The Union of the UK

The government’s decision to unbalance our constitution further by removing English votes for English laws shows a lack of understanding of the politics of the Union. They seem to accept Gordon Brown’s view that the Union is only threatened in Scotland, and that it can be preserved in Scotland by giving in to SNP demands for more devolution. Any observation of the history of the Union since 1997 should tell you how wrong that was.

In my book The Death of Britain? in 1999 I argued that Brown’s devolution would provide a platform and more causes for the SNP. There is no amount of devolution which will satisfy them, as they wish to split from England. I also argued that the EU’s wish to strengthen the devolution of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and to wipe England off the map, balkanising it in a set of unloved regions would further undermine the UK. As I expected the English regions failed to win popular support, so Labour in office lost the only referendum on having elected regional government they dared to table. The EU nonetheless persisted in demanding regional plans and grant schemes whilst refusing England the place at the table it offered to Scotland and Wales. As we proceeded with Brexit it also became clear the EU wanted to detach Northern Ireland from Great Britain and wished to assist the Republican cause and support the Irish Republic.

The government should grasp that Brexit helps our Union. The first threat to it arises not in Scotland but in Northern Ireland, given the EU’s wish to distort the Agreement with a view to disrupting GB/Northern Ireland trade and wider relations. The UK government needs to push back firmly, and assert its rights under the Agreement to ensure our internal market runs smoothly and well. By taking back control of fishing, farming, trade, internal market and the subsidy and transfer schemes the UK Union can do good, working with the many Unionists in all parts of the country.

The problem of Scotland has to be tackled by winning the arguments against the SNP and demonstrating continuing support for the clear view expressed in the recent referendum. Every time the UK government gives in to the SNP it provides an argument for floating voters to back the SNP to demand more. You cannot compromise and reach agreement with people who fundamentally disagree. The SNP treats almost every debate in the UK Parliament as an opportunity to play up its case for secession. The SNP needs to be reminded that they claim to speak for the people yet they have lost two important referendums designed to settle our constitutional issues. As they do not accept the result of either referendum they appear in Parliament as an anti democratic force permanently complaining about the very country Scotland voted to stay in in 2014.

190 Comments

  1. Mark B
    July 11, 2021

    Good morning.

    . . . EU’s wish to strengthen the devolution of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and to wipe England off the map, balkanising it in a set of unloved regions would further undermine the UK.

    But we are now out of the EU so we can now get rid of all those Mayorships that the Conservative Government created ?

    As they do not accept the result of either referendum they appear in Parliament as an anti democratic force . . .

    Well just keep giving them referendums until they get the right answer and all our problems are solved.

    Simple !

    1. MiC
      July 11, 2021

      The Scots have only been interested seriously in separation since the Tories started to inflict their loathsome and inimical politics and policies upon them.

      Everything was fine post WWII with the consensus until then.

      We discuss the Scottish Enlightenment. There is no similar English heading.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 11, 2021

        How about poor old Bonnie Prince Charlie?

      2. SM
        July 11, 2021

        MiC – what historical ignorance! The Scots have, not unreasonably, wanted independence for centuries – sadly, their particular view of independence appears to mean:

        a. (rather like the Irish) eternally arguing among themselves in a frequently bloody fashion about who should actually be in charge
        b. (rather like the Irish) eternally expecting the English to nevertheless do all the heavy lifting regarding economics and defence
        c. (rather like the Irish) walking away from their homeland – often to the benefit of far-flung lands, it’s true – rather than staying home and fixing things.

        It could also be argued that the Scots needed an Enlightenment, England started hers centuries before, and it lasted far longer.

        ps. I am aware that for certain periods, the English behaved extremely badly to both the Irish and Scottish peasantry.

      3. acorn
        July 11, 2021

        The Union passed its sell by date decades ago. The occupants of the Westminster parliament are getting older. There are about twice as many over sixty now than in 1997 in the HoC. There is even one of them who has been there for 44 years.

        We need a law to retire an MP at state pension age and/or a maximum of eight years in the job in total. There are far too many that just want to play Punch and Judy all day having run out of ideas two decades back.

        1. a-tracy
          July 11, 2021

          Acorn, age discrimination legislation.

      4. Tony Sharp
        July 11, 2021

        The falsification of history you indulge in is the Fake Oppression that you claim Scotland has suffered. It is a strange form of exploitation that involves massive subsidies in public spending.
        That was the ‘consensus’ of the Union.

        1. acorn
          July 11, 2021

          You will find that the profit the English Treasury made out of the Scottish Oil fields was far greater that what you call subsidies. Had Scotland been independent; today, it would very much look like another Norway with its own sovereign wealth fund.

          1. JoolsB
            July 11, 2021

            Acorn, you will find that there is not such thing as Scottish oil fields, only British oil fields and without British money (English) the oil would still be in the ground.

  2. DOM
    July 11, 2021

    There is no union. It is dead.

    The British political class colluding with external forces both in the US and with the EU is directly responsible for this most heinous of crimes against the sanctity of the United Kingdom

    You belong to a party that is directly, working with all parties especially Labour, responsible for what we are seeing. I cannot understand how you can verbally oppose what is happening and yet remain an MP and a member of a party that has roundly and cynically betrayed the constitutional and territorial integrity of this nation

    Politicians enjoy their cake and they love to gorge on it. Farage understood that this state of affairs cannot ever be justified

    1. Everhopeful
      July 11, 2021

      Are we not living under what is effectively a dictatorship?
      Democracy and parliament have been totally sidelined.
      At some point a coup was achieved and in order to do anything about it ( if anyone wants to) a large body of support needs to build. And many MPs are still cowering under the terror of plague.
      Johnson and his crew have brought only-for-emergencies laws to bear, using them in a most corrupt manner.
      Maybe those who oppose the tyranny should research some archaic laws to combat this?
      Or just ACTUALLY stage a rebellion?

      If Johnson dismantles the union…surely it is at the behest of the EU?

      1. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        Which dictatorship? Are you thinking Sturgeon?

        1. Everhopeful
          July 11, 2021

          No. The Westminster one.

    2. MiC
      July 11, 2021

      Let’s hope that England win today, and that if so then the other UK nations will share in that pleasure too.

      Gareth Southgate’s marvellous outlook could not be more different from the Tories’ and from their thralls’ here, and if his side win then he will be given endless opportunities to expound it to the nation.

      It could mark a popular turning-point away from the wretched, niggardly, Tory brexit path that we have been on for some years.

      So come on England!

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        July 11, 2021

        What relevance is football to anything ? Some of the most impoverished nations have world beating football teams.

      2. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        Good Lord – what have you been taking? Upbeat Martin…..quite a revelation.

      3. Narrow Shoulders
        July 11, 2021

        Gareth Southgate has brought together the talented and asked them to perform. He has discarded those who don’t fit into his plans along the way and shows no fear nor favour in some quite ruthless decisions.

        Conservatism of a kind we have not seen in a while but a demonstration that if you give talent a framework and then get out of the way, rewards will be reaped.

    3. Jim Whitehead
      July 11, 2021

      DOM, +++ +1, Hard hitting and reasonable and confronting the unreasonable.

  3. Ian Wragg
    July 11, 2021

    The SNP are like a disease. There is no cure so it will line cancer ultimately xonsume itself.
    You only have to watch and listen to wee krankie to see she is unhinged.
    They have made a complete mess of running devolved institutions but she still blames Westminster
    As for Northern Ireland as long as you keep the protocol there will be trouble.
    It has no place in a sovereign nation
    No other country would tolerate it.

    1. lifelogic
      July 11, 2021

      +1

    2. MFD
      July 11, 2021

      +1

    3. Jim Whitehead
      July 11, 2021

      I.W., Another good comment, thank you.

      Sir John offers us a regular forum of well thought through topics and genuinely seeks informed comment and regularly receives it.
      In my mid 70s now it pleases me greatly to be so well informed and to learn so much from the postings.
      The Gatestone Institute is another forum where good discussion is aired with sagacity, passion and courtesy. There are few others.
      It’s also clear that Sir John is strong in his convictions and unfailingly polite in expressing them. When the good Marshall finally accepts that he has to buckle on his gun belt again, reason having proven ineffectual, the bad guys had better look out. Like many others I wonder how inexhaustible is the patience of our excellent host.

  4. Len Garry
    July 11, 2021

    Fiction and fantasy. The EU has never for one moment tried to wipe England off the map. And the border between NI and GB was freely accepted by the UK, it was the oven ready deal you voted for. We have left the EU but you still can’t resist making up fairy stories about how it harms Britain. It doesn’t, try blaming the Conservative governments that have run this country for over a decade

    1. graham1946
      July 11, 2021

      ‘It doesn’t harm Britain’

      What a dead eyed EU way of looking at things. It is threatening the peace process which took donkey’s years to obtain and the people of NI (you presumably don’t regards them as British) cannot get supplies they want in their supermarkets, and for what? Is a few sausages and minced beef really going to bring down the EU single market? It’s childish, it’s ridiculous, it’s beyond parody, but still some people think it’s reasonable. As far as breaking up England is concerned, perhaps you could give us a short lesson on the regional numbering scheme the EU wanted to impose, if you know anything about it of course, as most Remoaners have no clue about the EU they idolise.

      1. Andy
        July 11, 2021

        “It’s childish, it’s ridiculous, it’s beyond parody.”

        It’s a BORDER. You voted for a border. What do you think a border is?

        1. Peter2
          July 11, 2021

          There always has been a border andy.
          Different currencies, different taxation, different customs and excise tariffs.

          1. bill brown
            July 11, 2021

            Peter 2

            Wrong again their was no border for 45 years

        2. jon livesey
          July 11, 2021

          No, it’s not a border. It is supposed to be a small number of EU staff making sure that some tiny amount of goods from the UK don’t make it into the Single Market unchecked.

          The EU have turned it into a border, with no authority from the signed agreement.

        3. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          Very strange comment bill?
          Are you claiming there were not different currencies or customs and excise tariffs pre 2016?
          There is even a TV programme (made pre 2016) showing customs officers stopping vehicles travelling between both sides of the border and checking their tax details and contents.
          One showed a BMW being seized because the owner had bought it in the North and was driving it in the South without paying the different taxation within the time limit.

          1. bill brown
            July 13, 2021

            there was no official border for trade and you know this, for people ane exchanges

          2. Peter2
            July 13, 2021

            Yes there was bill.
            There is a border on every map.
            And there were different currencies, taxation levels and tariffs on goods travelling between the two areas.
            People and goods moved easily but could be stopped and checked by Police and Customs officers at any time.
            You had to carry lots of paperwork if you were transporting goods across the border.
            But I doubt you have any actual experience of this.

      2. Jim Whitehead
        July 11, 2021

        G 1946, +1, well said.

      3. Len Peel
        July 11, 2021

        Childish? You Leavers agreed it!

      4. bill brown
        July 11, 2021

        Graham 1946

        So many genralisations so I am not sure exatly where to begin, you are still thining in old poltical factions, maybe it is a a generational thing but I would suggest you look up who actually suggested the border in the Irish Sea and then come back and try again, as the first propsoal from the UK government taleked of no border at all. so wake up and Salud

        1. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          You say “generalisations” bill.
          But then totally fail to address any of Graham’s claims yourself.

        2. graham1946
          July 12, 2021

          I note the EU experts still have not come up with anything regarding the regionalisation scheme. My post did not contain generalisations but specifics. You presumably know nothing of the troubles on the island of Ireland or how it has recently lived peaceably, but now the EU want to start it all up again over sausages. It is a generational thing all right, I lived it all my life, unlike whippersnappers here who have no experience of life, and lecture us about their fantasies. I do not accept the Irish Sea idea, did not vote for it and it should have ended the negotiations right away and should still do so. There has been a customs, taxation and currency border all the time and has been worked perfectly well with good will, until the EU started to stir things up for their politcal ends. The people don’t count, just the EU project.

          1. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            Very well said Graham

          2. MiC
            July 12, 2021

            Why should the European Union have to find all the magic solutions, to the insoluble problems entirely created by your brexit puritanism?

          3. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            MiC
            Why is it Puritanism to vote to leave the EU and become again an independent sovereign nation like the other 160 sovereign independent world nations?

          4. bill brown
            July 13, 2021

            Graham 1946

            who came up with the idea of the Irish Sea ?

      5. Blake
        July 12, 2021

        Still on about sausages and mince meat.. FYI all of these things can be got in abundance from south of the border and transported up to NI with no added fuss.. Jeez

        1. a-tracy
          July 12, 2021

          Blake for your information, the meat is grown in Northern Ireland and sent into the UK. They should keep some and process it for themselves then no need to import from the EU. It should be a none issue. Plus just why is it so difficult to get certification for our food exports when we already meet the regulations, if the UK businesses get the certificates that then re-opens the EU market, if it is impossible then we must block those same product imports from the EU to make a level playing field with our European friends.

    2. Martyn G
      July 11, 2021

      You are quite wrong – the EU, with the permission of the then UK government, removed England from the map of the EU and at the same time, removed Wales from the map of the EU. The storm of outrage from Wales resulted in quickly being placed back on the EU map. Hardly a soul said anything at the time about England and thus, so far as the EU was concerned England no longer existed.

      1. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        “Storm of outrage” = a few letters to newspapers and comments from politicians.

  5. Hat man
    July 11, 2021

    So a Conservative policy (EVEL) is replaced by a Labour/SNP policy – scrap EVEL.

    Anything new here?

  6. turboterrier
    July 11, 2021

    All the time that the people of England see all the freebies handed out to Scottish people with what is fundamentaly their money the SNP will strive harder by demanding more to increase the unrest. They have always been over funded and to hear that Mr Gove has implied that if ever the Scots got independence the Barnet Formula could well remain in one shape form or another begs belief. Why is there a perception that Parliament always back off from confrontation and just keep handing over our money?

    1. Alan Jutson
      July 11, 2021

      +1

    2. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Turboterrier

      And Gove is ?

      Yes, you guessed correctly – he’s Scottish.

    3. graham1946
      July 11, 2021

      Why? Because the government contains people like Gove, over-promoted incompetent who Boris needs to keep sweet in order to keep his position.

    4. Hat man
      July 11, 2021

      Why does it beg belief, Turboterrier? Gove is a Scot.

    5. Original Richard
      July 11, 2021

      turboterrier : “They [Scotland] have always been over funded and to hear that Mr Gove has implied that if ever the Scots got independence the Barnet Formula could well remain in one shape form or another begs belief”

      Perhaps Mr. Gove believes the extreme socialist SNP would turn Scotland into a failed state like Venezuela, as evidenced by their spending plans and lack of separation of powers as recently outlined by David Davis in the HoC, and that to prevent the disaster to us of living with a failed state on our northern border falling into the hands of Russia or China or the EUSSR we may be forced to continue to support Scotland even after “independence”?

      1. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        Oh, so you suddenly care about separation of powers, do you?

        You hated it when the Court correctly ruled that Parliament is sovereign and that the Government cannot simply cancel it to get their way, didn’t you?

        1. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          Odd logic MiC
          You say Parliament is sovereign then in the next breath applaud the Courts for stepping in and disallowing a Government with a majority from doing what they wanted to do.
          Take a vote?
          Or let the Courts decide?

  7. agricola
    July 11, 2021

    You first need to accept that the EU is a malign entity. They did their best to divide and dilute the UK when we were part of the EU and continue to do so, specifically using NI as their play thing.

    Robust dismissal should be our tactic over the NI Protocol by using Art 16. I would further, not only dismiss the EUs newly hyped divorce claims, but I would halt any payment at all until normallity returned to fishing and any other barbs they are intent on goading us with. They have to learn the hard way.

    Which leaves the SNP and their independence ambitions. The SNP carry within them by the way they act and talk plus the overall incompetent way they run Scotland, the means of their own progressive downfall. Do not give them further ground, they have sufficient with which to hang themselves. Just periodically point out to them all those english props that maintain their existance which would fall away on independence day. The scots will deal with them via the ballot box eventually.

    1. Everhopeful
      July 11, 2021

      +1

    2. turboterrier
      July 11, 2021

      agricola
      As usual spot on the money.
      Periodically reminding them doesn’t really cut the mustard, they need to be reminded at every opportunity the government gets.

    3. MFD
      July 11, 2021

      Well said AGRICOLA, time is ripe for our politicians to kick out all eu so called agreements and drop the portcullis of WTO.
      We do not need them! Stop being silly wimps, stand up for ourselves.

      1. MiC
        July 11, 2021

        Yep – tear up your mortgage deed and employment contract.

        Show them who’s boss, eh?

    4. IanT
      July 11, 2021

      Makes perfect sense to me Agricola (as usual)

      1. MiC
        July 11, 2021

        I don’t doubt that for a single moment.

    5. Andy
      July 11, 2021

      Agricola hates the EU so much he lives in it.

      1. graham1946
        July 11, 2021

        Pot, kettle black. The irony!

      2. agricola
        July 11, 2021

        The EU is a political institution, I do not see how one could possibly live in it. You would need to be a real political fanatic to contemplate living within any political organisation.

        I live mostly in a delightful European country, populated by welcoming people I find I have a great affinity with. The food is fantastic and the climate I find ideal. The soaring possibilities are astronomic. All of which the terminal EU have little effect upon. Salud.

      3. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        but you don’t do you? Life is so much better in UK.

        1. bill brown
          July 11, 2021

          Micky

          How do you know that life is so much btter than in 26 other countries?

      4. Peter2
        July 11, 2021

        No andy, agricola lives in Europe.
        Which is lovely.
        Very different to the dreadful EU

        1. bill brown
          July 11, 2021

          Peter 2

          As you disregard fats and figures and also make conclusions on other people’s behalf without any information avaiable you might wish to expalin yourself in more details on the Europe Eu issue as it is not very clear? but I am sure you are able as you come across so very well informed?

          1. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            Certainly bill glad to be of help.
            The EU is a political construct designed as a rest home for elderly politicians who have been rejected by their voters.
            It seeks to create an undemocratic world power bloc based on a centralised bureacracy based on the old USSR by reducing the concept of the traditional nation state to unimportant regions.

            Europe is a geographical region consisting of many of the planet’s most beautiful nations and peoples.

      5. Sharon
        July 11, 2021

        Andy

        I think you mean Agricola lives in Europe…

        Most leavers love Europe but hate the EU. They are not the same thing at all.

        1. MiC
          July 11, 2021

          Why are you always wishing for the social and economic collapse of those whom you “love” then?

          Cheering on the yellow vests, Catalonian discontents, and every other source of woe that you can find.

          1. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            You fail to realise the difference between the EU and Europe MiC

    6. jon livesey
      July 11, 2021

      “You first need to accept that the EU is a malign entity.”

      Right, and perhaps a look at the map would persuade people that the EU has to be and to act in a malign way. The UK inside the EU makes Europe a whole – and the UK a nonentity.

      The UK outside the EU makes the EU a regional grouping and the UK an independent power. The EU are not keeping the issue of Brexit open for fun. They are keeping it open because if Brexit makes it past the ten year point and becomes an accepted reality, that changes the identity of the EU and the amount of power it can exert in the World.

      1. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        Yes, the European Union is the enemy of good, wholesome, red-blooded things – such as war, the grinding bullying of employees, the hatred of other nations, living in a toxic environment, and everything else that you seem to crave.

        1. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          War….post 1945 it was avoided by NATO and the nuclear deterrent aided by our relationship with the USA
          Employee legislation developed in the UK via natural progress combined with Trades Union pressure added to by many improving pieces of UK legislation.
          Environment…the UK had the Clean Air Act in the 60s and the Environmental Protection Act in the 70s way ahead of the EU

    7. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      Having first accepted that most morality-related words in the dictionary mean the very opposite of their normally understood definitions.

  8. Cynic
    July 11, 2021

    A thriving UK economy would be the best way to promote the Union. Free the people, ditch net zero and other policies which squander public money to no purpose. Less government interference is what is needed.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 11, 2021

      Sturgeon is a BIG supporter of net zero. You only have to look at ll the obscene wind turbines on the hills up there. If Westminster abandoned net zero it would give the SNP something else to beat us up over.

      1. turboterrier
        July 11, 2021

        F U S
        The reason they want all the turbines, bio mass digesters, solar farms and bio mass crops is the funding that is payed out into community payments to have to live with all the crap that goes with them runs into millions of pounds. That equates to less money their devolved parliament has to hand out, so it can be wasted on all the freebies given out to keep them getting elected. All paid for by the UK energy bill payers. Our politicians do nothing to stop this. As you have remarked many times with all the constraint payments the operators earn more by not working, that is why the double whammy keeps the new wind farm applications flooding in.

    2. Jim Whitehead
      July 11, 2021

      +1

  9. Everhopeful
    July 11, 2021

    Given its apparent politics, is it any wonder that this govt. accepts Brown’s views ( probably on everything)? Remember the strange, scary Labour-holing up in Downing Street? Very reminiscent of this present dictatorial power grab and sidelining of democracy.
    No idea why but The Dear Leader seems obsessed with the other similarly left wing one in Scotland.
    Is it a competition to be the more draconian?

    I suppose that all the MPs have agreed to another extension of the Martial Virus Act?

  10. lifelogic
    July 11, 2021

    Exactly right.

    Ruth Davidson in the Telegraph the other day:- “No Tory should want to privatise Channel Four
    Why sell off a broadcaster that adds so much to our cultural landscape while costing the public nothing?”

    Because it will raise money for tax payers, will probably be run far better, cannot then become a state liability, and it will become less of a dire tedious, hotbed of bitter, chip on the shoulder, woke, politics of envy socialism perhaps?

    What is this dire, socialist, remainer even doing in the Conservative Party?

    1. lifelogic
      July 11, 2021

      I agree with every word and you were exactly right in your book:- The Death of Britain? – There is, as you say “no amount of devolution which will satisfy them” all concessions will merely be used by the SNP as yet more tools to drive further fissures into the Union. A union that benefits the Scots hugely.

    2. lifelogic
      July 11, 2021

      Rod Liddle is excellent today, especially on Ofsted V Colchester Royal Grammar School battle. Can we have an education Secretary who will sort Ofsted out properly please. Abolition and firing them all perhaps best? Gavin Williamson is rather unimpressive so far.

    3. Jim Whitehead
      July 11, 2021

      LL, absolutely right.
      Ruth Davidson, another individual who could never be strongly criticised, but fools gold for those seeking a conservative resurgence in Scotland.
      She’s as relevant to Conservative revival as Cameron, Hague, May, and, now we can see, Johnson.

  11. Micky Taking
    July 11, 2021

    You discuss what the SNP objectives are, yet do not mention England’s opinion. Take a straw poll and you will find (but you already know, don’t you) that a majority of English wish to have the boil lanced. Give them their freedom and recover all those jobs to England, stop all that funding, and let us smile every time we have cause to remember their sneering.

    1. Dave Andrews
      July 11, 2021

      It’s tempting to think like that, when all you see on the news is the ranting of the SNP, purporting to speak for Scotland. Then I remember all those good Scots I have come across, who value our cooperation just as much as I do.

      1. turboterrier
        July 11, 2021

        Dave Andrew’s
        Exactly right there are very many good Scots proud to be Scots and justas proud to be British. Before the independence vote last time a lot of my clients moved their money bought second homes across the border. Canny people these Scots those with most to lose see it for what it is. Those living off of funding just want and demand more

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        July 11, 2021

        Funny how they keep voting in the SNP then isn’t it? Where are all those good Scots?

      3. Duyfken
        July 11, 2021

        It is up to “those good Scots” to take upon themselves tackling the ranting SNP types and to show us all that Scotland is worthy of remaining in the union.

      4. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        We have family wedded in Scotland, so several next generation half and half. They despair at the noise made there, and dread independance. SNP viewed as abusive, whining, chip on the shoulder fanatics.

    2. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Micky

      +1

      Fully agree. It’s time to call Sturgeon’s bluff…..give ’em another indyref but make it clear this one will include the English vote. I think you will find she suddenly does’nt want independence.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      July 11, 2021

      A big fat yes to that post Micky.

  12. Andy
    July 11, 2021

    Brexit doesn’t help your union. Scotland rejects Tory pensioner Brexit. Northern Ireland rejects Tory pensioner Brexit. Wales also now rejects your Tory pensioner Brexit. The vast majority of under 50s reject your Brexit. Brexit – a project of pensioners – has left your Union on life support.

    I for one do not consider my English, despite being born in England. I have always been British but since mid 2016 I have also considered myself European. I am proud of the Union Jack and the EU flag but find the cross of St George repellent. It is embarrassing to be English.

    Englishness was once about Morris dancing, tea and cricket. But for at least 40 years Englishness has become about fat, bald, drunken, tattooed yobbos sneering and jeering at foreigners. We now have a government of such thugs too.

    Compare and contrast the quiet dignity of Gareth Southgate and his team of immigrants with the jeering Brexitist thugs booing national anthems. Gareth & co may be able to reclaim Englishness from the thugs – but this government of thugs will not make it easy.

    1. Nig l
      July 11, 2021

      Getting madder and angrier by the day.

    2. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Andy

      “Compare and contrast the quiet dignity of Gareth Southgate and his team of immigrants with the jeering Brexitist thugs ”

      Cheap, very cheap even by your bottom-feeding standards.

      You really know nothing whatsoever about our values and what we stand for, do you ?

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      July 11, 2021

      Thanks Andy. Your rants get funnier by the day. Oh, how they cheer me up knowing how cross you are.

    4. beresford
      July 11, 2021

      We’re all European, Andy, Britain is part of the continent of Europe. Do keep up!

    5. IanT
      July 11, 2021

      It’s very strange that in these (Woke) days of saying just one ‘wrong’ word, people can be cancelled and even lose their jobs.

      However, those same folk – like Andy here – who are so ‘right on’ with all things ‘correct’ can stir up intergenerational discord without finding it in any way odd. What I find even stranger is that (if he’s lucky) Andy will eventually become one of those despised “Pensioners” – although I suppose his defence would be that he didn’t vote Brexit and would never vote Tory. Too late for the former Andy but you can still change colours for the latter…. 🙂

      1. The Prangwizard
        July 11, 2021

        Wokeism is Fascism.

    6. No Longer Anonymous
      July 11, 2021

      Didn’t see many tattooed pensioners jeering at foreigners. And frankly that was Gareth Southgate’s moment to make a stand and call the match off – he had a second chance when English yobs were shining a laser into a foreigner’s eyes.

      Imagine the impact that would have had on xenophobics.

      That would have been the noble thing for Southgate to do but as with all of them this BLM virtuousness is merely about signalling and compliance – they don’t really believe in it when real action needs to be taken.

    7. Glenn Vaughan
      July 11, 2021

      “I for one do not consider my English…” Andy
      That is evident from the quality of your messages posted on this website.

    8. Cliff. Wokingham
      July 11, 2021

      Andy,
      Allow me, a Conservative pro Brexit Pensioner, to educate you about our flag…. Our flag is Only called The Union Jack when flown on a ship. It is actually referred to as The Union Flag at all other times.
      Incidently, why do you describe our England team as immigrants ? I do hope it’s not because some have dark skin, because that would be racist. You aren’t a fat, shaven headed, tattooed thug per chance are you?

      1. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        In his head – quite possibly.

    9. graham1946
      July 11, 2021

      NURSE!

      1. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        love it – – best laugh in ages.

    10. Old Albion
      July 11, 2021

      I’m amazed why someone who so clearly hates England and the English stays here. Probably time for you to emigrate. Somewhere in the EU should suit.

    11. Original Richard
      July 11, 2021

      Andy : “Compare and contrast the quiet dignity of Gareth Southgate and his team of immigrants with the jeering Brexitist thugs booing national anthems.”

      Why are you describing Gareth Southgate’s team as “immigrants”?

      Were none of them born in England?

      What is your definition of an “immigrant”?

  13. Peter Parsons
    July 11, 2021

    Decentralised decision making works perfectly fine in countries like the USA and Germany. The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the world and reversing devolution will do nothing to improve that.

    Brexit is far more of a threat to the current makeup of the UK than any form of devolution. I said to people at the time that I expected the referendum result to mean that the UK would end up going from having 4 constituent countries to 2 (with Ireland re-unifying and Scotland going its own way) within a generation, and so far I am seeing nothing which is changing my mind on making that prediction.

    Johnson and Frost were told exactly what signing their deal would mean and they still went ahead and signed it. I fully expect Johnson to go down in history as the Conservative and Unionist PM who, through his own choices, failed to conserve the union.

    1. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Peter Parsons

      “Brexit is far more of a threat to the current makeup of the UK than any form of devolution”

      Brexit has nothing to do with it. The threat is Boris Johnson, as you point out further on in your post.

    2. turboterrier
      July 11, 2021

      Peter Parsons
      Watching the Darkest Hour again last night and could not help thinking what the present holder of the office would have done? My god the history books would have been totally different. Double speak, no fire in the belly, no real focus and no guts to go against the flow. How did the country arrive here?

      1. Micky Taking
        July 11, 2021

        In effect we are living through destruction of democracy, the kind British people would never previously imagined could ever happen. Political parties in meltdown, MPs, Judges, journalists, celebrities, teachers, health workers all abdicating a traditional sense of responsibility.
        Many have stated on here before, we are bewildered Sir John, that decisions are taken by so few, so casually, so ill-informed, with so few taking responsibilty that short of a violent coup where is all this going to end?

        1. MiC
          July 12, 2021

          I think that certain executives of privatised sewage companies should feature higher up your list than all those fine people. Oh, and those of cladding manufacturers, building project managers, etc. etc.

          Don’t you?

    3. graham1946
      July 11, 2021

      The flaw in that argument is that you first have to get it past the people. You will never get it from a NI election or referendum, they want to be British and I have my doubts also about Scotland once the people are educated in just what it would mean. Years of bombs and bullets from the Irish Nationalists did not change that. Currently the Scots get a daily drip feed bile against the English from Sturgeon and her acolytes with no alternative case heard or offered.
      The Irish Republic simply could not afford to take NI into their union as it costs so much and Scotland would not be welcome in the EU either, other than as a wedge against the UK as it would be yet another taker, not a giver. At least it would take many years and the joining of the Euro which they don’t want. However, if a referendum on Scotland was held nationwide, I have no doubt the SNP would get their wish the next day, which is why, although it is a national issue, referenda are kept to Scotland alone.

      1. steve
        July 11, 2021

        graham

        “I have no doubt the SNP would get their wish the next day, which is why, although it is a national issue, referenda are kept to Scotland alone. ”

        Which is why we must absolutely DEMAND that future referenda must include the English vote.

        In fact, Sturgeon should be told now that another refendum would rightly include our vote. She needs to grasp the level of anger and outrage she has caused with her threats, extortion and frankly racist attitude towards this country.

        Time the boil was lanced, call the woman’s bluff.

      2. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        The UN says that peoples have a right to *self*-determination.

        The English are not part of Scotland’s self, so to include them in a referendum on self-determination would make about as much sense as most other things that you write.

        1. Peter2
          July 13, 2021

          I dont agree MiC.
          If self determination means something then all the people in the UK should vote regarding whether they want to remain in a United Kingdom.

  14. Bryan Harris
    July 11, 2021

    They do not exactly pick a reliable figure to follow then — When did Gordon Brown get anything right for us?

    As Boris is clearly failing to impress Scotland with his policies he becomes more cowardly by giving into their demands – That is no way to run a Kingdom of separate parts….

    We should recognize the bluster that comes from the SNP as hot air – Certainly Boris should know all about that. They do not have the support to make Scotland independent.

    The only way to proceed is to implement policies that will unite the UK, not have different policies for each region — Forget all the woke and other destructive policies, concentrate on making Britain boom.

    1. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Bryan

      “As Boris is clearly failing to impress Scotland with his policies he becomes more cowardly”

      He does’nt impress us either.

      And yes he’s a coward – then he would be, he’s an agent for the EU and an Irish republican sympathiser.

    2. turboterrier
      July 11, 2021

      Bryan Harris
      Making Britain Boom

      Not with this leadership and cabinet

    3. MFD
      July 11, 2021

      + 100%

  15. Richard1
    July 11, 2021

    Devolution to Scotland – as opposed eg to counties within the whole U.K. as suggested by Labour MP Tam Dyell – has been a disaster. One of the many terrible long term effects of the dire Blair-Brown govt. as Dyell and many others predicted all it has done is fuel separatism.

    Happily however as we consider the positives and negatives of Brexit, one of the positives is Scottish separatism has become far less likely. They almost voted for it when we were still in the EU and there was seemingly little chance of leaving. The cost of separatism would be enormous now, and the price of joining the EU would be years, perhaps decades, of radical austerity and joining the euro.

    In NI it seems support for unification the south is about 30%, and that’s likely to fall as Irish euroscepticsm rises. In Scotland, to keep things in perspective, more people voted for Brexit than have ever voted for the SNP.

    So the govts job is to make Brexit a success by making the U.K. the leading European economy for entrepreneurship innovation, investment – and therefore growth. That way we’ll keep the Union together.

    1. forthurst
      July 11, 2021

      The centralisation of all spending allocations by Westminster has been a disaster as has the creation of the London boroughs and the rest of the centralised meddling in the way we are governed and provisioned: more bureaucrats, less accountability.

    2. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      You brexiters, when shown the damage that you have done economically always say “but it’s not about money”.

      So even if your claims were accurate, why should the Scots – a fortiori – not take exactly that view for a far, far greater increase in genuine sovereignty?

      1. Peter2
        July 12, 2021

        Tell us what is this damage you refer to MiC
        Currently our post brexit scenario is one of good growth and many available employment opportunities.
        PS
        The Scottish voters have already rejected independence once and subsequent polls show no real change in that stance.

  16. Alan Jutson
    July 11, 2021

    Well we certainly need to take back control of the Northern Ireland situation having seemingly handed it to the EU on a plate.

    Then we simply need to outline to the Scottish people, what exactly Scotland gets from the Union with regards to support: financially, Government Department employment, Security, trade, laws, regulations etc etc .
    The majority of the Scottish people are not silly, they are canny, the SNP will eventually run out of steam.

    Independence and self Government does not marry up with EU Currency, Finance, Legislation, Rules and Regulations.

    1. Micky Taking
      July 11, 2021

      ‘The majority of the Scottish people are not silly’.
      Perhaps, but hundreds of thousands live in cloud cuckoo land, believing they can sneer and whinge at England, while enjoying increasing preferential treatment within UK, all without any comeback.
      I hope that this incessant sniping abuse can be settled and Scotland allowed to be alone, enjoying descent into economic disarray which is their destiny. Any hopes of EU falling over themselves to fund the unearned life style is foolish.

  17. BJC
    July 11, 2021

    What’s the role of an MP in the UK Parliament? Is it to throw the contents of their toolbox into the works so the machinery grinds to a halt, or is it to argue for enough of the finest oil to keep their small cog running smoothly within the turning wheel of the United Kingdom?

    Provincial SNP MPs have, in fact, been empowered as “spanners” by allowing them the latitude to gratuitously argue in the name of Scotland as a whole. English MPs aren’t so grandiose as to believe they represent England in its entirety, or even a whole county; they simply seek their drop of oil, report the impact it’s made locally and reference how it fits into the broader ambitions of UK plc. The SNP can easily be disempowered by pulling them back into line to focus wholly on their remit as an MP. A job for The Speaker?

  18. Stred
    July 11, 2021

    Johnson sees the Scot Nats as allies in his insane policy is make the UK the Saudi Arabia of wind generation. The CEO of the CCC worked in the Scottish energy office to make Scotland reliant on wind.

    The government is also bringing in legislation to control speech and free expression on the internet. Scotland has already introduced these laws. English MPs may resist and the Scot Nats may be needed to push this Orwellian nightmare through.

    How SJR can stay in this Bright Blue party that was elected by stealth is a mystery.

  19. hefner
    July 11, 2021

    Interesting, ‘in Scotland … more people voted for Brexit (1,435,166) than for the SNP in 2019 (1,242,380)’. But to really put things in perspective, Richard1, 2,341,585 Scots voted Remain in 2016. How biased can one be, I do not know what your agenda is, but certainly not mathematical accuracy.

    1. graham1946
      July 11, 2021

      The referendum was national, not regional. What would you have said if it had gone the other way. Would you have been dissecting counties looking for votes against remaining? You seem to spend a lot of time looking for mare’s nests.

      1. hefner
        July 11, 2021

        G46, that’s not the point. To have R1 writing that he puts things in perspective by not showing the full arithmetic of his argument is simply laughable. And if you want to know I do not care whether Scotland leaves or remains within the UK.
        It is for the same reason that the other day I pointed out the ease with which Sir John uses various GDP definitions or the timing of the exchange rate or his similar sleight of hand that most people here accept without thinking.

      2. Peter2
        July 11, 2021

        I agree Graham
        Richard was correct to point out more Scots voted in favour of brexit than voted for the SNP.
        It is a very interesting comparative statistic which gives an even more interesting perspective to the debate.
        Comp

      3. bill brown
        July 11, 2021

        Graham, 1946,

        Hefner is right and your counter argument does not cover much weight, the referendum for staying in teh Union is much more important in terms of size of majority.

        1. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          Thanks for your input bill.
          We are all entitled to our opinions.
          However I think you forget that the Scots didn’t vote for independence from the Union and many recent polls show no real change.

  20. DOM
    July 11, 2021

    Devolution out of control. Now the odious tosser Burnham wants to impose compulsory mask wearing in the Greater Manchester region

    Who the hell has legal and constitutional authority over this halfwitted bigot as they roll out their evil agenda to impose control over our lives? It is not for this Labour cretin to make such demands.

    Covid Marxism is getting out of control now and someone in either party with a public platform needs to stand up and call it out before it becomes embedded. Demand new laws preventing Commissars like Burnham from acting ultra vires

    It seems the aim is for this charlatan PM to outsource his compliance and monitoring agenda in return for more funding.

    1. Jim Whitehead
      July 11, 2021

      DOM, +1, Again trenchant in truth

    2. beresford
      July 11, 2021

      We are now approaching Manchester Piccadilly where this train will terminate. Customers are advised that they must don Hazmat suits before leaving the train and have their Geiger counters in the ‘on’ position. Crosscountry Trains thanks you for travelling with us and we hope to see you again soon.

    3. Everhopeful
      July 11, 2021

      Agree 100%.
      But who would stand up?

    4. Everhopeful
      July 11, 2021

      Oh…isn’t Burnham some sort of “global city” tsar?
      And HS2 is being built to link up all the beastly “smart” ( global) cities…Birmingham, Manchester etc.
      We are getting everything we left (??) the EU to avoid… with knobs on.
      Didn’t really leave and now we are ruled by globalists.
      I am certain sure that some while back JR said Johnson would protect us from the EU and the globalists.
      If this is protection I would not like to see surrender!

  21. Denis Cooper
    July 11, 2021

    JR, you refer to:

    “… the EU’s wish to distort the Agreement with a view to disrupting GB/Northern Ireland trade … ”

    but the more correct word there would be “use”, not “distort”, because the UK government and Parliament basically agreed that the agreement would mean whatever the EU said it meant.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/david-frost-and-brandon-lewis-we-must-find-a-new-balance-in-how-the-protocol-is-operated-1.4610097

    “In October 2019 the British government reached a remarkable, indeed unprecedented, agreement with the EU, enshrined in the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was that we would control the circulation of certain goods within our own country, in the interests both of the overriding goal of supporting the peace process and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and of protecting the EU’s single market.

    The rules by which we do this are set by EU law.”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/all-options-on-table-if-no-agreement-reached-with-eu-on-protocol-says-frost-1.4616028

    “Speaking before a Stormont committee, David Frost said the post-Brexit arrangement to prevent a hard Border on the island of Ireland was a “huge compromise” by London that was “made willingly”.

    It was “pretty exceptional” to agree to apply EU law in the North … ”

    And pretty stupid, in my opinion, given all that we – supposedly including Boris Johnson during his years as a journalist in Brussels – had learned about the EU over the years of our membership.

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 11, 2021

      By coincidence, today Richard North reviews the processes by which that EU law is made and changed:

      http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=88030

      He writes that “Westminster was getting more and more marginalised, taking no part whatsoever in the making of the majority of laws.”, but without mentioning that this is still the case for Northern Ireland.

  22. John Miller
    July 11, 2021

    Despite the full name of the Conservative Party, MPs should seek to remove the stigma currently attached to the Prime Minister, that the loss of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be a failure on his part. English Nationalism has long been excoriated by the media, the EU and the USA.
    Everybody, on the other hand, sees it essential that English taxpayers, like some benevolent colonialist (for which we must be ashamed), subsidise luxuries enjoyed by its fellow countries in the Union.

    1. steve
      July 11, 2021

      “that the loss of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be a failure on his part”

      Yes, and we’ll be ‘avin him for it.

      1. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        You brexit voters did more even than the Tories to smash the Union.

        Own your disgraceful mess.

        1. Peter2
          July 12, 2021

          MiC
          Not in Wales where they voted to leave the EU
          And Scotland and Northern Ireland polls show no desire to go independent.
          Despite your desperate calls.

  23. Iago
    July 11, 2021

    In Conservative Woman this morning –
    A plea to parents: You are your children’s last line of defence.

    1. beresford
      July 11, 2021

      ….. against unnecessary ‘vaccination’ that is, not against leaving the Union.

  24. Everhopeful
    July 11, 2021

    What effect will the Online Safety Bill have on blogs like this?
    It is very worrying.
    Who decides what causes psychological harm?
    And what do they care anyway since we have all been imprisoned?

    1. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Everhopeful

      Boris Johnson has caused immense psychological harm to the people of this country, not to mention the outcome of deliberately letting covid in.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 11, 2021

        +1
        He certainly did not close the borders.

  25. a-tracy
    July 11, 2021

    John, what products made in the UK are we having issues shipping to our Northern Ireland constituent member? Do you have a list of them? If they are made in the UK to all of the conditions we had as a member of the EU for 40 years why is it so difficult to get them shipping certificates? Other than those goods what else has changed for Northern Ireland that isn’t because Northern Ireland wants to keep an open border with an EU Country, To keep its EU passports, so if it does want that then this is the concession. Why are we getting our nickers in a nack over it? They can stay 100% UK and give up on their onland open border with Southern Ireland but you can’t sit straddling the fence and get the best of both it won’t be available to Scotland should they carry on with their Independence. In their case they would have a hard-line onland border like Switzerland has with closed roads. At the end of it they had their choice of Independence a couple of years ago and these would have been the results, no more free movement of people within the UK and if they remain within the EU the free movement of goods would end too.

    Reply Food products in particular that are under time pressures for delivery

    1. a-tracy
      July 12, 2021

      So if it is food products, which food products and why can’t the government facilitate free vet. paperwork checks to ensure they can be sent not just to Northern Ireland but to the EU too. If the EU is banning them totally then give us a list of the products.

  26. MWB
    July 11, 2021

    Scotland knows which side it’s bread is buttered, and won’t vote for independence.

    1. Micky Taking
      July 12, 2021

      I believe porridge requires rather a lot of stirring, they are good at it.

  27. Barnm
    July 11, 2021

    The union of the UK

    You should have thought all about this before you championed the Brexit mess

  28. beresford
    July 11, 2021

    Apparently it has been reported in ‘The Times’ that the CPS will no longer prosecute illegal migrants under the existing laws as ‘removal’ (which never happens) is more effective. So much for the smokescreen of ‘tougher laws’ which was recently spread by the Government. In the future planned for these islands by the global elites, the ‘Union’ will be a quaint historical irrelevance.

  29. Micky Taking
    July 11, 2021

    Australia has only 10% of population vaccinated out of about 25m.
    Isn’t it time UK calculated the non-takeup of available doses, and provided millions for several weeks to our old friends?

  30. J Bush
    July 11, 2021

    As far as I am concerned, Johnson is just another in the long line of traitors to England.

    I also get the overwhelming impression that the direction of the ‘conservative’ PM’s since Major, will not be content until England becomes a Third World Country. Of course I may be wrong, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

    So now I am left wondering just what long term benefits do these PM’s expect from destroying everything England ever stood for and achieved? I also wonder whether they have ever considered the principle, that once the desired aim is achieved the useful idiots are the first to go? Or are they so naively arrogant they think they are metaphorically bullet proof? I suspect they are not. Once their usefulness is served, it is unlikely ‘friends’ will be kept close and enemies closer still’. Skeletons will simply be removed from the cupboard.

  31. NotA#
    July 11, 2021

    Gordon Brown – the man that was right on the need t get rid of the UK’s Carbon Free power, the man that said Gold had no value, the man that created a financial crisis by bailing out his ‘friends’ for the sake of vanity. Then of course the man that was front and foremost in creating a half hearted version of devolution.

    The EU, a simple trade commission with almighty power has to keep the UK under its thumb as they don’t understand a World where there is competition based on the consumer first. If we had left the EU as the majority voted for all our woes would have faded, but we still jump to their tune, we still take their rules and laws. The EU Commission’s mission is to keep aggravating until the UK submits. There is no interest in mutual benefit of equals only domination by an unelected superior political class.

    The UK could move forward if the HoC and its members were to recognize they are supposed to be our democratic representatives, creating, amending and repealing ALL UK laws. They are not there to take orders from the un-elected foreign body – we(the UK) are supposed to have moved on from being a local council in a monolithic empire.

  32. 37/6
    July 11, 2021

    If masks are to remain compulsory on trains (and social distancing, as proposed by scientists) we won’t have a railway left to cover the car transport killed off by the green revolution.

    I don’t know what kind of service those working from home expect to return to but it is already going to be much diminished on that they remember before lockdown. Present levels of traffic are economically unsustainable.

    The scientists never ever mention the vaccine, the low death rate per infection, only the ‘infection rate’.

    They are mad. They think there is a magic money tree.

  33. Narrow Shoulders
    July 11, 2021

    As ever there is a rush to appease the vocal minority at a cost to the burdened majority.

    We need to be more mindful of the wise words of Mr Spock. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

    This phrase should be tattooed to the forehead of everyone in public life.

  34. Original Richard
    July 11, 2021

    The SNP are not interested in independence for Scotland but simply separation from England as evidenced by their wish to re-join the EU where a country of Scotland’s population size will have almost zero influence.

    The SNP always supported the EU because the EU wanted to break up all the EU nations into smaller regions to increase their control and thus saw the EU as a vehicle for separation from England.

    The question is :

    How much of the SNP’s support is from those who really want separation from England and to be ruled by the EU as opposed to those who see the SNP as being very successful at gaining benefits not enjoyed by England?

  35. Original Richard
    July 11, 2021

    “The government’s decision to unbalance our constitution further by removing English votes for English laws shows a lack of understanding of the politics of the Union.”

    What is the purpose of this decision?

    Is there a commitment in the government’s manifesto for England that they want the SNP to help Parliament to refuse to enact?

  36. john McDonald
    July 11, 2021

    The current Westminster government is the biggest treat to the Union and the wishes of those voters who live in England. Not doing a good job looking after the wishes and interests of the people of Northern Island also.
    Not a Saint George of England slaying the all consuming EU dragon.
    Hope The England football team can show the Government what can be achieved if there is the will and the guts to win.
    A conservative government wanted us to stay in the EU, allowed a referendum because it thought the vote would be to remain. It is true to say that only the Welsh and English voted to leave ( but a close run thing which did not help Remain getting over the result)
    So do we still have a Remain Government with a grudge against the English voter and thus blocking an independent Vote for English issues and an English Parliament ?

    1. Ed M
      July 11, 2021

      Most people love football way more than whether we’re in the EU or not. You can’t compare the MAGIC of football and England playing it than Brexit.
      Sovereignty is a great thing but it has to be integrated in a positive, JOYFUL vision with the rest of English Culture and Values: Spirit of Enterprise, Family Life, Arts – Patriotism etc. And certainly not about how evil the EU is. Yes, the EU is flawed but also helped Europe greatly after WW2. And we need to create a positive, JOYFUL vision about how to have close relations with our cousins in Europe in terms of Trade, Culture and Security but OUTSIDE the single market etc ..

      1. Ed M
        July 11, 2021

        We need to get rid of the image – whether fair or not – of red-faced, old men banging on about evil Europe. We need a positive, JOYFUL vision of English Patriotism in its entirety – not just politics – for the young to latch on to. The long-term success of Brexit depends on it.

      2. Micky Taking
        July 12, 2021

        Give us a clue as to how we might create this joyful vision?

        1. MiC
          July 12, 2021

          A composer wrote an Ode to it, I seem to recall.

          Perhaps it could be the anthem for the solution?

    2. steve
      July 11, 2021

      John McDonald

      “So do we still have a Remain Government with a grudge against the English voter and thus blocking an independent Vote for English issues and an English Parliament ? ”

      Yes, and it’s worse than that. We have a PM who’s half Belgian and a catholic. (No surprise therefore he sides with the EU and is a republican sympathiser concerning NI.)

      1. Micky Taking
        July 12, 2021

        and full of b/s and indecision.

      2. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        Rees-Mogg is also a Catholic, as is IDS.

        Your point?

  37. Garret
    July 11, 2021

    “The government should grasp that brexit help’s our union” –
    Don’t know how you can say this.. NI very likely will be gone before ten more years.. if nothing else NI demographics and the pull of european four freedoms will hurry it on.. Scotland will be there or thereabouts.. all served by your brexit not being thought through properly

  38. Bryan Harris
    July 11, 2021

    I really do not understand the censorship rules on here — I posted details of a report that was required for the government.
    I didn’t attack personally – but provided a link to the report – I could provide the official PDF but this site doesn’t allow for that.

    Was it deleted because it spelt out the HUGE human costs of Net-Zero?

    It really does need to be known about

    Reply I did not have time to read and check as it was all so long. If it is published elsewhere it is clearly accessible for those interested. I prefer people to put their own points, drawing on good sources rather than trying to repost other published material

    1. Bryan Harris
      July 11, 2021

      Understood — but This wasn’t just any old report — This was a serious review, or should that be a considered PLAN of what NET-ZERO means, and it has very serious implications for us all.

      I really hope you will take the time to read the report – I can understand you do not wish to read the initial article that identified it, but there is a link that will provide the official PDF.

      Please do take a look, and I hope that we can discuss it fully on your diary – one of the few places where open discussion can take place.

      1. hefner
        July 12, 2021

        BH, was it the OBR report? If it is it might have been useful to give the name and its origin.

        1. Bryan Harris
          July 13, 2021

          ABSOLUTE ZERO is the title – from: UK Fires

          ukfires.org/reports/

  39. Everhopeful
    July 11, 2021

    I don’t see much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the press for the two great African leaders who have died recently. One of whom was brutally murdered.
    Both refused to destroy their countries for a virus.

  40. hefner
    July 11, 2021

    O/T: It might be of interest to people travelling regularly. There is a report ‘A Frequent Flyer Levy’ by the New Economics Foundation, PROPOSING a new FFL to replace the Air Passenger Duty (presently £13 for each short haul flight from the UK, and £78 for each long haul flight from the UK). This FFL would increase with the number of flights taken by an individual in a year, from £0 for first flight to £585 for 10th leisure flight, and from £25 from first flight to £700 for 10th flight for business (NB: different from business ticket) (see Table 1, p.11).
    Such a levy could bring £5bn/year to the Treasury.
    For the average British person possibly flying only one return flight a year it would cost £0+25 instead of £2*13 or £2*78. For anybody taking more than one long haul return flight a year the FFL cost would be escalate rapidly getting to £1000s for the inveterate flyer. Unfortunately, the difference in costs between leisure (likely to be paid by individuals) and business (likely to be paid by companies) will mainly penalise new or early retirees (and a few others possibly).

    neweconomics.org ‘A Frequent Flyer Levy: Sharing Aviation’s Carbon Budget in a Net-Zero World’, 10 July 2021, 38pp.

  41. Everhopeful
    July 11, 2021

    So much for the Home Secretary.
    CPS say they will no longer prosecute dinghy people.
    ( Did they ever actually?).
    What of all the fine words then?
    Or am I missing something?

  42. JoolsB
    July 11, 2021

    What a despicable party the Tories are and what contempt they hold the English in, without whose votes they would not exist. The best thing we can hope for now is that the English do not vote Tory at the next election and we end up with a Labour Government supported by the SNP. That should hopefully make the English finally rise up against the anti- English socialist parties – Conservatives & Labour.Nothing to pick between them in their contempt for England.

    1. steve
      July 11, 2021

      Jools

      “The best thing we can hope for now is that the English do not vote Tory at the next election ”

      Don’t worry, we won’t be. Besides there is no tory party to vote for, it ceased to exist once it was successfully infiltrated.

  43. bill brown
    July 11, 2021

    Sir JR

    We all know how you feel about the Eu and your somethismes emotional and not vary factual responses adn we ahve gottne use to this.
    But now calling teh SNP anti democratic because they raise their voice in Parliament is just another emotional reaction to a party wishing to look arfter the interests of thir voters is a bit over the top but not unexpected from you.
    The devolutoin in the UK is not very differnt from the the devolution in Spaim Ialy adn Germany so therefore the fact taht the union is under considerable constriaints is NI and Scotland has noting to do with Gordon Brown or teh Eu , it ahs much more to do with bad government at the centre in London and your counter arguments are weak and not well substantiated.

    Reply They deny the results of two referendums

    1. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      But John, you immediately started trying to reverse the results of a 68:32 referendum result, didn’t you?

      That was your right and perfectly lawful, and you finally now have what you wanted all those years ago.

      Then why should others not simply do as you did?

      Reply No, I accepted it and worked to try make the common market work for a generation.

      1. MiC
        July 13, 2021

        Economically, I can’t think of anyone in public life who is not trying to mitigate the effects of your brexit. That is, absolutely, to make it “work” as best as we can.

        Nor has anyone – except the brextremists – denied that we have left the European Union. They accept it.

        So where is the difference between your former position and theirs, irrespective of whether they were previously Remain campaigners or not, John?

  44. Blake
    July 11, 2021

    Have to admire the Italian side.. against the odds.. playing away from home and having to listen to the bad mannered booing and hissing they played well and held on

    1. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      They did.

      And I think that the England fans’ bad behaviour morally weakened England.

      1. Peter2
        July 12, 2021

        You are obsessing about a handful out of 60,000 people MiC

  45. mancunius
    July 12, 2021

    “As we proceeded with Brexit it also became clear the EU wanted to detach Northern Ireland from Great Britain and wished to assist the Republican cause and support the Irish Republic.”
    It also became clear that inside the heart of government, the civil and diplomatic services, Parliament, the media and social media and all the country’s snobbish, we-know-best elitist remainers, there were – sorry, but the adjective is inescapable – treasonous, yes treasonous conspirators who would be happy to dismember the UK merely in order to gain their personal wish to maintain their own greedy convenience – their business moats, or their second or third homes, or their free EU medical care. Look at all the refusenik Tory MPs who oppose the IMB, for a start. Or those who contemptuously mock unionists and the history of unionist Ireland – some even serve on parliamentary committees as members of the Conservative *and Unionist* Party. What a disgraceful shower!

  46. yossarion
    July 13, 2021

    If it was not for the Scottish MPs voting through University Fees in England, English students would not be pasying Fees

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