What difference will this election make to the Union of the UK?

Everyone agrees the General election is no re run of the Scottish vote on independence. Even the SNP are making it clear they want a mandate to negotiate the best possible settlement for Scotland whilst still being within the UK. On this basis current polls show them attracting some voters who voted against Independence last autumn. It is unlikely Welsh nationalism will make much impact. The majority of Northern Irish MPs are likely to  be elected as unionists.

This does not mean the issue of the future of the UK is off the agenda, or that the next Parliament makes little difference. The next Parliament, it is true, is bound by its predecessor to honour the promises made to Scotland by all three main Westminster parties. These promises are likely to be interpreted in a pro devolution direction by the new SNP MPs who will probably be elected in some strength and may be the third largest party. In contrast the next Parliament is not bound by its predecessor to solve the English problem. Mr Hague as Leader of the House would not  put the matter of EVEN, English votes for English needs, to the vote, as Lib Dems said they would vote with Labour against the scheme.  The new Parliament has a blank sheet to resolve the question of England.

Many in the  SNP accept the justice of England’s case, but their party will doubtless bargain against it in any way they think will help their cause. The Lib Dems have some complex scheme based on votes in the UK Parliament for England calculated by some notional proportional representation, which is unlikely to get support from the  two main parties in the Commons. Labour wants to fob England off with devolution to cities and maybe counties, having no answer to the question why can Scotland chose her own income tax rate but England cannot chose hers? Conservatives have a version of English votes for English issues, which is a start to tackling the problem of England.

The Lib Dems and Labour want to delay justice for England as well as denying it. They favour a long and detailed Constitutional Convention to examine devolution for England, whilst hurrying through more devolution for Scotland with no such consideration. Conservatives wish to press on with proposals for England, after years of examination and thought which has gone into them.

The future of our union will be very affected by what the next Parliament does. As it legislates for Scotland, it is vital it understands the mood in England. Only one party seems to understand the need to do something soon for England. There will be a big difference between a Conservative led government and a Labour led one on the question of England.

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138 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Three reasons to vote Conservative.

    One. The Economy.

    Two. The EU Referendum

    Three. English Votes for English Needs

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Brian – Where Ukip can beat Labour but Tory can’t, vote Ukip. Surely you agree ?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Indeed vote Tory or UKIP, whomever is most likely to prevent Labour or the Libdums. Clearly this is rather painful when the Candidate is a Ken Clarke type.

        True Cameron is hardly any better than Miliband, but at least we will not have the proposed theft and destruction of the propery lettings market and the hugely damaging loss of the nondom status.

        I tend to think the Tories will scrape home just, thanks to the horrible vision of Miliband/SNP and despite the uselessness and lack of vision of Cameron.

        • Hope
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Cameron is no more likely to deliver his pledge on EVEL as the other two parts of the cartel. We have already witnessed the proposal being completely different from what he said on the steps of Downing Street last October. What fool would believe him?

          Osborne engaged in Balkanising our country,with the help of Labour in Manchester, for the EU and no mention of it in JR’s blog? Labour MPs, including Harman’s husband, shown on Guido Fawkes, talking to a gender segregated audience while Harman is driven around in a pink bus! United Kingdom my foot. Cameron claims to promote British values, while Cameron he dons a Sihk head scarf in our country. How he is going to achieve his claim by these sort of actions!

        • Bazman
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Deluded right wing nonsense from you as per.
          Hugely damaging loss of the non dom status? This will be as bad as the havoc caused by the charge imposed on them? House prices have increased by 40+% since then or the Armageddon facing business with the introduction of the NMW. The argument is that the ultra-wealthy can always go shopping abroad for more generous tax treatment. But it is hard to see what Britain gets out of this elite, apart from watching them bid up central London property. The joys of non-dom status come with no obligation to invest or create jobs. As Richard Bacon, a Conservative parliamentarian on the public accounts committee exploded last month at a representative from HMRC: “You’re surprised that people think there’s one set of rules for the rich people and one set of rules for someone else, when you’ve just told us that’s exactly what there is… No wonder people are pissed off!” Hear, hear.
          The property letting market is the least regulated and one of the most expensive ones in the world. Its interesting that you think that the super rich can be pandered to at the expense of the population indefinitely and with ever increasing cost to the average person and there will be no backlash. If these housing and living costs are not addressed in on form or another there is going to be large fallout costs for everyone.
          For example do you think that cutting a cost in one area leads to higher costs in another should these cuts be made such as paying to visit a doctor would inevitably lead.Well?
          Harumphing and believing you own the facts is not good enough.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            £8 billion last time I saw figures for non dom benefits.
            But small change to you Baz compared with a dislike of anyone from abroad who happens to be rich.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            If you want cheaper houses you need more of them or you need fewer people. Relax planning laws and the OTT greencrap building controls.

            Miliband’s idiotically conceived rent controls will make matter worse for everyone, other than some largely parasitic lawyers.

          • Bob
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Open borders and an obligation to provide free housing leads to housing shortages which leads to property price increases which leads to rent increases. Not rocket science.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            They pay their taxes like their rest of us edward you assume they are only here for financial reasons which some are by just using the property market to deposit hide and launder money from abroad. Holiday home problem.
            In the Hatton garden safe deposit robbery the gang used grinders and a coring drill, common industry tools. here is some food for thought edward. Nothing is grinder proof, nothing, so how do you propose to control this dangerous thief friendly equipment along with downloading music and film?
            More houses would have to be built by the state to replace sold off social housing you are against this and planning laws are what causes property inflation which you rely on and if there where none what would this country be like one wonders? The builders have not really improved their build quality like cars have and you are against this too. So what do you propose? Nothing is the answer just more rent and less security for the majority. How will this help? Do nothing nonsense as per.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            Do you accept or deny there is a benefit overall of c £8 billion?

          • Bazman
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            There is no benefit of 8 billion. Deluded nonsense and let me say even if there was this country needs better. Much better.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            No benefit you say.
            From tens of thousands of very rich people coming and living here.
            Really?
            Denying dozens of academic research papers.
            Get your political blinkers off and think it through.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

            Actually Baz my £8billion is wrong, sorry.
            It is much higher.
            In 20011/12 HMRC reported over £8.4billion just in income tax from non doms.
            Then there is VAT and many other taxes to add.
            But tell them to “sling their hook” as you are want to say.

            Wasn’t £8 billion the extra amount the NHS said it needed?

      • alan jutson
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Mondeo Man

        Agreed, to vote Tory under the circumstances you outline would be daft, if you want a referendum.

        • Hope
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          It would be a complete waste of vote.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            So let me get this right, Hope.

            In a Labour marginal you’d prefer the Tories to split the UKIP vote and let Labour in.

            You still think a UKIP vote is wasted ?

            Okaaaaay.

      • Hope
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Who placed Scotland in this position? Labour and the Conservative party happy to go along with the Balkanisation of the UK without there being an England. All in accord with the EU regionalisation of our country. Osborne engaged with a Labour council in creating a mayoral system in Manchester that was rejected by the public! All designed to carve up and regionalise England by stealth. England will not be allowed to be a separate country even if other nations in the UK are allowed the same. No chance of EVEL as we are currently witnessing. Time for change and regain control of our country from the EU. I also not none of the cartel state which competencies/ policy issues they gave away to the EU and therefore cannot debate at this election. If you. One for the LibLabCon Cartel do not be surprised I. Years to come that you allowed the country to slowly walk into a region of the EU superstate.

        • Timaction
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Clegg was at it again this morning on Marr talking about the balkanisation of England without any challenge from the left leaning host!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Marr is even worse than the average tax borrow and waste, greencrap, EUphile BBC think, lefty.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            Maybe you could as scientist/engineer explain the massive rise in obese children in poor sections of society. How they become so fat given that they have to rely on food banks and have no money. Its a mystery! Maybe the food banks give them to much food?

        • John C.
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it’s clearly a Labour/E.U. strategy to strangle English nationalism by Balkanisation. What on earth would the English gain by creating a semi-autonomous Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, East Anglia etc?
          These “regions” could not set their own tax rates or make their own laws. We want our own nation. Whatever North/South divisions there are, someone from York feels he shares nationhood with someone from Kent or Shropshire. What he is unlikely to feel is that he is a countryman of someone from Lyons or Turin or Riga.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Good morning.

      1) Stuffing the economy with more money (QE) and borrowing even more than Labour did, does not bode well for the future.

      2) Only IF the Tory’s get a majority.

      3) I do not want some cheap hand me down of an idea. I want what all the others have. My own Parliament.

      Get rid of the HoL and replace it with an elected UK Federal Chamber with an equal number (say 60 each) of elected Senators. Simple !

      • bluedog
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right, Mark B. The Blair model of the HoL is a profoundly corrupting influence on the British body politic with its 800 members. We haven’t yet got to the stage of enobling footballers and musicians, but it will come.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right. We need Justice for England, and I hope and assume Mr Cameron is going to make this clear in the final days. It is a wide open goal, and has the advantage of being clearly fair.

      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        I hope and assume Mr Cameron is going to make this clear in the final days.

        I do not know what you are on but please make it public.

        I will not be holding my breath!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Believe it or not, Richard, I’ve never heard anyone discuss Scotland outside of this blog.

        The big issue is mass immigration

        This is what is keeping the Tory party down and what will have cost them this election if they lose it.

        And if they win ?

        The bad news will just keep on coming and UKIP will be even bigger in 2020.

        Chukka will be the charismatic Labour leader by then.

    • Bob
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I thought that Mr Redwood had banned blatant incitement to vote “xyz” party? Have the rules changed again?

    • Bob
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      @Brian Taylor
      Do you believe the Tory promises?

      “There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.
      Edward Heath.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Heath, Major, Cameron what is the difference? Even Lady Thatcher went along with the Single European Act disaster and John Major’s ERM fiasco (still no apology from the dreadful man).

  2. eeyore
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Ask not what you can do for your country; ask instead what you country can do for you. Who cannot fear that England will be not only cheated but plundered? The SNP has its own supporters to appease, and many are not moderate people. It was, after all, a Scotsman who observed that there are few sights more impressive than a Scotsman on the make.

    As for the mood in England, what mood would that be, exactly? Appeasing timidity? Division and class hatred? Supine bewilderment?

    The disciplined and aggressive SNP, led by two of the most sure-footed natural politicians seen in these islands since David Lloyd George, will sell its parliamentary support vote by vote, concession by concession and pound by pound, and all the while insist that it is English nationalism which is the great threat to the Union.

    Vae victis.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      How long, I wonder, before Nicola, QotS, falls out with Alex Salmond. Always assuming he gets elected and that he becomes the SNP leader in the Commons.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      I think you are right about the SNP. The unkown is the reaction of those who live in England and who are to be fleeced to pay up. This is very dangerous territory for MPs from English constituencies – especially for Labour MPs.

    • formula57
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      @ eeyore – the clear truth of your final paragraph will doubtless be revealed over the next Parliament.

      The Union could be saved, but what is the point of so doing (aside from, apparently, the overwhelming case made by reasons of “sentiment, history and politics”, as we have been told)?

      More likely though than being saved is its tortuous, lingering death, laced with bitterness and resentment, and the next Parliament looks set to deliver plenty in that regard.

      As for proximate sources of bitterness and resentment, do Scottish persons realize that Full Fiscal Autonomy means the end of the Barnett formula promoted subsidies?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Removal of the Barnett Formula should be carried out whatever the result. Scotland’s addiction to socialist handouts/bribes should have been ended decades ago.

        • formula57
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first subsidize.

          • turbo terrier
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            F57

            And secondly they make bored.

            Is this not the biggest problem?

            We have heard it all before in different formats, it is just the same meat different gravy. What happens? 3/5ths of naff all especially when it comes to a lot of the minor issues, after NHS, child care and education like dealing with the real cost of all the green rubbish that we are all forced to subsidise and the reduction of our armed forces and so it goes on and on and on.

    • Wonky Moral Compass
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Vae victis? We’ll see. All that Roman gold didn’t help Brennus and the Senones much in the end, did it?

    • acorn
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      It’s Vae Victus, but other wise good thinking. I am sure it must be the education system in Scotland that breeds superior MPs. They don’t appear to have the built-in spite and malice that is essential for a true Punch & Judy style Westminster MP. Which is basically why they lost the Scottish Referendum.

      I suspect Nicola would make an excellent Prime Minister and it would be nice if we were allowed to elect our PM separately and move his/her appointed “Executive” out of the legislature. I am unsure if she would settle for a federated structure for the UK with split federal and national fiscal systems; with one currency.

      Sadly, short of a coup d’etat or a putsch led by Buckingham Palace, nothing is going to change anytime soon! We do not have a management system capable of organising it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Putting it another way, as far as a minority Labour government was concerned 50’sh SNP votes would certainly have value but 280’sh Tory non-votes, abstentions, would have an even greater value. So under such unusual circumstances why should the Tory party not sell its abstention, vote by vote, in competition to the SNP trying to sell its support? That way the Tory party would have far more influence over government policy than if it had succeeded in forcing Miliband into a coalition with the SNP.

        reply Conservatives are assumed to oppose in that situation, unless Labour are unusually proposing something we agree with

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Well, there’s some interesting polling data around that here:

          http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9394

          “… in both cases, the balance of public opinion is that oppositions should give a minority government a chance. If the Conservatives try to go it alone, 32% think the other parties should vote to bring them down, 40% think they should be given a chance. The figures are almost identical for a minority Labour government, 30% think the Tories should just vote them out, 39% that they should give them a chance.”

          Personally I’d be with the 39%, because I don’t see how it could possibly be in the national interest for the Tories to force Labour into the arms of the SNP.

      • eeyore
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Victus, Acorn? Isn’t it a dative plural? Perhaps I should have stuck with Virgil: Procul O procul este profani! Back, back, ye unhallowed!

        One feels for the Unionist Scots (the majority) who must be anxious and deeply alarmed at the rise of this nationalist cult. Scotland’s own history will give them no comfort. How long before they find themselves “rabbled” by these modern-day Covenanters?

        As for the bold leaders of the SNP, they are riding a tiger and have not the choice to dismount. On they must go, to triumph or catastrophe. I hope their supporters remember that political skills, however great, are no substitute for statesmanship. One truly pities the Prime Minister who will have to deal with them.

        • acorn
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          I like your “singular” style eeyore (Winnie-the-Pooh; yes?), give me more of such prose!

    • John C.
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree that the Conservatives have enjoyed the spectacle of Labour’s strong base in Scotland disappearing, but it’s led to the anticipated triumph of a party which seems to have a visceral, outspoken hatred of the Tories, making the separation of the 2 nations in electoral terms almost total.
      What I’m curious about, and which I’ve never read a clear explanation of, is why a nation which voted against independence, should within a matter of months swing around to almost total support of the SNP. One would have surely expected that party, its main objective lost “for a generation” to wither away but for a few diehards. Instead, it is rampant. Any explanations, especially from Scots, or those living in Scotland? What happened?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        37% of the entire Scottish electorate voted for separation last September. Assuming that most of these people vote SNP at this election then that is a sizeable block in their support. The Unionist vote is split between a number of parties.
        The SNP propaganda machine has worked very efficiently and has probably exaggerated their ability to do well this Thursday as it did prior to the referendum, whereas the Unionists are constantly on the back foot and fighting each other. However, the Greens and other Far-left political parties will take some SNP votes.
        Ultimately, the old saying that a unified command wins battles and a divided command loses them has some validity here.

        • John C.
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Max D. Thanks, that’s a helpful insight.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          Nicola Sturgeon got an easy ride from the BBC.

          Farage foolishly stood on a platform with her – and then banged on about HIV which was an unecessary risk. She was able to twist Farage’s word immigration (“politicians are to blame”) into immigrant (“migrants are to blame”.) Thus she was able to make a subtle but total distortion of the truth, paint Farage as a racist. and make a hero of herself to boot.

          The travesty is that she (discriminates for Scotland against England see the advantages ed)that she and her countrymen enjoy – in educational, health and elderly care exclusion.

          Also her party has nowhere near the ethnic membership that Farage’s has – nor her country the same ethnic makeup.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Why should Miliband need the parliamentary support of the SNP, which they would sell, vote by vote, or whatever?

      Only because the 280’sh Tory MPs would be joining forces with the 50’sh SNP MPs against a Labour government, vote by vote.

      Or at least that is what they are implicitly threatening to do if they are not given office; the Tory strategy is to try to force Miliband to accept an alliance with the SNP in order to form a government, against his wishes, failing which they would ally themselves with the SNP in opposition.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    England needs some honourable and supportive MP’s to speak for it. So far, we have three. Yourself, Frank Field and Harriet Baldwin.
    Maybe when the SNP triumphantly march into Westminster in a week or so. Other MP’s elected to English constituencies, will at last admit there is a problem with the lack of political recognition of England.
    I don’t hold out much hope in truth.

    An English Parliament is still the only democratic, fair and equal answer.

    Reply There are currently no MPs

    • James Matthews
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Your honourable mentions of not-MPs should include Kate Hoey.

    • Old Albion
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes O/K very clever. You know that i meant MP’s within the last administration.

      How about commenting on my desire for an English Parliament?

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The next Parliament, it is true, is bound by its predecessor to honour the promises made to Scotland by all three main Westminster parties.

    No Parliament can bind another.

    I was not asked whether or not I agree to this. It was not on the ballot paper sent to the Scots to vote on. It was not in any Party manifesto that more powers would be given if they stayed. It was the promise of just three men who signed a piece of paper handed to them, that’s it. You cannot bind and nation and its people like that. Because if you can, I too have a piece of paper they can sign.

    The last Tory led government has wasted and abused, yes abused its time in office. It has introduced legislation that was never promised in any manifesto by any party. It has ignored the promises it has made to the people in the manifesto’s and it has broken every ‘cast iron promises’ its leader has made.

    The Scots do not want independence. Socialism does not work, but it can be made to work if you are a small country, like Scotland, and can get a bigger country to pay your bills for you.

    If the Scots (SNP) cannot live of the rest of the UK, they will just go to the EU with their begging bowl. Funny thing is, if the rest of the UK is not there to pay their bills, that would leave Germany and maybe a few others. Real austerity North of the Border will not make our Celtic friends happy and they may wish they had never left.

    Sometimes in life, you have to take risks. You have to go with your instincts and take a leap int the unknown. That time is now !! The three main parties have failed us (English). Perhaps it is time for someone new.

    • Hope
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Well said Mak. Absolutely spot on and it also goes to the heart of trust which none of the cartel deserve.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Excellent post Mark B.

  5. Hefner
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Are parties (ConLabLib and UKIP) there to represent people’s aspirations to the state’s level or have they just become the means of conveying the state’s decisions to the people, decisions taken by the Government with little input from MPs, and all taking their cues from big business and think tanks?

    If Peter Mair’s “Ruling the World” or Tariq Ali’s “the Extreme Centre” have anything in common, it is their views that our “democracy” is ever more following the second alternative.

    In which case, as important and full-hearted the comments on this blog might be, they are pretty useless.

    • Hope
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Hefner, we can only vote on the system the parties offer us it is not the public’s fault that none of the cartel keep their word or what they promise.

      Your comment on universities was equally ill informed at the quick press of a button. You might have noticed how such Scottish universities select their students and thought how they balance their books. If you did you might have considered that English students are given conditional offers at AS stage while their counter parts are given unconditional offers at the same stage. I suggest this is clear discrimination on the nationality of the student based on what they do or do not pay. It should not come as a surprise that English students are discriminated against. The other flaw with the point you made is that we taxpayers expect our govt to provide education for our children based in this country. We have no say what other countries might or might not do in education which takes us back to the point in question of who we elect and why. The cartel are not fit for the purpose of govt.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    You say: “The next Parliament, it is true, is bound by its predecessor to honour the promises made to Scotland by all three main Westminster parties.”

    No, not at all. The three party leaders clearly had no authority from the English voters and the rest of the UK to make these panic promises to Scotland. The next parliament should thus not be bound at all by these silly and unneeded panic pledges. As we know Cameron has no difficulty ratting on pledges, be they cast iron ones, deficit ones, tax or IHT ones anyway.

    The way for Cameron to win is a fair deal for the English, cheap energy, pro growth, a smaller state sector that actually delivers, lower taxes, selective and controlled immigration, far far less or preferably no EU. The Tories are, after all, essentially just an English party now. They should be nearly as popular in England as the SNP are in Scotland.

    Has Cameron played his cards right by now they would be. But Cameron is just a tax increasing, pro EU, big government, over regulating, 299+ tax increasing, happiness index toting, green crap pushing, serial ratting, socialist like Miliband – just slightly mollified by his sensible wing on rare occasions.

    Reply All party leaders have made clear in this election they will support more devolution for Scotland. I am citing a fact, not venturing an opinion

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Cameron had no problems ratting on “no if no buts” pledges either. Why should he have any problem ratting on the Scottish, he can just say he had no authority from the English who have to pay for it and he needs that to deliver.

      • Hope
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        The problem being, as Mark points out, the cartel did not ask or consult the English voters, who pay the bill, what they were prepared to give away to the Scots. I am now of the view it is not a price worth paying, the Zheng
        S(E?)are worse off per head than the other national regions but put the most in the tax pot. In a way I hope Labour do a deal with SNP so that the English wake up and get angry with the cartel.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Then they are complicit in the break-up of our nation and acting in defiance of the referendum result.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–Party Leaders maybe but not Parties

  7. The PrangWizard
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I was under the impression one parliament could not bind a successor. Is this another breach to appease the anti-English militant and aggressive Scots? Mr Redwood says there will be a big difference’ with the Tories. And I say ‘pull the other one’. We may have some more talk, but it will not go much further than that.

    And talk about what of course – Mr Redwood’s assertion that only one party understands the position of England is wholly misleading; the ‘English Votes….. ‘ is limp-wristed and half-hearted, and has got the English nowhere so far. Nor will it make any progress until his party gets some backbone and genuine belief, one or two party members is not enough. If it had shown some over the past few years we would not be where we are now.

    There is only party which acts for England and that is the English Democrats; the only solution for England is a true parliament, followed by independence – after all what use is the Union to England anyway? The only people who benefit from it are the people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with their England facing begging bowls.

    Reply I did not consider the English Democrats as no poll even gives them 1%

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      The use of the Union from an English perspective must surely be one of containment and security. This may appear expensive to the bean counters but if, as we see now and some of us anticipated, you start to remove the constraints and checks then expect serious problems that affect you directly.

    • Denis Cooperi
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Even if constitutionally one Parliament cannot bind its successors the leaders of the political parties can in effect do that if enough of them agree to pursuing a particular course of action which has already been promised.

  8. David Murfin
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Follow the money. The money is in England, in London in particular, and those who hold it have no particular reason to give it to the Scots.

  9. Joolsb
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Sorry John, EVEN is too little too late. “Hague wouldn’t put it to the vote because the Lib Dums and Labour would have voted against it”. True, but that was even more reason to put it to the vote – let England see what the anti-English Lib Dums and Labour really think of England.

    Not only is Hague’s EVEN not the EVEL that Cameron promised but it is a giant sop, meaningless, and an insult to every man, woman and child in England. And even that has not been mentioned in the run up to the election since it was parked in the long grass by Hague and Cameron. 93% of the Tory vote comes from England, every seat bar 9, and yet they don’t even deem it something worth banging the drum about – silence – after all mustn’t upset the Scots must they?

    Sorry John, but those of us who want to see justice for England won’t hold our breath waiting for the Tories to deliver it.

    Reply It’s EVEN or nothing – I would rather have EVEN

    • JoosB
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: and that says it all really – “it’s EVEN or nothing.” That is NOT what Cameron promised on the steps of Downing St. only eight months ago. Is there anything he keeps his word on? Oh except the vow to Scotland that is!

      • APL
        Posted May 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        JoosB: “Oh except the vow to Scotland that is!”

        Cameron, good stout hardy English name, there.

    • Hope
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      No, I think the English public will not agree if told the truth. Time for your party to disappear a little more quickly to allow others who have the will to make a proper balanced approach.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Then I take nothing !

      I do this in the knowledge that, as history has shown elsewhere on these isles, that when a people are denied that which is given freely to others, resent will grow and grow. And that resent will be mainly directed at your party.

      There are none so blind than those who refuse to see.

  10. bluedog
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The first thing to do when faced with crisis is to prioritise, and the Union must be the priority, Dr JR.

    Fixing the Union is an internal matter for the UK itself, and requires no consent from the EU which of course is a diplomatic enemy of the UK, and despite protestations to the contrary, would benefit from the break-up of the UK. Thus fixing the Union preserves the leverage of the UK within the EU, and in addition secures the constitutional stability of the UK for when we leave or are expelled from the EU, or after the EU implodes.

    An independent UK will need to be as large a state as it can possibly become in order to negotiate trade deals with other nation states, particularly in the growth markets of Asia.

    Cameron wasted the first years of his premiership completely overlooking the nature of Scottish nationalism and it never occurred to him or his advisors that the SNP posed a latent threat to the UK itself. Similarly there is not the slightest sign that Cameron and his advisers have thought through a constitutional solution to the problems facing the UK if the SNP converts Scotland into a one-party state. As this writer has said before, dickering around with Parliamentary standing orders is a cheap fix that will not stand the test of a change of government. An administrative measure can too easily be overturned, and the only viable solution is a federal constitution that gives England its own Parliament. Once there is an English parliament, all components of the UK are on equal terms and many of the current beefs of the SNP will become redundant. The Lib-Dem Steel Commission of 2005 put forward a completely workable set of proposals and these should be adopted by the next Parliament as a draft for the federal constitution of the UK. It is a matter of judgement but it seems extremely unlikely that the SNP would reject the proposals set out by the Steel Commission.

    The Republic of Ireland should be invited to accept observer status in any constitutional convention established by the UK to devise a federal constitution.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘Once there is an English parliament, all components of the UK are on equal terms and many of the current beefs of the SNP will become redundant’.

      If, as you realistically suggest, Scotland becomes a one-party state under the SNP then we can expect to have two incompatible administrations operating on mainland Britain. It does not take much imagination to see where Scotland would be heading economically, particularly with the dead weight of Glasgow and its thousands of benefit claimants to be supported. The SNP government would quickly bankrupt the country. All blame for this disaster would be laid at the door of the ‘English’ and further instability would result. Even if a physical border were to be put in place, the case for intervention from England would be considerable, due, in part, to humanitarian considerations of maintaining a poverty stricken population and the plight of political dissidents.
      It may already be too late but England could face the prospect of a (poor country ed)on her land border.

      • formula57
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        The humanitarian crisis in Greece at present (and Ukraine) is met with an easy passivity so England may well ignore Glasgow’s fate.

      • bluedog
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Max Dunbar says, ‘…we can expect to have two incompatible administrations operating on mainland Britain’. That would not be the case under a properly crafted federation where the role of the states and the federal polity is clearly defined. The current problem is that without considering the consequences, the UK (quasi-federal) government continues to devolve powers to Scotland by way of bribes. We should be able to agree that this is a finite process in which the UK will ultimately have nothing more to give to the Scots. So what then? The answer is that the present political class are stupid enough, our host excepted, to continue giving shed-loads of money to Scotland in the pretence that Scotland is still part of the UK.

        It is remarkable that no British minister has yet defined the particular problem posed by Scottish devolution and offered a viable solution.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This election will do more damage, possibly irreparable damage, to the British Union, while helping the European Union achieve its aims. For a British Unionist who thinks that we must leave the European Union to reassert our national sovereignty and restore our national democracy it is impossible to see any good outcome.

    Not only has a kind of separatist fever swept across Scotland, with the SNP poised for a landslide, but the threat has been magnified by the Tory party setting out to demonise that party and stir up the English against the Scots in general for its own narrow party advantage, an aim in which it has been ably assisted by the Tory supporting sections of the mass media.

    As I have pointed out before, some senior Tories have been doing this for a decade now, since 2005 when Labour won the general election with a reduced majority and it could be argued that it was now depending on its MPs elected in Scotland to get its legislation passed. The real difference is that in 2006 Cameron and Tory officials rebuked Boris Johnson for an inflammatory speech that he gave to a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference, but now Cameron himself has been joining in.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I don’t blame the Tories for demonising the SNP. It’s well earned. One can only wish they had started sooner. I agree that much anti-Scottish sentiment has been stirred up in England but this is entirely due to the actions of extremists in Scotland. The Tories in Scotland have been far too timid in their response to the SNP. The problem is that they are, by and large, decent law abiding people and seem to be about as capable of defending themselves as an 80 year old pensioner against a young thug. Over 400 thousand people voted Tory in Scotland last time and this needs to be reinforced.
      And it’s worth bearing in mind that the SNP have stirred up real hatred, Scot against Scot, and besmirched the flag of Scotland.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Very well put Mr Dunbar. The Scottish Tories are a load of wet blankets and dilly dally around while Sturgeon/Salmond run rings around them. The amount of hatred for the English grows stronger every day to the point where I am considering giving up my volunteer role at the Stroke group because of the strong feelings of hatred towards the English of which I am only one!! The problem in Scotland is they want the best of both worlds. People vote SNP because it makes them feel patriotic but they are frightened at what is gradually happening here. Democracy is gradually being phased out in Scotland. The SNP are basically a bunch over overgrown school bullies but the other parties are all too worried about upsetting them. The people of Scotland like the fact that the English prop them up while they feel that by voting SNP they send out a clear but safe message to the rest of the UK. We will take your money but that’s all we want from you!

  12. alan jutson
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Why not simply propose a simple devolution max (same terms for all Countries) for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland if they wish, all to happen in the same vote.

    Then let us see the Scottish, Welsh, UKiP, Greens vote it down, if Labour and LibDems are against it.

    Simple and Fair proposal all round.

  13. Vanessa
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I had always understood that no incoming government can be bound by its predecessor, which is why our membership of the EU could have been consigned to the dustbin by the government after Heath but sadly Thatcher did not know that. Therefore, I was extremely surprised to read that this is not true any longer.

    Reply Has not been true for years since in EU. Parliaments regularly bind successors over EU laws. The pledge on Scotland was made by all 3 main parties in the last Parliament, so the leaderships will wish to stick to their word i n the next. The 2015 Parliament could rat on promises to Scotland but will not do so.

    • JoosB
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      With respect, your leader in particular and your party are idiots. There isn’t likely to be a single Tory MP north of the border come Thursday, but oh, no “we can’t rat on our promise to give the Scots even greater powers” whereas when it comes to England, they are perfectly happy to rat on their promise to give England English votes for English laws. Me thinks your party have a death wish John.

      Reply No intention to rat on EVEN

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Dear John–Can you explain why the Tories have not been pushing EVEN for all its worth–to aid, of course, in the scuppering of Labour who are (wrong ed)on the point?

    • Hope
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      The cartel appeR happy to rat on any other promise, why not this?

    • John C.
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      John R. I may be wrong, but were not the commitments made during the course of the Independence election made up on the spur of the moment, as the voting seemed to be going SNP’s way, by such characters as Gordon Brown? Did they not appear to the surprise of the majority of the English? Surely they don’t have the standing of laws passed by Parliament after a full debate?
      It seems that manifesto pledges, published after careful consideration, not in the heat of the moment, can be ignored but we must honour spur of the moment, unpopular,unfair, undiscussed, desperate promises to the Scots nationalist supporters? Or am I misreading the position?

      Reply Most of the promises pre dated Browns intervention. He spoke for the 3 main party leaders, who promised on behalf of their parties. No party including UKIP has come out against more devolution to Scotland in this election

      • John C.
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        John R. Thank you for your reply, but whatever the timing of Brown’s intervention, I don’t remember a parliamentary debate which authorized Gordon Brown to speak on behalf of all 3 main parties (of the time) offering anything. Brown appointed devolution Czar? Don’t remember it.
        UKIP’s manifesto: “UKIP will overcome the unfairness of MPs from devolved nations voting on English-only issues.”

        reply. he did it in consultation with the 3leaders in a hurry. DC was spoken to by phone.

        • John C.
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          That’s a most useful insight. Thank you.

  14. James Matthews
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “Only one Party seems to understand the need to do something soon for England.”
    Well not entirely. Cameron’s commitment to retain the Barnet Formula will undermine EVEL or even EVEN , because it will be asserted that anything that has Barnett consequentials is not “English only”. UKIP at least plans to get rid of Barnett.

  15. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Think we need UKIP as 3rd party at least. SNP might appear to show shades of sense for the Scots, but underneath that its aim is to disrupt the UK, particularly England. Salmond wants us on the end of a rope I am sure…..Sturgeon similar. The Devo stuff is a big red flag warning

    Thats apart from Labours long standing and constant effort to significantly change the demographic by sheer numbers and ultimately religion…words from Suzanne Evans on Parliament Channel yesterday which needed to be said.

    Davey getting jumpy over SNP charge changes to power transmission.

    Reply Polling suggests SNP third, Lib Dems fourth, DUP fifth

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s a pity that UKIP have until now been under the radar in Scotland. No leaflets, no candidates to be seen in public, nothing. Poor show for a party that has pretensions to being a 3rd force in the UK. Maybe they have been active and I’ve missed it but no sign of them in Glasgow as far as I can see. Maybe they are scared of being physically attacked. Or perhaps they fear the humiliation of being asked to leave the street by the police in order to preserve ‘public order’ and for their ‘safety’.

    • John C.
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Polling suggests SNP 3rd (but 0% in England and Wales and N.I.) UKIP 4th and the rest nowhere. The distribution of seats will not of course reflect this, but we have a broken democracy, as well as an increasingly absurd union, and this will lead to resentment.
      Luckily, we’re a passive, inert nation and we’ll shrug our shoulders and see what’s on TV.

      reply What matters are seats and votes in the Commons. on this basis SNP 3rd, Lib Dems 4th and DUP 5 th.

      • John C.
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Quite; as I said, a broken democracy, a parliament unlikely to give representation to at least 1 in 7 voters.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I see that in the Spectator Matthew Parris says “The British public is about to make a big mistake”.

    I tend to think the Tories will just about scrape home thanks only to Miliband’s uselessness. If they do not however the blame will lie entirely with the huge number of non & anti Tories like Cameron, Ken Clarke and indeed Matthew Parris. These people have attempted to create an Anti-Conservative party. With their idiotic lines on the EU, grammar schools, the green crap expensive energy, uncontrolled & unselective immigration, their love of the antidemocratic EU, their fake equality & silly happiness indexes, their over regulation of everything, their serial ratting & dishonesty and the huge tax rate (and tax complexity) increases of the last five years.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–And of course Cameron’s attack on marriage etc without Mandate or Queen’s Speech.

  17. Hefner
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Very interesting FTWeek-end:
    -From Magna Carta to muddle, by Philip Stephens.
    -What a radical Conservative government could do, by Tim Harford.
    -Stealth taxes, a post-election nightmare no matter who wins, by Jonathan Eley.

    Enjoy!

  18. Gareth Young
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I hope you’re not making reference to Gordon Brown’s ‘Vow’. Why is Parliament bound to honour the Vow to Scotland? Surely the Vow-makers showed contempt for Parliament (not to mention the rest of the UK) by making promises that they shouldn’t have. Entrench the Barnett Formula? Are you serious?

    I would be horrified if that attempt to bribe the Scots was rubber-stamped by Westminster.

    England needs its own parliament and government. The ability of English MPs to amend or block legislation of the British parliament is something but it doesn’t give England a voice. The House doesn’t split down national lines, it splits down party lines, so lets not kid ourselves that MPs are going to be acting in English national interests over and above the British national interest.

  19. Iain Moore
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “Many in the SNP accept the justice of England’s case, ”

    I don’t believe that is the case any longer. The SNP appear magnanimous about other peoples claims to representation until the issue becomes more immediate, then they defend their right to meddle and intervene in matters that don’t belong to them.

    In opposition they were against financially penalising English students studying in Scotland , which they left in place when in power. When they weren’t about to call the shots in Westminster they were in favour of English representation, but the closer they get to power, the smaller the area they are prepared to concede to English representation. Its gone from English representation over their issues, to English representation where it doesn’t financially effect Scotland, to English representation in areas where it doesn’t have a third party effect on Scotland’s finances, which can be made to cover everything.

    As to the need to do something for England, well as the Cameron Conservatives have had to be dragged every inch of the way to offering English people anything, and when they do it has less substance than a mirage, I don’t believe I can trust them on it.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    If anyone wanted to get an idea of the depth, and sheer irrationality, of the English hatred of the Scots which some of our clever politicians have been gradually whipping up, then they could read some of the comments here today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11578416/Scots-are-in-for-a-shock-when-the-English-run-out-of-patience.html

    • James Matthews
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Seventeen years of being ignored as a nation, while a process of continuous appeasement of the Sots has been followed (with the results in Scotland that we now see) might have something to do with that anger. What you call whipping it up, is just, very belatedly, drawing attention to the extent that the English have been had. You reap what you sow.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        You can hardly blame the Scots for the malfeasance of the MPs elected by the English, can you?

        • James Matthews
          Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          No, but I can (and do) blame them for demanding entirely unjustified constitutional and fiscal privileges within the Union. Full independence (without any cherry picking of the advantages of the Union such as a common currency, common travel area, dual nationality options, etc. ) is a respectable aim, though it is sad that we have come to this. The determination of most Scots, nationalist or not, to screw absolutely everything they can out of weak and cowardly Westminster governments is not in the least respectable.

          The English will continue to be ignored until they start to express real anger in large numbers. If the Scots get caught in the crossfire they deserve no sympathy. The political arrogance of those north of the border is palpable.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            The MPs elected in England, now 533 in number, did not have to agree to the demands of some people in Scotland, with far fewer MPs, now 59 in number. That is the reality, people in England keep electing the wrong MPs.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Read a few of the comments at the end of that excellent article. The usual tartan tormentors of the English.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        I expect that if people in Brussels read the comments on such articles they will be rejoicing at the sheer venom and laughing their heads off at how we are tearing ourselves apart, with the active encouragement of politicians who still have the gall to claim that they are British unionists.

  21. Liz
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Whatever the result of the election on Thursday – England will pay dearly for Lib Dem’s manipulation of the constituency bounderies and their refusal & Labour’s to solve the East Lothian question. English votes have been devalued so the the Labour and LibDems could maintain a political advantage..
    This must be one of the most dishonest eletions run in this country since universal suffrage began. Party leaders hiding from the public and the media preferring to ride along with them in their trains and coaches, conducitng endless cosy “interviews” rather than get out there and report from the country at large. The Party leaders would not have been able to hide themselves away from the public and not answer difficult questions if the media had not gone along with it. The result will depend on whether the 40% “undecided” or “not telling” actually get out and vote. I suspect not.

    • Denis Cooperi
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Unchanged constituencies was the price paid for an unchanged House of Lords, at least according to Clegg, and I wonder whether the Tory backbenchers who said they would block his reforms will think that it was worth losing a general election to maintain the status quo for the Lords.

      reply T he deal was changed boundaries for AV. Clegg changed it unilaterally after the event

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Unarguably true John–Damn the consequences: I shall pray for the annihilation of the Liberals

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Me too!!

        • John C.
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the Liberals show a degree of treachery unequalled by any other party. Think of how business secretary Cable hates Big Business! How they claimed all the nice things from the Coalition were their doing, and all the nasty things came from the Tories. Think of how only the other day Clegg decided to dump Dave in it by revealing how the Tories were wanting to limit child benefit (which, incidentally they should do) but the gallant LibDems would not agree. They are a despicable bunch, I’m afraid.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        But it was the Tory defenders of the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords who gave Clegg his pretext for reneging on the spirit of the coalition agreement if not on its precise content, which as far as I can see did not require the LibDems to support the statutory instrument necessary to implement the recommendations of the Boundary Commissions.

  22. stred
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Whether Messrs McCameron and Haig really did not take EVEN to a HoC vote because they thought Lab/Libdem would outvote them is an interesting proposition. To have done so and had Labour outvote it would have been a certain hit with English voters? Most would believe they welched on the intention expressed in Downing Street because they did not wish it to happen.

  23. Bob
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Opinion polls manipulate the outcome of the election, in this case using the SNP as the bogeyman.

    Imagine a system where the parties put irrevocable manifestos up for scrutiny and the people voted accordingly without the mind control shenanigans.

    • John C.
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Possible in the past, but with the electorate now splitting and fragmenting, no party will be able to guarantee to bring about all its commitments, even if it wished to (which I doubt). It could be outvoted by a grouping of 2 or more other parties.
      The result of this growing tendency is that the only policies to be put into practice will be bland, centrist ideas. We will turn into one of those dreary, predictable democracies like Germany. And behind this will bubble resentment and a desire to break free from the accepted conformity.

  24. Hefner
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    How many MPs on 8 May 2015 will have been elected by 50%+ of their voting constituents?

    Will this be considered as a democratic process given that the electors will never have had any clear information on which parties were willing to go to bed together?

    Reply A minority, but they will still be elected under the rules recently approved in a referendum by implication.

    • Hefner
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      On 8 May, you might be one of a diminishing group of MPs actually elected by more than 50 % of the Wokingham constituents. Such a democratic mandate, I would think, would make you one of the “big beasts” of the Conservative Party whose advice might be taken into account by the top level of your party. All recent polls indicate that a majority for the Conservative Party is rather unlikely.
      Given this, as a Wokingham constituent, I would like to know what your position is or will be with respect to a possible support/alliance with the DUP, UKIP or the Liberal Democrats.

      Whereas your recent posts on the economy, the EU or the state of the Union are certainly interesting, they do not answer one of the basic questions that a lot of electors are likely to have.
      Would you care to give us a clear answer?

      I want the things I have set out in my manifesto and will recommend the best way of achieving them when we know the people’S choice. I could not enter any coalition which prevented an EU referendum for starters.

      • acorn
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        It won’t be long now before JR will be encouraged to retire and let some party future star turn, have a safe seat. 😉 . “This [Conservative Party] unit must survive” said the M5 computer when they tried to disconnect it from the Enterprise Starship.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Well UKIP and the Tories have nearly 50% between them, but EUphile/Libdem Cameron did not want a deal – preferring to call them closet racists & lose an easy election for a second time perhaps.

    • acorn
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I think I have mentioned before on this site that statistically, first past the post (FPTP) election systems, degrade to a binary (two options) contest; the USA is the classic example. The UK decided to keep this system in a referendum that nine out of ten voters didn’t have a clue about, or give a toss about.

      This election is defying the laws of nature. Several viable factions, contesting 650 single-member constituencies, with a FPTP election system, that is non-linear in respect of not all factions are contesting all constituencies!!!??? There is a PhD in stochastic processes in this election for somebody.

      You are going to have to have a large portion of unearned income to survive in the twenty-first century UK. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”. (Terms and Conditions apply including the top 1% shall operate under a separate system of wealth accumulation. This shall not be confined to the fiscal requirements of any particular “Government of the people”.)

  25. Bert
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    There is no future of the Union if the Barnett formula is in place or if there is any discrepancy between the taxation systems of the constituent countries . Fairness for all on an equal basis is the only way forward . The regional Governments have to be disbanded ; only the one decision making Parliament is acceptable .
    If the Scots are hell bent on milking the English , then we must protect ourselves ; there must be no form of favouritism allowed . The 3 leaders had no right to make the promises during the Scottish referendum without the consent of Parliament and we cannot , as the result , be bound by them .
    At this time the English must show the resourcefulness that we are renowned for ; we will not be intimidated by threats and we will not be outdone by the wiliness of others .

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Good, abolish Barnett and abolish the Scottish Parliament. One parliament and one legal system in the UK.

      • bluedog
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        ‘… and abolish the Scottish Parliament’.

        Quite possible under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 that granted the devolved parliament. But what would be the result within Scotland?

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    In this election where much hot air and printed matter has been spent dissecting the minutiae of Scottish election opinion, little or no time has been spent looking into, talking about or debating English opinions or English constitutional issues.

    In this extended election campaign, the BBC has not been able to find a few minutes to debate English constitutional issues. On St George’s Day I don’t believe the Today program ever mentioned England, or even even wished us a happy St Georges day. Looking at last Saturday’s Today programme running order we had three chunks of the program dedicated to Scotland in one for or other.

    7:10 Ed Miliband was in Glasgow last night…….Murray Pittock, Bradley professor at Glasgow University, about the nationalist rise and how Labour, over the years, has responded.

    7:55 On Thursday night Ed Miliband ruled out any kind of deal with the SNP. What happens in the event of a hung parliament when a party decides to go

    8:40 We’ve been talking this morning about Labour’s problem with Scotland. There’s no doubt that it’s a problem for them. The leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy

    The BBC has spent more time indulging the Scots in one programme than they have given the English in this whole election campaign. In fact I think I would be correct is saying the BBC has spent more Scottish playing ditties to introduce Jim Naughties election pieces broadcast in his rambles around Scotland, than debated English constitutional issues.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      I said exactly this to my husband the other night. Practically every programme on TV at the moment features something or someone Scottish. Nicola Sturgeon has had more TV coverage than any other leader and Scotland gets much more time spent on it. What makes me laugh is the way Sturgeon goes on about the crisis in the NHS in Scotland while giving out free prescriptions to all, free eye tests and free dental check ups for all. They spend ‘their’ money on all the wrong things and seem to think everything comes for nothing. It’s just a give away society and is fine all the time someone else is picking up the tab. The more sensible and rational Scots are terrified of the way things are going up here. There will be a mass exodus from Scotland if independence or even full fiscal responsibility gets given as it will surely be a disaster unless you happen to be on welfare handouts or work for the bloated state system.

  27. ian
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The voters won the last election with 65% of the vote, i only received 35% of the vote, i am hopping to do better this time round, i hopping you come to your senses and see that there are no winners, the only way you can win is by stopping this nonsenses yourselves.
    Who ever wins this election, things will only worsen from here, you are fighting yourselves and going nowhere, the only winners are politicians, the people will lose as always.
    Its called divide and rule.

  28. David Price
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Based on what ended up in the Conservative Manifesto I don’t believe there will be a big difference in how England is treated at all. The government will aquiesce to the demands of SNP and the English will pay. The Welsh 5% will then demand equity with the Scottish 5%, the government will acquiesce and the English will pay. I have no faith in English MPs looking out for English interests, even Camerons conservatives.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I too have no faith in English MPs looking out for English interests, even Camerons conservatives.

      Cameron has showed no sign at all of taking the English issue seriously. He has been pushing to split England up. Despite his party being just an English party in essence now.

  29. Chris S
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, what Cameron is offering for England would barely be worth bothering if it were not the only deal on offer.

    Perhaps incessant Scottish demands will increase the issue in the minds of English voters.

    Frankly, I’m hoping that whatever the outcome of the election this week, (Sturgeon ed) orders another referendum and wins it !

  30. Max Dunbar
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Your first sentence states that everyone agrees that this election is not a re-run of last year’s referendum.
    I suggest that you take a trip up here and see for yourself what’s going on. The feeling is that this election is, in some respects, more critical to our future as a United Kingdom than last year’s vote in Scotland. As you said recently, the SNP did not adhere to their statement that the referendum was a once in a generation event. Why should you believe anything that they say now? Their aim is the break-up of our country. Sturgeon is not a politician who compromises. She cannot back down even if she wanted to because her followers are members of what many see as a quasi-religious sect and she is the anointed High Priestess.
    Dr Redwood, you are a reasonable man but you are not dealing with reasonable people in Scotland who support the SNP.

    • John C.
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      There is clearly a growing split between England and Scotland, driven by Scotland, but increasingly felt in England as the English consider the inequality of the arrangements
      . Have any polls been carried out asking what the English think about separation?Not to my knowledge. I suspect that in a year’s time, any such poll might very show a majority of English voters would be in favour.

  31. Chris S
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Red lInes are the in thing at the moment.

    I hope that one red line with the SNP is no more Green Crap in Scotland.

    Not a single new wind turbine to be erected because England has to subsidise all of them !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Indeed if the Scots are daft enough to want intermittent (fake green) energy that cost up to 2-10 times the market rate let them pay for it.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      Would not a better red line be that all subsidies and constraint payments are abolished along with the Climate Change Act bought about by the Milliband family when they were in power.

      Is it me, but do not seem to be hearing too much about renewable energy and the millions in fuel debt and poverty from the main party leaders.

      If they want to raise billions for all these give aways what better place to start?

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but this is one policy the Tories don’t mind. Let the Scots have all the unsightly turbines in Scotland as it lets them off the hook with the voters in England. Scotland has twice as many turbines as England now with another 2140 in the pipeline and more coming in as applications. The Highlands alone will also have more turbines than England. Keeps the voters sweet for the Tories in the English countryside.

  32. Denis Cooperi
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    In 2011 we were told that a vote for AV would be a vote for the BNP to take over the country.

    Who came up with that nonsense, which was enthusiastically spread around by the mass media?

    Tory party chairman Baroness Warsi:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3498971/Baroness-Warsi-Why-a-vote-for-AV-is-a-vote-for-the-BNP.html

    “Why a vote for AV is a vote for BNP”

    Now we are being told that a vote for UKIP would be a vote for the SNP to take over the country.

    So who has come up with this new nonsense? The same Tory party, of course.

    And there is actually a link between both these two bits of scaremongering tosh, apart from the obvious fact that they have both come a Tory party which rarely has more than a passing acquaintance with the truth.

    Because the Tories opposed AV not on any principled grounds but primarily because they feared that by negating the “wasted vote” argument it might give UKIP a better chance of making progress, and that could lead to the UK leaving the EU.

    Reply. Untrue!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I think it’s true. With AV people could have said in effect “I’d really prefer to have the UKIP candidate elected, but failing him I would prefer this other candidate”, for example the Tory candidate, and not only would those first preference votes have revealed the true extent of support for UKIP’s policy of leaving the EU they could in some cases have led to the UKIP candidate getting elected. We can see now the degree to which those leading the Tory party, and the other old parties, are determined to stop the election of UKIP MPs by fair means and foul.

  33. John
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    As is always the case with the neo-Consevative; Too little too late. The English want a parliament free from Brutish politicians. Free to do the best for the English just as the Scots and Welsh do for their countries. We are not content with crumbs from the masters table. We demand representation, draughted and enacted in our own parliament, and nothing less would inspire me to vote for a party that did not offer this.
    The Conservatives need to start getting on the right side of the right debates and they could make a good start with this one. 4 days left.

  34. Eric
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    It is unfortunate that your party does not share your position on this issue. William Hague’s proposals fall a very long way short of your own suggestions made after the Scottish independence vote.

  35. Iain Gill
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    What difference will the election make to out of control immigration?

  36. John C.
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, Let me thank you for taking the trouble to run and read this site in the middle of an arduous campaign. I’m pleased to see the high quality of argument and debate has been maintained here, while all around… well, it’s uneven, shall we say.

  37. yosarion
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    When will the English understand they will be stitched up by any pro unionist party as they were when Blair gave into the IRA, The union died in 1998 and the sooner there is a break up of this so called Union where English People are stitched up time and time again by the Celtic league and the EUSSR the better .

  38. Richard
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    This election will provide the EU with another step along the path to the division of the UK and England.

    But note that the division will not take place until we have had the promised EU referendum as Scotland is needed to be in the Union and to use its veto to block England leaving the EU.

    The SNP’s popularity is partly down to Scotland’s hatred of the English and partly because they have found a party who is prepared to fight for Scotland.

    The Scottish electorate have removed the Conservative Party from Scotland and are about to remove the Labour Party.

    The same will happen in England unless these two parties start to fight for England.

  • 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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