Saturday, 13 December 2008

I don’t want to see a separate English Parliament

David Cameron was asked the following question and the answer was published on the Slugger O'Toole blog yesterday.

Q: In his opinion, has the New Labour devolution project in the UK strengthened or weakened the Union? If it is the former, will he then be looking to extend the “benefits” of devolution to England? If it is the latter, how does he propose to remedy the situation?
Mr O’Neill, Belfast
A: "I don’t want to see a separate English Parliament. I think the last thing we need right now is another bunch of politicians on another bunch of big salaries and pensions and all the rest of it. So I don’t think we need an English parliament".

Well David, it may have escaped your notice but it is not what you want that really counts.
The electorate of England deserves the same recognition of their right to decide what they want for their country as the electorate in Scotland and Wales.
If there was an English Parliament there would not need to be as many MPs in the UK Parliament so there would not be the need for "another bunch of politicians on another bunch of big salaries and pensions and all the rest of it".
If England had its own parliament all that would be left for a UK parliament to concern itself with would be defence, foreign policy, the UK constitution employment legislation, social security policy and administration, and transport safety and regulation
The creation of an English Parliament is not only about achieving a devolution settlement that is fair. It is also about encouraging innovation and openness in our democracy.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Setting up an English parliament would be a disaster

Now Jack Straw is at it!

"Setting up an English parliament would be a disaster as Wales and Scotland would demand independence," Justice Secretary Jack Straw was quoted as saying yesterday. Mr Straw, who has overall control of devolution policy at Westminster, said he was opposed to preventing Welsh and Scottish MPs voting on so-called English-only issues.

What he and Gordon Brown have not acknowledged is that it is the people of England who should decide for themselves whether or not they should have and English Parliament not the MPs.

That's two condemnations with no substantial reasoning in one week.

I think they are getting nervous and so they should!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Dangers of an English Parliament?

Gordon Brown has been quoted as saying "We need to fight attempts to break up Britain from nationalists on one hand, and the dangers of attempting to create a separate English parliament on the other."

Who signed one of the most nationalistic statements in the history of the United Kingdom then Gordon? Yes, I am referring to the Scottish Claim of Right. I don't think you can get much more nationalistic than that.

It was the Labour Government that set the whole issue in motion with the Devolution Act which identified Wales and Scotland as nations and now Gordon Brown is complaining because these actions are coming back to haunt him.

I would like to know why it is any more dangerous to create an English Parliament than it was a Scottish one.

Of course it would mean that a UK Prime Minister would not be able to weild so much power because education, the NHS etc would be devolved to the Scottish and English Parliaments but I cannot see for the life of me why it would be a dangerous move.

It is far more dangerous to ignore the fact that England is a nation and continue treating its citizens with contempt.

Why not create a union of equals and treat all four components ot the United Kingdom the same - that is the only way to preserve the Union Mr. Brown is now so keen on retaining.

Monday, 7 April 2008

CEP stands up for English university students

Press Release: CEP stands up for English university students while the NUS lets them down

The CEP carries on with its opposition to the Government’s policy of discrimination against English university students.

The Campaign for an English Parliamen has deplored the decision of the National Union of Students last week to end its opposition to the tuition and top-up fees which are being imposed upon English university students.

‘We want every English student to know’, stated Mrs Scilla Cullen, Chairman of the CEP, ‘that the Campaign for an English Parliament will not stop campaigning against the fees New Labour has inflicted on English students while sparing Scottish and Welsh students. English students are being hit with immense debts while Scottish students are not.

In England university students have to pay £3145 each year of their university life. Students loans then have to be repaid at 4.8% interest rates after graduation.
Welsh students don’t have anything like the fee burden English students have.Their fees are only £1255 pa.’

However, in Scotland university students have no fees to pay. What’s more, the Scottish parliament has also made grants up to £2510 available to Scottish students coming from families on low incomes, which are not available in England. To make the discrimination even worse English students at Scottish have to pay their fees, while EU students do not; and Scottish students, and indeed Isle of Man students, at English unviersities pay no fees. What is quite grotesque about the whole situation is that, at the same time as the Scottish Parliament was legislatiing to relieve its students of fees, the vote in the UK Parliament to impose top-up fees on English students was carried only by the Scottish MPs in Westminister voting for them to give New Labour its majority in the vote in the House.The majority of English MPs voted against them.

‘The only way forward out of this discrimination’ says Mrs Cullen, ‘is for England to have its own parliament just as Scotland has. The UK government is just seeing England, which provides 85% of its whole tax revenue, as a milch cow from which Scotland and Wales benefit at the expense of the people of England. All the MPs who have imposed these fees upon English students got their university education completely free. The injustice to England is grotesque; and it is time that of the 660 Westminster MPs the 550 who are English start to stand up for their country. England should matter as much to them as Scotland does to the Scottish MPs both at Westminster and Edinburgh. They should stand up for their constituents. I can assure English students that is what an English Parliament will do.’

All students are invited to the CEP National Conference taking place at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn London on Saturday April 26th from 10:30 to 4:30. It is free and open to everyone.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Brown must do better

It appears that Gordon Brown wants to introduce regional mayors in England to redress the imabalance caused by devolution.

Scottish Parliament = regional mayor

Welsh Assembly = regional mayor

Northern Ireland Assembly = regional mayor

The question is, will the people of England be duped into believing that a regional mayor is equivilent to devolution of power on a national basis.

I for one will not fall for that one.

Mr. Brown must do better than that for England.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Fairness and opportunity for everyone

In the newsletter to Labour supporters sent by Alistair Darling after today's budget this slogan was included:-

Labour's choice: Fairness and opportunity for everyone in Britain to secure a strong, sustainable future.

I guess nobody has told him that devolution has led to gross inequality for those of us living in England then.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

EDM 1037

It is interesting to note that 52 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion objecting to the reporting of Nick Robinson of the BBC.

This is just 3 more than signed EDM 670, EDM 266 and EDM 1319 combined, all of which relate to English governance and identity.

Perhaps there is some irony in the fact that 6 of the MPs who signed EDM 1037 are from constiuencies in Scotland

Thursday, 21 February 2008

What a niggle!

So, according to Ken Clarke, the West Lothian Question is a niggle and it is OK for Wales and Scotland to have a sense of seperate identity but not England.

Perhaps he should take note of the YouGov poll which shows that members of the Consrvative Party, more than those of Labour or the Lib Dems, consider themselves to be primarily English.

Hopefully, for his sake, they are the average Englishmen he mentions and think that Westminster is the English Parliament.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Berwick Poll

So, Christine Grahame thinks Westminster should take heed of the ballot that took place in Berwick on Tweed which indicated that 60 percent of the population want the Scottish border moved south to include them.

Why does she think that Westminster will take any more notice of this poll when several polls by MORI and ICM show that more than 65 percent of those questions want an English Parliament?

Perhaps as this issue is relating to our PMs native country it will receive a sympathetic hearing where as demands for an English Parliament fall on deaf ears.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Public Meeting

If you are in the Trowbridge area on Monday 18th February, the Wiltshire Branch of the CEP are holding a public meeting at St. James Church Hall, Union Street at 7.30 pm. Why not come to the meeting and find out more?

‘The Democratic Imperative’

Below is an extract from and the conclusion of the Speech by the Foreign Secretary David Miliband given at the Aung San Suu Kyi Lecture: ‘The Democratic Imperative’ on 12 February 2008

This speech was referring to the plight of Burma.

“I will argue that we should back demands among citizens for more freedom and power over their lives – whether that is reforming established democracies, or supporting transitions to democracy”.

“When it awarded the Nobel peace prize to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Committee said in its citation that it wanted "to show its support for the many people through the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means”.I would like to echo that sentiment today. I believe democracy can take root in all societies. I hope and believe that, in time, it will. The equal worth of human beings, their equal right to independence and self-government, requires no less. And all those brave people who are fighting to gain tomorrow the democracies that we, in the lucky, rich nations of the world are blessed with today, deserve our support. Not just in words, but in deeds”.

Spare a thought for England too David, not in quite the same situation as Burma, but the only country in the western world without a parliament or assembly of its own.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Press Release: England outraged by Scottish attempt to grab English territory$1200908.htm

CEP: England outraged by Scottish attempt to grab English territory
Monday, 11 Feb 2008 08:33

The members of the Campaign for an English Parliament will resist with might and main the attempt being made by the Scottish Nationalist Party to grab Berwick on Tweed which has been part of England since the 13th century - over 700 years- and make it part of Scotland.

Scottish Nationalist Member of the Scottish Parliament Chrstine Grahame supported by fellow SNP members is lodging a vote in the Scottish Parliament in support of this land-grab.

Already the Scottish Parliament has claimed rights over all English rivers such as the River Till in Northumberland which flow into the River Tweed, even though the Tweed is the boundary river between the two nations of England and Scotland and belongs to neither. And the Scottish Parliament has been able to move southwards the boundary between England and Scotland which till devolution has always run along the very centre of the Solway Firth. To date the United Kingdom Government with its Scottish Prime Minister and Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer has done nothing to stop these successive land grabs.

"The Scots are stirring up a hornets' nest of real trouble within the United Kingdom with these policies. And we will take them on," stated Scilla Cullen, Chairman of the Campaign. "The people of England will not put up with any more of it. Already Wales has been given the English county of Monmouthshire and even a part of the city of Chester in what is the county of Cheshire. It is already intolerable that devolution for Scotland has granted it huge benefits denied to England such as free university education, free personal care for the elderly, free prescriptions, as much as £1500 more spent on each Scot per annum than on any person in England and access to cancer drugs not obtainable in England. What the Scots are doing is sowing the seeds of real anger and dissension within the Union. They are sowing the wind. If they try to grab Berwick, it will be the Union that will reap the whirwind'

End of press release.