An English Parliament?

Originally posted on Labourhome:

Is this an idea that Labour should embrace?

One of the constitutional issues that some propose is that of an English Parliament?The argument goes that Scotland has a Parliament, Wales and Northern Ireland have their assemblies, why not England? Well why not?Some argue that England is just too large and diverse an area (compare Cornwall to old Yorkshire for instance!), or that we don't want any more decentralisation and "red tape!"Fair points, but the fact remains that we have a constitutional anamoly (such as the West Lothian question!) and indeedneed to have a body which concentrates on issues that just affect England!The government have recognised this in the past with it's proposals for regional assemblies, but this has gone pear shaped like a pack of dominoes when one region voted overwhelmingly against devolution. Would it not be far better to pose this issue as a national question first!If an English Parliament is something to aim for, it will take time and effort, and many minor questions need to be addressed (system of voting, which powers to be devolved etc..) but it is something Labour can look into and make sure that it is not simply the preserve of those on the right who are interested in this! Not only that, but given the state of our nation, wouldn't a small federal country suit us well?


Barry Beef said…
"but this has gone pear shaped like a pack of dominoes"

That's brilliant! Mixed metaphor and a half. How can dominoes go pear-shaped?
You should put it on Dragon's Den.
Paul Burgin said…
Or rather a worthy candidate for a Colemanballs award!
Who hates Tories round here? said…
No. No. No.

This is a Tory plot to get us off our agenda. Our current settlement works. Let's just get on with it and keep talking about things that matter like crime, education and health.

We shouldn't even bother discussing it.
Paul Burgin said…
I don't think it is a Tory plot and I certainly think Health and Education and crime matter more. I am simply saying that we should address the issue, we are brave and bold enough as a party after all!
Greg said…
All British political parties claim to support democracy.The Welsh and Scots were given a referendum on devolution.That is democracy.The English are denied a referendum.That,my friends,is not democracy.End of.
alfie said…
...... and make sure that it is not simply the preserve of those on the right who are interested in this!

Bloody typical. Don't you get it? The call for an English Parliament has been gathering pace since 1998 when Assemblies and Parliaments were given out like sweeties from Princess Tony's handbag to just 15% of the UK population. The movement is broad - it is pushed, not by right wingers (that's what Vain Hain always says) but by democrats! from all sides of the political spectrum....

If anyone around here is right wing it's the NuLabour fascists and their appalling manipulation of the unitary state that was the UK into an asymmetric constitutional nightmare. The push for an English Parliament is gathering pace - it's coming from ordinary people within England, every time NICE pop up with another reason why English people cannot have a drug freely available in Scotland, every time a Scots MP votes on English only legislation (top up fees, Foundation hospitals etc), every time another old person in England has to flog off the family home to finance their residential care - when it is all free in Scotland, every time a kid from Scotland tucks into their school dinner, with a budget of 87p per head - the English equivalent is under 50p...... the movement gathers just a little more pace.

The UK government operates a system of apartheid - pure and simple. It is shameful, it has ripped the country apart, and all in an attempt to sait the independence appetite of the Scots and Welsh nationalists.

Unfortunately for Princess Tony, the box is well and truly open now - and it will not be shut again. New Labour will never be forgiven for this - what's good for the Scots and Welsh is good enough for us. In the late '90's, the pernicious racists at Millbank thought they could fob us off with no power regional parish councils, how arrogant and out of touch can you get? England and an EP should have been included from the outset - instead 85% of the UK population have been completely side lined. And the 'extra tier of government' argument that opponents to an English Parliament always quote simply will not wash either. Over 75% of current Westminster time is devoted to debating and voting upon English (and occasionally Welsh) only matters - so if England has its own EP,it will render the HofC completely superfluous. Maybe that's why those very important busy bodies at Westminster oppose it so much, "Never mind about democracy, we're turkeys, so we won't be voting for Christmas"...

I am no right wing fanatic, I'm a socialist who passionately believes in fairness and democracy FOR ALL. My family helped organise the Labour party in its early years, my Granddad was very close friends with George Orwell, Ernie Bevin etc... I've always voted Labour (for 32 years straight)..... but not any more. They've lost my vote forever. NuLabour has, by its appalling constitutional bungling ripped the union apart. If the Princess was looking for a legacy, he has surely got one - breaker of the union. I hope he feels suitably ashamed.......
This is too important an issue to be party political.
The Tories are against an English Parliament, so are New Labour. If the Union is to be preserved then the issue needs to be addressed now!
I think it's too late however. It looks as though the SNP could well take power next year and an independent Scotland is the likely outcome of that.
All that can be said is 'we told yopu so!'
Terry Heath said…
Paul said "Let's just get on with it and keep talking about things that matter like crime, education and health."

As crime (the police), education and Health are devolved areas, no one representing a non English constituency has a right to influence policies intended only for England.

Who the hell can an English socialist vote for now?...

A party led by a man whose constituents are not affected by his policies on crime, education and health? A leader who is not accountable to those that voted for him, in these and other areas?

Not me, not bloody likely!
Man in a shed said…
It would be better if Labour engaged in a fair solution - which was in line with the wishes of the English people ( and we are a people - just as Scots from Gretna Green to Wick are ).

However, NuLabour does what will extract the most salaries for its own fellow political hobbiests - hence regional parliaments. Your party will try to stitch things up - rather than thinking long term.

If your party had been thinking Welsh and Scottish devolution would never have happened without an English settlement that the English people wanted.

This needs to be cross party. Its the right thing to do, we are all English.

The question is can Britain be saved ? And should we want it to be ?
Man in a shed said…
By the way its over 20 years since I heard the wingeing cry from the left "its all a Tory plot". I kind of miss it - it suggest your all getting worried again, and that has to be good news.
Phil said…
"This is a Tory plot to get us off our agenda"

How typicallly NewLabour (by that I mean arrogantly anti-English). What the hell has England being treated fairly and equally to our so called partners in this past its sell by date union got to do with the sodding Conservative and Unionist party. They show as much contempt for England as you lot. England's liberation will come and it will be in spite of foreigners like Blair, Brown, Prescott and Reid and the quisling English traitors from all three unionist parties and not because of them. Up the English Republic!
Tory Plot - what utter rubbish. Let's continue talking about Health and Education and forget the West Lothian Question - you are clearly clueless about the significance of the issue.

OK let's talk about education:

WHY are the English the ONLY ones in the UK to pay top-up fees??
WHY are school dinners in Scotland £1.00 and School dinners 50p in England?
WHY do English student have to pay a penalty if they want to study in Scotland?
WHY are EU students able to get lower cost education in UK universities than the English themselves?

and on health....

WHY is an English life worth less than a Scottish Life? As it must be as the English are regularly denied life saving drugs that are available in Scotland?

On public expenditure, WHY does Scotland get 13 Billion extra spending under the Barnett Formula which gives nearly £2,000 extra spending per head than that available in England?

If we live in a "United Kingdom" which the Act of Union 1707 states that "all people shall be treated equally" WHY isn't that now the case? And if this is the Union that the three unionist parties support what does this say about their contempt for the 85% of the population who are effectively ignored and discriminated against??

If a Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly was such a good idea and so right and just - why isn't the same right and just for the English??

When exactly can the English start to talk about devolution, given that 79% of them said NO to regionalisation in 2004 and we haven't been consulted since?

Labour now introduce "City Regions" No one wants those either! When will the pygmies in the Labour party recognise the only way the devolution problem will be solved is when the people of England have been consulted.

Want to see the people fight back ?? Go to a citizens initiative embarassing the inept incompetent rabble masquerading as a government in 10 and 11 Downing Street.

Don't forget Labour grabbed power with 23% of the popular vote. In July 41% of those asked in a MORI poll agreed that an English Parliament was the only way forward.

Doesn't take a genius to work out where the votes are - but then again the three excuses for political parties are so blind to reason none of them can spot the obvious.

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