Coffee House

Defending the Right Union

7 May 2013

2:43 PM

7 May 2013

2:43 PM

The Scottish Tories look like supporting more devolution. Cue predictable apoplexy from some. Devolution was a terrible mistake, slopes are slippery, beaches should be fought on and ditches died in.

In its own way, this reaction makes exactly the same mistake as nationalists. To understand why needs a history lesson, and a grasp of public opinion. Let’s start with the history.

The Union of 1707 was a genuine deal. After a military standoff, England knew it couldn’t conquer Scotland. But Scotland was broke, and couldn’t afford to stay independent. The deal put into practice a Scottish scheme for dealing with the problem that was England. A union that preserved in Scotland the things that really mattered; not its mediaeval parliament, but its legal system, which kept the elite happy, and its church, which mattered much more to most people.

It’s easy today to forget how significant the church then was: wars had been fought over the ‘true protestant religion’. You might think that there couldn’t be more than one, but the deal required the Monarch to agree it was one thing in England and another in Scotland. She still does. The Church of Scotland, in which many people had a place, mattered much more to them than the old Scots parliament, in which few had a voice.

Such domestic government as the 18th century had was built around Edinburgh’s legal establishment, from which the great fixer Henry Dundas ran Scotland. He still surveys Edinburgh from a column nearly as high as Nelson’s. But as the British state grew in the 19th and 20th centuries, separate Scottish Boards, Commissions and departments grew too. More responsibilities were added piece by piece, notably by the Thatcher government.

So separate Scottish institutions were built into union from the start.  But by the irreligious late 20th century, a separate church mattered to many fewer; and in a world of universal suffrage, elite rule had to give way to democratic. So some form of elected Scottish Assembly or Parliament was inevitable, and it finally arrived in 1999.

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This is reflected in Scottish public opinion. Recent comparative research shows that Scots are more committed to decentralised decisions and their own identity than in other comparable places–Catalonia, Bavaria and so on.

Nationalists draw the wrong conclusion from this, but the majority of Scots don’t confuse their powerful national identity with a separate state. Nationalism may appeal to the heart, rather than the head. But it’s precisely half-hearted. The soul might indeed be dead which did not warm to the story of Scottish identity and culture: but it would be barren too if not moved by shared British history and achievement.

The truth is, this commitment to Scottishness reflects just how much of it there has always been. Of course it was heightened by the divisive economic history of the 1980s, and emphasised by a Scottish Parliament, but unionists should not fall into the same trap as nationalists – seeing it as a trend towards separation – and fighting it tooth and nail.

Where Britain has failed so far, though, is in adjusting the union to reflect the fact that Scottish distinctiveness now has an elected edge. Westminster created a Scottish Parliament – and Assemblies in Cardiff and Belfast – but itself sailed on as if nothing had happened.

Where the legislature been obtuse, locked into inactivity by a half-understood notion of parliamentary sovereignty, the judges have been subtle. With very little material to work on, the Supreme Court has developed a sophisticated devolution jurisprudence. The judges realise the UK now has multiple legislatures, each with real democratic legitimacy.

What the country needs, of course, is a properly defined territorial constitution. Perversely, delivering it will probably be an SNP achievement. If Scotland chooses to stay British – as the polls suggest – separation will be off the agenda ‘for a generation’. That provides the opportunity to look at territorial questions properly, not through the lens of appeasing nationalist sentiment, and develop a proper UK framework that deals with Wales, Northern Ireland and, most significantly, England too.

There is nothing new under the sun. The issues to be resolved are the same Gladstone struggled with over Irish home rule – taxation and representation. He failed, struggling with the intractability of the problem, and a roadblock of Tory resistance.

The taxation issues are complex, but solutions are beginning to emerge. The Government has already legislated to make the Scottish Parliament fiscally responsible, adjusting the funding system accordingly. The Conservatives, and the other parties, might now want to take this further.

Representation is harder. Westminster is England’s Parliament as well as the UK’s, and the asymmetry of having non-English members might be problematic. But it doesn’t need a written constitution to fix this. Help is at hand from the McKay Commission. Perhaps its creation was driven by English Conservative frustration about Labour governments, but its proposals for dealing with the West Lothian Question are balanced and sensible: just as a constitutional convention has developed that Westminster does not legislate on devolved matters, they suggest a convention that Parliament listens to English voices on English laws, as English opinion seems to want.

Supporters of the union can have a positive, well thought through, proposition. A union true to its historical foundations, and in line with UK public opinion.  They must make that proposition to the whole UK, which is not just a bystander in the Scottish referendum.

So take some pills for the apoplexy: remember it’s an accident of history that ‘Unionist’ in the Tory party’s name refers to past debates about Ireland. That’s not the sort of union being challenged in the Scottish referendum, and unionists must make sure to defend the right one.

‘Scotland’s Choices’ by Iain Mclean, Jim Gallagher and Guy Lodge is published by Edinburgh University Press this month


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Show comments
  • Jambo25

    Mr Gallagher’s interpretation of history is slightly eccentric but that’s not the main problem with this article or, indeed, most other articles being published on the independence debate. The real problem, relating to England, as well as Scotland, is the steep decline in ‘British’ identity.Many of us no longer see ourselves as British.

    My grandfathers saw themselves as British and Scottish. My father saw himself as Scottish and British. I see myself as being Scottish with only a vestigial Britishness. My son’s generation pretty much have no British identity at all.

    Virtually all the older males in my family served in the all British armed forces. Those forces are now tiny and of little social consequence. My dad worked in an all British nationalised industry. They no longer exist. Maggie got rid of them and they are now private monopolies or oligopolies which often rip off their customers and are frequently owned by foreigners. My dad was a member of an all British trades union but these were greatly reduced in importance, again by Maggie. Lots of Scots used to work in very large all-British industrial concerns but these have largely vanished. Once again, take a bow, Mrs T, who set us off on the globalisation road. Most of the people I know, up here, now work for locally run enterprises or foreign owned multi-nationals.

    My dad’s sporting year was partly built round all British sporting events. The old home international championship. Now gone. Ended by Mrs. T. The old England v Scotland boxing international now gone. As a rugby fan I used to eagerly anticipate the 5 Nations. It is now the 6 Nations and just another part of the world wide professional Rugby circus. Traditional cross border matches have now gone as well.

    Culturally, if you lived in Edinburgh, outside of the Festival, orchestral music, opera, ballet and theatre were often delivered by all British ‘national’ companies touring from London. Scottish ‘culture vultures’ now get it from Scottish national companies and all British companies are virtually never seen. Mass Media used to be overwhelmingly London based and pushed a fairly standard diet of news, sport and entertainment. Nowadays print media is dying on it’s feet and news is delivered, more and more, by TV and the internet. Much of that is now internationally or locally produced. Multi-channel TV has greatly fragmented the TV audience. Never again will there be ‘water cooler’ moments discussing last night’s ‘Morecambe and Wise’ show. No programme, will, ever again, get an audience of 27 million as one of their Christmas specials did.

    The empire has gone and with it the jobs, trade and emigration prospects that went with it. Many of the foreign opportunities facing Scots are now accessed through our membership of the EU, not the UK. The monarchy is still popular but not, I think to the same extent or the same way as it is seen in England. Holyrood and the EU now provide political points of interest as well as Westminster. Polling evidence would seem to suggest that Scots trust Holyrood much more than Westminster. In fact, trust in Westminster seems to be falling and respect for MPs is at rock bottom.

    All of these things which used to integrate Scotland into an over-arching British identity have gone. Nothing is on offer to replace them. I’ve written this from the point of view of Scotland but I’m certain that many English people could do a similar exercise from the point of view of Englishness. If the cements which used to bind us together in a British identity have now gone and nothing new is being offered why should the Union continue?

  • Ann Campbell

    I was born in Scotland, of English parents. My husband was born in Carlisle, of Scottish parents. Our “mixed race” children currently live in England, we live in Scotland. I have never raised the question of Scottish independence, but all sorts of people have raised it with me, from my hairdresser, to the young engineeer that repaired the boiler, to a woman I met on holiday. All have been totally against independence. It is a mistake to believe what you see in the media or read on blogs; journalists have their own axe to grind and as on sites like this the same few names crop up over and over again, it is hardly a good spectrum of opinion.

  • Q46

    There is nothing wrong with the Scottish making more decisions about themselves, but they should then pay for them.

    It is easy enough to vote yourself a cushy life, or exercise your Socialist hobby-horses if somebody else is paying for it.

  • allymax bruce

    The Unionist Parties in Scotland have purposely kept Scots poor, and degenerated; and we, Scots & Scotland, can’t get out of this horrendous Union quickly enough! ; Darling ‘flipping’ his house FOUR TIMES! Labour leader McConnell handing back to Westminster £1200 million of our own Scots money; that could have went to our horrendous poverty, and have dragged your ‘Union’ to a level of civic degeneration; Labour’s hateful description of our ethnic minorities by Labour top lawyer
    Smart; and defended by Westminster’s Lord McConnell !
    Independence for Scotland; the Union is finished.

    • Their lips are moving so….

      What utter tosh. You seem to be so full of bile that your eyes must be bright yellow. Tribalism from a mental pygmy.

      • allymax bruce

        Labour are finished. You forced our country into an illegal war, and murdered a million innocents. You landeded to Thatcherite policies, and destroyed our working class manufacturing. You forced divide and conquer policies on us, and broke up our canoes; Labour, the evil within!

        You crashed our economy, you flooded our country with immigrants, you sold all our souls to the EU; Labour, the evil within.

        You Impose Third Sector foreign companies on us, that force is to pay extortionate high prices for electricity, gas, and oil; but sell all our own Scots same resources to furnish your disgusting Westminster Class System; and who made you ‘elite’?

        Mine eyes have seen; you are Labour, you are evil.

        • Their lips are moving so….

          Nurse!!!

          • allymax bruce

            Dufus ,go back to yer Scotchman.

        • Their lips are moving so….

          Come quickly. Bring the restraints.

  • abystander

    One benefit of Scottish independence would be the revival of conservatism in Scotland.
    I find it regretable that the principal centre right party in Scotland can barely muster 10% of the popular vote, election after election. This is the price of being perceived as a party which does what London says.
    Can someone point to a European country where the main centre right or right wing party does worse?
    It’s unhealthy for parliamentary democracy. I post as a nationalist who has never voted Tory and never will.

  • nationalexistance

    “But Scotland was broke…”

    A lazy generalization unworthy of Mr Gallagher.Yes,many Scottish nobles were “broke” – indeed a lot of them were members of the Scottish Parliament,with obvious self-interested consequences.
    The east-coast burghs were doing fine,thank you very much,doing good business with their traditional trading partners,eg the Baltic states.
    Just one irony of the “benefits” of union with England being the forced cessation of such traditional trading treaties.The Scottish economy suffered badly and did not recover for at least half a century after the original cowardly Scottish unionist politicians signed the act of union in Edinburgh.

    • Jambo25

      Historians often see economic problems brought on by the Union as a spu to Jacobitism. East coast trade was damaged as you point out. The Scottish textile trade was hit by lower cost English products. Taxes, such as the malt tax, tended to hit Scotland harder than England and throughout the 18th and 19th centuries Scotland paid more into the Treasury than it ever got back.

  • nationalexistance

    Most Scots,rightly,do not believe unionists’ promises of more devolution in the event of a No vote.
    Unionists,including Scottish unionists of course,have for three centuries consistently fed Scots a dour diet of lies.The No campaign continues in that vein.
    Scottish unionist politicians are always happy to do Westminster’s dirty work; their hoped-for reward being a phoney title and a seat in the house of lords.

  • MichtyMe

    Oh, having two referendums about two Unions with two arguments is going to have some folks performing terrible intellectual gymnastics and contortions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.forbes.399 Colin Forbes

    The simple fact is this: Scotland wants to be independent from ‘England’ – and why not? the debate has been meandering on for decades: the time has come to cut teh crap, let Scotland make its own way, whatever that may be, in the world, and for the rest of the UK to wave it goodbye in a friendly way and get on with solving our own problems. No one in their right mind in Scotland is going to vote for continued subservience and why should they. Nor should the people in the rest of the UK worry about what Scotland’s future is – that will be their problem, not ours. We care too much for other nations and not enough for our own.
    In my view, Cameron should say to Salmond: let’s get on with it, a referendum is irrelevant; and have a settlement by St Andrew’s Day. And then we can all move on to more pressing matters.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Says the SNP supporter.

      • http://www.facebook.com/colin.forbes.399 Colin Forbes

        No I’m not. I’m in England and a conservative. But I think that there has been far too much talking about Scottish independence and not enough action. the ‘Union’ is not sacred: nations evolve and move on. They want to be free of us and we want rid of them. It’s a win-win. And if Scotland runs into difficulties it will be up to them to sort things out, not for us to bail them out.

        Then we can move on to other matters.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You might be “in” England and a conservative but your comment is in support of the SNP. You even describe the Union as Scotland’s “subservience”. And why a settlement by St Andrew’s Day?

          You are Scots and an SNP supporter, flying a false flag.

          • http://www.facebook.com/colin.forbes.399 Colin Forbes

            I’m sorry, sir, but you are wrong. I am not a SNP supporter. I have some Scottish lineage but regard myself as English, having lived here all my life. I rather resent being accused of ‘flying a false flag’. I hope that you may accept my word on that. I don’t pretend to know what the SNP policy is, let alone support it. Unlike some others, my ideas and opinions are my own. Settlement by St Andrew’s Day – purely symbolic, but also an indication of willingness to ‘get on with it’. And also very convenient as a future ‘independence day’.

            Further, I would add that many of us in England are fed up with the Scots’ continual whingeing, like a truculent teenager, about this and that – and always laying the blame at England’s door. We want rid of them as much as they want to be free of the shackles of the Union. In my view the sooner the better. We have more important matters with which to occupy our government.

  • thanksdellingpole

    When we do get an English parliament, I hope it’s in England, anywhere but London.

    • telemachus

      One good reason to leave things as they are
      By dint of history as in Rome all roads and rails lead to London
      As I am constantly reminded when I try to arrange a meeting in Leeds or Liverpool

  • Wilhelm

    i read a comment from a Scots nationalist, he wrote ” I want an independent Scotland with all races, all colours and all creeds !! ”

    My first thought was, what a simpleton . My second thought was, he was boasting about his own piousness,” look at me, look how tolerant I am, I can accept anyone.” This village idiot is willing to turn Scotland into a Tower of Babel.

    Here’s an article on white Norwegian children being harassed, bullied and victimised
    by muslims and blacks everyday at school, that’s the reality of multiculturalism and mass immigration.

    gatesofvienna.net/2013/05/everything-you-have-learned-in-school-is-wrong/

    And 9 year old boy hangs himself because he was bullied for being white.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283777/Boy-9-hanged-bullied-white.html

  • Mike_docherty

    “The Government has already legislated to make the Scottish Parliament fiscally responsible, adjusting the funding system accordingly.”

    This isn’t accurate as the proposed settlement doesn’t include all taxation raised within Scotland’s waters.

  • David Lindsay

    The Welfare State, workers’ rights, full employment, a strong Parliament, trade unions, co-operatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies, mutual building societies, and nationalised industries, the last often with the word “British” in their names, were historically successful in creating communities of interest among the several parts of the United Kingdom, thus safeguarding and strengthening the Union.

    The public stakes in the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland are such permanent, non-negotiable safeguards of the Union. Any profits from those stakes ought therefore to be divided equally among all households in the United Kingdom.

    Bevan ridiculed the first parliamentary Welsh Day on the grounds that “Welsh coal is the same as English coal and Welsh sheep are the same as English sheep”.

    In the 1970s, Labour MPs successfully opposed Scottish and Welsh devolution not least because of its ruinous effects on the North of England. Labour activists in the Scottish Highlands, Islands and Borders, and in North, Mid and West Wales, accurately
    predicted that their areas would be balefully neglected under devolution.

    Eric Heffer in England, Tam Dalyell and the Buchans (Norman and Janey) in Scotland,
    and Leo Abse and Neil Kinnock in Wales, were prescient as to the Balkanisation of Britain by means of devolution and the separatism that it was designed to appease, and as to devolution’s weakening of trade union negotiating power.

    Abse, in particular, was prescient as to the rise of a Welsh-speaking oligarchy based in English-speaking areas, which would use devolution to dominate Welsh affairs against the interests of Welsh workers South and North, industrial and agricultural, English-speaking and Welsh-speaking. Heffer’s political base was in Liverpool, at once very much like the West of Scotland and with close ties to Welsh-speaking North Wales.

    There is a strong feeling among English, Scottish and Welsh ethnic minorities and Catholics that we no more want to go down the road of who is or is not “really” English, Scottish or Welsh than Ulster Protestants want to go down the road of who is or is not
    “really” Irish.

    The Scotland Office Select Committee is chaired by Ian Davidson, a Co-operative Party stalwart and Janey Buchan protégé who is therefore a hammer both of Scottish separatism and of European federalism.

    There is no West Lothian Question, since the Parliament of the United Kingdom
    reserves the right to legislate supremely in any policy area for any part of the country, and the devolution legislation presupposes that it will do so as a matter of course.

    It never, ever need do so and the point would still stand, since what matters is purely that it has that power in principle, which no one disputes that it has, or else there would be no perceived need, either of the SNP, or of a referendum on independence. Anyone who does not like that ought to have voted No to devolution. I bet that they did not.

    The simplest examination of General Election results at least since 1945 gives the lie to the lazy fantasy that an independent England would have had, and therefore might have in the future, a permanent or semi-permanent Conservative Government rather than, as was and would be the case, a Labour Government almost exactly as often as happened within the United Kingdom, including with comfortable or landslide majorities on every occasion when that was the case under the current arrangements.

    Those who would counter that that was and would be seats, not votes, are almost always strong supporters of First Past The Post, and must face the fact that England would never return a single-party government under any other electoral system. Great swathes of England scarcely elect Conservative MPs at all.

    The notion that the Conservative Party has a unique right to speak for England is as fallacious and offensive as the notion that the Conservative Party has a unique right to speak for the countryside. But of that, another time.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Oh go lie down.

      • David Lindsay

        That is not how we should arrange that sentence in the United Kingdom.

        For your benefit, let me cut to the end:

        The simplest examination of General Election results at least since 1945 gives the lie to the lazy fantasy that an independent England would have had, and therefore might have in the future, a permanent or semi-permanent Conservative Government rather than, as was and would be the case, a Labour Government almost exactly as often as happened within the United Kingdom, including with comfortable or landslide majorities on every occasion when that was the case under the current arrangements.

        Those who would counter that that was and would be seats, not votes,
        are almost always strong supporters of First Past The Post, and must
        face the fact that England would never return a single-party government under any other electoral system. Great swathes of England scarcely elect Conservative MPs at all.

        The notion that the Conservative Party has a unique right to speak
        for England is as fallacious and offensive as the notion that the
        Conservative Party has a unique right to speak for the countryside. But
        of that, another time.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Ok then, you’ve had your last (unread) wheeze.

          Now go lie down.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But there is one here who continuously peddles the notion that the Labour Party has the unique right to speak for England, his habitual “we”, “us” and “all” tells us so and yet I have never noticed you challenging him on that. That brings your objectivity into question and pulls one small card from beneath the tribal house you are building so floridly.

          • telemachus

            Point is surely that on European matters the Tories have abrogated their right to spek for England Britain or even the Home Counties

            • the viceroy’s gin

              The point is surely on top of your empty head.

            • Hexhamgeezer

              Tish and piffle. It’s not just the Tories who have no rights. Your charge list lengthens by the week. You’ve got the busiest gulag on the planet in that swamp inside your head.

              • telemachus

                The Tories have flip flopped about Europe since 1975
                They are truly a joke on this issue

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Labour’s manifesto of 1983 included a policy of leaving the EU but no doubt that does not constitute flip flopping in your tiny mind.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Pish.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Blah, blah, blah, blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        • Andy

          Great swathes of England scarcely elect Labour MPs at all.

          The notion that the Labour Party has a unique right to speak
          for England is as fallacious and offensive as the notion that the Labour Party has a unique right to speak for the towns. But of that, another time. – Don’t bother.

          • Jambo25

            Great swathess of England don’t elect Tories either.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Blah, blah, blah, bla, blah.many thanks to our correspondent from planet Lindsay. Now back on Earth…….?.

  • Russell

    Cameron & the Conservatives are on the wrong side of both arguments. How about we get rid of Scotchland and EU along with the millions of bureaucrats located in Scotchland, England and the EU who are doing non jobs. Let Scotchland pay for their redundant public sector non jobs and the remaining EU countries pay for theirs. The rest of the UK will certainly see the financial relief/benefit.

    • telemachus

      The redundancy of these views is exemplified by the name you give to our industrious Northern brethren
      From David Livingstone to Gordon Brown they have done us proud

    • AndrewMelville

      …or how about we just get rid of sanctimonious Inglish gits such as your good self? You are the sort of unthinking spottied faced wankers that make the other nations of Great Britain willing to consider leaving this great union.

      Further, you are completely wrong in your assessment of the relative contribution of Great Britain’s constituent parts.

  • Andy

    First things first.

    We demand devolution for England First.

    • telemachus

      Predictably as I noted below
      The more we air this the more we encourage those whose vision does not square with their illustrious forbears

      • Andy

        Look here turkey brain, all we English want is to have devolution and that means everything that is devolved to Scotland is devolved to England. That means we either set up an English Parliament and an English Government or all Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs are barred from debating and voting on matters that pertain only to England. How could ANYONE even remotely object to such a moderate and reasonable proposal ??????

        • Colonel Mustard

          He can because his real imperative is simply a hatred of England and all things English. Which is why he and his fellow travellers call us a mongrel nation and want to cleanse us ethnically by denying we exist. A Scotsman who hates England can at least be understood in terms of history. A supposed Englishman who does is a very different creature.

          • allymax bruce

            Col ‘, what about Labour’s Ian Smart denigrating phrase Pakistani ethnic minorities?

        • Mike_docherty

          I don’t think many, if any, people in Scotland do object – it seems eminently sensible that England should have its own Parliament. However, where are all the people demanding it and campaigning for it in England?

          • Andy

            When we do we are branded ‘racists’. See above.

            • Mike_docherty

              I don’t see anything above about race.

              It took the best part of 20 years of campaigning in Scotland. The Scottish Constitutional Convention involved most political parties, trade unions, churches and other groups. But as I said earlier the level of support in England for such an idea seems pretty limited.

              • Colonel Mustard

                There are a few reasons for that. Firstly the ease with which some of the English conflate English and British. Secondly the way that English nationalism has been made synonymous with right-wing extremism and racism as part of a deliberate socialist agenda to diminish national identity and pride. Thirdly our present British parliament is in London which to some is already the sum total of both Britain and England. None of those factors, I believe, pertain to the Scots or Scottish nationalism. Remarkable that in view of all that – and New Labour’s devolution – Milibandwagon can talk of “One Nation”.

              • Andy

                You live in Scotland ? If so please write to your MP and ask him/her to give an undertaking in writing that they will refrain from taking part in any debate and voting in any vote where the matter applies merely to England and is a devolved competence. And please publish the reply here.

        • telemachus

          You deliberately misunderstand the nature of Englishness
          Since Henry Plantagenet we have exerted our right to hegemony over these islands
          It is fine to give back some domestic control but we need the cloak of the home countries to forge our way in Europe

          • Colonel Mustard

            I’ll not take any lectures on the nature of Englishness from you who believes the English to be a mongrel nation and who thinks that we need to be ethnically cleansed in our own land.

  • telemachus

    That provides the opportunity to look at territorial questions properly, not through the lens of appeasing nationalist sentiment, and develop a proper UK framework that deals with Wales, Northern Ireland and, most significantly, England too.
    The actual concern here of course is that such sentiments fuel the European Separatists and English home rulers who are in fact synonymous with the Right wing of English politics
    The what is good for me and mine seems to be holding sway at present

    • Simon Semere

      you have an awful lot to say, i presume you’re voicing your opinion as an englishman

      • telemachus

        I prefer British

        • Simon Semere

          Well of course you do because you’re not, yet you talk as if you are with no shame, and promote devolution as if nobody would notice, you’re an embarrassment

          • telemachus

            Promote devolution?
            My aim is progressive integration into the United States of Europe
            Perhaps then we could consider the rights of our consituent nations in Europa which will lead the world
            On the whole however I thin we should stay cohesive since we will better lead Europe to an egalitarian ideal

            • Colonel Mustard

              Europa. Hmm. I seem to recall another fascist who referred to it as that…

            • Simon Semere

              It doesn’t matter what your aim is because you’re not English, Look at what you’re debating and who you are arguing with.

              • telemachus

                Born in Yorkshie and bred thruout the North ie Central Britain

                • Simon Semere

                  I hope some of what I have said has plugged through (being born here doesn’t make you an englishman either).

                • Andy

                  You are Arthur Scargill and I claim my £10.

                • telemachus

                  I collect political speeches and Scargill’s are some of the most cleverly crafted

        • Colonel Mustard

          Yes, we understand your Anglophobia – or, to conform to your socialist definitions of language, your hatred of the English nation. You have expressed it here many times, even calling us mongrel and suggesting we need to be ethnically cleansed for our own good. I believe that Uriah Heep of politics, Jack Straw, once said something along similar lines.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          EUrine surely?

      • Russell

        More like a Martian based on many comments.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        No just an idiot.

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