While new forms of community localism are necessary in England, this is no substitute for making accountable, via election, the existing intermediate tier of regional government. At the same time this tier needs to be given at least those regional powers over transport, regeneration and planning enjoyed in Greater London.
Let\’s start with England getting those powers shall we? Then we\’ll work out what we want to do next ourselves, thank you very much.
Exactly. England was the one part of the UK that was never consulted on devolution. One part, the North East, was asked if it wanted a glorified County Council which was promptly rejected, many of the electorate specifically expressing a fear of a deliberate break-up of England.
If they didn’t want a nationalist break up of the UK then they shouldn’t have deliberately created devolution along national lines. There are big differences between North and South Wales, Highland and Lowland Scotland, Orkney and Shetland. But these were glossed over. England is far more homogenous than the other “Home Nations” and yet it alone has been denied “a forum for the nation”.
And so now we have Gordon Brown insisting that English 18 year old adults must stay in school with the threat of fines and court action. In other words, they can vote to help choose the next government, but they can’t choose what is best for themselves. And needless to say this does not apply to his own constituents.
Similarly we have plans for Road Pricing charges, and once again Gordon Brown’s constituents will be exempted.
And so it goes on.
There is real anger building in England. But the poltical class is determined to ignore it. Meanwhile the Union is burning down around their ears.
And quite frankly, Good Riddance – as with any political system that deliberately turns people into second-class citizens within their own country.
Very heartening to read the comments (all except one) on that Guardian article.
I don’t want an English parliament. My health outcomes are already dictated by a bloke who represents Hull. He might as well represent Garscadden for all the difference that makes. I want real accountability, locally. With the devolved assemblies, they can exercise these powers for fewer than one tenth of England’s population. I’d much rather have Scotland sized (population wise) assemblies, or even just Oxfordshire sized.
Agreed with Jock. As a Londoner, I’m currently very grateful for the Scots and Welshmen who prevent me from being ruled by the Daily Mail readers who infest the rest of England; if we’re to lose that bulwark of sanity, then at least have the decency to limit the power of the Blimpists [the burghers of Tunbridge Wells and like-minded places are, of course, equally welcome to set up their own Taliban…]
“john b”, you may be grateful for being ruled over by Scots and Welshmen looking first and foremost after the interests of Scotland and Wales, and treating England as a Cash Cow to be subdued. But I’m not.
Oh, and just for the record, I’m not a Daily Mail reader, I’m a “Democrat”. That’s someone who believes that Democracy is supposed to be about a community of people electing someone from amongst themselves to make decisions and be accountable for those decisions. Gordon Brown is imposing his will on England along with the rest of the ScottishRaj without having garnered a single English vote or having the slighest accountability to the people suffering their decisions.
Finally, I’m glad you described yourself as a”Londoner” rather than as “English”. No true Englishman would actively express a desire to be ruled over by foreign masters.
Indeed – I’m not an Englishman, whatever that may be: I’m British and I’m from London. I have no more and no less in common with Brummies or Geordies or country squires than I do with Cardiff-ites or Edinburghers. And I see no reason *whatsoever* why it’s any more “democratic” for me to be ruled by the former rather than the latter…
The democratic aspect is the Quid Pro Quo that everyone subject to the effects of decisions has a voice via their vote, and crucially, no one who is NOT subject to those decisions has a vote.
I accept London MPs having a vote on what happens in Yorkshire, because Yorkshire MPs have a vote on what happens in London.
My (and YOUR) elected representatives have NO voice in Scotland or Wales and so MPs from Scotland and Wales should have NO voice whatsoever over what happens in England – and Yes, that includes London.
I used to be British just like you. Now I’m English. And this is why.