It’s Time – Red Letter Day? Jozef’s Slogan Idea

Jozef started an idea in the slogan area the other day, so Macarnie jotted a few words down as a rough draft Bloggers are feeling we should try to develop ideas for slogans...
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IT'S TIME. ------------------- The hour hand; slowly creeping, is nearly at high noon The minute hand is catching up, they'll be meeting very soon, It's time to name the polling day when Britain's battle starts, And Champions of different Parties fight, to win the voters' hearts. It's time to rally round the flag, and this time not the red one. Let's make The Labour Party sick, or better still, a dead one It's time for change, in every sense; not merely in direction It's time to clear the streets of crime, and wards of all infection It's time to give the teachers back, their authority in class And not allow the classroom thugs to bully and harass. It's time for lawful burghers to live in blessed peace Let's put the Bobby on the street: that's where we want police If these are your priorities, and yes, I do mean YOU Be sure to put your voting mark in the box which means true blue Macarnie Recently Mark Gamon made some reference to snow and sand: Macarnie took up the inferred challenge:- Here is the result. SAND AND SNOW ---------------------- Let's forget alliteration. Though the words are closely bound, Where snow and sand proliferate they cover fruitful ground. The wind blows both of these about and forms them into drifts. On the one you'll see sunbathers: in bikinis; some in shifts Whilst Skiers and Cat drivers, on the slopes which they love best Will vie to wear an outfit much more garish than the rest. The pistes remind me of the funfair; queuing up to use the slide And where there's sandy beaches; there are surfers far and wide Sand and snow have lots in common, Bondi Beach or Val d'Isere There'd be less leisure playgrounds, if either were not there. Also: LABOUR'S WORK IN DISMANTLING GREAT BRITAIN (Post devolution and pre total break-up of GB.pc) Prudence Brown is coming: mid England sits and cowers, He's found a legal way to confiscate, those things which we thought ours. If you lived in Scotland; whence he springs; you'd pay no tuition fee, But in England, unlike Scotland, there's nothing left for free. Why do so many Scotsmen sit, in old Westminster's halls? Since there's been devolution, the situation just appals. England has no word to say, how Scottish laws are made Scotsmen on the Left's front bench, leave others in the shade, And yet in Scotland's Parliament, one Englishman's too many, You'll find, like Simple Simon said, indeed, there are not any. I live in England: I'm aware my name's more Scots than most, But allegiance to the Union Flag has always been my boast. Since schism all the rage is, and Fat Controller wants more still, Must we, post subdivision, bow to Labour's Federalist will? Another layer of toothless 'government', for which we'll have to pay Vote this farce upon the stage, and we'll all live to rue the day. In Labour's sham tiara, these aren't diamonds: merely paste Just more useless talking shops; to add to Labour's waste First; they split the four home Nations; give three therefrom home rule, England's left as banker; no collateral: who's the fool? Their raiding parties, specially chosen, infiltrate our talking shop, Proposing their own motions: beating England to the drop. Two words I find are cogent, a matched pair; both mentioned here "Lunatic", and "Asylum": one runs the other, so I fear They'll divide and draw new boundaries, each division lessening choice, Agenda, selected by the leftists, British people! Where's your voice? BBB Macarnie

103 thoughts on “It’s Time – Red Letter Day? Jozef’s Slogan Idea”

  1. English People! Where’s your voice?

    Maybe it’s about time the Conservatives started speaking for a constituency that they actually represent; England (as opposed to Britain).

  2. Gareth is on to something here. The Celtic fringe has taken without giving for too long. No wonder they are all Socialists when they have England to live off.

    Drop the “& Unionist” from the Party’s name, and let’s begin negotiating Scottish (and Welsh, if they like) independence. It worked for Czechoslovakia (the Czech Republic is much richer without the Slovaks to support). They don’t like us. They don’t have to. But they shouldn’t sponge on the ones they hate.

    If you’re worried about the oilfields, all but one are in English territorial waters under international law. Check it out – it’s true. Maritime boundaries between nations on the same coast must be equidistant from the two nations as they head out to sea – and God put a very convenient kink in the coastline where Scotland meets England.

    And don’t forget they have to take away their share of the national debt when they go. There was none at the time of the Act of Union. Also by leaving the UK they leave the EU too – and we get to veto their reentry so that they can’t sponge by the backdoor (like the Irish).

    Speak for England, Boris.

  3. Ha ha! Great proposal Tom, except I would say don’t veto them from joining the EU (it probably wouldn’t be allowed now anyway) but rather encourage them to join the Eurozone. At current interest rates they would do better under the European bank than our central “London bank” anyway. Also let them go their own way in the Eurovision contest, Olympics, etc.

  4. Oh dear. It’s attitudes like this that make re re-consider voting Tory. After all, I’m not sure I can fit in with my NIrish accent and sponging ways from this English state which I now live in.

    I learnt a new fact at the weekend. The name Tory comes from the Irish word “toraidhe”, which means outlaw or robber. Hmmm.

  5. Don’t be put off Wifey. It’s a wide church and we can agree to disagree on many issues. I am sure the leadership is with you.

    I don’t particularly want the UK broken up. But I realised it was inevitable listening to a Scot explain the story of William Wallace to his young son at the Wallace memorial in Stirling a year or so ago. He talked about the English in terms that would have him locked up if referring to Jews or Muslims. I could see another generation of racist hatred being formed before my eyes and it was really sad.

    It is a fact that there would have been few if any Labour Governments without Celtic fringe votes. Any unfairness in the set up of the UK is in the opposite direction to that usually suggested – and getting worse.

    An independent Scotland would solve the problem of Blair and Brown – they could both go “home” to general delight south of the border.

    By the way, before someone calls me racist – I am Welsh.

  6. Wifey:
    I don’t want rid of anyone,(anyone, that is, who wants to be part of GB plc.)Trouble is, there is an active element; not all in one place either; in separatist politics, which seem hell bent on making literal mincemeat of the UK.There is no English separatist party, whereas there are those of Scottish, Welsh and Irish manufacture.
    By the way , a Tory is or rather was, also , a dispossessed Irishman, who subsisted by means of robbery

  7. There are lots of people mainly in England, not entirely though , and straddling all groups of society , rich/poor, educated/ uneducated , left/right , political/non-political

    – including not a few MP’s , no less –

    who persist in trying to view the UK through dreamy unionist lenses as though nothing has changed . Perhaps it is comforting to hang onto the reassuring political landscape of the recent past and block out the reality of the new political vista of 2005 . It is now almost 300 years since the Act of Union 1707 and there is no doubt that the state of Great Britain which that act created has been fantastically successful and has engendered vast dynamism and loyalty.
    That Act brought about the suspension ( only the suspension )of the existing separate and ancient parliaments of England and Scotland and their replacement by the new Parliament of Great Britain . In 1999 , Blair restored the paliament of Scotland whilst very pointedly not restoring the parliament of England . This , in itself was a deliberately racist and discriminatory policy against the English – by a Scot. Instead ,he then went on with a policy of breaking up England into Euro bite sized bits with no historical legitimacy . To find an historical parallel for this is difficult -the partition of Poland in the 18th century springs to mind.

    In order to rectify the huge constitutional imbalance which now prevails we need to proceed , as a matter of urgency , to the restoration of the English parliament which will deal with internal governance of England with at least the same competancies as those of the Scottish parliament. The parliament of Great Britain would then become the central British forum dealing with foreign and pan British policy . It would probably be smaller than at present.
    It is glaringly obvious to all but the most blinkered unionist – many of whom are prepared to put up with any humiliation and discrimination against England for the sake of an increasingly tenuous Union – that the the present situation cannot continue indefinately . To ignore the obvoius signs of celtic arrogance and English resentment is to ignore reality. If the English give up on the idea of the Union , which might happen if there is no reform , then the Union is finished . The forces of disintegration of the union are on the march and disintegrate it will if the constitutional imbalance is not addressed. Nevertheless , I suspect that there is more life in the unionist idea than might seem to be the case .
    Daily observance by the English , via the media , of the practise of the workings of national parliaments in Scotland and Wales has familiarised them with the practical possibilities of our running our own affairs separately from the Parliament of Great britain whilst reminding us of the lack of such a parliament at home . The single measure which will restore life to the Union is the re-inception of an English Parliament and therefore the management by the English of their own affairs .

  8. John is entirely right. A English Parliament might distroy the Union, but the existing constitutional imbalance has set up stresses which will inevitably destroy it, so even those who believe in the Union at any price should grit their teeth, hold their noses, close any other relevant orifices and accept the risk. Why the Conservative party, which has nothing to lose in Scotland,Wales or Northern Ireland and much to gain in England, can not grasp this, is an enigma. The first recorded instance of turkeys voting to stay in the cage in the hope that the farmer will have a change of heart at Christmas?

  9. I’m not sure what the answer is. I do think it’s a shame that the English can’t celbrate thier Englishness in the same way as the celts do without being branded as racist. It has always puzzed me that I can celebrate St Patricks day here in England, but any celebrations of St George are few and far between. Irish dancing is just as ridiculous as morris dancing, yet there are probably more Irish dancers than morris dancers in England. Why are Englishmen who are proud of it seen as hooligans? I just don’t get where this culture has come from.

    And why not get an English parliament? Apart from the money it’d cost to run, it seems like a fine idea.

  10. The English have tried for almost 300 years to play down “Englishness” at the expense of “Britishness” in the hope that the Celts would buy in to the UK. They never have. English patriotism is hopelessly crippled in consequence. That’s a shame because the English have a lot to be proud of – shall we politely say at least as much as the Irish, Welsh & Scots.

    I have seen it from both sides – seen the pettiness and racism of which my fellow Welshmen are capable (to give the Scots a break for a moment). I have never “got it”. I will not be required to hate my English mother for prehistoric ethnic differences, OK? It’s just daft.

    When the Bruce and Longshanks confronted each other in the cathedral, as portrayed in the film Braveheart, they spoke French. They were Norman noblemen engaged in a feudal dispute. Their portrayal as modern Scot and Englishman was a farce. They did not speak the languages of their vassals or give a toss about them or their national aspirations (if indeed, at that point, they had any aspirations beyond their next meal).

    The film (great action movie) is historical claptrap, but everyone in Scotland went to see it at least once and it has had a powerful effect. A union that can be damaged by a trashy movie is not worth more effort to preserve.

    Let me stress that I love Scotland. I visit regularly and love the Highlands and Islands. I have Scottish friends and I wish they didn’t hate the English, but they do. England generally loves Scotland, but Scotland simply does not love her back and never will. Staying in a relationship like that is degrading for the unloved partner. It’s time for a divorce. The kids are all grown up democracies, so we don’t need to fight over them at least. B^)

    But an English Parliament under a federal Westminster? No need. Such a waste of the money our people earn is not in our frugal nature. Westminster is ours and we should simply take it back.

  11. The House of Lords needs reform. Why not directly elect a new Senate from the four home nations? The English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish senators could meet in Westminster (in the old House of Lords chamber), Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont as the national Senates, making use of the existing facilities. The Grand Senate (the four meeting together as the new upper house of Parliament) could meet in Edinburgh. If we want to give the Union one last try, that might do it – without creating another layer of Government. By incorporating the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly into the new model (as the respective national senates) we would recover economically from Blair’s devolution error.

  12. Tom:
    You have encapsulated precisely what I only hinted at in the introductory verses.We do not need any more layers of expensive regional talking shops, Everything needed is in place, it merely needs someone of vision to retie a knot or two, and the shoes would no longer be in danger of falling off.

  13. The old Parliament of England was bicameral with two houses – commons and lords . The old parliament of Scotland was unicameral – commons lords , clergy al lumped into one . Regardless of who actually composes the parliament the principle of having two houses , one reviewing and retarding the other is an old ENGLISH principle I think that any future English parliament must be English in spirit and have historical continuity . Thus it must be , irrespective of the form of parliaments elsewhere in the UK , bicameral .
    The residual British parliament should be unicameral and meet say quarterly and be reduced in size – to say 240 MP’s.

  14. Ok everyone, should not worry too much about scottish separatism happening

    There is absolutely no hope of it ever happening, in recent elections, SNP vote has gone down and Conservative vote has gone up, there is only around 5% points between them, but due to the way first past the post works up here, SNP gain more, although nothing like as much as labour sadly does

    Basically should have a devolved English parliament to solve these issues, then will realise that like up here independance will change nothing, except make place smaller, it is already happening here in scotland where people saw that those elected were useless and need british parliament to prevent them taking over

  15. Welsh pensioners no longer pay for care when they are unable to look after themselves because the Welsh Assembly is looking after them. Scottish students don’t have to pay top-up fees becasue the Scottish Parliament is looking after them. Who’s looking after the English? The Scots and Welsh certainly aren’t going to do us any favours are they? English people need to have English representation and someone to fight their corner. An English Parliament doesn’t have to mean the end of the UK. It’s possible to be English and British at the same time.

    A federal Britain seems like the perfect solution to me. But then I live in England and therefore get discriminated against by the government whilst my fellow Brits to the north and west receive generous subsidies and handouts at the English taxpayers expense.

    So Mr Johnson, what can we expect the caring sharing Tories to do for England if they get into power?

  16. ” Ok everyone, should not worry too much about scottish separatism happening ”

    But that is not the point .

    Long ago , actually it was a mere decade or three ago , many ( not me )wanted to head off “Scottish separatism ” by instigating various measures designed basically to bribe them to remain in the union – for the sake of the union . In fact , this attitude has prevailed right from the beginning of the union when, in 1707 , they were allocated a more than their pro rata number of MP’s , since increased further. Always present , this tendancy has reached a crescendo within the last few years consistently distinguished by either total muteness or a grovellingly supplicating attitude to ( highly prickly and worseningly so )Scottish sensitivities .
    Thus , on the one hand there is the momemtum of Scottish separatism ,fuelled with English money ,with its core of what can only be described as fascist hatred , in the full unreasoning 1930’s sense of the word , against England. On the other hand there is a vast silence , often an actual antipathy , by those same forces ,to the sensitivities , the history , the sense of fairness and the basic rights of the ancient democratic and parliamentarian nation of the English.

    THIS IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE SITUATION – and no one should kid themselves that it is .

    Many of us in England are not particularly concerned as to the separation , or not , of Scotland /England . Increasingly ,we see this as an opportunity – to reassert control over our own country and our own destiny untrammelled by the effort to sustain an ” alliance ” of nations which has become simply suffocating . The recommencement of an English parliament as the central forum of debate and political expression of the English people will be the core act of the recommencemnt of the English nation – never extinguished , simply in abeyance .
    As regards the Union ,whilst there are many in England who still perceive it as retrievable there are also many who regard it as intolerable in its present ,or any , form. It might survive and it might not . It will , however , have to be on entirely new terms – of equality of representation , of cash flows , and respect between the self governing nations of the United Kingdom . There will have to be New Union agreement hammered out.
    Things have moved on . There is increasing awareness in England that regardless of the survival of the Union , England will be just fine . We are the largest , the richest , easily the most flexible and the most politically mature of the countries of what is still Great Britain . We need to seize back control of our own country and with it control of own future . Our future will be bright . I am not sure that that is the case for the celtic fringe . Increasingly , not so many of us care.

  17. Its time that the Conservatives applied themselves to looking after the people of England in this Disunited Kingdom. Michael said at the Scottish Conservative Conference ‘the Scottish Parliament is here to stay’. In that case Mr Howard how about an English Parliament? Lets have a referendum and let the people of England decide. The Scottish and Welsh have been allowed two so how about one for England?
    I queried with Dr Liam Fox joint chairman of the Conservative party why there is a Scottish and Welsh Conservative Party but no English Conservative Party. He told me that it would be a bureaucratic inconvenience. So, the Cons see us English as a bureaucratic inconvenience do they?

  18. It’s a nonsense that there isn’t a separate Conservative Party for England. If the Conservative Party can win England, it can win the election. If it starts to stand up for the rights of the English, then it can win England. It’s that simple.

    I notice that it now wants to stop the use of “Tory”. If it’s so worried about the Union, why not rename its constituent parties the “Welsh Unionists”, “Scottish Unionists” and “English Unionists”. And if it thinks the word “Unionism” has unfortunate connotations that preclude its use as a name for the party, well, then that just proves that the Union is finished.

    Wake up to reality before it’s too late!

  19. Boris, a few things:

    1) I like you, and wouldn’t want you to fall foul of various regs. Do remember to remove ‘MP’ from the page titles if Blair declares today.

    2) I’m afraid that however much I like you personally, the Tories don’t get a vote from me, various actions (not shooting down ID cards, ‘are you thinking what…’ and so on mean that they’re not a credible opposition party, you personally are a different kettle of fish, if I were in your constituency I would be torn, I think you’re the only Tory about which that’s true). Fortunately in my area there is no chance that Tony’s lot will benefit. The worse outcome for the election will be a sizable labour majority. Fortunately the likely outcome is a reduced majority.

    3) I wandered around London the other day, nearly getting run over by loads of cyclists at Wellington Arch. Not once did a mopped haired MP approach menacingly with his cycle. This really isn’t good enough!

  20. The last line in Boris’s Scottish Prudence poem should read ‘..English people! Where’s your voice?’as we have none. The English are in effect a ‘threatened species’.
    But what are the Conservatives doing about it? Nothing that’s of much use. ‘English votes for English laws’won’t put matters right. There is no plan for a First Minister, Secretary of State or Executive for England so Westminster will continue to make UK laws rather than consider the specific needs of England. An Act passed by the English MPs only would presumably have to go to the House of Lords, unlike legislation passed in the Scottish Parliament. Mr Howard says that he has no objection to having an MP representing a constituency in Scotland(if he has any) in charge of the English NHS or Education. Conservative HQ states that it has no plans to amend the Barnett formula. Their propoals are therefore inadequate and can only be a stage towards a federal Britain.
    The Party needs to put foward coherent proposals for constitutional reform now.
    The English will not put up indefinitely with being banker simulataneously to the UK and to the EU while being denied any national political representation and at the same threatened with Balkanisation through the ODPM’S regional assembly agenda. Lack of genuine constitutional reform can only hasten the breakup of the UK.

  21. More parliaments?

    Are you mad?

    LESS layers of cash swallowing government please, not more.

    I cringe whenever the Scottish parliament is on the news. Parochial political posturing.

    Depressingly I help pay for it. *Sigh*

  22. ON BORIS AS A BLUE SURFING SMURF.

    His name is Blue Boris,
    He looks like a Smurf,
    But, ye gods, he looks good in the surf.
    With a board under his arm,
    His floppy blond hair awash with the spary,
    Its likely all the blond girlies will vote
    for him on on election day.
    All he has to do is flex his comical mussle,
    Then all the girls will off a cuckle,
    And then sigh, and swoon, damp in the surf.
    So all you young blue blonds,
    All you cheer leaders alike,
    Use that cross that is your vote,
    Don’t be a dote,
    And put the blue surfing smurf,
    Back on the bank bench,
    For then at lest,
    He will be able to pay his rent.

  23. The cost of an English Parliament would be miniscule when compared against public spending, and could be easily offset by reforms to Westminster. Let’s face it Scottish MPs are part time MPs now that a lot of their caseload is handled by MSPs – or at least they should be if they weren’t so busy meddling in English legislation and presiding over English departments.

    Besides if cost is your only argument against fair and representative democracy for England then I suggest you advocate the abolition democracy altogether. Yours is a pathetic argument Neill. The English were not asked an opinion on the constitution of the UK, it was left to the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish to do that in referendums; now the English must be given the same right to choose the form of government that they think is best suited to their country irrespective of cost. I am not arguing for parochialism, I am arguing for democratic and constitutional equality. What we have now is a bloody farce.

  24. Nick:

    *I clap my hands – – forward to the future – the starting pistol has been fired*

  25. Alan.
    Only because it was public money. A properly versed and privately regulated project management team, answerable to the fananciers( the public) would have had to keep to the budget, or be sacked.

  26. Melissa –

    *You clap your hands – foward to the future – the starting pistol has been fired* Its your job in part to make sure Boris gets re-hired:>

  27. I couldn’t help noticing celebrity Tory – and husband of Sun Editor Rebekah Wade – Ross “Grant Mitchell” Kemp at the Tory election campaign launch today.

    Obviously, Boris is considered too intellectually challenging for Mr Howard in such enlightened company.

  28. A BLUE CHEER FOR THE COMMING THREE WEEKS.

    I clap my hands
    Forward To The future
    The starting pistol has been fired
    We wanna dump on labour
    They don’t turn us on
    Its your job to make sure Boris gets reelected
    Put your cross in his box
    As we turn up the musical vox.
    We want Johnson,
    We want Johnson,
    We want Johnson, etc.
    He’s our man.
    He’s making a stand.
    ’cause hes our man.
    Now we bust some handstands.

  29. A BLUE CHEER FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEK: THE REWRITE.

    We love Boris, yes we do,
    He’s a member of our ture blue crew.
    He stands for honesty unlike some,
    Who have a hard job doing their sums.

    Boris he just turns us on,
    A rowing eight panting along.
    We’re all going to row in to government,
    And sit right there on that front bench.
    Then with all heart we will hiss and boo,
    At those red marxist labour fools.
    Gosh we think Boris is so cool!
    Vote for him and be cool too.

    We want Johnson.
    We want Johnson.
    For our man.
    We want Johnson,
    ‘Cause he is our man.

    Now we bust some funky handstands.

  30. @Gareth:

    The cost of an English assembly may well be “miniscule” when compared with the entire public purse, but I heartliy doubt that many English tax payers would consider it money well spent.

    I doubt the need for any “regional” Parliaments at all, including Scotland, Wales and NI.

    If you desired to increase bureaucracy, reduce value for money, diminish the volume of our international voice AND make life very difficult for the police and the NHS then regional governments is defintely the way to go.

    The fact there is even a debate about this issue encourages all the nationalist nutters to start waving their flags aswell, which is rather distasteful.

    I like the United Kingdom. I wonder what the queen think?

  31. Scary Duck –

    ‘ ..couldn’t help noticing celebrity Tory – and husband of Sun Editor Rebekah Wade – Ross “Grant Mitchell” Kemp at the Tory election campaign launch today.’

    Could not help thinking what this means. Does it mean that if we don’t vote tory that Mr Howard is going to send Grant Mitchell around to our homes to break our legs!!!!!!!!

  32. ” I doubt the need for any “regional” Parliaments at all, including Scotland, Wales and NI. ”
    You are a bit mixed up . The parliaments of Scotland and Wales are parliaments of nations ( altho. the EU regards them as regions, but that is another story ) . They are not dismantlable and are not going to go away . There is a massive omission in that the nation of England has no parliament – as of yet.
    For purposes of clarity , the parliament at Westminster is the parliament of Great Britain – of the British – that new nation which came into existence with the Act of Union of 1707.
    Your evident confusion with regard to this point is common mainly among English people who , for a long time , have invested their patriotism in the concept of the British which has submerged their Englsh identity. With the advent of parliaments in Scotland and Wales that concept is no longer sustainable unaltered .For the English ,the parliament of Great Britain is not enough any more . If the Union is to be saved we need a parliament for England so that the English can run their own affairs . This will be a symmetrical arrangement and I think WILL be acceptable to all the people of the United Kingdom .
    To ignore the problem and pine for relative parliamentary simplicity of the past is to invite disaster .

  33. Theres one subject that I really hate. And I mean deep down abhore. It’s called idenity politics. Can’t stand it. Please will you get over yourselfs.

  34. Its a good trick the Scottish play.You don’t want an English Parliament, they tell us. The Scottish Parliament is a waste of time, money etc. they cry.Why would you want an English Parliament? Well get rid of the Scottish Parliament then, if its that bad.
    You Scots must think we English are stupid.
    Well enough is enough. The damage is done, the genie of devolution is out of the bottle and the wrath of the English has been unleashed. You’ll be lucky if it stops at an English Parliament, my Scottish friends. An independent Scotland and an independent England is now a distinct possibility. Well done Mr Blair!

  35. I don’t think anyone wants *more* layers. English nationalism (a nasty beast when it was last alive) has been awoken by the blatant unfairness of the current arrangements and something has to be done – either break the Union or fix it.

    The solution is a bicameral Parliament. The Commons reformed only so that the seats reflect actual population (i.e. an end to the special deal for Scotland). The Upper House to be directly elected from each of the four home nations on five year cycles (staggered, so they don’t all vote at once). The Senators for each home nation could sit in the local capital as a national sub-senate (I like the name “Petty Senate”).

    In England the Petty Senate would sit in the current House of Lords chamber. In Scotland, in the massively expensive new parliament building, in Northern Ireland in Stormont and in Wales in the Assembly Building.

    All senators would meet together as one Grand Senate (the new upper house of parliament, replacing the House of Lords).

    A new constitution could be entrenched so that civil liberties could not be zapped in a flurry of tabloid headlines any more. It would take a 75% majority of the Grand Senate, PLUS a majority in each of the Petty Senates (counted in the same vote – no need for separate sittings) to change the constitution (so that no Home Nation could prevail in future constitutional disputes). As a gesture to national sensibilities, the Grand Senate could sit in rotation in each of the national capitals – or just in Edinburgh for all I care.

    Two layers only. The Petty Senates would effectively only be sub-committees of the Grand Senate. But they could sit in their home capital on exclusively local issues (like the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly at present). And the English would have parity without wasting any money.

    Now, how do I get the job of drafting the Constitution?

    PS: As famously quoted by Margaret to Mitterand during the “handbagging” abouut the Rebate, Kipling sums up how the English feel about the current arrangements: –

    “When he stands like an ox in the furrow
    With his sullen set eyes on your own
    And murmurs “this isn’t fair dealing”
    My son, leave the Saxon alone”

  36. One day we ought to have a ‘Bloggers’ Political Forum’ so we can all discuss these issues – with Boris as Chairman for the meeting!

  37. Tom Paine. What about the executive?
    You say that ‘English Nationalism is a nasty beast’. Tell us, would you say that Scottish, Welsh and Irish nationalism are also ‘nasty beasts’?

  38. I don’t think you are following the plot HRfE. I think all nationalisms are nasty beasts. Very much “the last refuge of the scoundrel” IMHO. But we have to recognise, sadly, that Britain is riddled with them.

    My proposals try to address the present constitutional imbalance in a way that would save the Union. As I made clear earlier, I am not much bothered if we can’t. England would prosper alone, and I have my feet either side of the border and could qualify for an English passport if it came to that.

    It just seems a shame when we have so much to unite us – and only prehistoric antipathies to divide us.

  39. PS: As for the executive, it doesn’t need to change. Ministers could still be drawn from either House, but would more usually come from the House of Commons. I would hope a written constitution could protect individual members of parliament more, perhaps by debarring from high office any Minister who intimidates an MP, or offers favours in return for support. That would abolish the Whips, make every vote a free vote of conscience, and restore Parliament to the central role it had before party discipline began to resemble that (in Boris’s phrase) of “Ming the Merciless”

  40. Melissa

    You might have to set up a teleconference as the Kingdom of Boris expands past the Great Brittain boundaries 😉

    PS: I thought I share the wisdom of the Red Monk as it applies to political shere not just business or technical …

    So Why Read Blogs?
    You get a direct line into the thinking of important people in the field, think Jonathan Schwartz or Tim Bray (Sun), Miguel de Icaza or Nat Friedman (Novell), Bob Sutor or Alan Brown (IBM), Don Box or Robert Scoble (Microsoft), Adam Bosworth (Google), Dan Gillmor (San Jose Mercury News), Jon Udell (Infoworld), Steve Gillmor, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and many others. It’s unfiltered and in their own words. This means a lot of typos and misspellings (my blog being exhibit A of that), but also an up to the minute take, in their own words.

    http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady/archives/000147.html “>How to dip a toe in the blogging waters.

  41. I’ve read all the guff about Labour, which says they still lead in the polls.
    Four weeks is a lifetime for pundits, and they can’t darn a sock without holes.
    “Spinning’s the problem with Labour; it’s a word that they use, meaning lies
    They’ve brought back their own Prince of Darkness; whose ego’s a terrible size.
    And Bagpuss; a windbag called Campbell, who swears like a trooper as well
    Their record on crime is appalling: National Health and the schools: purest Hell
    .As ever, when you have a Party, which always robs Pete, to pay Paul
    Whilst Peter’s the one; pays the piper, it’s the other P who pockets all .
    So let’s have a party for Peter, who is paying the bill once again
    If he pays the largest proportion, he must get a prize , now and then
    It’s time for a change in direction, the snooker game’s only begun
    Just clear up the reds; don’t dare miss them; then pocket the rest and, WE’VE WON

  42. I want an equal democracy for England, with an English Parliament and Executive, exactly like the one Bliar gave his own country, Scotland.
    Why aren’t the Conservatives speaking up for England? How do English MPs sleep at night when they can see England is merely a piggy bank for Westminster.
    I’m so fed up now, I’m leaning more than ever towards Independence!
    Ignore England and it will end in tears for all of you

  43. This link might be of interest:

    Andrew Bartlett, an Australian Senator who blogs, posts about global politicians who blog
    Politics & the Power of Blogs

  44. Alan, I was living in Edinburgh at the time of the building of the Scottish Parliament so I’m quite familiar with the building costs. Even

  45. Alan – off topic re postal vote rigging

    could you tell me where the piece is that you are referring to?

  46. Lets not forget the savings from getting rid of the wasteful and unwanted Regional Assemblies, plus not having to pay for neighbouring MPs to be bussed into England to sit in our own Parliament.

  47. Della

    !!You’re right about this video – what a cool and dead funny film!!
    http://englishprogressive.com/thestudent/index.htm

    The English (turned Scottish) chap got me going when he was calling out “Can anyone explain to me why there’s no English Parliament voting on English issues for English people? anyone? ANYONE? no? oi! any-one? an-y-one?”
    Surely we could hang that idea on to the frame of Conservative Party policy too…

  48. This entry into the blogosphere has , it appears, touched a raw nerve in so many of the bloggers. Have these expressions of dissatisfaction with the status quo just been spawned, or were they merely dormant, waiting for the fairy godmother’s wand,( pen), to allow them to be aired. The hierarchy of the Party must be apprised of such feeling, and if indeed , it is so strong as at first appears, should at least be included in future policy discussions.First things first though , eh, guys?
    Get them out and us in! This is the stuff that dreams are made .

  49. English dissatisfaction with the UK constitution is something of a bandwagon at the moment. And the longer the problems remain unaddressed the worse it will become. The Conservatives fix – English votes on English laws – would be an abominable constitutional fudge, not least because it is a procedural change rather than a constitutional one and could simply be reversed by an incoming Labour government, thereby becomming a political football that would continue to threaten the union. England must be recognised as a nation with the same rights and privileges as the other home nations of the UK. Anything less is an insult, and while the Tories offer us less I will never vote for them. Gladstone considered the same policy in 1886 and rejected it as unworkable in practice.
    (Devolution in the United Kingdom, Vernon Bogdanor).

    The problems with the Conservative’s proposals are many but here are a few.

    Firstly, it only deals with the West Lothian question about parliamentary voting. It does not cover the greater question of who governs England. Parliament votes mainly on proposals formulated and administered by Ministers of the United Kingdom Government who are not limited to those who represent English constituencies. For instance Alistair Darling and John Reid.

    Secondly, should the Conservatives gain power and use their majority to enforce a change to parliamentary procedure, a subsequent Labour Government could simply reverse it. It could become a political football that would continue to threaten the Union. It must be a point of principle that fair represntative democracy should be a corner stone of the UK constitution, but not only that, there also has to be constitutional parity between the constituent parts.

    A third objection is the fact that any legislation affecting only England will still be subject to amendment and approval in the House of Lords, which contains members from across the UK. The Scottish Executive is not subject to this scrutiny.

    Fourthly, if Scotland is a nation then so too is England. A national parliament is not just a place for arguing over legislation, it is a statement. We require an English parliament as a symbol of England’s status as a nation. Why should England have no constitutional existence, not only in the UK but also in the EU?

    Fithly, it does not provide a workable solution for the not unlikely eventuality of a Government being in power with an overall majority but without a majority of English seats. In that circumstance a UK government could not be sure about getting legislation needed for the government of England through Parliament without the votes of MP’s from Scotland (not to mention Wales and Northern Ireland). Would we have two leaders of incumbent parties in the House, an English First Minister and a UK Prime Minister? One representing the party of the English majority and one representing the part of the UK majority. A recipe for disaster!

    Finally, many constitutionalists, and especially those in Scotland are opposed in principle to any inequality in the rights of MP’s elected to serve the United Kingdom in Westminster. In the words of the Department of Constitutional Affairs ‘parliament works on the fundamental principle that all MPs are equal’.

  50. As an entertaining distraction try entering “Scottish Raj” into Google and see what you get.

    Even funnier if you press the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

  51. not so sure about the ‘feeling lucky’ one tho’

    >Sam Ruby: I’m feeling lucky
    … and type in “miserable failure” and then press the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

  52. Melissa re postal voting

    Just the case in birmingham

    http://tinyurl.com/7y29s

    also I blogged briefly on it with other links so will just use that to find rest and save space

    http://tinyurl.com/3qcpd

    As for English parliament, what is boris view does he support it

    My view is that one should be set up and end the imbalance, but I would warn people of the cost

    Just think of millenium dome if you do not believe it will be expensive, as it will simply create a huge cost, also what are people views on voting first past post or like here Proportion Representation

  53. you’ve got a good point Alan – I had only seen the Daily Mail – not much in the Telegraph…

    Boris will seize on this

  54. Potal voting: in Particular in Birmingham.

    Is there no limit, to what this government will do
    To change the rules in order that they win,
    They alter voting boundaries, and the way you make your cross,
    A waste of hard earned cash on useless spin
    I’m sorry: I’m a cynic, but cynics see the world
    Through lenses less pink tinted than the most
    Postal voting leaves doors open, for those who wish to cheat,
    Have you lately checked deliveries of the post?

  55. Gareth,
    Agreed that England needs to be recognised specifically as such by the British parliament with full detailed respect for us as a nation within the UK. Agreed that there should be equality of representation throughout the UK ie equal constituency sizes – long overdue and now a serious and worsening problem .
    In theory an English parliament already exists – it was not abolished by the Act of Union 1707 – all it needs is that the MP’s of England in the British parliament should decide to reconvene as the parliament of England and they ARE the English parliament . This applies to both Houses including the upper house which , as regards the parliament of England comprises only the peers of England .Thus your point 3 does not really apply.

  56. Yes – but- The two houses of parliament of the English parliament prior to 1707 were composed of commons and lords from England and Wales – because Wales had no separate parliamentary existence from England .
    Thus , if they should collectively decide to reconvene as the English parliament – which they could do immediately should they decide to do – there is no constitutional reason or method for the British parliament to stop them – then the ” English ” parliament would necessarily include MP’s in both houses from Wales also. Wales is the fly in the ointment here – perahps they might decide to abstain from attending , bearing in mind the Welsh Assembly . Or the reconvened parliament might examine the situation and use majority voting to limit its own new membership to England only.

  57. She would be , presumeably , Scottish , therefore a peer of Great Britain under the 1707 Act – therefore

    SHE DOESN’T AS FAR AS ENGLAND IS CONCERNED>

  58. England and Ireland; Scotland and Wales
    It’s the farcical tale of the Dog with three Tails
    Two have been docked, and the other quite soon
    Each Nationalist group’s feeling over the moon
    Though the tails are excised, they’re still wagging with glee
    Now they’re wagging the Dog, how on earth can that be?
    The Tails, in the meantime, have kennels, all new
    Paid for; well mainly; by the Dog: meaning you.
    Tail’s kennel staff works but a few hours a week
    But they’re paid full time wages: is that not a cheek?
    Profligate Labour,do you sleep well at night?
    How many more taxes, till we’re all bled white?

  59. I see, sorry John, I’m a bit slow.

    So what you are saying is that non-English peers should be banned from revising English legislation (and as things stand would have no say over legislation to the devolved administrations) effectively making them redundant for 70% of legislation passed (like Scottish MPs should be).

    The only way to save them from the scrapheap would be to ring-fence English only legislation in an English Parliament and let them sit in judgement on pan-UK legislation. The Tories procedural change – English votes on English laws – would result in confusion in the second house I think, which is really the point that I was making. They would have to extend the procedural change to the second chamber – it would be a dog’s dinner and it would be subjective. The Scots would rightly argue that English legislation is their business as it affects Scottish spending. A federal system would allocate countries block grants without Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being seen simply as adjuncts to England that require a proportion of spending relative to that which England receives, thereby rendering Scottish arguments that they should vote on English legislation null and void.

  60. OK, I understand you John. Then we may as well just get rid of non-English peers since they cannot revise the house-keeping legislation of their home nations. Probably best to turn the Lords into a pan-UK senate that oversees the work of the separate legislatures of the home-nations as well as that of the UK parliament.

  61. I am rather reluctant to get bogged down in English / non English peers but lets face it , it is , in large measure, such reluctance that has allowed the present situation to arise . A peer is a peer of England or Scotland or Ireland or Great Britain – only the English ones should be allowed to sit in the upper house of England . Easy.
    I have not dwelt on the definition of “peer” – my own feeling is that it should be extended to more people than just actual peers – an English ” great and good ” really with an elected element and out of cycle with the Commons election .

    A point here is that the old English Parliament was always TWO houses ( Scotland was one only )- we should be careful to be historically true to structure of the English parliament – regardless of any pressure from the celts or the British gonernment to make a resurrected English parliament composed of one house only.

    English legislation would only be the business of Scotland to the extent that Scottish legislation was also the business of England . I do not see a problem here – pan British legislation , including that 25-30% or so of legislation which affects England and Scotland – and Wales and Ulster – would be overseen be the province of the British parliament – with representation sbeing made to that parliament by the country parliaments and their respective Offices.

  62. The mini Culloden between Gareth and John has up to date produced no apparent results: however, if one more factor were introduced to the equation; namely the agreement , by common consent, of total cessation of any mutual dependency; of any kind, and for each of the four component Countries of the Union; none of the arguments now used would be cogent. Independence is self evident in its meaning. The mere fact of proximity, and the use, in part, of a common language, would immediately cease to have any meaning. Allies : yes. Interdependency : no! The whole argument is of no real value , since none of these things are going to happen; at least in the medium term, and in all probability ; ever. There are too many ties, familiar and historic, for there ever to be the total divorce of any member of this family of little Nations, from the others , despite the aspirations of a small minority of bigots.

  63. I can’t really see a complete divorce of the home nations, we do have more in common than apart and it’s always going to be in our interests to work together. However, although I’m not in favour of independence, I think you are being a bit unfair when you call the SNP or Plaid ‘bigots’. And in their own countries they are not that small a minority.

  64. Gareth, far be it from me to use a derogatory term against genuine patriots.( I don’t subscribe to the notion that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel) The term I used was aimed at those few ( unfortunately that influencial few), who carp on about the differences, without reference to the similarities , between the nations making up the UK.The last thing I would advocate, as anyone reading the whole thread would recognise, is the breakdown of the UK.

  65. I observe those embittered few -in all the nations of Great Britain who rant on about total independence of one another . Even if this were to happen I do not think that it would last .

    The forces which drive the British nations together – as the BRITISH – are strong and have massive ,low level and perhaps ill expressed , public suport throughout the United Kingdom . Witness the waning of public support for the SNP in Scotland now that there is a Scottish parliament.

    In England , while there is an obvious need for us to advance towards self governance in our own country with the central expression of that aspiration as an English Parliament and all that that implies in terms of recognition and negotiation with the other component nations of the UK , this must be qualified by a similar recognition that the United Kingdom , being United , is hugely greater than the sum of parts.

    United , we have a unique and fantastic history . England needs to come into its own as an equal , confident and and easily self governing nation within the United Kingdom . The time is ripe and appropriate for this to take place . I think that once the English have considered the matter – which they have only just started to do – then they will give their support to the idea . Whilst the idea meets with passing derision and resistance in some quarters , I suspect that there is little real opposition in the other nations. Once accomplished , as it will be , the United Kindom will take on a new lease of life .

    There is much yet to be done in the history of the world and a reborn British nation ,re-energised by an updated political settlement within the United Kingdom , with our history of political maturity and steadiness under fire , both actual and political , has much to contribute .
    As much in the future as in the past.

  66. John: A nation’s culture and intrinsic values are embedded in the characteristic makeup of its people. It is the diversity of culture that makes up this particular brand of Nationship: perhaps Multi-Nationship within a fleet of culture carriers would be a better description for what we have here. United; I believe that we would / will undoubdedly continue to prosper; but divided? I fear there would be be a distict sense of loss, and not all one sided, should there be total division.

  67. Full independence of the 4 nations of the UK can’t happen as things stand now. For a start, international law says that any nation declaring independence from another must be capable of ruling and supporting itself. The fact that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are net receivers in the union clearly demonstrates that, of the four, only England is capable of supporting itself in terms of economic development and financial independence. An independent Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland would require huge loans to prop up it’s economy while it’s current economic growth rate would be adversely affected by the const of loan repayments. Scotland really only has one asset and that is land. As has been stated previously, all but one of the North Sea oil fields fall within English territorial waters, not Scottish. Scotland is sparsly populated and in the main, underdeveloped.

    I don’t support the dissolution of the union, I am English first and British second. I really do object to being discriminated against in my own country though and if the price of self determination was the dissolution of the union then I would put England first and wave goodbye to the Act of Union.

    The current political inbalance is wrong, legally and morally. The Human Rights Act, I feel, is being broken by the UK government in it’s willful and intentional continued discrimination of English people. Of the four nations in the United Kingdom, only England has been denied the right to determine its own future. This is clearly wrong.

  68. When Melissa writes “Recently Mark Gamon made some reference to snow and sand: Macarnie took up the inferred challenge:- Here is the result”…

    Sorry to sound like a pedant, but do you mean ‘inferred’ or ‘implied’?

    At stake is the meaning of whether Mark was making a deliberate challenge, or Macarnie was sensing a challenge that Mark didn’t mean to make.

    Please disambiguate, if I may be forgiven the neologism. Thanks!

  69. Hi Andrew,

    >What I like about this string is the bizarre juxtaposition of Klosters and Arabia. Snow and sand. It’s almost like poetry. We need a little poetry in our lives. Mark Gamon (comment in the previous post)

    I would think that Mark’s comment was a strong hint and inference, wouldn’t you? and he did imply we should get on with it too… so, viva Macarnie for taking on the challenge!

    ps I like your neologism and I hope I have disambiguated to your satisfaction. Please keep neologising…

    Thanks to you!

  70. Quite true Macarnie, when Samuel Johnson said “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” he was making a comment about scoundrels rather than patriots.

    A distinction clear to any right thinking mind but often misunderstood by those less enlightened souls.

  71. Andrew Denny: sorry to be a pedant , but the word ‘disambiguate’ was first recognised (acc. Enc. Brit.) in 1963: hardly a neologism.( perhaps ‘mezzologism’?)

  72. Since this is the “campaign ideas” thread I’ll add to it, although not on the theme of constitutional reform.

    I haven’t yet seen, although maybe it’s coming, Michael Howard saying anything about transport. There are millions of motorists in the UK who feel under the cosh from New Labour’s new charges. Everyone in Bucks, Berks, Surrey, Essex, Kent, and so on who commutes into central London now faces either paying a congestion charge, or the risk of paying one if the area covered increases, which they did not vote for and have no control over, and simply must pay in order to get to work. Everyone who wants to go into the centre of Bristol or Edinburgh or several other cities also faces the prospect of these local taxes, which (in London’s case) are not making nearly as much money or having nearly as much effect as they should have done. They should be scrapped as part of the Tories’ campaign against waste.

    If there is a great desire to increase the cost of people using their cars on a per-mile basis, then the sensible way to do it is to scrap road tax, and increase fuel tax. This will please the environmental lobby too, because it will encourage people to buy more economic cars. It will also leave space on peoples windscreens for an insurance disk, which would, if implemented in the same way as in Germany for example, allow the police to easily spot drivers without insurance and remove this dangerous hazard from our roads.

    The next target for my transport reforms would be the railways. As soon as legally possible, the system should be changed so that the rolling stock, services and track on any particular route are all owned by the same people. This would solve more problems than I can be bothered to list. Secondly, and by means of financial incentive if necessary, freight should be encouraged off the roads and onto the railways, on as large a scale as feasible. This might irritate the Road Haulage Association; that’s simply tough. The future of UK transport does not lie with it’s main arteries clogged with lorries. While we’re at it, ban lorries from overtaking on the motorway except where marked, and make the marked stretches be on the flat or downhill where the faster lorry will actually get past the slower in less than 3 miles. Allow lorries into the middle lane at junctions if necessary to get people onto the motorway safely, but otherwise they are banned. If we pay 1p more for a tin of beans, so be it.

    If a road is dangerous, and speed cameras are erected to slow drivers down, all the proceeds from the cameras must be invested in improvements to the road, to increase visibility, or use better tarmac, or to increase the radius of corners, or to remove sections of reverse camber, etc. etc. etc. I’m sure the TRL have loads of ideas; make them use them.

    Any speed camera shown to have increased accidents must be removed, and the reasons for the accidents that caused the siting of the speed camera revisited. It is clearly insufficient to say that speed kills, and cameras stop accidents – there are loads of cameras, and accidents are not falling. Make drivers who speed consistently take courses in safer driving – educate them, rather than simply hitting them in the wallet. Anyone convicted of driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving should also be forced to take a course in safer driving.

    I think I’m done there. These are big, important issues, and they affect everyone. Stand up for the common motorist, it is a vote winning issue, in my eyes.

  73. Thank you Phil for your helpful comments and suggestions on transport. Even at this late stage before the General Election Michael Howard is keen to take useful ideas on board.

    I would assure you that Mr Howard fully appreciates the widespread concern about transport issues. Indeed, since 1997, this subject has moved up the political agenda, partly because the current Government has failed to take the necessary decisions.

    Conservatives are looking at ways to restore the public’s confidence in the way speed limits are set and enforced on our roads. There has been an increasing belief that some speed cameras are simply put in place to raise money rather than to save lives. We want to end this Government’s war on the motorist. We have pledged a full review of all speed cameras and to abolish the Safety Camera Partnerships as they are simply an unnecessary bureaucracy doing a job better done by the police. We would also promote active traffic policing, to tackle the worst drivers and get them off the road.

    On congestion charging – the Conservative Party has long stood in opposition to congestion charging. . Our Conservative Mayoral candidate in London has also made clear that he opposes any extension of the congestion charge from its current limits. We believe that motorists are already paying exorbitant taxes to drive and that at a time when petrol prices are continuing to rise, road-user charging represents a further burden.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  74. ‘Andrew Denny: sorry to be a pedant , but the word ‘disambiguate’ was first recognised (acc. Enc. Brit.) in 1963: hardly a neologism.( perhaps ‘mezzologism’?)’

    Macarnie – the word ‘nerd,’ trips through my lips.

  75. c’mon now – let’s be imaginative – I like made-up words! let’s disambiguate on that

  76. Nick. You are of course right: I am a nerd , but a sense of irony is necessary to recognise the reply for what it was.

  77. Dear Boris,

    Your article in Telegraph of the 14th April , was well below your usual high standard.

    Your suggestion of constitutional inequality between Scotland and England is a nonsense. If such inequality exists, then it has been vested by a UK democratically elected Westminster parliament, the same UK parliamentary system which has now reduced Scotland’s UK parliamentary representation in the forthcoming election.

    To rubbish Brown just because he is a Scot is childishly asinine. It is on a par with rubbishing Oliver Letwin because he is vertically challenged, or rubbishing you for your coiffure.

    In your mini anti-Scots tirade you conveniently forget to mention that Brown’s national credentials are , and always have been, avowedly ‘British’.This contrasts starkly with yours, which have become increasingly ‘Little Englander’.

    You and Jeremy Paxman would benefit from reading Linda Colleys ” Britons Forging the Nation 1707-1837 ” . She stresses the Scots disproportionate positive contribution to Briton and Britishness. Surely ‘Little Englander-Anti Scots’ ethos is not based on envy ?

    C’mon Boris …raise your game ….this article was a very lazy piece of journalism

    rgds

    Robert Trythall

  78. Whilst on the subject of road use, and the showing of insurance cover. In Germany, as already mooted , vehicle insurance , road tax and TUV(equates MOT)are displayed in such a form( License Plate) as to render other forms of display unnecessary. If the vehicle is not taxed, then the City or district where the vehicle is registered can, ( and when necessary does),recall the licence plates.(It is of no use making the point that a criminal will always circumvent the law, that is self evident.) A change of address to another district or city entails a re-registration of the vehicle,( not forgetting a re-registration of address for the owners) and a subsequent change of licence plate.This enables easier recognition of a vehicles place of keeping, and ensures that the due share of road tax goes to the correct authority. Saturday afternoons and Sundays until 20.00 hrs are free from heavy transport on all major roads, including Motorways , unless with express permission , on some acceptable urgent delivery grounds, obtained on a case by case basis from the necessary transport authority. When these facts are added to the benefit of a superior, and still nationally run rail system, carrying more freight than ours, you have the basis of a less stressful road system. I lived for many years in Germany, and learned to prize the relative tranquility of weekend driving, amongst other things, too numerous to mention.

  79. It is most interesting as to how this thread has changed subject .It commenced as a catalogue of complaints against the Labour regime – all sensible comments but nothing new – but only really took off when it went onto Labour’s dismantling of GB and in particular its anti Englishness and the serious constitutional imbalance against England which now prevails.
    It has then trailed back to worthy but hardly earthshaking topics such as transport .
    Not that I disagree with the sentiments expressed re transport – Labour , as with most things , organises transport , if that is the word , mainly by gimmick and soundbite and crass incompetence – (and carefully makes sure that transport investment in Scotland per capita is vastly greater than it is in England )

    The latter from R Trythall was revealing – he really wants to pretend that all comments on the imbalance of the constitution and the gigantic political and financial overprivilege of the celts within the UK doesn’t really exist and any such comment is just English anti Scottishness .

    I sense a feeling of relief from the regular BJ blog contributers that the topic has veered away from the imbalance of the constitution against England ,ie no English Parliament ,and onto more congenial matters . This represents , of course , a central feeling in Conservative circles – that if one keeps on dreaming of the old United kingdom as it was before 1998 then it might somehow be there again . In particular , if one attempts to ignore the English Question

    ( ” oh ,all right then ,you can English votes on English matters – now what’s wrong with that ! “)- – well plenty is wrong with that – it ain’t a parliament is what ‘s wrong – and it is typical of the dismissive attitude to all things English which the British establishment deploys and has always deployed – but it won’t work any more .

    – then it might go away – and , anyway , to go on about such things will simply rock the UK boat even further and endanger its sinking – – – and what about all those Scots in the Conservative party – it is important not to offend them you know .

    Get realistic boys and girls and stop dodging the true question. The constitutional question is absolutely central to the whole political situation in what is still , just about , the United Kingdom .
    There is an obvious and gross inequity in the its governance and probably the only way of saving the UK is that there be an English Parliament and that , in effect , the UK become a federal state .

    What is curious is that such a developement which is becoming widely popular in England -whenever the question is asked – has not been seized upon with alacrity by the Conservatives given its basic attraction in that part of the UK where Conservative support is strongest – England – and why so many Conservatives opt to ignore the whole area of debate .

    Curious .
    And self defeating .
    And I am sure that the celts can’t believe their luck that the Conservatives haven’t twigged on this one yet.

  80. I think that the one item you have missed out on, John, is that dreaded word,’ Federation’.It must be clear that anyone capable of shaping the political mind of the Country as a whole, into the acceptability of belonging to one Federal State, will have paved the way for our total surrender to a burgeoning Federal Europe.Nothing would suit the French ambitions of a Francophone Europe( read the previous extracts from the speeches of contemporary governing French Politicians: in preceding blogs ), since they dream of a Europe devoid of Anglo Saxon influence.
    To revert to the original subject. The Scots word Sassenach means the same ie Saxon and by association; English.Seems that all the Celts( including the Welsh )have much in common with the French, in their disdain for the old Anglos

    Therefore, in the name of fairness, we do need an English parliament,but without Confederation, . I do not wish to be a part of a Europe which denudes me of rights( and responsibilities) which we have enjoyed since 1215

  81. Dear Macarnie ,

    re Federation .

    I cannot say that the detail of the semantics here particularly bothers me . In effect it would be a federation of the United Kingdom . By virtue of it not being a continental entity and being a British one , I have no doubt that , in practice , it would be quite different both in flavour and in practice from a continental federation . When Cromwell abolished the monarchy in 1649 he effectively set up a republic but , very sensibly , refrained from calling it thus – we had a “Commonwealth ” instead – a much more acceptable and less threatening word to the English . The Commonwealth went on to be very successful – for a while .

    It was ,though , one thing – English – and we need to get it back .

  82. Re Federation/Commonwealth

    I dont, as John suggests, ” pretend that all comments on the imbalance of the constitution and the gigantic political and financial overprivilege of the celts within the UK doesn’t really exist and any such comment is just English anti Scottishness”. What I am suggesting is that the English in addressing these constitutional matters lack intellectual vigour by retreating into what I regard as the ‘atypical little- englander’ rant. Refreshingly, quite often these anti-scottish rants become more expansive by incorporating ecumenical anti-europeaness !!!

    Neither John and Macarnie acknowledge the political reality that the UK was a de facto federation prior to devolution.

    The concept that a truly federal UK would by default create ‘Conservative England ‘ is politically naive. Stripping out non-conservative Scottish and Welsh seats cannot avoid the stark political reality that Labour is the majority ‘English ‘ political party. Current polls for the forthcoming general election suggest this will be the continuing political reality. .

    The devolved Scottish assembly is voted by proportional representation (PR) and does not have an over-all majority . Nothing in England’s poltical demography suggests that that an independent England,even under PR, would be “Conservative England ”

    These two fundemental points might go some way to explain why the Conservative party is not playing the ” Federal” card

    The ” Midlothan question ” was raised by a Scottish Labour MP but the Conservative party has never answered it, notwithstanding the Conservative party would be,ostensibly,the major beneficiary

    rgds

    robert

  83. 1. Your accusation that re “little englander ” is entirely wrong – and is typical of the sort of remark employed by those who wish to prevent the re- emergence of a specifically English government , for the English – a pretty basic democratic right ,I would have thought, – after all most other countries have it .

    2. The English do not lack intellectual vigour . There are a considerable number of keen minds in England – and in Scotland also – who recognise that the present British constitutional situation is unbalanced in the extreme , is discriminatory and is unsustainable. ( by the way , don’t you mean intellectual rigour ?)

    3. There is a point that after 298 years since the act of Union , many of the English , much more so than the celts , a very confused re British and English parliaments . They tend to cotton pretty quickly on considering and learning about the matter , though – unlike the politicians of all parties .

    4. The party political makeup of an English parliament is entirely conjectural – and also entirely irrelevant to the debate . The key point is that we have a parliament again – basic home rule .

    5. As to why the Conservatives , who possibly have the most to gain from there being an EP , have not been pushing the idea for the last 6 years , – it is a complete mystery . Probably , the cause is an ongoing refusal to accept the constitutional changes brought in by Blair coupled with the above confused thinking ( held by many Conservative MP’s !), and a lack of alacrity to seize the opportunity presented ( if the situation were reversed and Blair perceived that an EP provided him with an opportunity you can be sure he would have dashed in and made it his own ).

  84. john i will give you a point by point reply

    1)Wrong . I want England to have its own parliament . But as with the Scottish model it will be difficult to deny England the PR model .
    This in turn will dictate the Federal model

    2) I did mean ‘vigour’. Your point (5) would
    confirm its use quite apposite. I will accept ‘rigour ‘ but please refer to (4) below

    3) What is your point ?

    4) Nonsense . This statement indicates a lack of intellectual rigour . You cannot conceive an English parliament without conceiving how it is elected. I recommend you review the US 18th C constitutional debate and in particualr the ” Federalst ” papers

    5)Possibly due to a lack of intellectal rigour and vigour ?

    rgds

  85. My understanding of federalism is epitomised , in a European context, by the German model. The various states are governed on a limited basis by their own Parliament or State Assembly, whilst being under the central Government’s overall strategic umbrella.
    Individual political units, of whatever size, surrender their sovereignty to a central authority, whilst still retaining residual powers of government. Wales and Scotland did not , until relatively recently, have these powers. They do now, whereas England does not. Since all parts of a federation are supposedly equal, this leaves an enigma: are we rather part of, as John earlier suggested, a Commonwealth, since literally speaking, we are not part of a federation, since all states do not have indivual, though limited, freedom to legislate separately from the Central Authority.

  86. Robert,
    Leaving aside the exact nature of the intellectual effort in England ( and I think that my point re English confusion over the constitutional settup IS pertinent )

    – the key conclusion , upon which we agree , is that there should be an English parliament . I don’t really see why it should take the form of the PR model – this has never been so far as I know , a feature of English constitutional
    practice . An EP must be a specifically English entity – just as the Scottish parliament was re-set up to be specifically Scottish – and that means majority voting – a central feature of English debate since the so called ” Dark Ages ” .

    I am not sure , but I think that Scottish parliaments prior to 1707 were also majority voting – in which case their new parliament is , in as sense , “unScottish ” – Blair pulled a fast one there , probably to head off the SNP.

    Macarnie ,
    Yes , the new UK would be a sort of federation . The word is strange and seems rather continental , though I don’t think that it would be , as practiced .
    Closer , philosophically , to home , think Australia – which is a federation – the new UK could be along the same lines , perhaps , rather stronger national governments .

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