English votes for English needs – EVEN

We are fast approaching a statement from Mr Hague on how the government, and the Conservatives, will carry forward the work on English votes.

I have long argued we should not be plotting evil – English votes for English laws – but English votes for English issues. Why not adopt the cross party word of needs, so the mnemonic can be EVEN – English votes for English needs.

I expect Mr Hague to accept that more is involved than a few votes on a few bills that are England only. Once the Union Parliament has decided the total grants to local government in the four parts of the UK, for example, surely all the detail on how the English money is divided up are matters for England and English MPs, just as Scotland’s detailed settlement is for the Scottish Parliament? Once the UK Parliament has settled England’s NHS budget, then surely English health policy under that budget is a matter for England, just as Scotland’s is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

Similarly we should want English MPs to decide England’s Income Tax rate as Scottish MSPs will be deciding Scotland’s. Welsh and Northern Irish MPs would also take part at Westminster all the time their Income tax is settled with England’s.

I also expect Mr Hague to agree there needs to be an early debate in this Parliament, when the parties can set out their differing approaches.

I want him to sign up to the first proposal in his White Paper, English votes on any English matter. That is the simpler way, and the fair way. The other remaining proposal he is considering does not allow English MPs to settle English matters, as it retains a vote for Scottish MPs on any proposal England wants. That is not fair to England and does not keep the promise to deliver English votes for English needs.

There is no complexity on deciding which is an English (or English, Welsh and Northern Irish issue) as it is one settled in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament. They seem to have no difficulty deciding which they are for the Scottish Parliament, so it should be equally easy to decide a non Scottish issue.

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  1. William Gruff
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    No one seriously expects any attempt from the Conlaberals to address the democratic deficit that has existed in England since 1998. Nothing less than an English Parliament with powers at least equal to that of Scotland can settle the issue satisfactorily and we aren’t going to get that for at least five years.

    As nothing can be done to avert the catastrophe that is coming, I can look forward to a Labour + SNP coalition government for the ‘United’ Kingdom without guilt, knowing that many of those currently polishing the benches of the Commons will be turfed out in May and the disgracefully Anglophobic Conservative and Unionist Party will be given a bloody good hiding. That is undeniably a pyrrhic victory but it is all we can look forward to in this sham of a democracy.

    Reply Voting to deliberately make the situation worse would be foolish and is unlikely by many of our fellow voters.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      If you want to make an omelet, you have to be prepared to break a few eggs. As the SNP have shown, if you want something, you going to have to threaten to do something that the Political Class and the Establishment really do not want to happen.

      Every freedom we have, the emancipation of men and women and universal suffrage, has had to be fought for. Nothing was ever given !

      If you do not want a Labour+SNP coalition which, as you quite rightly pointed out, would be worse, you better give us something to vote Conservative. “Oh dear, did I just threaten and blackmail an MP ?” Because if I did, I would not have been the first this past 12 months.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      @William Gruff; “May and the disgracefully Anglophobic Conservative and Unionist Party will be given a bloody good hiding. That is undeniably a pyrrhic victory but it is all we can look forward to in this sham of a democracy.”

      Well I’m not sure by your tone if you intended this but your comments are far more likely to make people think twice about voting UKIP etc. rather than Tory, just what is the rational other than unthinking spite towards sitting Tory MPs?

      What is more, the reason Cameron has had to govern as one part of a coalition was because UKIP prevented more Tory MPs being elected, UKIP even boasted about the fact the morning after the night before in May 2010, meaning that there has been policies that could never have been got through even if Cameron and the whole Tory party was in agreement.

      Thank you Mr Gruff, you have given me some clarity of thought….

      • William Gruff
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


        Well I’m not sure by your tone if you intended this but your comments are far more likely to make people think twice about voting UKIP etc. rather than Tory, just what is the rational other than unthinking spite towards sitting Tory MPs?

        Oh dear, so many possible answers to the statement and question in that paragraph. I’d love to reply at length, however our host has more important and more interesting things to occupy his Sunday evening with so I’ll be brief.

        1) Commenting on a post when uncertain of its meaning or the intention of its author seems pointless.

        2) I cannot make anyone do, say, think or write anything except by coercion, that includes voting. Do you think I am endowed with Svengali like powers?

        3) Anyone who claims to have been made to do something by another, other than by some form of coercion, is a simpleton or a child and should not be eligible to vote.

        4) No one sure of his voting intentions is going to be prompted to think twice about them by my simple statement of opinion.

        5) I am not in any way responsible for the actions of others.

        6) UKIP are no more capable of saving England from British ruin than the Conservative and Unionist Party and are probably less so, though I’ll grant that they almost certainly have more desire to do so, so it matters not whether anyone votes for them or the Conservatives. The point of voting UKIP is simply to say to the Conservatives that we as a people are so dissatisfied with them we can no longer vote for them and will not (the only way we have of showing our displeasure), whatever the alternative (politicians of all parties have traded for a very long time on the deceit that as bad as their party is it isn’t as bad as the others).

        7) How can my statement that I look forward to seeing punished those I believe have betrayed me, and my compatriots (which is the point of ‘democracy’), be construed as ‘unthinking spite’?

        Thank you Mr Gruff, you have given me some clarity of thought….

        ‘Clarity of thought’ does not seem to me to be one of your strengths, so I’m delighted to have helped you.

        What was the point of your response?

        • Jerry
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          @Wiliam Gruff; “1) Commenting on a post when uncertain of its meaning or the intention of its author seems pointless.”

          Oh good, then you will not be commenting on much, if anything, yourself then. Oh and you’re not so hot on Irony either…

    • Hope
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Scottish, Irish and Welsh students do not pay university tuition fees, English students do. Nor do Eau students in those deveoled parts of the UK! Blaire got Scottish MPs to originally vote it through. Why should we Wnglish taxpayers continue to give our hard earned money for the benefit of other parts of the country and Europe while our own citizens are placed in a life time of debt? Why did Cameron increase tuition fees on English people and not the rest of the country? Why did Clegg do the same after promising so strongly to oppose it no matter what? The same could be said for child benefit being paid to European citizens for their children who have not stepped a foot in this country while stopping it for citizens in this country who continue to pay into the UK tax pot!
      Why waste so much money on overseas aide while our elderly citizens suffer through EU energy policies that impose farcical emmission targets? JR, your thoughts are so flawed with your own party it is difficult to know where to begin. Perhaps get rid of Cameron and then people might take your party seriously.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Notwithstanding that yours is a pretty weak reply, the changes we need are so fundamental and so unlikely from the existing establishment that ‘reform’ is improbable even if possible. Nothing can be achieved until fundamental change is an imperative that can no longer be postponed; unfortunately the complete ruin of the country is necessary and there is nothing ‘foolish’ in hoping that the inevitable happens sooner rather than later. The good news is that those who have created the mess must suffer with us.

      As for the voting intentions of ‘our fellow voters’, they are irrelevant: the parties likely to be involved in government following the general election differ only in the degree of their incompetence and insanity (I’ll leave out the various categories of criminality I might reasonably have alluded to.) so however the Great British Public cast its worthless votes, disaster cannot be averted.

      Bring it on, I say, and let’s get it over with.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply (II):

      Reply Voting to deliberately make the situation worse would be foolish and is unlikely by many of our fellow voters.

      I will be grateful if you would kindly point out where I have advocated voting deliberately to make the situation worse. Unless I have misunderstood myself, I wrote that, accepting the inevitable, and believing it to be a sine qua non for change, I can look forward to it without a sense of guilt.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Had Brown got back in last time (as thanks to Cameron he very nearly did) we would now perhaps be looking forwards to a proper Tory party victory now.

      Also had Major lost first time, we would have been far better off now as Labour would have got all the blame for the ERM fiasco.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        …and had Mr Cameron been a conservative instead of a green, Lib-Dem heir to Blair, perhaps it wouldn’t matter much anyway.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Now that the Tory party has been so reduced (by Heath, Major, Hague, Duncan Smith, Howard and Cameron) to be only a party for a minority of a few elderly English voters, there is a huge need to finally get this issue right and push it to the front of voters minds. Surely no sensible person can want to have five years of a Labour/SNP or Rainbow coalition. Even if Cameron is only slightly better at least we will not have the SNP bossing England about.

    I suspect that Cameron will misjudge this issue too and get it totally wrong. After all has he ever got much right in the years since he ratted on his Cast Iron Pledge? Throwing away the last sitting duck election with his modernising, caring sharing, tax increasing, soft socialist, greencrap drivel?

    The criminalisation of squatting and the M4 bus lane perhaps. Just 96 days is it now? Cameron is good at talking but you cannot defend idiotic policies. This is why even he realises he cannot debate Farage without lots of others to help muddy the water.

    He would, after all, look even more stupid and unelectable than Clegg did. How can anyone defend unselective & totally open door immigration and benefit/health tourism over a sensible & selective immigration: A system that rejects criminals, benefit tourist and other financial liabilities and select people with the skills, record, sound health and talents we need.

    The man dare not even address the issue.

    Reply In current polls Conservatives are the most popular of all the parties. They are pledged to control migration numbers, including from the rest of the EU, with a renegotiation of our relationship to do so.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Dear John–You have reverted to your habit of saying something true but irrelevant. I for one remain a fairly diehard Tory but there is no chance whatsoever of my voting for them with Cameron in place. Keeping the pathetic Miliband out is a priority of course but a bigger priority is to get a few UKIP MP’s embedded ASAP.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton; I think that is called cutting ones own nose off to spite someone else’s face!

      • Hope
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Pledge on migration! The no ifs or buts Cameron five years ago! Promise on the Lisbon Treaty in the Sun newspaper in 2007. The veto that never was, no Eurozone country was stopped by Cameron from using EU institutions. Even Junker recently ridiculed him. He has been told there is no chance of changing the principle of free movement of people by so many of his bosses in Europe it would take too long to write. Electioneering is one thing but please be realistic.

      • ChrisS
        Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Then, of course that lightweight Conservative Chairman Grant Chapps comes out and rules out any post-election deal with UKIP !

        It’s obvious that if the Conservatives do emerge as the largest party Cameron would need the support of the drastically reduced number of LibDems and the few UKIP members could well be needed to achieve a majority.

        Of course we all know that Cameron and his Conservative-Lite cronies would be much happier with another coalition with Just Clegg and co without the discomfort of having to implement some real Conservative policies at the behest of UKIP. Grammar Schools spring to mind here.

        He might even have to carry out a genuine “Renegotiation” and be honest about the outcome when flies in from Germany waving a blank piece of paper as he walks down the steps from the aircraft.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      How many more times, by how many people, do you have to be told, that the Freedom of Movement of EU Citizens, ie you and me, is non-negotiable ? Period !!!!!!

      You can, and always have been, able to control non-EU immigrants, but never have. You have had five years plus, the time before to get your policies, if you ever had any, into gear. Words are not enough, you need to have a clear and coherent action plan, which none of the parties, and I mean none, have.

      • Hope
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Look at the mess at the Home Office regarding deporting foreign criminals where May has sat on reports. Breathtaking incompetence that many before her have resigned. Why has she not been sacked? Hundreds of thousands lost to the system! Yet we are told nonsense statements about security and terrorism. Has the EAW helped this mess managed by Teresa May?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          Indeed with the HRA and the EAW we have a perfect mess that benefits only the lawyers.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:
      Conservatives are the most popular-maybe, technically.

      I guess Eton is probably technically the most popular school amongst those who can pay, and the NHS is the most popular way to get treated for illness amongst those who can’t.

      Most of the policies you espouse are the nitty gritty of UKIP, yet you prefer to wave the flag of the Conservatives, who believe in few of them, just because the Conservatives are “popular”. Hmmm.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Can’t you see you are reinforcing a feedback loop in a party with a failing set of beliefs when you say, regardless of their actual policies, “because they’re popular, I’ll support them” and then “because people like me support them, they’re popular?”

        • Jerry
          Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          @JoeSoap; Far from wanting to speak for Mr Redwood but I do wonder if he meant to imply “Electable” rather than the more pure meaning of popularity?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      By the way, they have been pledged to “control total migration numbers” for years, and it hasn’t happened, has it? How can you possibly be naïve enough to believe this twaddle which your leaders spout?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      “They are pledged to control migration numbers”
      Meaningless. You made a pledge about immigration in your 2010 manifesto which you have failed spectacularly to keep (along with several others such as eliminating the deficit). You should have known that membership of the EU made that pledge undeliverable but clearly all is fair at election time especially outright deceit. Now you pledge the same again but this time “with a renegotiation of our relationship to do so”. More pie in the sky as it has been made clear that the EU will not allow any constraint on the “free movement of people”.
      You know these things but party politics trumps all in your world.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Brian Tomkinson; “[policies in the Tories] 2010 manifesto which you have failed spectacularly to keep”

        Two words – Coalition Government…

        But just think what the manifesto could have looked like had so many grass roots members not jumped ship to become ‘UKIPers’, had they still been around fighting from within, and think just how many marginal seats would have gone to the Conservatives rather than either LibDems or Labour and thus the clear majority the Tory Government would have had – of course, the Tory party might have been even more unpopular than they were, and thus Mr Brown and New Labour would have marched back up Downing Street on that Friday morning with an increased majority!

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          Making an undeliverable pledge on immigration had nothing to do with coalition government but was deliberately deceitful.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            @Brian Tomkinson; Yes Brian, it was an undeliverable pledge on immigration, hence why so many people still voted Labour despite Mr Browns own media gaff on the issue or his record as PM and Chancellor…

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      @LL; “Now that the Tory party has been so reduced (by Heath, Major, Hague, Duncan Smith, Howard and Cameron) [..//..]”

      There hasn’t been a decent Tory PM since Alex Douglas-Home!

      Whilst Thatcher was better than most she was deeply divisive and by 1990 had become a liability, the Tory party was staring defeat at the next election in the face and even with a change of leader is wasn’t so much as the Tory party won but Kinnock lost the plot with three days to go (the Sheffield gaff).

      • Jerry
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        @Jerry; When I said “PM”, I meant Leader.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Thatcher was indeed better than most (but clearly made many mistakes). She still suffered from having a lefty wing to her party and people dragging her into the ERM. Personally I think she would have won against Kinnock had she not been stabbed in the back first. Major won as her man, not due to his own ability, he clearly had very little. He was just a Cameron but without the gift of the gab. The public buried the party for 4 terms so far once they had sussed the man.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Cameron can still win. But not unless he moves his position hugely to: Lower taxes, far less or no EU, sensible but selective immigration, cheaper energy, a smaller state sector that actually delivers something of value, 5 runway Heathwick, cancel HS2/3, a fair deal for the English and far fewer and more sensible regulations.

      In short 180 degrees on nearly all issues.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      “Conservatives are the most popular of all the parties” Yes but thanks almost entirely to Miliband being so hopeless, so pro EU, so pro bloated state control, pro green crap, pro ever more tax borrow and waste and to cap it all he is essentially the voice of the state sector unions.

      The popularity could be far higher were Cameron to create some blue water between the Tories and Miliband.

      Cheap energy, lower taxes, smaller state sector, efficient public services that work, job creation, far less EU, control of our own borders – that is what is wanted.

    • Bazman
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      More self centred nonsense. Not once have you ever called for anything that improves the lives of the majority of this country. Just an elite rich and landlords.
      The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) calculated that the implementation of S144 anti squatting legislation would cost £25 million over the first five years, in order to evict all squatters from residential premises and prosecute over 10,000 people and this is a conservative estimate given medium-term consequences were also taken into account, such as rough sleeping, rehabilitation and new housing benefit claims
      Who is going to do all your dead end jobs without immigration. Will we see landlords pay anything for this? Absurd and pointless law given the powers that already exist.
      Once again you use to vacuous ‘green crap’ with any explanation. Well. Explain. You cannot? Don’t use words without meaning then.
      Farage has yet to tell us of any policy even on immigration and we know who the typical UKIP supporter is. It’s you! He loves the NHS and then wants to abolish it both at the same time depending on who is asking instantly forgetting what he has said before, but in general believing in the same old trickle down effect and helping the elite will help everyone else. It will not.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        @Bazman; “Who is going to do all [the] dead end jobs without immigration.”

        How about the indigenous population, you know the ones, those who keep bleating that there are no jobs, many of the companies who employ migrant labour are not doing so because they are cheaper (the NMW put an end to that, and if not then take the offending companies to law), no they are employing migrants because they can not get the indigenous population to take the jobs and if they do, keep them.

        • Jagman84
          Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          No minimum wage if you are self-employed, which is how many of these jobs are now offered. I personally know of an EU migrant who works under these conditions and is paid much less than NMW. However, it is still a lot more than in his native country.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

            @Jagman84; Two points, quite possibly then such jobs are not true self-employment and might yet be taken to law, HMRC have strict rules as to what is and is not ‘self employment’, but if these are proper self employed jobs then perhaps the rate is a correct one for the job since the “Great Recession” and some within the indigenous population (as I implied) need to take a reality check.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            The British are to compete with that? You need to think why East Europeans are here and why they are doing so much of the work that the British cannot and will not do.
            I’ve explained it a few times on this site.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            A reality check is exactly what they have took Jerry old bean and came to the right conclusion that it is not worth their while to work as they cannot even if they want to compete with East Europeans.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman; “came to the right conclusion that it is not worth their while to work as they cannot even if they want to compete with East Europeans.”

            Of course they could, they chose not to, even more so those under the age of 25 – 30. If eastern Europeans can survive and live on the pay they get then why not the indigenous population, if eastern Europeans can share rooms and accommodation (and here I’m not talking about illegal gang-masters and/or migrants) why can’t the indigenous population?!

          • Bazman
            Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            It is not the same competition, many of the young East Europeans are middle class and university educated or just very driven
            The average low qualified local kid cannot compete with them. The average low qualified kid from eastern Europe is still there on the dole like their counterparts.
            Many of the discount supermarket staff are ex teachers and other professionals. They will of course take them over the feckless locals living with their parents and no world experience.
            People with parents are to compete with the same I presume living five to room in a new town in a new town?

          • Jerry
            Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman; “It is not the same competition, many of the young East Europeans are middle class and university educated or just very driven”

            Yet those people do not find it ‘below themselves’ to work in a supermarket, factory, even cutting cabbages in the field or some such agricultural/labouring type job – rather makes my point!

            “[Employers] will of course take them over the feckless locals living with their parents and no world experience.”

            But then whose fault is that, perhaps eastern Europe doesn’t have on-demand access to ‘Reality TV’ and social media sites etc. in the same way as any UK resident kid over the age of about ten seems to, nor have they been brainwashed since kindergarten that they can be anything they want, all they need to do is make-a-wish, after all they live in a country if not world of equality etc..

          • Bazman
            Posted February 7, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Your plan being to put these values upon the average British person then Jerry being a cut in benefits to incentivise them?
            Life for East Europeans is very harsh in their own countries. Many Russians live on about £30-40 a month, so is this your plan a race to the bottom? I fail to see why the British should have to live like them to satisfy your idealogical nonsense.
            Funny how you do not see many British middle class people in these positions or in the metal trades living on council estates thanks to the middle class social security system
            (MCSSS) and how do you plan to make ex shipyard workers go to Norfolk with their families to cut cabbages. You think they should? Wise up Jerry old chap.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Before you go on about Lifelogic’s comment on green energy perhaps you should look at the following link which explains what he means by crap!!


        This paper shows clearly just how stupid the whole wind farm scenario is and how we are heading for a disaster if we keep on down this track.

  3. Peter Richmond
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    ‘In current polls Conservatives are the most popular of all the parties’. Yes, but only just which does surprise me given the complete hash of things labour seem to be making. However the sad aspect of these popularity figures is that they do not correspond to the number of MPs which would be elected. It really was unfortunate that you could not push through boundary reform in this parliament. You need another 10% or so increase in the polls to have any hope of a majority in May. It seems appropriate at this moment on a Sunday morning to say…’let us pray!’

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Because support for Labour has fallen they and the Tories are on roughly level pegging in terms of percentage of votes, or rather the present voting intentions; but as the perfidious LibDems blocked the boundary changes Labour still has an inbuilt advantage over the Tories in the translation of votes received into seats won, probably equivalent to a bias of about 7% in Labour’s favour.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Miliband is clearly Cameron’s greatest asset.

      Had Cameron managed to get the boundaries levelled he would have had a far batter chance on May 7th.

      How on earth did the Tories fail even to get this out of the Libdems after giving in on nearly everything else to them? It does not bode well for his negotiation skills (that he will need for the EU should he actually win).

    • Bazman
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Tories in council houses. You have got to laugh!

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – As it happens, most people in Britain are conservative (small c)

        Ask any man on a bus, in an office or on a building site what should happen to cheats, scroungers, kiddy fiddlers. Ask them what should be done sbout immigration – the answers will all be the same.

        Where are these views represented in politics except, perhaps, by Ukip ?

        The most bigoted comedians came up through working men’s clubs which were packed with unionists and Labour supporters.

        It is proven that the Left are worst for loss of temper, disruption and violence. etc ed

        • Jerry
          Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          @Mondeo Man; “Where are these views represented in politics except, perhaps, by Ukip ?”

          I doubt it. most people in UKIP, in fact any electable political party, can think! Rants and rhetoric, of what ever political flavour or none, that haven’t been subjected to a single proper thought process are at home in protest groups and the tabloid newspapers…

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        I have voted Tory all my life and so did my parents. I was brought up in a council house. I know many people living in council properties who vote Tory. Your comments on council tenants leave a lot to be desired. Almost saying that we are not intelligent or decent enough to have Tory values?

  4. Mark B
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    So no referendum on an English Parliament then ? That’s all I ask for. To hell with the one on the EU, that’s just ‘cowpat’, to use a slightly politer term. I want what all the others have had. I do not ask for a referendum to leave the UK, unlike that granted to the Scots. I ask, that the Parliament that I elect, is the Parliament of my people and, not the Parliament of the UK. Why won’t you let me have a say ? If this is a democracy, and we aspire to have fair, equal and just treatment for ALL the people of the UK, then how could you give to those and not offer the same to me ? Why am I discriminated against ? Why can’t you accept that the UK as it is currently constructed, no longer works ? Why can you not accept, that those in Scotland will demand more and more at my expense, yet, I will have little or no say, as you and your fellows will conspire in a UK Parliament, to give them what they want. This is not democracy, this is tyranny. How can you or any of your fellows seek and take votes from the English, knowing full well, that your allegiance is to the Crown and to the UK, and not to those that have put you where you are ?

  5. Richard1
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Yes EVEN is what we need. This issue is about Justice for England. Those politicians who oppose EVEN are seeking to deny JFE and must be exposed as such.

  6. agricola
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    English votes for English matters is an absolute minimum. If said matters are not devolved to Wales or Northern Ireland then they take full part too. A socialist hoard, be they Labour or SNP, descending from Scotland to control the Government of England who comprise 85% of the UK population is gerrymandering and unacceptable. It is also an election winner or loser dependant on how the parties decide before May.

    I must say that you cling to renegotiation, in your reply to Lifelogic, like a man floating away from the Titanic. Post the Greek situation there has been one lone voice in Brussels saying that the EU cannot continue as it is. However the big guns there, Merkel ,Junker, Barosso, Hollande, etc have all said repeatedly that there can be no renegotiation of the right of European citizens to move freely to where they wish. That means that the Conservatives cannot control migration unless they leave the EU. Any talk contrary to this is a deliberate lie. We know that your leader is unrepentant in his love affair with the EU and will fight tooth and nail to stay in, so please stop repeating it. It is one thing to be supportive but unworthy to be complicit.

    Reply Not so. Either Mr Cameron can get a sensible deal or we vote for Out.

    • agricola
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply
      So what is he waiting for. Propel him to Brussels to demand an end to free movement to the UK. If he gets it he can tell them he will be back for more after the election. If not he can then promise the referendum in June 2015. Guess what, he will not go, nor will he ask because he will get nothing but a flea in his ear. The whole 2017 referendum is a dishonest charade because he has compelling reasons to keep us subjugated within the EU. Reasons he is not prepared to share with his party or people.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I should be filled with hope, but why is it that I feel England will be screwed again.

    The Rush to offer the VOW.

    The lack of any seemingly any sort of National Pride by most English Mp’s, when compared to their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland politicians.

    The proven lack of ability of most MP’s to show any sort of skill in negotiations, other than Mr Salmon who was allowed to punch way, way, way above his weight.

    I hope your right JR, and I hope for common sense, but fear yet another sell out which the English taxpayers will have to fund.

    • Bob
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


      “I should be filled with hope, but why is it that I feel England will be screwed again.”

      Why should you be filled with hope Alan? just look at the trail of broken promises behind the Tory Party. They’ve thrown in the towel and adopted Labour’s collectivist ideology.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, the VOW.
      A hastily made statement by Cameron who could, at the time, have stood up and said “Look we honestly don’t want you to leave but equally we can’t give the Scots preferential treatment over other parts of the Union. If you think you can do better yourself, you must go”.
      That judgement would have stood him apart from Clegg and Miliband but he would now be looking at a massive boost to his popularity outside Scotland… either the Scots would have voted No and Clegg and Miliband made to look foolish or the Scots would have what they want and $40 oil with it…

      Do we need another 5 years of this misjudgement?

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I agree Alan, there is no pride in England from our leaders. Our English tourist board isn’t doing a great job. Yesterday on the news in Cardiff, to do with the Rugby I think, I saw flags of Wales, Ireland and Scotland but no English flags – why?

  8. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I agree . Once some attempt to try and tactically vote and slur the competition , they should expect retaliation .It is not as clear to most when put downs do not represent reality and the subsequent tactics of keeping quiet and rising above it are not understood.This mornings vote will be for Andy Murray as a British citizen . We need all the talent we can get , but EVEN is a good creative mnemonic.

  9. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    EVEN if this new set of letters were to be adopted, and it’s not very decisive sounding after all, would what was going on with them be understood by the people of England, or might they consider they are being short-changed and bamboozled again?

    We get closer, but the only solution to the problem is a true English parliament. As I have asked many times before why is it that our Unionist leaders consider that England does not deserve what every other democratic nation has, when they support such institutions elsewhere? I think many of us suspect we know the answer to that one.

    However close we get, it will not be an English parliament unless it is a true one. If we do not get it, England will be destroyed, with the Scots helping that along. Neither can there be any renaissance without it; the words should be used and their meaning and need campaigned for.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      @TPW; “However close we get, it will not be an English parliament unless it is a true one. If we do not get it, England will be destroyed, with the Scots helping that along.”

      Depends on what you mean by an English Parliament, if you mean English MPs only voting on English laws when set before “Westminster” then I can see you point, although I think it a little over emotional, but if you mean having yet another layer of bureaucrats, EPM’s (English Parliamentary Members), buildings etc. then no I don’t.

      The way forward is to have four devolved parliaments, with the Westminster UK parliament only convening when there is UK wide business to be debated/voted on, with the the elected members of the four devolved parliaments holding duel mandates for both their own devolved and UK parliaments (yes I know there might have to be some adjustments in constituencies). When, where and how each parliament meets is largely irrelevant.

  10. Douglas Carter
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Not even EVEN.

    HD – Home Democracy. Covers the EU angle nicely too.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      @Douglas Carter; HD – Home Democracy or Home/Huge Despair, ho hum…

  11. Alte Fritz
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Wholly agree. Why do so many complicate a simple issue?

  12. Iain Moore
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I will be very surprised if Hague , someone who has lost his interest in politics, comes up with anything substantial, and neither will he be required to by Cameron whose neglect of England’s constitutional issues from Opposition leader to PM has been nothing short of criminal. Cameron has shown and unerring ability to make the wrong choices, as such I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he does it again here.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Cameron would indeed make a good compass – just go entirely the opposite way to the way he points, you will not go far wrong.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    We’ve pledged to control immigration. Yes you’ve done well this Parliament. Immigration higher than when you started. What about getting rid of all the subsidies for useless windmills and have a sensible energy policy. You will have a black eye come the GE.

  14. Jerry
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    English votes for English needs – EVEN

    I like it Mr Redwood, far better than that other mnemonic EVI… sorry, EVEL, all you need to do now is popularise it. 🙂

    Oh and I agree with the rest of your diary today too.

    • stred
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Yes, a much better mnemonic. As they say don’t get mean. Get even.

      What a shame Eural McCameron is so mean with the English.

  15. Know-Dice
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Don’t get MAD get EVEN 🙂

    • stred
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      An American version is ‘mean’, meaning nasty.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Cameron knows that he has your unflinching support regardless of what he does about this or any other subject.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    An EVEN handed settlement sounds right to me. Those who oppose it will clearly put themselves on the side of a cack handed settlement.

  18. Martyn G
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink


    Not quite off-topic but relevant to forthcoming GE, I wonder how many people are actually aware that they need to re-register as a voter, the Law having been changed in that respect?
    No re-register, no vote!

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    What England needs is what Scotland has had for the past fifteen years – a separate and separately elected devolved Parliament and government. Not EVEL or EVEN, and not euroregional assemblies, nor city regions, but a devolved Parliament and government for the whole of England with the same powers as the Scottish devolved institutions.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      I’m coming around to your way of thinking here Denis, if Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can afford it so can we, also the number of MPs in the National government could then be reduced with each Member of the British Parliament in London representing equal numbers of voters and we should insist on a level of intelligence for these roles, not just old A levels and degrees (that sometimes only wealthy children could afford to do in those days with intelligent children leaving school at 16 to go to work), aptitude tests, psychometric tests, maths skills where needed, communication skills where needed, we need to wise up and use the right people to solve our future pension time bombs, healthcare etc. We may not need the private sector to run these things but we need the none-connected brains to think through the issues and problems without a self-protection interest like a lot of the people I’ve heard on the tv debating the health issues.

  20. Bert
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind what initials are used . Scotland must not be allowed to dominate the affairs of the United Kingdom ; they voted to “stay in ” and they must now expect to abide by the rules of our democracy . Were it not for the precarious balance of Labour vs Conservative , I doubt that the SNP would not threaten the way they have ; equally the Labour Party would not be keen to grab power at any price .

    Wm. Hague in the past has always been a sensible judge of most of the situations he has faced ; I sincerely hope that he will retain his approach in the way he presents the English voting matter to the House . If the rules are subsequently bent and the Scots can influence matters in England , then we must revoke the agreement ( made without previous consultation by our 3 “leaders”) for them to have control over their taxation and other devolved powers .

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      @Bert; The SNP can not dominate the affairs of the United Kingdom by themselves, even if they held every single Westminster seat in Scotland, they need to be in agreement with at least one other party – but then that is true for any party, would you be so forthright if someone said UKIP must not be allowed to dominate the affairs of the United Kingdom after the next election should they be the party who (like the LDs in 2010) are the obvious coalition-maker. I do wonder if you meant to say; Scotland must not be allowed to dominate the affairs of England?

  21. majorfrustration
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If what is eventually proposed and supported by the Tory Party is not seen to be fair to England then DC and the rest of the front bench are goners. Not only have the EVEN type proposal to be clear and beyond doubt in what they are set to achieve but they must also be rolled out at the same time as those proposals to be enjoyed by Scotland. No catch up – no typical political jam tomorrow. We already have too many cans rolling down the road.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Once again JR I congratulate you for being what seems to be, the only MP speaking for England.
    I have said to you previously i broadly welcome some sort of English recognition, be it EVoEL, EVoEI. or even your new EVEN. But whatever form is chosen, if indeed one is. It can only be a first step. Ultimately the only fair, equal and Democratic answer is, a Parliament for England.

  23. ian
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Looking at mr hague action of buying a hide way in wales for retirement, it not looking good.

  24. formula57
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Quite right! Mr Hague should be made to explain if he denies to England like measures to those enjoyed by Scotland just why that is appropriate.

    (The penultimate sentence in your post needs a few words extra to define more clearly to what “an English” refers perhaps?)

  25. Martin Ryder
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    EVEN is better than EVEL, especially as Parliament (and the government) should concentrate on the necessary, rather than the nice to have or the dreams of the PM (whoever he or she is).

    It should been seen as the first step to the revival of the English Parliament, which I believe should sit in the House of Commons, not an end in itself.

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I hate to disturb politicians off inventing more complicated ways of doing things with issues of substance. But er the HMRC and DWP IT systems are not setup to handle different tax rates and benefits rates in England and Scotland etc, and given the difficulty IDS has had getting some simpler changes done I would be very cynical of the political bubbles ability to actually deliver any of this. I doubt anyone like me who actually understands how to deliver IT/IS and business change like this was asked to comment as per usual.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      and the issues of folk regularly crossing the borders have almost certainly not been thought through. if you live in England, claim benefits or tax credits there, but work is Scotland, and cross the border regularly, it will be harder than it seems to get things right. If you live near the border and have two part time jobs, one in England and the other in Scotland, there will be plenty of complexity the mandarins will not have thought about. And so on, and so on.

  27. Peter Stroud
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Bill Cash came up with a sensible way of solving the issue by changing standing orders: I cannot remember the actual Order, but this seemed a good idea. Why was this not debated, and put to a vote?

  28. John
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    The acronym that should be used is TEAR (pronounced tare) for
    The English Are Rising
    But it should be completely independent of British government influence as they cannot be trusted to speak for England without consideration of the Celtic fringe.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      @John; “The acronym that should be used is TEAR”

      Is that for; The English Are Rising OR The English Are Revolting….

      I’m sure most remember the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, that goes by the acronym DRIP? I’m sure had the need for this Act not needed to be expatiated through parliament the name of the Bill would have avoided such an acronym that has been a gift to its opponents…

  29. Max Dunbar
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I can guarantee that virtually everyone who comments on this site will find an ‘English’ Parliament even more exasperating and useless than the Westminster one. It will cost a fortune, create massive confusion (MEPs), be inhabited by the usual suspects, employ thousands of additional civil servants, be a bonanza for government advisers and lawyers and muddy the British constitutional waters even further. But if that’s what you want on a point of principle, which is understandable to a degree, then so be it. Thousands of Scottish fools voted for devolution in 1997. Many of them were panicking last September.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      “It will cost a fortune, create massive confusion (MEPs),”

      Why, there is no need to duplicate departments etc , just move departments like the English NHS and put it under the control of an English executive in an English Parliament. Simples.

    • JoolsB
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      An English Parliament is much more than a point of principle, it is the only fair and democratic way forward if England is ever to be treated equally in this so called union.

      The Scots, and the Welsh & NI, foolish or not, were allowed the courtesy of voting for devolution, England was not.Indeed whereas England has never been consulted, the Scots, Welsh & NI have been consulted on the matter on numerous occasions so why do you think it is right that the wishes of the English should continue to be ignored?

      Nor would it cost a massive fortune either. This is a miff deliberately peddled as an excuse by those Anglophobes vehemently opposed to the idea of any form of national representation for the English. If anything an EP would save money. For a start, only a fraction of the 650 current UK MPs would be needed, say 100, 200 tops, for the few remaining reserved matters. The remaining 450 would be replaced by English MPs. I say replaced because although those UK MPs currently squatting in English seats would expect to automatically take on the role of English MPs, this must never be allowed at any cost as they have shown themselves completely unfit to represent England in any form. England deserves better, it deserves patriots who are willing to put the English first and foremost for a change rather than last in order to mollify others. The building is already there, the H of C and the 800 and counting Lords and Ladies could be handed their P45s, and the H of L could become the UK Parliament instead. There, problem solved, what’s not to like? A fortune saved and less politicians in the bargain, which is the very reason why the whole rotten self serving lot of them are so adamantly opposed to an English Parliament.

      Democracy for England means nothing to them if it interferes with their Westminster gravy train!

    • stred
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. But there is a way round it. The UK Parliament would have less to do, so reduce the number to say 60MPs, with equal constituencies. Then let the English Parliament meet at Westminster once in a while but do the rest of the business on skype with 60 MPs too. Scots and Welsh do the same but with fewer MPS prortional to population. Scots and Welsh allowed to participate in UK parliament by skype only, with no travel expenses. Lease Northern Ireland to Eire same deal as we borrowed HK from the Chinese. Let the 4 parliament buildings to an entertainments/tourism businessess. Sack half the MOD and sub it to the Israelis, who manage a big defence force with a tenth of the pen pushers. Let the expensive MPs offices opposite the HoC as a hotel. Save a packet and give everyone free health insurance to spend where they like.

  30. E Justice
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Alan Jutson 8.41 Hits the nail on the head .The English MPs (or MPs sitting in English seats) can not even bring themselves to mention England by name.
    It will be the same old same old another sell out .
    A Parliament for England ! nothing less.

  31. Bazman
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Never thought I would Google the West Lothian Question from English votes for English needs. Quite interesting and complicated with the usual simple answers above. An English parliament would mean no Union.
    David Cameron wants the answer to be simple. He wants power to be concentrated with the English Tory MPs a nation of grateful subjects will vote into power next year, he thinks. English votes for English laws is not ‘home rule’. It will still leave power concentrated with a tiny elite of politicians and bureaucrats.
    David Cameron’s move reflects a particularly Tory vision of England. It sees this country as a nation of loyal, passive and basically apolitical people who are happy with their lives being directed by the twin wisdom of right-wing politicians and corporate chiefs. It imagines the English people as a decent but submissive people, ploughing the fields of a pastoral landscape with occasional interludes to bicycle to church or play cricket. It is an England of dream and fantasy inhabited by many a deluded poster on this site who is often unable to even understand simple ideas and problems that can be easily researched on the internet, which in general they self censor when using. Deniers in short.
    You know who you are.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      ” An English parliament would mean no Union.”

      Why? A Scottish Parliament didn’t mean no Union, so why should an English Parliament?

    • Edward2
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Your vision of England and what English people want is wrong Baz.
      I think all they want is the same advantages the Welsh Scottish and Northern Irish people now have.
      Over 80% of the population live in England.
      Yet you would think we were just a small minority compared to the noise the minority make.
      Time for fairness.
      A word the left often use.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Read it again. I said David Cameron.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink


      An English parliament would mean no Union.

      So what? What rational and unsentimental case is there for maintaining a union with dependents who bring nothing to the ‘British’ table but constant complaints that their portion isn’t big enough?

      Note: Please do not offer the absurd statements that ‘we are stronger together’ (How is England strengthened by union with a country that is dependent upon the seemingly endless drip of our subsidies?) and ‘Scotland could become the client state of a hostile foreign power’.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Bazman says, ‘An English parliament would mean no Union.’

      Quite wrong. With respect, you should spend a little time reading the US or Australian Constitutions and in particular the US ‘Federalist Papers’. The latter set out the debates that preceded and accompanied the drafting of the US Constitution. An English Parliament can be established within the United Kingdom and is the only satisfactory solution for resolution of the West Lothian question.

  32. Peter Stroud
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Bill Cash came up with a sensible way of solving the issue of English votes for English laws, by changing standing orders: I cannot remember the actual Order, but this seemed a good idea, at the time. Why was this not debated, and put to a vote?

    Reply I first proposed this route, did the first draft, and then Bill as the lawyer did a revised draft and consulted on it. We are seeking Parliamentary time from Mr Hague to debate and decide just this.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 1, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      With nothing much going on in Parliament other than gathering cobwebs , I am sure Hague is going to offer you lots and lots of choices from which to pick you slot to debate and vote on this, or may be not. We’ll soon see the substance of Cameron’s undertaking on English votes for what ere.

  33. NickW
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    It is my understanding that Salmond intends to stand as an MP for a Scottish constituency, and if elected, (which seems likely), he has expressed the intention to ensure that SNP MPs continue to vote in Westminster on all issues, including those English issues which are devolved to Scotland.

    An analysis of Salmond’s political stance reveals that his motivations are not based so much on a desire for Scottish independence, but rather on a visceral hatred of the English, and that being the case, he would happily co-operate with the English Labour Party to use SNP Mps elected by Scottish constituencies, to impose socialism on England. (He has already stated this intention).

    The English people would find themselves powerless to oppose such manifestly unjust, naked political vandalism, but for one tactic which may in the end prove necessary; a well organised and utterly determined boycott of all things Scottish, by the English people.

    The mechanism of parliamentary democracy would no longer be fit for purpose because the English would be subjected to rule by MPs they had not elected and could not dismiss.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      ‘U’K MPs sitting for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland constituencies have every right to participate fully in all areas of ‘U’K parliament business, even where that endows them with a non-reciprocal right to distort democracy in England. There is no moral or constitutional argument to be made for excluding them from any area of ‘U’K parliament business. The only practical solution to the problem of the democratic deficit in England is to devolve English affairs to an English Parliament with powers at least equal to that of Scotland. That is the only way to treat all ‘U’K MPs and all of the ‘U’K citizens they represent equally.

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

      As an aside, my wife and I have made a practice of boycotting Scotch goods, products and services for years. We also avoid those companies who use Scotch voices or images in their advertising. and we try not to buy those items labelled ‘British’, meaning English, where similar or identical items displayed alongside are labelled as Scotch. We often notice that products bearing the Scotch flag or the word ‘Scotland’ remain unsold when the ‘British’ items beside them have all gone.

      Audibly expressing dissatisfaction that products are not English has proved worthwhile, with bystanders often expressing agreement. I expect that to be far more common from May.

      • bluedog
        Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        William Gruff thunders, ‘As an aside, my wife and I have made a practice of boycotting Scotch goods, products and services for years. ‘

        An uncommonly fine gesture, Sir. Capital jape, what!

        Did it ever occur to you that your economic boycott only serves to deny the Scots gainful employment so that they remain as mendicants on the national purse? Or is there further satisfaction in realising that this may indeed be the consequence of your actions?

        • William Gruff
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


          Did it ever occur to you that your economic boycott only serves to deny the Scots gainful employment so that they remain as mendicants on the national purse? Or is there further satisfaction in realising that this may indeed be the consequence of your actions?

          That has never occurred to me (I can see no reason why it might) but now that you mention it I can see it as yet another compelling reason not to contribute to the ‘Scots economy’ – the more they cost us the stronger the argument for ridding ourselves of the burden they are.

          As a Scot you’re probably not able to understand that I’m only concerned with keeping Englishmen and women in gainful employment.

          • bluedog
            Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            For what its worth I see myself as ‘British’. Minor regional differences are irksome in the context of my ancestry.

            As a matter of interest, does the Gruff Boycott extend to Wales and Ireland, or are these spared the embargo?

  34. Jon
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    English Votes for English Needs. EVEN.

    The mnemonic matters and EVEN spells a word that lends itself to fairness.

  35. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Are you concentrating on EVEN because you know that European integration is inevitable and this remotely stands a chance of becoming so. Just look at the Universities perpetuating and brainwashing students into accepting integration. I read through the daily purple in the hope that someone will think about a cause and not their own writing skills, but quite honestly it is a fencing match.

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    English votes for English issues could be implemented by standing orders now. And if we don’t get them, then THE VOW will be cancelled.

    Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure of the time-scale for these quaint arguments.

    In 4 months the balance of discussion within and between each of the parties may be challenging rendering present debate inconsequential. MPs just now are like potential in-laws making arrangements for octuple marriages within their own clan but with the betrothed having gleaming promiscuous eyes showing they’re anybody’s.

  38. DaveM
    Posted February 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    EVEL, EVEI, EVEN – whatever. English Parliament has to be the ultimate goal.

    I’ll ask once again though (not anticipating an answer) – in the event of EVEN/EVEL/EVEI, what about an English First Minister?

    Reply Once we have EVEN English MPs can then decide on the personnel/institutions we need.

  39. ian
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Is wet&mad going pay down the debt with money that has been saved on interest paid on bonds or is he going do the usual and bribe the people with some and throw the rest in the gutter.

  40. Richard
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The Conservative and Labour leaderships will not allow any process to take place which could lead to the formation of a devolved English Parliament.

    In the long-term because England is not in the EU’s plans as a region and in the short-term because they do not wish to lose their hold on power, as has happened in Scotland.

    To counter this threat to their power in England I can see a Con/Lab coalition being formed, especially when you consider that they are agreed on all the major issues such as :

    The continuation of our EU membership to remove our sovereignty.

    The continuation of EU and non-EU mass immigration to remove national and social cohesion.

    The continuation of the Climate Change Act to ensure we become short of power.

    The continuation of the NHS to be totally free to anyone in the world who can get here.

  41. MBS
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Agreed. With a bit of work we could come up with a policy that could be described as “deep and crisp and EVEN”…

  42. a-tracy
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Then today I read this – “Gordon Brown to promise Scots higher pensions and benefits
    Former Prime Minister is to unveil a major Labour election pledge allowing Scotland to top up UK-wide state benefits and create new benefits not available to people south of the Border.” Daily Telegraph

    Where are they getting the money from? They pay no more tax or national insurance than us, yet can give free prescriptions, free elderly care homes, better grants and free Student tuition fees. Is the oil ‘Scottish Oil’? What possible reason is there for buckling to Scottish pressure all the time? Does this oil tax receipts pay for all the extra spending per head of the population. This tuition fee or graduate tax as I prefer to call it should be UK wide if it is in at all, I ask again how can our English conservative government increase fees to £9k per annum only applicable to England in the nation this is a redistribution of funds mainly to wealthy Scots and Welsh of the next generation that don’t have 9% of their earnings taken afterwards for 30 years even if they’re working and living in England! Would it have been any different had Labour got into power I doubt it, they put the charge in, in the first place whilst putting the mechanism in place to carve the divide and difference.

    I used to think EVEN was workable, now I fear only an English Parliament will give us a fair share.

  43. ChrisS
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Well, now we know what most of here suspected, David Cameron has totally failed to deliver what he promised. A portent, I’m sure, for the outcome of the EU “renegotiation”

    John, you are absolutely right. What is proposed is very dangerous and will be used by the Nationalists as a battering ram to get whatever they want.

    As for Hague’s reasoning, seeing Brown strutting around in Scotland on Monday trying to shore up the Labour vote by proposing even more powers for SMPs, one would have thought the very last thing we want is another Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer !

    Cameron is just pandering to Labour who won’t accept what’s being proposed anyway.
    He needs to get some backbone and start standing up for his countrymen.

    I am thoroughly disgusted at the way we are being treated.
    Why should the people of England be second class citizens within the UK ?

    Cameron may be good for the image of the country abroad ( just look at the alternative ) but he’s spent five years hiding behind the Coalition agreement to cover the liberal-leaning attitudes he feels most comfortable with. There can be no better example than the ludicrous amount being wasted on foreign aid.

    If it were not for MPs such as our host and a fair number of others, there would be no hope of the party returning to proper Conservative policies and the party would have lost my vote long ago.

    Cameron needs to be replaced by a proper Right of Centre Conservative so this nonsense can end.

  44. Stevie
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Surprise, surprise. A U-turn from Cameron.

    I presume this is because he can’t get EVEL through this parliament? Will full English emancipation remain Tory policy, or is subjugation now the new long-term policy for the English?

  45. Stuart B
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! In electoral terms, it looks like Mr Cameron has just shot himself. Whether he has hit his foot or his head remains to be seen, but he must surely have succeeded in alienating a large part of his English constituency, with this mornings recipe for mischief from parliamentary minorities.

  46. bluedog
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    One reads with alarm that the Conservative Party is now split on the way forward with regard to constitutional equity for England.

    It seems that three options are proposed, all of which demand that the United Kingdom Parliament be used in a dual function, with scope for it to be an English Parliament when needed. This is a bit like being slightly pregnant. It is quite clear that none of the three options are viable and that the only workable solution is an English parliament within the United Kingdom. This alone will enable the passage of English legislative matters on the basis of Scottish precedents without Scottish interference. Nothing else will work and the current proposals are already being compromised by the opportunism of both Labour and the Lib-Dems.

    Time to take the big step of moving to a properly constructed federal constitution. Anything else will prove to be an unsatisfactory fudge.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


      Time to take the big step of moving to a properly constructed federal constitution. Anything else will prove to be an unsatisfactory fudge.

      Another advocate of a ‘federal’ solution who never explains how it can work without perpetuating the situation that was thought, in the little nations, to exist before 1997, and may very well exist for England from May onwards, or why England needs to be part of one. The people of England can never achieve our potential while shackled to the burden that is the little nations of the ‘United’ Kingdom and we need to be rid of them. Dissolution of the ‘United’ Kingdom is as important for England as leaving the EU.

      Time to take the big step of moving to the complete dissolution of this disgracefully lop-sided and never perfectible ‘union’. Anything else will prove to be an unsatisfactory fudge.

      Here’s to independence for England.

      • bluedog
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Together with other commentators, this writer has repeatedly explained why a British federation is necessary and how it could work. Your reaction is to repeatedly say, ‘I don’t understand’, while showing no signs of attempting to do so, let alone offering a constructive alternative.

        In addition, it is abundantly clear that you do not begin to understand the principles that lie behind the defence of the United Kingdom, and why some degree of political unity is an essential pre-condition to successful defence of the archipelago. Your micro-Englander attitudes were neatly illustrated by a recent post in which you proudly described your long-standing personal economic boycott of Scotland.

        You were being ironic, weren’t you?

        • William Gruff
          Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink


          I took the trouble to write a reply, however, our host exercised his right not to publish it. Perhaps he thought it just a little too near the knuckle.

          Reply I delete items that have unchecked references to other sites and sources,and or that contain abusive remarks or unsubstantiated allegations about named individuals or groups whether they be my supporters or opponents politically.

  47. Iain Moore
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Well Cameron has fulfilled the microscopicly low expectations I had of him. In his parsimonious constitutional offerings to England he has managed to alienate everybody , and just hastened the demise of the Union. In this the SNP are correct in their analysis of Westminster that they are bereft of vision and not fit to rule our country.

  48. ChrisS
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Unsurprisingly Hague was given an easy run on the Today program this morning. Of course they ensured he was interviewed by the resident Scot and they made sure that nobody proposing real EVEL was invited to comment.

    Have you noticed that the BBC have already started their Psy-Opps pre election strategy ?
    First we have Peston’s series on inequality followed by Rory Bremner’s Coalition Report. That will just be the start.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      “he was interviewed by the resident Scot”

      Yes I noted that, the BBC was really being sensitive to English people there. At one point I believe Naughty put in a Scottish ‘Och’ in his ‘forensic’ questioning of Hague . We were told there would be an interview with Hague after 8am on their proposal, which I had assumed would be given the main interview slot at 8:10, but no we got about 4 minutes before the news, and that was the sum total of the BBC’s interest in a proposed English constitutional arrangement.

      I wonder whether Cameron has used the three parent genetic thing as an opportunity to bury the announcement of him breaking the promise he made us in front of No10 the day after the Scottish referendum.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      And Mr Hague says that his solution is “fair”…

      No William it’s not “fair” what would be fair is linking EVEN with the Vow.

      And some on here would say that “fair” is an English Parliament…

  49. Alan Joyce
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Allow me to repeat what Mr. Cameron said following the Scottish referendum, “We have heard the voice of Scotland – and now the millions of voices of England must also be heard. The question of English votes for English laws – the so-called West Lothian question – requires a decisive answer. So, just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish Parliament on their issues of tax, spending and welfare so too England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues and all this must take place in tandem with, and at the same pace as, the settlement for Scotland.”

    Today, Mr. Hague announces the preferred plan. Cue the loud screeching of brakes as Mr. Cameron adds to his already impressive record with yet another u-turn. How it must test your support for your party and its leader. Is there nothing he could do that would rock your faith? No lie too big, solemn promise broken or trust betrayed?

    I would venture that many conservative-minded voters suspected this would be the outcome of EVEL. The man is untrustworthy. He has form. Nor does it bode well for this so called EU renegotiation of his. If one believes this whopper of a lie too!

    Just to add insult to injury we have the prospect of hordes of SNP MP’s descending on Westminster in order to wreak constitutional havoc.

    It is little wonder that your party is struggling to regain voters lost to another. They see no reason to come back. Pity the poor tory MP in a marginal seat struggling to fend off his foes and armed only with a protected DFID budget, a spiralling EU contribution and legislation to give the Scottish Parliament more powers with no English equivalent.

    Who speaks for England? We’re still waiting. It looks like it will be a long one.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Superb comment. Well said.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and I second that.

  50. Richard
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative and Labour leaderships (and the Liberal/Green leaderships too) want to keep England in the EU.

    Since they know that Scotland will never vote to leave the EU they will do whatever it takes to keep Scotland in the Union, even if it means that England is treated unfairly, and give Scotland the power of the veto should England ever get a chance to vote to leave the EU.

  51. Robert Taggart
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, Johnny, but…
    Methinks ‘Billy Boy’ has come up with only a half baked solution. That said – it be an improvement on the current situation – something better than nothing ?

  • 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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