To the BBC English votes is a Scottish issue, and to Labour it is an issue they wish to ignore

After my speech in the Commons on justice for England BBC Scotland wanted me to give interviews. There was as always no call from BBC England.

I agreed to do a radio interview for BBC Scotland yesterday morning. The wish was to debate the SNP false allegations of second class MPs and possible damage to Scotland and the Union. Understandably there was no interest in whether these proposals help England enough or are fair to England.

In England Radio Berkshire asked to interview me. They too took the SNP agenda and sought to confine the interview to the issues of so called second class MPs and alleged damage to the Union. They did not ask a single question about how it might help Berkshire. They did not ask if it gave enough power to England. They did not ask how we might want to use the power. They did not grasp that the settlement of the money is going to be a crucial issue which is only partially dealt with by Thursday’s vote.

If the BBC wishes to pose as broadcaster for the whole Union of the UK it has got to learn the lines of the English as well as the Scottish. It needs to probe and ask questions from an English point of view as well as from a Scottish point of view. It needs to be voice for England and to offer us some English coverage. We need a BBC England.

Labour made the situation worse by their behaviour in the Commons on Thursday. Few Labour MPs came in for the debate. Their response was led by a Welsh MP, with Welsh MPs more prominent than English on their sparsely populated benches. Their threadbare arguments were similar to the SNP, complaining about second class MPs and an alleged inability of the Speaker to read whether a bill or spending item related to the UK or just to some part of it.

Labour failed to speak for England. Most of Labour’s English MPs were notable by their absence. They allowed a debate on England to become more a debate about Scotland. Again there was no BBC England to ask them why they don’t care about the injustice of devolution to England, or to prise out of them a policy on how England should in future be looked after on our fast changing constitution.

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97 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Indeed but the BBC agenda is wrong, wrong, wrong, on almost every issue not just this one.

    On global warming they endless ask if we are doing enough. Never the more sensible question of why are we wasting all this money on green wash nonsense, exporting jobs and not even reducing C02. Or why are we not fracking far more quickly? Or why we have had now warming for 17 years despite more atmospheric C02

    On the EU they are absurdly pro. Never ever address the antidemocratic nation of the structure.

    They were pro the ERM disaster and would have had us in the EURO.

    They endless interview Ken Clark and John Major as if they were wise elder statesmen rather than men proved totally wrong by history.

    On the economy they are always in favour of more taxes, more government “investment” as they call it and more magic money tree economics.

    They believe the gender pay gap is due to “discrimination” when the facts clearly show it is just lifestyle and job choices made by the different genders. In younger people is hardly even exists and women with no children already earn more.

    They hate landlords, business and employers – always taking the side of employees and tenants.

    They prefer emotion and art graduates over real science and reason every time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      Three cheers for the very brave Prof Averil Macdonald for telling the truth. Not alas a strategy that tends to win many friends at the BBC.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/fracking/11949613/Women-dont-understand-fracking-leading-scientist-claims.html

      About four times as many men studying physics/further maths A levels as there are women. Even more imbalance in computer studies. Almost the opposite in drama/modern languages. Not discrimination just freely made choices.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Well, she was subjected to a hostile interview on Channel 4 as well.

        • Bob
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          C4 is almost as bad as the BBC.
          When they reported on the migrant invasion of Lesbos the soundtrack included violins playing in the background!
          John Snow is a caricature.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Everything has to have background music. Some years ago when I still thought it was worthwhile complaining to the BBC I wrote in about the background music for documentaries, in particular science documentaries. I was told that it was essential for artistic reasons, to create the right atmosphere for viewers. I suppose adding background music to what are supposed to be factual news reports is just an inevitable progression.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      The BBC cannot keep up even with the money they extort with the threat of prosecution. Forgetting about the liberal bias and rampant nepotism their output is mainly of a poor quality and gets repeated again a few days later. In comparison to what is being made in America and Europe their drama output leaves a lot to be considered. Its a 20th Century institution that has no place in the 21st. The laptop/computer you are reading this on will give you access to virtually any radio station in the world for free. While quite a few overseas broadcasters stream their output (in English) over the internet again for free. I can be entertained or informed by other sources without having to put up with the state broadcaster’s extortion racket.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Dame Rita Webb

        Absolutely spot on, totally agree.

        Also OFCOM the protection racket for BBC should be scrapped. It has destroyed community radio, held back the media industry by decades and now laughably thinks it can assert control over the internet.

        Talking of radio hows the BBC/OFCOM sponsored switch off of FM and move to DAB going? Ah thought not. Another failed control freak project

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          DAB for those of us who live in a hilly area has been a rip roaring success. Drive past a tall hedgerow and the signal disappears! Another victim of our dear energy policy will presumably be Radio 4 on LW and MW. Many countries in Europe have abandoned AM because the cost of diesel necessary to provide the power for a transmitter of that type is prohibitively expensive. Remember the UK has the most expensive diesel in Europe.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Dame Rita Webb

            Absolutely DAB has now been overtaken in UK by Internet Radio listening numbers. Thats why both my radio stations are now Internet Only

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            Here in utopia Scotland (ROFL) my new car had the fantastic DAB facility. I switched over to it expecting great things but, alas, could not get a signal for longer than 30 seconds at a time. Come back FM all is forgiven.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        The only advantage of the BBC is no adverts – except for the fact they have endless trailers, charity adverts and many of the programs are essentially just adverts or product placements in essence.

        BBC 3 and 4 just play mainly repeats for a few hours a day only. So that is one dvd player and someone to switch it on. BBC 1 and the news channel are often the same output.

        Even when they have a box office success they don’t even ensure they own the rights, so useless is the management (or perhaps just totally unconcerned that the BBC loses out on millions after all why not leave the big money with some independent producer chums).

        • libertarian
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          You are absolutely right. I’ve had this argument with the BBC and OFCOM that the BBC is wall to wall adverts ( its called advertorial) ie some lovie comes on and gets 15 minutes uninterrupted promoting their book, film, album, play plus they are allowed to give out ticket booking info and websites for tour dates etc. I do a fair few BBC programmes about business and local community issues and I’m told I must NOT mention websites or be seen to promote any local SME businesses.

          A local BBC radio programme that I do occasionally has 6 full time staff on it. I do a longer programme weekly on my own station and manage to present, research, plan and produce the whole thing on my own.

    • Bob
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      @lifelogic
      In addition the Labour Party and the BBC (aka The Guardian Channel) don’t even try to hide their contempt for England (see Emily Thornberry, Rochester).
      The rampant infestation of Common Purpose clones puts the BBC beyond redemption.

      Phase out the anachronistic TV Licence and let the BBC wither on the vine.

    • Bob
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      @lifelogic

      ” why are we wasting all this money on green wash nonsense”

      The UK Met Office have stated that there has been no statistically significant warming in this century.

      Presentation from Patrick Moore founder of Greenpeace:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0Z5FdwWw_c

  2. DaveM
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I was going to comment yesterday that I couldn’t find any real coverage on the debate on the BBC website.

    On a positive note, the lack of interest from English Labour MPs could be useful insofar as it allows your party to move things still further?

    Surely the SNPs can see how hypocritical they are being?

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The actual second class MPs are all of those who do not represent a Scottish constituency. Scottish MPs are the (unjustifyingly) privileged MPs in the House of Commons. But this does not interest the Big Bellyache Corporation.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Dave M

      Here in dictatorship Scotland the SNP do not see anything but independence.

      The wheels are falling off of the NHS, Education, Millions in fuel debt and poverty and as far as the State Police Force is concerned it has totally lost the plot. 8 years of devolved power and they have done naff all except maybe destroy Scotland with windfarms

      English politicians especially those who did not attend the debate had better get their heads out into the sunshine(rain) as behaviour like this is playing straight into the hands of our enemies and make no bones about it that is how the see us.

      • DaveM
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        “Here in dictatorship Scotland the SNP do not see anything but independence.”

        Indeed – I have been to Scotland a lot recently. I still believe that Sturgeon cares about nothing but nuclear weapons. She obviously doesn’t want independence or she wouldn’t be so enthusiastic about the EU! Be interesting to see what she does when the 10000 or so people who work at Faslane (or in support of the place) turn up at her door the day after she boots Trident out of Scotland!

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          When the SNP wrote their white paper in favour of independence oil revenue was the biggest thing on the agenda. Scotland would be rich with it!! now that the value of oil has fallen dramatically, Sturgeon proclaims that it is not important. Make your mind up. Just where is the shortfall going to come from? The sale of tartan trousers that Salmond sports??? I don’t think so.

  3. Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Hardly a mention in the papers the next day either and what there was was about English MPs pushing through EVEL. NO – Tory MPs pushed through EVEL, Labour MPs, wht few there were, were opposed. All those opposed pretended to be worried the Speaker’s position would become politicised. What a joke! He’s that already. Tory MPs kept to their 4 minutes and the one Tory who didn’t, can’t remember her name, was abruptly told to finish whilst the opposition, especially SNP MPs were allowed to ramble on and on.

    You were brilliant John but what a pity there were not that many even on the Tory benches with the odd exception who were as passionate as you. Edward Leigh disgracefully said what mattered more than anything else was the union, what an insult to his English constituents. Too many argued EVEL would break the union, mustn’t upset Scotland but what the idiots don’t realise is that doing nothing will break their precious so called Union when the English finally say enough is enough.

    English Vetoes which is all this is, not even English votes as it is wrongly being called is a start but does not go anywhere near being called justice for England.

  4. matthu
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    When we so regularly have debates, whether they be on the EU, on climate change or on English votes, which are studiously ignored by a significant proportion of both those at Westminster and within the media, this merely serves to underline the ineffectualness of the governing elite.

    We see in Portugal how the anti-Euro left is now apparently being banned from power despite being able to claim a democratic majority.

    There will be a backlash across Europe and it won’t be pleasant.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Re: Portugal

      The BBC have – like good EUphiles – hidden that little gem: two menus and almost a dozen stories away from their front page. They didn’t report on it until a day after it happened and even then shamelessly titled the piece: “Portugal’s Coelho invited to stay as prime minister”. Which all sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Even for the BBC, and even if you want to be generous, the piece itself is incredibly poor journalism.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34611274

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Labour lost Scotland ages ago – just like the Conservatives. So no wonder they didn’t turn up.
    Scotland has not got a leg to stand on and I am surprised they do not admit it.
    The EU wants England to become Regions, so regional Parliaments would be the thing there. http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/united-kingdom/

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      “Scotland has not got a leg to stand on and I am surprised they do not admit it.”

      I think you mean the SNP, which for a long time stuck with a self-denying ordinance that their MPs would not vote on laws which only affected England, or England and Wales as is more often the case, but recently dropped that policy to make it easier to stir up unnecessary antagonism between the English and the Scots.

      As far as the people in Scotland are concerned, rather than the SNP, the polling evidence is not as clear as it might be but it seems that a majority do not agree with the SNP on this:

      http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2015/09/how-popular-is-evel/

      “Indeed, it is also a sentiment that up to now at least has also been widely accepted north of the border. Reflecting many a previous finding, in January both Ipsos MORI and Panelbase found that just over 50% of people in Scotland accepted that Scottish MPs should not be voting on issues that do not affect Scotland. Whether the SNP’s electoral success in May has served to change attitudes (as it certainly has the party political implications of EVEL) is, however, as yet still unknown – no polling on the subject has been conducted north of the border since May. Unless attitudes have changed, the reaction in Scotland to the passage of EVEL could prove to be quite limited.

      However, even if the UK government’s proposals are approved by the Commons, they will, in truth, fall some way short of only allowing English MPs to vote on English laws. The proposals are more accurately characterised as giving English MPs a veto on the passage of England-only legislation, while still leaving them powerless to secure the passage of such legislation unless it gains the support of the Commons as a whole. Just one poll, by Ipsos MORI in July, has tried to ascertain what difference, if any, this distinction makes to voters. It did so by asking half of its sample whether Scottish MPs should ‘be allowed to vote…on issues that have no direct impact on people in Scotland’, and the other half ‘whether English MPs should be allowed a veto…on issues that only have an impact on England’. That suggested that the idea of a veto (61% in favour) was somewhat more popular than barring Scottish MPs from English business entirely (53%) . However, we cannot be sure from this whether more voters would prefer the veto to barring Scottish MPs entirely if they were to be asked to choose directly between the two options.”

      • Andy
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Personally I would have preferred that an agreement was reached, and in the absence of an English Parliament, that English MPs sit as an ‘English Parliament’ on Thursdays say and discussed English only business. The SNP would hate that too.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Denis, thanks for recognising that the SNP do not stand for all of Scotland. There are many Scots who are ashamed of what the SNP is doing for Scotland reputation around the world let alone in the UK. The tragedy is that if they gain independence they will most probably make a complete cock up of it and hopefully get voted out. That will leave the other parties who didn’t want independence to try and govern and pick up the pieces. Not an easy task. Still the media and the BBC have shown more pictures and given more coverage of Sturgeon in her designer outfits than they have of any other leader.

  6. Volksgemeinschaft
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Forthurst mentioned the other day that the BBC was run by ‘a (sic) alien clique”. Could he please elaborate who these people actually are?

    • stred
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Most of the management, editors, journalists and luvvies. There are some that don’t agree with the line and have to keep quiet- a bit like the Germans during the last Great Unpleasantness.

      • stred
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Volks. To explain further, the V in EVEL actually stands for Vetos, as the original intention had to be changed when the Prime Minister Eural McCameron realised he had gone too far and might cause problems to the process of English regionalisation- an EU policy being put into effect by his neighbour Gideon Powerhouse. The EUBC also does not like the idea of England as an equal nation, as many of the natives are non ‘on message’. This is why they chose a Scottish minister for Scotland to represent the case for English Vetos on their Politics programme, with a Scottish interviewer, and only covered the unfairness to Scottish MPs, who could only vote on English matters, then have their legislation vetoed by English troublemakers, while voting on similar matters in the Scottish parliament with no interference from English MPs.

        By the way,best vishes for your Volksvagen business with the over clever ‘vorksprungtechnik’. Excuse die spelling.

        • Horatio McSherry
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Aaaahahahahaa! Gideon Powerhouse! Love it! 🙂

    • stred
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Sorry – over clever Vorsprungdurchtechnik.

  7. Ian wragg
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    And of course yesterday the BBC was on again about so and so wants to leave Europe
    This is deliberately misleading as well they know.
    EVEL will never work as there will be endless challenges and as usual it will be smoke and mirrors.
    What’s wrong with an English Parliament the same as the other 3 constituent party.
    I was reading the German papers yesterday. It seems Angelas antics could spell the end of the EU. Bring it on.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      What’s wrong with an English Parliament is that by giving England a voice it might fuel English nationalism, and as we know:

      “English nationalism is the most dangerous of all forms of nationalism that can arise within the United Kingdom”.

      We know that because it’s what Hague told the BBC back in 2000:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/596703.stm

      It’s no coincidence that it was also Hague who devised this EVEL sop to ward off the dangers inherent in giving the English the same as the Scots.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Isn’t that the same Hague who has gone off to Wales to live?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          I think so, the one whose wife is Ffion.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Denis – The greatest threat to civilisation is old men in blazers and chaps wearing England football shirts, don’t you know.

        A slight digression.

        Our steel industry. What is the point of forcing it to be green, comply with human rights and then close it down because it is uneconomic ? Didn’t it occur to our leaders that it would need subsidy to keep it going ?

        Isn’t it unethical and hypocritical to buy Chinese steel ?

        And – as the Daily Mail says today – why is it alright to bail out bankers ? I would add to that why subsidise imported labour and welfare layabouts too – whilst not lifting a finger for real industry and real jobs.

        Never mind. The posh boys have kow towed to communist China to provide the power stations that privatisation failed to deliver – if our people don’t get the jobs building them they can go into thousands of coffee shop *apprenticeships* that are being created.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The situation you outline does not surprise me at all.

    Keep on plugging away John, there are many out here who do understand, because it is such simple logic.

    The Scots vote alone in their Parliament on some Scottish issues.

    The Welsh vote alone in their Parliament on some Welsh issues

    The Northern Irish Vote alone in their Assembly on some Northern Ireland issues.

    The English simply want to vote alone on some of their issues.

    Its all so very simple and fair, so may I suggest instead of doing what you normally do, which is to try and answer a question with straight answer, you do as many others do, and ask your own question, and answer that just on a few occasions.

    We all know the BBC has had its own agenda for years.

    • MikeP
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The regions never seem to express it as I’m about to but Westminster MPs should vote and do currently vote with equal opportunity on all matters that come before them. Although representing a constituency, they are supposed to vote in the Nation’s interests (I think), certainly the Government has to. The SNP and other regional MPs who were moaning on Thursday clearly have a different idea of ‘Nation’ but to be fair they aren’t the ones voting on Scottish-only or NI-only matters, it’s their mates in the regional assemblies, hence their feigned outrage. The tidiest solution of course would be to establish at great expense an English Assembly, and the real beef is the Engligh MPs’ pragmatism and thriftiness in avoiding that expense.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        You mean the English MPs’ reluctance to have a whole load of political footballs kicked over onto another pitch, for members of an English Parliament to play with instead of them. What would candidates talk about at a general election for the UK Parliament, how could they seek to bribe the electors, if the UK Parliament became a UK federal parliament and ceased to deal with all the English matters which would be devolved to the English Parliament?

      • Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Mike P
        It’s nothing to do with thriftiness, more their own self interest as usual. If anything an English Parliament would cost less, not more, and they know it. The building is already there and the majority of the 650 UK politicians could be shown their P45s when their jobs are replaced by true English patriots instead.

  9. Richard1
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The second class MP argument is a nonsense. Either these SNP and Labour MPs, and the BBC, believe in devolution or they don’t. If they want devolution it clearly needs to apply throughout the union, otherwise the people of England are ‘second class’ citizens and taxpayers, because they don’t benefit from equality (check – a good fashionable word to use) with the peoples of the other nations within the UK. So I suggest the way to approach this is to ask the SNP, the BBC, Labour etc why they demand the ‘inequality’ of the people of England being reduced to ‘second class’ citizenship?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I think most English would vote for Scottish independence, then we would have none of their mp’s.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Fourth class citizenship.

      The order of precedence is Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish, English.

  10. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Exactly, that is precisely how I felt when I watched the coverage after the debate. I saw it from just before your contribution. BBC Newschannel afterwards went to town on what the Scots felt about the vote; there was a long discussion with a Scottish journalist, and they gave prominence to the ‘outrage’ expressed by the SNP and the Welsh MP who was prominent in the debate. And when Chris Grayling was interviewed in the House lobby he faced a rather aggressive and biased set of questions – on the basis of ‘how dare you do this?

    There is no end to the ‘brass neck’ of these people, their victimhood encouraged by the BBC; they have got so used to special treatment and their voices being heard in England, demanding this and that, they are acting like thugs when they don’t get their way. I’m sure they are away now plotting future subversion and disruption to proceedings so that the scheme is made as unworkable as they can.

    English MPs must not weaken now, there is much further to go, more advances need to be made and more attacks resisted and beaten off.

    As for the BBC, it continues to do its utmost to diminish the English democratic and cultural voice – it fights against the interests of the people of the whole of England, it doesn’t mention England unless it can’t avoid it, and it attempts to divide us, one from another, the rest of the time. It must now answer serious questions and be required to change. We must at first have a true BBC England – their regions will not do, we need a voice of unity.

  11. JoeSoap
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately Westminster is seen as part of England, rather than as part of the UK.

    Perhaps the time has come for Westminster to become a “DC”, notionally not part of either England, Scotland, Wales or NI. We could then have a referendum of allegiance to Westminster, with each Country’s votes being counted separately whence it either remains part of the UK or separate, and subject to our constitution and Westminster rule or their own.

    • DaveM
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      JS,

      I’ve been thinking for a long time that Westminster – being the capital of the UK of course – should be a DC-style city; home of the UK govt.

      For this to work, though, there needs to be parity throughout the UK regarding devolution.

      Either Westminster MPs vote only on laws affecting their own countries or all 4 home nations have a separate govt with the same responsibilities and law-making abilities.

      I have said before – I’m sure the problem we have in England is that Cameron types still regard Great Britain as one big Victorian-style country. It would certainly explain the enthusiasm for regional assemblies; by having them all over England it effectively reduces the Scottish and Welsh assys to the status of regions rather than countries. Mr Cameron must get awfully confused when he attends England sports fixtures. Why is the cricket team called England, not GB??! I also think the drive towards regions (let’s forget the EU conspiracy theories for a minute) is to enable the UK govt to concentrate on international affairs rather than internal affairs over which they have little interest; do they not realise that an English Parliament would enable them to concentrate 95% on international matters?

      No matter – history shows that the world reverts to its natural boundaries sooner or later. See Ancient Rome, the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Holy Roman empire, the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc for examples.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        But as far as the EU is concerned the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland assembly are regional assemblies.

        That is why all EU citizens resident in those areas can vote and stand as candidates in the elections for those assemblies, because they are classed as “municipal” elections for the purposes of Articles 20 and 22 TFEU as agreed by Major at Maastricht:

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:12012E/TXT

        “Article 20

        1. Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship.

        2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to the duties provided for in the Treaties. They shall have, inter alia:

        (a) the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States;

        (b) the right to vote and to stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in their Member State of residence, under the same conditions as nationals of that State … ”

        “Article 22

        1. Every citizen of the Union residing in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections in the Member State in which he resides, under the same conditions as nationals of that State … “

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Oh, and the London Assembly as well.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    It beggars belief that anyone can think it fair that one country can vote on another’s issues without implications for itself.

    It’s almost as though we are being made to hate our own institutions so much that we want to break up the Union.

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I registered my disgust with the BBC’s Radio 5 live not being able to find the time to debate English devolution on the morning of the EVEL debate , they thought it more important to spend an hour discussing the topic of people who had stammers.

    I also asked Radio 4’s World at One if they couldn’t find time to report on English devolution on the day English devolution was being debated, then when will they ever find time?

    Of course none of this matters, the BBC has been incapable of reporting on English devolution for the last eighteen years , and it doesn’t matter how much anybody complains or attempts to embarrass the BBC into taking notice of England, they won’t, for they are institutionally incapable of recognising England or English people’s issues.

  14. Richard1
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Off topic but in relation to the piece below asking for ways to cut spending, it is being pointed out by commentators on the left such as Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, that projects such as Hinkley point which lock in guaranteed off market prices to (Chinese eg) suppliers are off balance sheet borrowing. This argument is quite correct and a legitimate criticism which it surprising more Conservative MPs don’t take up. Economically it makes no difference to UK taxpayers of the future whether we are saddled with more debt to service and repay or forced to pay higher than needed electricity prices. The Hinkley Point power station should join HS2 as a needless and expensive vanity project which the UK would be more prosperous without.

    • stred
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Richard the First. She must have been reading John’s blog last week. It’s a new version of the PFIs that are bankrupting the NHS, first named here as CHIFIs. (non copyright and given freely to the nation)

      • stred
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Re Polly T. She missed the inflation additions to the strike price at Hinkley, believes the advice from Ecotricity that they can keep the country going on renewables and a little bit of gas and says the incredibly named Mz McGlade, the green UN scientist that the UK is not on message. She thinks Dave is violently anti greencrap and ruining the green industry, despite the fact that they are carrying on with ‘monster’ offshore wind farms and we will have more than the rest of the world, But she is going on stage to be Scrutonised in November. Lets hope she comes out of it like Nick after Nigel. Guardian readers are unlikely to understand the numbers anyway.

        • Richard1
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, the rest of her piece was a call for more green crap, of which the Guardian is such a champion. Also like most leftists she calls for ever more direct govt borrowing, and has been rather flummoxed by the success of the U.K. Economy despite the govt having pursued policies diametrically opposed to those urged by big spending leftists.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      So were PFI hospitals and schools designed by Gordon Brown to make state borrowing less than it actually is.

  15. JimS
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I want a united kingdom. The conservative party should be working towards that by defeating the nasty ‘nationalists’ on their home grounds with positive aspirational policies rather than the regressive socialism that they offer.

    Once that has been achieved the divisive ‘national’ assemblies should be done away with. English Votes for English Laws is a silly diversion which just plays into the hands of the nationalists and the BBC who would destroy the UK given the chance.

    We are under threat from ‘our share’ of the 2 billion ‘new Europeans’ that Junker would dump on us, just to give him a seat on the UN. Now is not the time to be fighting amongst ourselves.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, provincial nationalism might have been an inevitable consequence of the UK Parliament abstracting to itself those competances of counties etc, such as planning and education etc which properly belong to a locality: if a minority want to live in a socialist utopia, why should they be enabled to inflict it on us all?

      However, the greater threat now comes from the EU whose underpinings are the ideas of Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi and those that have assiduously promoted them such as Tony Blair and Angela Merkel; as such, one can’t help feeling that the Cross of St George has a purity which could be the talisman for us to resist such deeply unpleasant ideas and those that actively and insidiously promote them e.g. the BBC.

  16. Bill
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The only answer is to open the airways to alternative broadcasters. I don’t see any future for an unreformed BBC. My hope is that the Out campaign would create lasting institutional voices that would taken on the vested interests funded by the BBC.

  17. MikeP
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC believes its political mission is to hold the Government of the day to account. I wouldn’t mind this tack if they stood by their real brief to educate, inform and entertain. There is nothing educational or informative in challenging only one side of an argument and when asked why they don’t give more coverage to positive news about the country’s or Government’s achievements, we often hear that “they’re not there to do the Government’s business”. Strange then that they do feel they are there to do the Opposition’s business and leave the viewing public with a lop-sided anti-Tory perspective. Why in the face of so many complaints they still don’t fix this bias is one of mankind’s greatest mysteries.

  18. agricola
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Labour are not interested in the morality of English votes for English business because they see the SNP as part of the socialist opposition. Scotland might revert to Labour so why come to the Commons and besmirch your socialist credentials by being involved.

    The BBC is largely the mouthpiece of socialism within their News and Current Affaires department. It is a part of the BBC that should be forced kicking and screaming into the commercial world with ITV and Sky. You should not be surprised that they have a socialist agenda and no interest in England. You should take every opportunity to remind them of who is paying for the propaganda they disseminate.

    I would describe the SNP as the ultimate hypocrisy, or more precisely a political whore. Let her quickly learn that politics is the art of the possible, lest the people of Scotland tire of her nonsense.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Now let me see, which is my greater concern?

    That fifty odd Westminster MPs elected in Scotland may feel that they are being treated as “second class MPs” because they will not be allowed the deciding voice on laws which do not even affect their constituents in Scotland.

    Or, that fifty odd million people in England are being treated as “fourth class citizens”.

    Not even “second class citizens”, mind, those are the Welsh, with the Scots as “first class” and the Northern Irish as “third class”, but FOURTH class.

    Of course it would be possible to devise a scheme which did not make it necessary to restrict the voting power of MPs elected in any part of the UK, and it would be a simple scheme that everyone would have a chance of understanding:

    GIVE THE ENGLISH WHAT THE SCOTS HAVE HAD FOR SIXTEEN YEARS.

    Or, if you not only think that the English don’t really deserve the same as the Scots but doubt that they would even want it, hold a referendum in England to ask the English directly whether they would like to have a separate and separately elected devolved Parliament and government for the whole of England within a federal UK.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Good afternoon.

      Denis, you have once again said very much what I was going to say.

      Better 50 odd Scottish malcontents with their own parliament, than 50 million people with no parliament whatsoever.

      The establishment have a plan. And they are sticking too it.

    • MikeP
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Denis, provided the referendum made clear what the (additional) cost of a new Assembly would be, I strongly suspect we’d vote no. After all, given the tax we already pay to sustain the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish, how could we possibly afford the luxury of a level playing field Assembly-wise?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        You may be right, especially if the NO2AV team was reassembled to lead the opposition to it. Then no doubt according to their calculations it would be fantastically expensive, and we might even be treated to posters saying that this poor baby needs a new incubator not an English Parliament.

        As some of us learned with that referendum, and we may well find out again if there is the referendum on EU membership, a referendum won through brazen lies is still a referendum won, and it makes no difference to the result if the winning side has to issue retractions afterwards.

        I’m wary of arbitrarily reducing the number of Westminster MPs, but if many matters were devolved to a separate English Parliament as they have been to the Scottish Parliament then it would be justifiable to do that to reflect the reduced workload of MPs, who would then be members of a federal UK Parliament dealing only with UK-wide matters.

        Bear in mind that the Conservative plan was to arbitrarily reduce the number of MPs from 650 to about 500 without any reduction in their total workload, and JR said at the time that this was OK because he could easily deal with more than his present 76,000 plus constituents.

        And that would be even easier when he was no longer the port of call for inquiries and complaints about all the matters which had been devolved to a separately elected English Parliament; instead of ca 100,000 constituents JR could cope with ca 140,000 just for the UK-wide matters reserved to the UK Parliament. Cutting the number of MPs to say 350 would cut their ongoing costs, and so pay for the members of a separate English Parliament.

        That in turn would make it possible to sell off the parts of the parliamentary estate outside the Palace of Westminster which were acquired at great expense to accommodate the large number of MPs, only half of whom can be fitted into the Palace itself, and the proceeds of that would offset the initial capital outlay for setting up a separate English Parliament near the centre of England where costs are much lower.

        I’m not saying that it would necessarily be cost neutral – for all I know, it might turn out to be cheaper – but the sums involved would not be so large that they should be used as an excuse to deny justice to England.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I noticed an SNP MP making an intervention right at the beginning of the EVEL debate , who raised the point that the first Scottish view on EVEL (him) was sixth in line to be heard and felt this was outrageous. When he did get his slot to speak he again raised the issue of the insult of having SNP’s thoughts on EVEL being relegated to sixth in line, especially when it was all about how this would effect the Scots.

    Of course he can take this one eyed view of matters, that the country revolves around what is good for Scotland, when as you point out the BBC only sees matters from a point of view of that being other than English, but it doesn’t just stop at the media’s failings, for the British political establishment have similar short comings, where the previous EVEL debate was very , very sparsely attended, barely a handful in the chamber if you excluded the full ranks of the SNP benches, this EVEL debate was better attended, but not great, and of course the last eighteen years we have had no interest shown by most of the British MP’s to English peoples constitutional plight. So not surprisingly SNP MP’s get the idea that its all about them.

  21. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    MPs from Scotland, Wales and NI are already “second class”, for a significant part of what had previous been their representative responsibility has been devolved. Yet they still receive the same salary (and allowances?) for a smaller workload.

    What is the total parliamentary (Westminster and the devolved assemblies) cost per constituency in the four nations of the UK?

  22. Old Albion
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The BBC has long been the voice of Scotland.

    Nicola Sturgeon and her band of hypocrites continue to whinge and whine about second class MP’s. Despite there having been two classes of MP’s since 1998.
    Those with seats in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland who had much of their ‘work’ removed by their nations’ Parliament or Assembly. Leaving them mostly English issues to interfere with.
    While MP’s in English seats retained authority over all issues in England.
    Yet none of this led to a reduction in pay for the semi-employed Scot, Welsh and N.Irish MP’s. It’s called wanting their McCake and eating it.

    We continue to hear how wonderful Devolution is for Scotland and Wales. But when England demands equality, we are told ‘no’ it will break the Union. Strange that, as I thought ‘breaking the Union’ is exactly the reason the SNP exist.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Can someone tell me why the BBC is so anti-English??

  23. Iain Gill
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    They are limited by a very narrow group think world view. They are wrong on most subjects. Their analysis of the talk talk security breach has been laughable, and their so called experts did not have a good top level understanding. So it is with most subjects if it doesn’t fit the perception of a narrow set of arts grads the coverage is worse than useless.

  24. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Dear John–I agree with your Diary today but am puzzled why, as I have said in the past, you can not, certainly do not, get more exposure for your views. Only a select few read your Diary. I would have thought that today’s topic would have made an excellent stroppy letter to the Torygraph which I cannot imagine their not publishing. Is it that as an MP you feel it is beneath you to write such a letter? Otherwise I cannot understand. Even an occasional something in the Sun would be good–the Sun’s Leaders are excellent these days

    Reply I do not publish it here to hide it! Always happy when others wish to take it up.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–As I have remarked before, you have this habit of saying what’s true but without actually saying much. My point of course was and remains that you are nowhere near proactive or aggressive enough in getting your views in front of the public. I have never once heard anything, down the pub or otherwise, along the lines of, Did you read John Redwood today?

      Reply My comments on English votes were repeated on BBC news outlets this week. It is not in my gift to place my views on more channels or in more papers. My views are published and available for use, just as views in the Telegraph or Mail are published and available. I have no spin doctor or media assistant.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Further Reply–I struggle to believe that if you were to offer (not “place”) an article to the Torygraph they would not jump at it, especially on today’s subject

        Reply They are usually reluctant or don’t wAnt one. Quite often say yes then fail to publish

  25. turbo terrier
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Very good entry John.

    Proves to me that the BBC is rapidly reaching it sell by date.

    The only thing constant in life is change and the BBC have not changed the way they report and act in years.

    We want our youth to get involved well for that it needs a vibrant exciting and thought provoking news not the same old same old.

    Time to wrap it up and send it to Room 101

  26. ian wragg
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting that the president of Portugal has banned a left wing party with a clear majority from forming a government.
    No doubt this will be ignored by the BBC as was EVEL.
    How long before Brussels bans all anti EU/immigration parties.
    They really are helping the Brexit camp.Thjanks.

    • Tom William
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      And bans any querying of whether CO2 is a major/the only factor in climate change.

      I see it proposes to force farmers to put up signs showing that they are receiving funding from the EU (to which of course the UK contributes).

      • matthu
        Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        One of the LEAVE groups should offer to pay farmers to put up a sign alongside each EU sign pointing out that all of the funding received from the EU has been sourced from funds paid by UK tax-payers.

        Leaving the EU would simply cut out the middle-man.

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I truly despair of the BBC, but I wonder if John would have received the same response from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire?

    I have put a lot of time and effort into nurturing links with presenters and am in regular contact, and have a fairly good relationship with them. I’m sure that if John made it clear beforehand there were important and crucial points he needed to make in support of the English case, that would have been taken into account. And if he wasn’t able to make those points to his own satisfaction, I am sure many of the listeners would, on his behalf.

    It’s a pity I wasn’t tuned into BBC Radio Berkshire when he spoke, because I sure as hell would have put them right, and if my comments didn’t get aired, I would have complained about their biased agenda.

    Whenever we come up against this kind of thing, it’s up to all of us to make our feelings known. If we swamp the BBC with our well-founded thoughts and opinions, then they will have to take notice, so I make the case to everyone for being a lot more proactive, and to support a worthy cause by actually going out there and fighting for what we believe in, unless we want the b****** to get away with it every time!

    These lefties are like Dracular. Hold the cross of truth before them, and they shrivel up and wither away. They can’t cope with a good argument, and their primary tool seems to be the way they try to manipulate the agenda, not the strength of their argument, but they can be beaten!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  28. Lucy Locket
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The main role for Scottish, Welsh & NI MPs is to vote on English matters. Yes, they also vote on reserved matters, now mainly energy & defence, but absolutely everything else, all the devolved matters, are decided in their own countries by their own parliaments, and not by them. We pay them to turn up in the Commons to vote almost entirely on English affairs. And they complain of being 2nd class MPs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’ve previously done this exercise for both 2012 and 2013 and posted the results, but here is the picture for 2014.

      In 2014 there were 30 public general Acts passed by the UK Parliament:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014

      of which only 2 did not apply to Scotland at least in part.

      And neither of those 2 Acts free from any provisions which extended to Scotland actually applied only to England, they both applied to England and Wales.

      For reference, the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act and the Leasehold Reform (Amendment) Act.

      Reply Yes, but also English spending and tax decisions are important

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Lucy Locket contends that MPs elected in Scotland now have very little to do in the Commons apart from interfere in English affairs. As previously I have tested that idea simply by looking at the Acts passed by the Commons to see how many apply to Scotland wholly or in part, and how many apply just to England, or just to England and Wales, and putting the numbers together for the past three years I find:

        2012 – 23 Acts, 5 did not apply to Scotland, none applied just to England.
        2013 – 33 Acts, 6 did not apply to Scotland, none applied just to England.
        2104 – 30 Acts, 2 did not apply to Scotland, none applied just to England.

        So over those past three years MPs have passed a total of 86 public general Acts, of which only 13, or 15%, did not apply to Scotland in any way and therefore did not really need any input from the MPs elected in Scotland, while none of those 86 Acts applied just to England and therefore could legitimately be dealt with just by the MPs elected in England.

        The clue to the second finding, that there have been no Acts at all applying just to England, being that Acts which apply to England almost always apply to Wales as well. In fact over those three years there was only one Act out of the total of 86 which did not apply to Wales, the Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Act 2013 which applied only to Scotland.

        Of course this is a crude test, not least because in some cases the whole of an Act will apply to Scotland while in other cases only some Sections of the Act apply to Scotland, but then Lucy Locket’s contention is crude and this test is good enough to convince any reasonable person that it is also false.

        Reply The main part of an MPs job is not legislating but dealing with constituency casework. Scottish MPs have a fraction of what an English MP receives, as they do not do health, education, local government, planning, law and order etc, the main issues in my post bag.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Well, JR, I would relieve you of that large part of your post bag, so that you could concentrate on issues affecting the UK as a whole.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Somewhat off-topic, I’m finding it hard to see how we can expect the electorate to come to any mature, well-considered and sensible decision on EU membership when most of the mass media are so pathetically poor at informing the public about the EU, with the strong suspicion that often this is quite deliberate.

    The closures of several steel plants makes the headline news, but somehow the important facts that this is partly driven by the EU’s energy policies, and that only the EU can institute anti-dumping measures against Chinese steel, and that any government aid for these plants must comply with EU rules on state aid, do not get much mention.

    Apropos of which, JR, I noticed this from Cameron on Monday, Column 659:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#15101913000001

    “… we are doing everything we can in Europe to help our steel industry, which is why we voted in favour of dumping tariffs against the Chinese … ”

    Can you say whether this refers to a recent vote or to one in the more remote past, and if it was a recent vote whether the UK government was on the winning or losing side?

    I note that the SNP is taking the opportunity to criticise the UK government for having “given up” on the steel industry and hopes to find a buyer for two plants in Scotland, failing which the Scottish government might take them over and keep them running:

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/uk-has-given-up-but-we-re-backing-steel-say-msps-1-3925886#axzz3pTNptrJp

    But oddly enough the pro-EU SNP are not also taking the opportunity to say:

    “If Scotland was independent then Scottish ministers could be at the top table discussing EU energy policy and EU anti-dumping measures and EU state aid rules”

    Even though this is actually where the EU project started, with the EU proudly tracing its origins back to the European Coal and Steel Community, set up in 1951 as “a first step in the federation of Europe” and “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”, according to the Schuman Declaration of May 9th 1950:

    http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration/index_en.htm

    Instead we have the SNP preferring to treat this as a failure of the UK government which the devolved Scottish government could rectify, even though everything to do with the EU is a reserved matter and the Scottish government could well be exceeding its devolved powers if it did use public money to buy these steel plants and run them at a loss.

  30. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Wonderful Scottish accents are heard on our National TV Channels. But I do not hear so many Kentish, Cornish, Yorkshire, Welsh and other regional/national accents. I haven’t a clue what a Berkshire accent sounds like. Of course, no-one actually speaks what was BBC-English. Everyone forgave them for pronouncing “Sixth” as “Sick” or “Sickth. And every Scot, Irishman/Ulsterman and so-named Englishmen forgave and still forgives their pronunciation of “Houston” ( the surname not the American city ) as “Euston”. American-Mexican influence. But the BBC speaks badly of England as best it can. Intolerably so.

    Skynews a few days ago between 3.30pm-3.35pm, appeared to favour criticism of China rather than the EU in regard to Steel dumping. Kay Burley spoke on video with Peter Brennan at Canary Wharf and when he diverged from the usual “It woz China tha’ dunnit” theme to “Europe has been overproducing steel”, she deftly led him back from potentially bad news about the EU to her own anti-China rhetoric.
    So it may be the BBC prefers Scotland to England/Wales. And, Skynews prefers the EU to England and China. Incidentally Kay Burley, born in Wigan Lancashire still manages to speak nice English, when on camera at least.

  31. Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    First and foremost I wish for a truly United Kingdom where everything is fair and equal . With the formation and support given to Regional Assemblies a wedge was driven into our unity and local privileges were demanded . These Assemblies were a great mistake and we are now left with different forms of grabs on the overall public purse ; inevitably this has been at the cost to the English taxpayer who now , understandably , demand protection and equality .

    The lead taken by our host for English protection made a great deal of sense and will result in excluding some MPs from participating in what is purely an English matter . This situation is not ideal as far as the unity of our country is concerned but , until the Regional Assemblies are abolished , it has to happen and the greedy Scots stopped in their tracks .

    The BBC has long been a body that has considered itself the guardian of our morality and has resisted all forms of controls to modify how it represents things ; its independence from outside controls in the past had a certain merit , however , over time it has got its case seriously out of line and now has to be curtailed . When I was invited to be interviewed by the BBC several years ago , I insisted on meeting my interviewer beforehand to clear the points she wished to raise , I only agreed to go ahead providing she stuck to her text . I did this because I had no intention of being made a public scapegoat or straying into the unknown . I doubt the BBC would agree to this sort of arrangement today – such is the difference in the arrogant way it regards its isolation .

    I too feel that there is a strong case for BBC England . My view is the same logic as that with Regional Assemblies ; there should only be one BBC for the whole of the country .

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    We have certainly noticed that since the independence referendum the BBC has highlighted the ‘plight’ of the Scots in abundance. We actually turn off Scottish news now as we are so fed up of hearing Sturgeon and her merry band going on about how unfair everything is where Westminster is concerned. I am even thinking of giving up my voluntary work as I get made to feel like an outsider by the rest of the group because I am English. All devolved parliaments have done is made separation of nations even worse. I too John, am fed up of the BBC never asking pertinent questions over any issues concerning England, the government, ‘global warming crap’, energy, especially nuclear, the EU etc. The list is endless. England needs its own parliament and stuff the rest of them.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, reading around today I see somebody pointing out that MPs willingly allowed the Lords to have the power to block changes to tax credits, and I’m reminded that MPs have similarly given the Lords a power of veto over the EU referendum being held.

    Section 1(2) of the European Union Referendum Bill:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2015-2016/0060/lbill_2015-20160060_en_2.htm#pb2-l1g7

    says that:

    “The Secretary of State must, by regulations, appoint the day on which the referendum is to be held.”

    but then Section 7 says that the necessary statutory instrument “may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament” – similar wording to Section 66 of the Tax Credits Act 2002.

  34. forthurst
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    When JR comments on our net contributions to the EU, perhaps he would highlight the degree to which money refunded by the EU, such as that received by the BBC, is in furtherance of its own propaganda: the EU is now demanding that our farmers who receive some of our money back are being obliged to put up billboards to the greater glory of that vile organisation. Who will police this Orwellian scheme?

  35. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Virgin Media is preferable to the BBC. Mine, for some inexplicable reason defaults after a time to “France24English.” It’s a bit lefty. I do not know if everyone’s TV Service has a built-in bias for news information.

    France24English does show a greater depth and far greater items of news albeit on a left of centre perspective on every level than our BBC and Sky. RT which is supposed to be kind of Russian is also a bit lefty with a few UKIPesque bones thrown in …which marries up to the idea that the former KGB is overjoyed the Right in the form of UKIP is also a tad anti-American in that America on a military plane interacts in an anti-Russian way with the EU and the UK.
    Gosh, propaganda is complicated.But the 5 items of news are simply screened each day by the BBC and Sky with their announcers having well rehearsed teary eyes at exactly the same moments in their coverages 15 times per day. One wonders if someone behind the camera holds up a sign at decisive moments with the instruction “Watery Eyes Sweetheart” and “Slight froggy in the throat Deary-Poo”.

  36. Jon
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    For one of the biggest domestic political news events going it was conspicuous by its absence on BBC. Can’t help but think it had to have been deliberate, they had afterall been covering debates on it over the years.

  37. DaveM
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Andy, I get your idea and agree. However, one thing that still hasn’t been addressed is the issue of a First Minister for England, and the increased role of the Speaker.
    1. What if the PM is Scottish or Welsh?

    2. What if the Speaker is not English?

    3. If the British PM is treated as the English First Minister, that means the PM of the UK is also the PM of England – that would give any Scot or Welshman an even stronger grievance.

    Why can’t England just have the same as everyone else? A SoS would be nice too. And how about asking the English what they want? What do we get out of the UK? Why does my daughter – who goes to Uni in Cardiff – share a house with 3 people who don’t have to pay fees? Why do I have to pay for prescriptions? What do I get in return for subsidising Scottish welfare, etc?

  38. Maureen Turner
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    If the BBC wishes to pose as a broadcaster for the whole of the UK it has got to learn……….
    Our public broadcaster I’m afraid has its own agenda Mr. Redwood which it now comfortably wears on its sleeve and if any topic is not worthy, in their opinion, of reporting then it won’t make into a news bulletin. Today’s example. Farmers receiving funding from the EU required to erect info. board 6′ x 4′ on their land advising of this and failing to do so incurring a fine. DT reported on this as did the DE and the DM. Have yet to hear about this on the BBC.

    I can well understand your own and most of the electorate south of the border railing against Scottish MPs trooping down to Westminster to vote on English issues that have no bearing on those of us north of the border but could profoundly effect England. It is a ridiculous situation.

    The BBC’s Royal Charter requires it to report News factually and without political bias and the result of the vote last Thursday should have given equal airtime to all Parties for discussion – not just the views of the Scots and the Welsh.

    You say what is needed is a BBC England. Yes, that would seem fair but would the BBC have reported on the implications of the vote if such a station did exist? It would appear that the only opinions they wanted to hear were from those who declared themselves 2nd class MPs.

    So far devolution has only served to fracture the UK so let’s hope someone can put us back together again before it’s too late.

  39. WillH
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    We are forced with the threat of prison to pay the BBC tax, so surely we are entitled to “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” without bias. The fact that the government does nothing just shows they go along with the whole pro EU, Common Purpose agenda. Some Conservative government!

  40. yosarion
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    The way things are going the English will become a Terrorist organization in the eyes of the EUSSR, and their Westminster Quislings, any interviews that John or any other with sympathies to the English cause, will have their interviews Dubbed over with the voice of an actor.

  41. Edwardm
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    It is appalling how the BBC ignores the issue of fairness for English people. That nearly every household pays a tax to the BBC means there is nothing to stop it from ignoring their concerns and being one-sided. It is surely time viewers were allowed to choose whether they subscribe to the BBC, in a similar way to its competitors. Its also time we had a new broadcaster that is pro-English and pro-British to give viewers some choice in the broadcast market place.

    If BBC Scotland and the SNP are concerned that Scottish MPs will be barred from part of the legislative process on English only matters, perhaps we need a rule that introduces some cause and effect. A rule that says Scottish MPs may choose whether to have full voting rights on any matter that has been devolved, but when they decide to do so, then that matter automatically becomes a non-devolved matter and no longer one for the Scottish parliament.

  42. Ken Moore
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    England has been under attack for a long time because too few politicians have had the courage to tackle creeping political correctness . They in effect bound their own hands and gagged their own mouths decades ago with a series of stupid and badly thought through pieces of ‘anti discrimination’ legislation. Can we say that London is no longer an English city – who asked for that change to come about ?

    The one sided view of the BBC is just another symptom of the disease. Why would those in the establishment that seek to harm England grant it the same rights as Scotland and other protected groups ?

    The attacks went up a gear during the Blair years but it was the Conservatives that brought in Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 stating ‘ a person is guilty of an offence if he uses any insulting words or behaviour, which are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’. A most worrying catch all piece of legislation.

    England to the BBC represents an oppressor with it’s colonial past,a racist, conservative minded and horribly middle class people hated by the left wing elite . Yet to the BBC ,other far less benign regimes can do no wrong.

    To be white ,English born, male and hold conservative opinions..well you might aswell admit to being a mass murderer so unhinged is the hatred of the left wing establishment towards you. Then we let this hate filled intolerant rabble run everything from our schools , university’s, political parties…

  43. William Grant
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    The fact remains that supposedly national news on the television on all channels is dominated by an english agenda and now that voters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have no say on England-only issues, the devolved countries no longer need to hear about ‘devolved’ English news. The Culture, media and
    sport secretary, John Whittingdale, has already dismissed calls for a federal BBC in a ‘put up with and shut up’ way.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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