believe that Christian or British values are in any way superior to (word left out ed) Islamic ones treating all with equal reverence.
      As I have said before (although my comment has not been posted) the Eu is enacting the Koundenhove Kalegi plan to re-build Europe along monocultural lines, and Pc is doing much of the work (clue they have a prize named ‘The Koundenhove Kalegi prize’ if anyone is in doubt)

  23. majorfrustration
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Unless Dave comes up with something that is seen to be fair for the “English” – no verbal fudge – then he is dead in the water. For too long the tax payers in England have been mislead by politicians and have paid the price. Bank Bailouts, EU, Scotland, IT projects, Overseas Aid, MPs expenses etc etc

  24. JoolsB
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic John but I have just been trying to arrange finance for my son’s forthcoming 6 years at university. Set aside the fact he can expect to come out with a debt approaching £100K, disgraceful in itself, what I found to be the most insulting is that the Student Loans Company is based in Scotland.

    So when Blair and Brown followed by your government were saddling England’s young with a debt which does not apply to Scots and Welsh students, they were giving the jobs needed to administrate this discriminatory scheme against our young to the Scots whose young of course are exempt from this crippling burden they are advising those south of the border on.

    An absolute scandal and yet another reason why England needs it’s own parliament.

    • Paul Voce
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Hear Hear.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Nor would a Scot have to pay his Mum’s care home costs or his own prescription charges.

      All in all one heck of a deficit one student to another. A life changing amount of money.

      Nor will the Scot ever be asked “So you want your own country. Define what it is to be Scottish.” I’m often asked when I speak of immigration “So what is English then ?” which is to entrap me into saying something racist.

      The Scot is allowed his own nationalist party too without anyone calling him ‘little’ or racist.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      The only leading politician south of the border who will turn this situation around is Farage. The rest are all weak and spineless. Salmond and Sturgeon are outwitting Cameron Clegg and Miliband at every turn.

  25. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    One wonders when the madness will end.
    When the entire UK has abolished itself? When city states, (words left out ed), have ceded from the main body or the remains of it? When Scotland descends into bitter internecine war which it almost did around the time of the Referendum? Who knows?
    The fact is that Cameron, having won the Referendum, is in the process of giving it all away to a party whose intention is to destroy our country from within. He will go down in history as The Man Who Lost Britain.
    There is no Scotland in reality. If a country is defined by its people then it is hard to tell what the alleged differences are between the north and south of the nation. Minor variations in accent perhaps. Phony tartan? A tiny number of people on the fringes of the Outer Isles who speak Gaelic maybe? Football teams? That’s about it. We all watch the same rubbish on television and eat the same food. We go to the same places on holiday. Most of us have relatives spread all over the British Isles far and wide and we all look the same. So what is it that is so different about Scotland that it has to break up Britain?
    Fundamentally, this is about Left and Right. It’s about creating an enclave of extreme socialism in the north of the country where the political commissars will have absolute power and control over the people for the foreseeable future, an ideological battle not between Scotland and England but between Marxism and Conservatism. After all, we have UKIP in Scotland and you have Miliband in England.
    Socialism is only interested in gaining complete dominance and eliminating all opposition and that’s why there could be a Labour/SNP pact in May and why the so-called Nationalists will not stop at Hadrian’s Wall.
    Please do not fall into the SNP trap and dance to their tune.

    • William Gruff
      Posted January 25, 2015 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Max Dunbar:

      England has suffered worse and endured, and few in England care a damn about Scotland or what happens to the place. I would vote tomorrow to be rid of the irritation, the nuisance and the burden that is Scotland etc ed
      Why do you comment, ‘ad tedium‘, about Scotland at the blog of an English MP representing an English constituency? Comment at one of the many self-regarding Scotch forums and spare us your self-serving, introspective Scotch nonsense.

      Be gone with you and leave us in peace, unless you wish to help us in our drive to kick you out of this lopsided ‘union’, which we will do when we have the opportunity.

      Independence for England is coming and the ‘U’K will be consigned to the dustbin of history before 2030.

      Only an English Parliament can properly represent the interests of the people of England.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted January 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Quoted from a true British patriot whose birthday we celebrate tonight:

        Be Britain still to Britain true,
        Among ourselves united;
        For never but by British hands
        Must British wrongs be righted!

  26. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    EVEI doesn’t exactly slip off the tongue, which doesn’t help. It’s not all that much better, I admit, but would not EVEM, with M for matters, be preferable not just because easier to pronounce but also because not everything is an “issue” (only about 99%)?

  27. Martin Ryder
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    What is to stop the next government, if it is not a Conservative government, repealing the change to the Standing Orders?

    Conservatives must put this question at the top of their campaign. Who should govern England: the English or the Scots?

    This is the time to campaign for the English Parliament to emerge from the British Parliament and take its place alongside the other UK parliaments.

    I would also add the question. Who should govern the UK: the EU Commission or the UK Parliament? But we know the Prime Minister’s position on that and so you should concentrate on what is possible in 2015.

  28. William Gruff
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Only an English Parliament with powers at least equal to Scotland’s can properly represent the interests of the English and the people of England.

  29. John
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Still not asking the English what they want. British MPs will never represent the English without consideration for the Celtic fringe and so we are disenfranchised again.

  30. DaveM
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Mr R,

    I expect you took a deep breath and put on a metaphorical crash helmet before blogging this, and I don’t wish to repeat what I have said many times before, so I’ll refrain from my usual rant.

    I agree with Old Albion that this has to be a step towards an English Parliament in the fullness of time, because, unless the Scottish, Welsh and NI ass’ys are disbanded, England will never voluntarily revert to no English representation once some sort of EVEL is introduced.

    One thing I’ve asked before which you haven’t answered, and which I will repeat, though, is this:

    what about an English First Minister? If the UK PM is considered to be the English First Minister, that makes the English PM the UK PM (not good for Scots, Welsh or NI relations). And, just as bad, what if the UK PM (and/or the Speaker, who I believe will decide what is or isn’t an English-only matter – correct me if I’m wrong) is not English? That could effectively mean that, at some point in the future the First Minister of England is Scottish and a member of the Labour party. It could also mean that an anti-English Welshman could decide that EVERYTHING that happens in England also affects Wales. How would that work?

    Other than that, please, please, please keep pushing this until we get at least a footstep in the right direction.

    Why is it so difficult for your party to see that fairness for England and an immediate in/out EU referendum would give them a far better chance of winning a GE than constantly banging on about abstract long-term plans for economic recovery and arguing with swivel-eyed lefty fanatics about the NHS? Most people only care about the money in their pockets, secure jobs, security for their kids’ futures and good public services, and more importantly, how on earth they are going to afford to fill their car up, buy their shopping, and have enough left over for a couple of pints on friday night. To that end, an election campaign that tells them that they will have parity with the celtic nations and freedom from the bureaucrats of the EU will appeal much more. In all honesty, the dislike that is inherent among English people is not necessarily towards the EU, but towards bureaucrats. We’ve never liked them and never will, because deep down we’re a nation of farmers, fishermen, workers and warriors.

  31. ian
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Politics is killing people on the NHS as politician fight for control. The staff are to politically correct to be working in the NHS, thousands of death for the 2015 election.

  32. They Work for Us?
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    All of this is because our politicians have far too much owner to operate without seeking the electorate’s permission, yes permission, on major issues. Except for a sudden attack on us, major civil disaster – floods, plague etc all major issues should be settled by:
    A fair exposition of the two sides of any argument,
    A referendum on the issue.
    With such a system we would not be suffering large scale and uncontrolled immigration.
    EU membership and the circus of expensive claptrap that comes with it.
    The bogus Climate Change Act and the green religion that comes with it.
    Any supremacy of foreign law over UK law etc.
    We must return to a system in which Politicians do far less and only what the public permit them to do It is no surprise that people feel disconnected.

  33. petermartin2001
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    The Tories will probably lose their last Scottish MP in May. You can hardly blame the Scots for that. Many Conservatives seem content to present themselves as the English Nationalist Party now.

    The performance of the Tory Party during the Scottish referendum was pitiful. Instead of braving the hostility they may well have encountered there, they slunk away, afraid to give the case for Unionism a bad name by association. It doesn’t do any good to leave the case for Unionism to the Labour Party. Unless the Tories get their act together, and soon, and start to become the party of the Union once more , then the break up of the UK is inevitable.

  34. Stevie
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid I just don’t trust Cameron and can see this drifting away to another undelivered manifesto ‘commitment’.

    The entire House is barely working for a living at the moment. Call a five day debate, thrash it out, vote and then we will know who the democrats are before the election. If labour get in, they will change the rules to try and prevent a Tory government ever again gaining power, following postal votes and boundary changes with votes for children, more EU control and party funding by the taxpayer.

  35. A different Simon
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Is all this a ruse to bring EU regionalisation to fruition ?

  36. steves
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The answer is dead easy

    A Federal solution with an English, Welsh, Ulster, Scottish, plus the smaller islands like Shetland can have their own solution.

    Each parliament raises it own cash how it wanst and pays via a set formula for a national parliament that covers only defence and foreign policy.

    Oh yes all parliaments to be part time only

    Then England can opt out of the EU and trade freely with the world

  • 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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