I have been exceptionally busy this week, and I had to divert attention on this site to war and peace and to Labour given the run of events and news. I also see that yesterday’s post which I tried to publish on the main site and local pages at the same time only appeared on local pages. I have had to switch it to the main site to give it greater prominence. Yesterday I gave a new lecture on the politics of identity, looking at the Middle East, Ukraine and devolution within the UK which I will post as soon as I get the video.
Let me catch up with progress so far on my speaking for England campaign.
The Chequers meeting confirmed that the Conservative party is united in wanting an early solution to the English problem. All agreed that English votes for English issues has long been our policy, and all agreed that with more devolution for Scotland it now has to be progressed.
No-one wants to renege on promises to Scotland. Most agree that we make progress on both the Scottish and the English question at the same time. Indeed, they go together, and should result in identical powers for England as for Scotland. There is considerable enthusiasm in the Conservative party for fiscal devolution. Devolved governments should be more responsible for raising the money they spend.
Giving English votes for English issues to English MPs can be done by a simple change to the Standing Orders of the Commons. The first task for Mr Hague must be to see if the Liberal democrats will agree to a government motion to do just this. If they do it can be done quickly. If they refuse England justice, then we will look at other routes to bring this matter to a vote in the House as soon as possible.