Two modest proposals

1. Parliament should meet on Monday. Leaders need to hear directly from colleagues in the new Parliament as they negotiate. The new Parliament needs to have more teeth than the old, and to do that it needs to meet more often.

2. The Conservatives won a clear majority of all the seats in England. Given nationalist views, we should have a majority for the proposition that from now on it should be English votes for English issues. Pass such a motion, and then Conservatives could appoint Ministers to the English Ministeries like Education, local government and transport, and at least get on with sorting out those backed by a good English majority in Parliament..


  1. John C
    May 9, 2010

    Regarding point 2 – the Conservatives should give up on the idea of trying to maintain the UK.

    Let the Scots go off on their own and the Conservatives will have a permanent majority in England and Wales.

    1. Mark
      May 9, 2010

      The Scots would be back with their begging bowls before you can say Alex Salmond if they seceded. This time an alliance with the French (EU) isn't an alternative. They've got plenty of problems on their doorstep without adding the Scots.

  2. Derek Duncan
    May 9, 2010

    It's certainly a good idea to keep people aware of the negotiations, but I don't think having Parliament meet tomorrow is worthwhile. It is likely that the negotiations will still be in a state of flux and so what Parliament is told will be unimportant.

    I am quite sure that you will be able to find out what is going on if you want to, at any time! Perhaps some of the new MPs won't yet know the ropes, but they'll learn!

    Of course if agreement has been reached by tomorrow one would hope that everyone is told, not just Parliament.

  3. Simon
    May 9, 2010

    Listened to your interview on Radio 5 Live, felt you dealt with the ridiculous Limpek Opek very well. Now is an era of grown up politics and not the over simplified lazy spun led agenda we have endured for the last 13 years. Hopefully with no government funding the Labour spin machine will grind to a halt.

    I think Electoral Reform should be championed by the Conservative party but that it has to be comprehensive. You identify above the glaring English problem but also to deal with the inbuilt Labour bias in the current system. 13 years of Blairite opportunism have left us with a mess.

    It needs to be properly considered and have all party support surely making this point would placate the LD grass roots and allow the government to get on an deal with the real issue facing this country.

  4. alan jutson
    May 9, 2010

    Understand your thoughts about Parliament meeting, but would be concerned that tough negotiations may be compromised by public statements on positions too early.

    The last thing we need is Brown as any sort of figurehead at the moment putting in the poison.

    I am assuming that both Party leaders are keeping in touch with their Party MPs and bouncing ideas and thoughts around with senior members. So would prefer negotiations to continue (without comment) until a result, or failure is achieved.

    Completely agree with your thoughts on England, who seem to have been shafted by the National interests of the devolved Governments. This current situation HAS to change. You run with the hare or the hounds, not with both.

  5. Alan Dean
    May 9, 2010


    You are right to address the incomplete devolution settlement but I do feel that an "English Grand Committee" approach will not be satisfactory. I want to preserve our Union, but believe that we can only do so on the basis of an equitable settlement, otherwise we will have left the worm in the apple. During the election, I wrote "What would a rational constitutional settlement look like?" and I would urge that a Constitutional Convention be agreed by the Conservatives and Lib Dems, with a referendum on the results.

    Alan Dean

  6. Javelin
    May 9, 2010

    I agree. But would go further and give the celtic ministerial posts to the heads of th. Celtic paties and letnature take it's course.

    It time we put our faith in political philosophy and let things work themselves out, rather than rely on the LibDems.

    To join with the Lib Dems would be to show faith in the Lib Dems.

    I say it's time to have faith in political philosophy in the same way the founding fathers in the US did. Stop being a control freak Mr Cameron and give each country back to themselves under a national banner.

    Use this opportunity to bring balance and harmony and not to create factions and in fighting.

  7. Eotvos
    May 9, 2010

    Mr Redwood, I advocate a change of policy re Scotland. Cut it loose. It has become the last bastion of the Soviet economic model. It has a command economy and floats on an ocean of benefit handouts.

    It will never vote Conservative. Not ever.

    All the middle class vote Lab/Lib/SNP because they are all employed by the state; doctors, teachers, social workers, lawyers (legal aid).

    Scotland, without English subsidy, will be as bankrupt as Iceland in 12 months.

    1. Mark
      May 9, 2010

      You're right…they would quickly be bankrupt. Who would they beg from then?

      1. Kenneth
        May 10, 2010

        Total and utter nonsense.

        None of this accounting is based on fact, just prejudice.

        Scotland has excellent business, oil, gas, whisky, tourism, water, renewables, video game industry, golf, lamb, beef, and much more.

        The fact is we would not only have more money but we would spend it better.

        No wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, No trident, no House of Lords, no expensive monarchy, etc.

        Therefore the money we have would be invested far more sensibly.

        Secondly, we would encourage economic growth by having a far lower corporation tax than England.

        With lower property prices, wages, corporation tax and a highly educated English speaking population many companies would choose Edinburgh instead of London to do business.

        Also… one more thing… the latest figures in PESA show that London gets more identifiable money spent per head than Scotland does… and then there is non-identifiable spending – Olympics, Crossrail, Channel Tunnel, etc… which all takes place in SE England … and is never included in the figures.

  8. Acorn
    May 9, 2010

    How about a federal structure for the UK? With an English parliament. Perhaps then, the four constituent countries can be responsible for their own country budgets. This would be a shock for three of them, as their spending has no correlation to their taxing. Get rid of Barnett and have a federal budget that transparently shows just how much the English are subsidising all ten government functions (COFOG definitions); including defence.

    I see Sarkozy is trying to stitch us up, for a Euro bail-out fund today (Sunday). With qualified majority voting already having rigged the vote, with the 16 Euro nations, out of the 27. That, according to Mish, is about a ten billion bill for us!

  9. Kevin Peat
    May 9, 2010

    I hope that Gordon Brown is still at the number 10 desk at opening of trade on Monday.

    Unfortunately you can bet that an economic slump will be spun thus: "See ! As soon as the Tories get a even whiff of power the economy goes belly up."

    These people are so slippery. How can Ben Bradshaw state so brazenly that the election result was the country crying out for a Lib/Lab coalition ?

    As you state correctly in the preceeding post, there has been a lot of mental conditionning going on and this is evident in my work place. It is to court an almost violent outburst to state that one voted Tory and not Labour.

    A large proportion of people in our country actually deserve what's coming.

  10. Jonathan
    May 9, 2010

    Point 2 is a good idea, and I support it in principal. However it needs to be throught through properly.

    It is perfectly possible that at some point we could have different parties in charge of the English Parliament and the British Parliament. That in itself is not a problem, but the problem is that we would have the British parliament in charge of taxation, and the four national parliaments in charge of public spending which is not good. The people that spend our money need to be responsible for deciding where the money comes from to pay for that expenditure.

    Also, at the moment, the Barnet formula means that English spending decisions at Westminster determine how much money the other parliaments get. That means that for example Scottish MPs have an interest in supporting Crossrail so that they can get their Barnet allocation to fund the Edinburgh trams or free university tutition or whatever they choose to spend it on. Either there needs to be another method of allocating money to the national parliaments, or the national parliaments need to be responsible for raising it themselves.

    This is something to discuss and put forward as an overall package of reforms to the people at a refurendum, not something to be introduced as a knee jerk reaction to a hung parliament.

  11. Sue
    May 9, 2010

    Since when have Cameron and team ever listened to any sensible ideas?

    We want an English Parliament run by English politicians.

  12. Bill
    May 9, 2010

    Listening to Lady Helena Kennedy this morning on the Andrew Marr show, arguing that the Conservatives’ have “Lost” this election and that a rainbow coalition should be formed between Labour, Lib Dems with support from the nationalists.

    Looking at Scotland in particular , the Scots have their own parliament, but their MP’s rank pari passu with English MP’s on English affairs.

    Scotland, for its population, is over represented in Westminster.

    Scotland receives a disproportionate balance of resources thanks to the Barnett formula.

    Anyone feel like me that it would be better if Scotland slung its hook?

  13. Michael St George
    May 9, 2010

    Dear John

    You are absolutely correct, but I believe that you then fail to take your (entirely accurate) analysis to its logical conclusion.

    It seems incontrovertible from the results that the Scots are repelled even by Cameron's watered-down Conservatism-Lite, and are incorrigibly and viscerally wedded to statist socialism – preferably funded principally by the English.

    As you will know far better than I, swathes of Scotland are utterly dependent on the high taxing, high spending state for income and GDP, and show scant inclination to change.

    The two nations are simply antithetical, and irreconcilably so, in their political philosophies: the time has come to recognise this and require them to assume the independence which so many of them obviously crave, and the financial self-responsibility that goes with it.

    Scotland would of course be an economic basket-case within a few years, but at least a predominantly Conservative England would at least be free at last of this political and financial incubus.

  14. GJ Wyatt
    May 9, 2010

    Your second proposal won't seem "modest" to the ScotNats and some others here in Scotland. They will harp endlessly on about the creation of two classes of MP, oblivious to the injustices of the unresolved West Lothian question. Scottish, Welsh and N. Irish MPs should have no say on devolved issues as they affect England.

    Further, the whole class of MSP etc should be abolished, and Scottish MPs sit, say three days a week in the Holyrood parliament while English MPs sit in Westminster considering devolved issues.

    1. backofanenvelope
      May 9, 2010

      I like your second suggestion! It should also appeal to the Labour party……..

  15. no one
    May 9, 2010

    I would have thought some decisions were easy, such as telling the civil service to pull the plug on the national ID card scheme, really there is no excuse for folk to continue wasting money on this given the commons majority against it, that means stop in now as of Monday morning

    Stop issuing intra company transfer visas to Indian nationals in view of the widespread abuse, stop giving indefinite leave to remain to folk who are getting it simply for being here a long time on work visas, increase policing of corporate abuse of work visa rules

    Pull the plug on the remains of the failed NHS IT programme, get the lawyers in to reclaim as much of the money from the suppliers who have failed to deliver

    And so on

  16. Lindsay McDougall
    May 9, 2010

    Being Glasgow born but having moved south at age four, my identity is that of a citizen of the United kingdom. There can be no other. Unlike many of you I have not given up hope of killing off as much devolution as possible.

    First, Scotland. The generosity of the Barnett formula, which gives Scottish people 17% more public expenditure per head, financed by English tax payers, is directly contrary to the interests of the Union. It enables the SNP and Labour to preen themselves with continuing to provide free University education when it has not ben paid for by them. Reduce the premium to about 5%, in recognition of the support needed for people living in cold, sparsely populated areas (about 20% of Scots) and take away the scottish Parliament's tax raising powers. That will wipe the smug smile off Alec Salmond's face.

    Carry on building Conservative support in Dumfries & Galloway, the three Ayrshire constituencies, Sterling and South Pershire. Don't give up on Scotland.

    Our progress in Wales is pleasing. Let it continue.

    Finally, Northern Ireland. Continue building the Conservative and Unionist Party; we nearly won one seat this time round. Of course it will get up Sinn Fein's nose; that is an intention. And if they threaten to break off the Good Friday Agreement, the correct response is "Go ahead, make my day". The agreement has always been undemocratic – you can have any partner you like, as long as it's Sinn Fein.

  17. Javelin
    May 10, 2010

    You could see it a hundred miles away. The power hungry Lib Dems going behind the Tories back. We need an English Parliament. We need a Celtic Coalition with the DUP, PC and SNP. The Celtic counties will vote on their own issues except for Foreign Policy.

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