Coffee House

The UK will have constitutional change – and it must address the English question

12 June 2014

3:10 PM

12 June 2014

3:10 PM

If Scotland votes No on September 18th, it won’t be the end of the matter. The Unionist campaign and all three Westminster parties have all promised that more powers will pass to Holyrood if Scotland rejects independence. Cameron himself has endorsed a radical extension of the tax varying powers of the Scottish parliament.

This will exacerbate the West Lothian Question, the unfairness by which Scots MPs can still vote on devolved matters at Westminster. Traditionally, the view has been that the answer to the West Lothian question is to stop asking it. But, as I say in the column this week, this position isn’t tenable with Ukip on the march.

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Ukip is already committed to an English parliament in a federal UK. It would be a major strategic error for the Tories, or Labour, to hand Nigel Farage the English card to play.

The constitutional tinkering of the last twenty years has been a disaster. Devolution has not killed Nationalism in Scotland stone dead but led to an SNP government and a referendum on independence. But the United Kingdom is where it is. The constitutional settlement that follows the Scottish referendum will have to be comprehensive and fair—and that means it must address the English question. ​

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Show comments
  • Anthony

    Truly unbelievable that we have got to this situtaion. Where else on this earth does the poor part (Scotland) want independence from the rich part (England) and furthermore demand further subsideis if it doesn’t get it (through democracy)?

    The English meanwhile remain content with being trodden on, having their affairs decided by poiticians outside their own country and pandering to the every need of the peripheral parts of the Kingdom that represent such a small part of the UK.

    English people really need to start to think about this. The answer is an independent England, but an English parliament is a step in the right direction to addressing inequalties. It is coming Westminster, whether you like it or not.

  • EmilyEnso

    Thank goodness the debate on England and its future is at last being acknowledged.
    Regardless of Scotland and the yes or no vote, the English require equality and justice within the UK.
    There must be a Parliament for England.
    The English should have the right of such a house – in fairness to the rights of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    At the moment the English don’t govern themselves but are controlled by other parts of the UK.
    The English just pay the taxes, pay the bills and get a kicking.
    We want a Parliament for England and most importantly elected, like the other such UK parliaments or assemblies under the system of PR.
    Time to see UKIP, English democrats and Greens given a chance to play a role and institute policy.
    The lib/lab/con has betrayed England in every conceivable way.
    Lets show them the door.

  • David R Cross

    The Scots will gain independence by default if any more powers are devolved to them, but I bet we won’t get to vote on kicking them out of the Uk and saving the taxes that pay for their free prescriptions. Remember Jock, more Scots fought on England’s side at Culloden than on Charlie’s!!!

  • tartanrock

    Will the Westminster parties really address the English Question? They ought to, they ‘must’, but what they will do is their best to avoid it. The Tories could promise in their next election manifesto (except that they, like the other parties, do not produce one for England) to implement the McKay Commission’s proposals but there is no sign that they are eager to do so. Labour and the Lib-Dems will try to fob England off with ‘decentralisation’ without any national focus. And so far as I’m aware, UKIP is not committed to having an English Parliament in a federal UK. It really needs the people of England to start demanding their right to their own national representation but, at the moment, too many of them ‘don’t do politics’. ‘No’ in September certainly won’t be the end of the matter but it is hard to see that any of those likely to be in government after May 2015 will feel that they must face up to the ‘English Question’ unless there is a significant backlash among the people of England..

  • JoolsB

    We English are a tolerant bunch but what is amazing is that since Labour’s deliberate gerrymandering devolution act which was designed to create Scottish & Welsh Labour fiefdoms whilst deliberate ignoring Tory voting England, we still accept our kids being discriminated against by being the only ones having to pay crippling £9,000 tuition fees, we still accept only our sick having to pay prescription charges and exorbitant hospital parking charges, free outside of England and we still accept that only our elderly will have to hand over their homes and life’s savings should they need care. UK Governments are getting away with this blatant discrimination because we let them.

    Imagine if England had been given it’s own parliament back in 1998 and left the Scots and the Welsh out and then English MPs determined that people in Scotland & Wales paid the above whilst England paid nothing. There would be rioting in the streets. We know the politicians deliberately conflate England with Britain and refuse to say the word England so as to avoid awareness of this blatant discrimination against England, but surely there are enough people in England now angry enough with the status quo to DEMAND an English Parliament. What is up with us?

    • David R Cross

      Quite simple old boy: we accepted long ago that politicians are not interested in doing their job, ie, representing us, and therefore gave up on them. We are of course naive enough to keep on voting for them?

  • Kerr Mudgeon

    I’d suggest the House of Commons serve as the English parliament. Scrap the House of Lords and reconstitute the second chamber as a senate to discuss and legislate on UK matters.

    • EmilyEnso

      It will not do.
      Why should the English have to tolerate a second class house without the PR component.
      We want equality and a properly constituted parliament equal to Scotland’s thanks.
      No a faux pack of liars – with a built in Tory majority under first past the post.

  • Blindsideflanker

    This article shows the part of the problem we have. They talk about political tactics so Westminster political parties can score points off one another, not what is right.

    In addition, when ever a discussion does get around to debating the English Question, you get someone like Isabel Hardman who turns the discussion around to a Scottish centric view point.

  • Denis_Cooper

    If the Tory party really cared about this then on the same day that the Scots have their referendum then the English would be having a referendum on whether they wanted a devolved parliament for England. But of course those leading the Tory party only care about it to the extent that they are forced to care about it, in truth like Labour and the LibDems they view the English with loathing and contempt.

    Do you know what? After all these years of prevarication and obfuscation I’ve had more than enough of it, I’ve had more than enough of trying to get these ******** who control the Tory, Labour and LibDem parties to treat English people with some degree of respect.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Me too.

      Soon a generation of English people will have been born and grown up as constitutional second class citizens. In that time our useless British political establishment haven’t managed to find the inclination or time to answer the English Question,

      Shame on them!

      • Denis_Cooper

        We shouldn’t get above ourselves here: we are fourth class citizens, not second.

        First class British citizens live in Scotland, second class in Wales, third class in Northern Ireland, fourth class in England.

  • William Clark

    As and Englishman I am really quite bored of constantly being castigated as the wicked baddie when personally I see the English as the goodies. Sorry but that is the way it is – only shooting me would remove that notion from the earth, and of course that would never happen. At the very minimum there should be an annual Profit and Loss account published for each section of the UK – England, Wales Northern Ireland and Scotland – and this should break down what proportion of the economies of each is dependent on public spending – and also beneath that what proportion of revenue is due to the chance location of natural resources and what revenue is due to actual enterprise, work and endeavour. That would be enlightening.

  • Swivel-eyed loon & proud of it

    It’s an absurdity in the present British Constitution that, as devolution to Edinburgh increases, Scottish MPs in Westminster have votes in the House of Commons on Acts made to govern England but little say in laws for Scotland, since most Scottish affairs are now overseen by the MSPs in Edinburgh. A separate Parliament for England is the only sensible resolution to this.

    Yet another instance of the uselessness and flaccidity of the three older parties that it has taken two smaller, newer and more vibrant parties, initially the SNP and now in England UKIP to put the matter on the political agenda. Another vote winner for UKIP.

  • Greenslime

    How you balance out a federal state containing one large entity, one medium entity and two small entities should stretch the minds of whoever has the task and should create some interesting and parochial arguments. I suspect that there will be calls to break up England into several Scotland-sized entities.

    Then get rid of the Lords and replace it with an elected senate.

    • vieuxceps2

      How casually you speak of breaking up the nation of England ! Imagine the uproar there’d be if you suggested balkanising Wales or Scotland. We’ve been here for over a thousand years and we’ll be here for another millenium,so let’s have no more talk of England’s destruction just so that the other lands can have an easy life. If a federated state with England doesn’t suit ’em,let them find another way to live.England must and shall remain England.

      • Wessex Man

        Good to see you back and correct as always.

      • Greenslime

        I agree with your concept but unfortunately we are where we are. Northern Ireland has always had its own legislature. Scotland and Wales have their own now too – and it looks like Cornwall might be drifting in that direction.

        There is virtually zero chance of any of this being reversed. If Scotland votes NO, we will be in a position where we have a load of Scottish Labour MPs who will be voting on English matters which have nothing to do with them. That is resented now and the size of that stone in the shoe will continue to grow.

        Labour has long tried to turn its Northern heartlands against the Southeast of England (and London in particular). London has a larger population than Scotland. London and the Southeast probably comprises 25% or more of the UK population and probably contributes over 50% or more of GDP. The region is Labour’s cashcow, which it milks and squeezes to buy its votes elsewhere. Labour voters in London are largely, I believe, mostly immigrants and snivel servants. I would guess the rest of the Southeast has a few more working class Brits and a slack handful of BBC employees but it is not a region where the party is naturally strong.

        The facts of where we are now plus the divisive and nasty policies of the Left will continue to create schism and I suspect that London and the Southeast will slowly get increasingly fed up with funding the unwinding of the ‘Give-Away State’ which Labour created during its 13 years in power.

        These are the fruits of the tribal division and give it to me for nothing attitude which Labour has created for us. If Scotland votes YES, it will be Labour’s epitath. If they vote NO, it will ensure that the disintegration will continue.

        • Wessex Man

          I don’t see Rhode Island and California going to war, there is absolutely no rerason other than the three deceitful parties of current government wanting to maintain the present situation for their own gain.

    • Blindsideflanker

      I don’t remember in 1998 when the Scots got to vote for Devolutions that they were also voting for the balkanisation of England. As you seem to suggest they were , shouldn’t we English have had a say in it as well?

      The fact is it is only the English hating British establishment who are pushing for the balkanisation of England, so they can continue to divide and rule us. The Scots as far as I can gather are pretty relaxed about England getting its own Parliament.

      • Greenslime

        See my reply to vieuxceps2 above

    • JoolsB

      Labour have already got plans in place to balkanise England into regions if they win next year despite it having been firmly rejected by the canny folk of the North East in 2004. Labour refuse to countenance treating England as a nation in it’s own right because they fear without their Scottish & Welsh MPs they may never govern England again which is why they DELIBERATELY left England out of devolution the first time around.

  • global city

    Absloutely.

    I’ll make a punt for Liverpool as the new federal capital, being the most British of cities on these islands.

  • Stephen Gash

    So, I watched the discussion above expecting to hear something about England, but just got the same old waffle about Scotland.

  • Raddiy

    The one thing that is self evident is that the Westminster parliament, supposedly with a majority of English MP’s has deliberately discriminated against England and continues to discriminate against England for political advantage. This was perfectly demonstrated by the decision to close the Portsmouth shipyard to save the shipyards on the Clyde, and the last minute decision to abandon the plan in the defence review to disband a Scottish regiment, and substitute the Green Howards from Yorkshire instead.

    We know Westminster cannot be trusted to act in the interests of England, we have years and years of evidence that all three parties are stuffed to the gunnels with Scots in senior postions, who have no problem in blatently serving their own countries first for their own political interests.

    A parliament for England with politicians elected to to serve England alone with it own taxes..

    • vieuxceps2

      Well said .. Raddiy.

  • Kitty MLB

    So if Scotland stays they must have something in return, Why?
    Its Scotland’s choice to have a referendum and if they chose to stay so be it .
    But honestly the amount of Scottish MP’s in Westminster voting on English matters,
    consolation prizes as said before and we English get a say on nothing what so ever.

    • HookesLaw

      This is true. I think if more devolution is given to Scotland then the issue of votes by Scottish MPs needs to be resolved. The simplest, though not my favourite would be to half the number of scots MPs.

      To be honest if we had one unified undevolved nation then I would settle for more scots MPs and fewer London ones.

      • Wessex Man

        Thank heavens you are not in charge!

      • Colonel Mustard

        “To be honest if we had one unified undevolved nation then I would settle for more scots MPs and fewer London ones.”

        And there, folks, in that one memorable sentence is everything that is wrong with Spoonface’s ‘reformed’ Conservative party. At least Labour are honest about wanting to destroy every last vestige of England.

  • Torontory

    John Redwood put the arguments very clearly a week ago:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2014/06/05/time-to-think-of-england/

    Hard to argue against it

    • The Masked Marvel

      Do you trust the Speaker to make these decisions correctly, though? Redwood is about half way to a good idea.

      • HookesLaw

        I would not trust the present speaker to chose his own tie correctly.

        • Andy

          Nah, Sally of any Alley does that.

        • Wessex Man

          well what do you wexpect, one of your lot wasn’t he before his ‘elevation.’

    • IndependentEngland

      Except that he seems to have missed the point that England needs an executive!

    • JoolsB

      Except he doesn’t propose an English parliament equal to that of Scotland or even an English Assembly similar to that of Wales but a half way house where Scots, Welsh & NI MPs will not be allowed to vote on English only matters but will still get to vote on on UK matters whilst still keeping a totally separate set of politicians, MSPs in the Scots Government and AMs in the Welsh Assembly whereas for England he proposes UK MPs squatting in English seats wear two hats, acting as UK MPs some of the time and English MPs the rest of the time.

      Only parity with the rest of the UK and a full time dedicated English Parliament will deliver fairness, justice and democracy to England.

      • David R Cross

        The thing is: what do you mean by “English” So far as I can tell, most of the ethnic minorities who happened to be born here probably think they are English too, whereas to be true English you have to be descended from the Angle’s and Saxons who first named this land “Angloland” (land of the Angles) – England is a modern version of this name,

  • Smithersjones2013

    There is a bigger problem than Labour’s reticence due to the inevitable loss of pwoer that comes with it. it provides more complex problems.

    The thing to recognise is the distinct imbalances in the distribution of seats across the UK for each party. So whilst Labour may have an overall majority the Tories could have a majority in England. Any serious attempt to rectify the current imbalance will inevitable result in the Labour party giving away significant influence and power.

    Similarly if the Libdems are in Coalition with either party they will not support any meaningful attempt at fixing the English question because that would increase the likelihood that in future Coalitions they would lose any influence over English domestic matters (Health, Education, Criminal Justice etc etc). Whats the point of being a coalition partner if all you can influence is Defence, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, International Aid etc etc

    The only party who would benefit would be the Tories purely because they have little hope of forming a majority government and the resolution of the WLQ would give them ack significant power when in government yet much as they might bleat about it because they are unable to form a majority when in power the Libdems and Labour would never do a deal.

    Now it may be that a concerted attritional effort on behalf of the Tories would deliver them a majority to enact the resolution to the WLQ in a couple of decades time but in reality any Englishman with any self respect will have long deserted the Tories for UKIP on such matters…..

    Basically its there for UKIP to take pointing out how the Libdems wil have stopped progress in this government and Labour will always resist it

    • Andy

      The ‘Home Office’ is actually the office of the Principle Secretary of State under the old English Government. Most of its work is to do with England, but functions like borders and passports could be transferred to say the Prime Minister’s Department. That could be used to cover UK wide issues.

  • Raddiy

    It is so bleeding obvious that the status quo is unacceptable and unfair to England and the English, yet all three parties talk a constant load of tosh such as ‘ English votes on English matters’ bullsh*t ..blah,blah.blah etc etc…

    England is entitled to an English parliament something UKIP is committed to, and hopefully in a regional English city such as York, far away from the London that long ago lost its cultural link to England, and is today English only in the geographic sense.

    An English parliament is coming irrespective of the vindictive resistance of the political class, and they would be wise to accept the fact, and if it costs tens or hundreds of millions to set up, so what, take it from the overseas aid budget.

    • lewis4671

      Actually full independence for England is the only real solution to this issue – and even without the net subsidy from Scotland, I am sure that an independent England would be a success.

      • Wessex Man

        Do get a grip on reality

      • Stephen Gash

        Three hundred years of a woeful union with Scotland has been like a ball and chain for England. Undoubtedly England would have prospered far more without Scotland. The only country in the world to have benefited from the United Kingdom is Scotland. If we English and Wales were included in the referendum to get shot of Scotland, England and Wales would be free even without the Scottish vote. Why the warmongering Scots are deemed to be the only ones worthy of a say beggars belief.

    • Kitty MLB

      Raddy I agree with that completely England should have a English parliament .
      And If Scotland chose to stay, and they very well might then why must they have a consolation prize . Its not England’s fault if Scotland votes to stay
      and yet we never have a say on anything ourselves.

      • telemachus

        Folks only want an English Parliament Ladybird because of the hegemony of the Home Counties
        It would be even more a dictatorship of the South East than it is already

        • Andy

          And like the true Fascist you are you want to retain all these Scottish and Welsh Labour MPs to meddle in purely English matters. So you will have no objection to them losing voting rights etc over any English affair.

        • IndependentEngland

          A dictatorship of the SE of a England? The vast majority of English consyituency MPs represent constituencies from elsewhere in a England. An English a Parliament might make them focus on the needs of England

        • Wessex Man

          Go away you nasty slimy liar.

        • vieuxceps2

          Tele you twit, “folks”want an English Parliament to replace the one we lost in 1707 together with our independence.Why in London? Have it wherever we choose.Doesn’t matter.

          • telemachus

            I have oft supported Manchester
            But for a pan UK parliament

            • Wessex Man

              Who cares who you support you slimy liar.

  • Salmondnet

    If UKIP really does support an English Parliament that is another reason to vote for them. Would want to see it in their manifesto though.

    • Raddiy

      It has been a policy for some time, sadly the ‘UKIP only have one policy’ brigade choose to ignore the other policies, that are going to frighten the other three parties to death when they are announced at our Doncaster conference later in the year.

      Here is Paul Nuttall talking about an English parliament in 2012 , and a session from the 2011 conference

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPLjI_esnd0

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VKvhdzoN-Q

  • Andy

    Where did my comment go about the drunk bloke in the video, thought it was funny! Tell him to sit up straight and stop drinking on the job.

  • HookesLaw

    There is a real and big problem here. But honestly, let’s be serious do we that’s the English really want another parliament, where will the politicians come from to fill it. What will they actually do?
    Surely it is better to have English votes on English matters or have a reduced number of Scottish MPs.
    But please spare us another parliament.

    • Andy

      We should have ‘English votes for English Laws’. If the Scots don’t like it they know what they can do.
      And the reason this has not been done is because the Tories have a 60+ seat majority in England and that would mean the LibDems would not be able to meddle in a huge number of areas.
      And the Labour Party have created this lopsided version of devolution so they can keep the possibility of controlling England with their Celtic seats. We all know this.

      • lewis4671

        ‘English votes for English laws’ sounds attractive – but the difficulty will be deciding whether an issue is English or UKish. For example, it building HS2 an English issue? It will only be within England but the UK government wants to regard it as a UK issue so it can justify Scottish taxes contributing towards the costs. Considering that Scotland already net subsidises the rest of the UK, this is something that causes anger up here.
        Full independence for all countries with in the UK is the only solution that will mean that each country gets the government it wants without interference from other parts of the present UK.

        • Tony_E

          Just match the devolved powers – once it is devolved to another region then that region cannot vote on matters under that heading in England.

          • Andy

            Exactly. That is what should have been done from the start of devolution.

        • HookesLaw

          No, there ought to be no real difficulty in deciding these matters. And re HS2 the current devolved Scottish parliament has to decide if it wants to join in. But Scottish MPs could scupper it whilst having no say on the issue in Scotland who could vote in favour of it.
          If it, the English proposal, is to scuppered, to the chagrin of the Scots, let it at least be by by English votes.

        • Andy

          Not difficult at all. If it is a devolved matter then it is devolved in England too and all other MPs are barred from voting on that issue. Like I said the Tories have a 60+ seat majority in England, but we suffer Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs meddling in purely English affairs. Labour and the LibDems are all for this.

        • Alexsandr

          if the scots want to debate HS2, they can if they pay a decent share of it.

        • IMarcher

          English laws will work just as it does in Scotland – the English government will introduce primary legislation on those matters devolved to it.

      • dalai guevara

        Lawmaking and Parliamentary voting are already adjusted.
        It’s a hopelessly botched job. That is why this must now change.

        • Andy

          Gerrymandered by Labour.

          • dalai guevara

            fine – by whoever – what satisfaction does that yield?

            • Wessex Man

              none at all.

            • Andy

              None, save to the Fascists.

      • IMarcher

        And who is to introduce those English laws for the English to vote on? The British government?

        • Andy

          No. An ENGLISH GOVERNMENT !

    • Smithersjones2013

      Oh dear once again Hooky’s lack of imagination comes to the fore. What would the English Parliament do? It will deal with all English internal domestic matters such as the NHS, Education, Criminal Justice etc etc leaving incompetent Federal Ministers like Theresa May to spend ore focussing on parts of her job where she’s cocked up ()like the Passport Agency) in the hope that they might actually stop such federal outrages happening.

      As for where they come from. Look around Hooky it didn’t stop Scotland devolving or Wales or London getting a Regional Assembly or in fact newer parties like UKIP to find increasing numbers of candidates year on year. A lack of candidates didn’t stop the PCC appointments either (although a lack of electorate interest probably should have done). There are plenty of people out there.who would stand.

      Your arguments are superficial and weak. Stop blustering and recognise that the idea of EVfEL is an unworkable joke. How could you have a Scottish Chancellor like Brown designating the size of the English Health Services budget when Scotland can define the budgets as they will?. We need an English Parliament to ensure that monstrosities like Gordon Brown can never impact this country so badly again!

      • HookesLaw

        Grow up, we already have a massive and expensive parliament, full of what you would probably describe as useless politicians, all we need do is limit English matters to votes by English MPs. Alternatively we could halve the number of Scots MPs since there is little for them to do and accept this as a vaguely plaudible compromise.
        I would prefer English votes for English MPs and not waste money on another pointless and confusing and competitive parliament.

        Another parliament? And where would it get its money from to oversee the vastly expensive areas of health education pensions and welfare?
        Give me a break.

        • Wessex Man

          Blimey you are slow, with proper Federal Devolution the UK Government could and should be downsized massively, say half a million voters per MP.

          I know that you will argue the cause for ever, hoping to end up there but this discredited House of Lords, numbers exceeded only by the Chinese parliament anywhwere in the world, should be abolished.

          Simple savings, more than enough to fund an English Parliament, why doing away with the Lords will probably mean a tax refund for us all.

          This will I know upset you but it’s only just that you don’t end up there for services to Cameron that’s best not discussed!

          • HookesLaw

            How would half a million voters work in terms of MPs accurately reflecting the country? Who is going to raise all the masses of money England needs to spend?
            Another parliament (full of ex county councillors) … I repeat, give me a break.

            • Wessex Man

              So now you are saying the Fedreal system that was originally used by the USA isn’t democratic, you get sadder by the minute Hooky babe.

              • HookesLaw

                You do not seem to know what you are talking about.
                Do you like the idea of a federal Europe? If not stop quoting the USA as a good example.
                In America each state no matter what its size elects 2 senators. Is this a good template for Europe?
                America is a huge continental wide country founded upon states rights and on individual states having a huge amount of autonomy.
                The peculiar way the USA is governed leads to huge problems, pork barrel politics leads to huge overspending and waste.

                If you think large massive constituencies are a good idea, then good luck to you.

                • GreyNag

                  The German Federal system was designed by our forefathers from a blank piece of paper and resulted in the most successful western political and economic system. Unfortunately we are stuck with HoC and HoL and turkeys don’t vote for Xmas.
                  Today the Bundestag has 650 members representing 93 million and the Bundesrat has 200 elected members, as opposed to 821 in the HoL.

                • Wessex Man

                  No listen here Hooky babe, I don’t really give a **** what you think, we need to get rid of at least half the free loaders in Westminster who now only ever draw ther expenses and vote when told to and how by Call me Dave on the remainlng 30% of laws left to us by the EU.

                  We need to do away with the Lords corrupted beyond repair by Blair, Brown and Cameron.

                  We need a Parliament for England to resolve the democratic deficiency created by Blair and Brown so many years ago.

                  We need less spin, which is all your lot ever do and the passport farce now unwinding confirms my opinion of you and them perfectly!

    • Alexsandr

      we dont need another parliament. when english matters are on the table, MP’s from a devolved country cannot take part. Or vote. And MP’s from a devolved country cant be ministers in english only departments.

      might be interesting. You may need an english first minister from one party and a prime minister from another

      • Blindsideflanker

        No, we need an English Parliament to set policy in England. We need to be able to vote for an English executive.

        For example Cameron in offering the Scots devomax is doing what is best for the UK , he is not doing what is best for England.

      • IMarcher

        That’s not enough. Who introduces those “matters” – who makes policy? It should be the English government, not the British government, making policy for England.

      • Wessex Man

        That would then be reversed by any incoming Lag Gov or Lib/dum Lab Gov to give them control with their Scottish Labour and Lib/dum MPs.

    • vieuxceps2

      There won’t be “another parliament.” The “westminster” of tomorrow will be the Parliament of England with MPsfrom England seats only.The devolved lands already have their own MPs in their own parliaments.A federal ad hoc committee drawnfrom the four parliaments will meet as needed. Not a single extraMP,in fact fewer as the MPs now sitting in Westminster from Wales, Sco
      tland and NI will be redundant,saving salaries and expenses. Win win!

    • IMarcher

      No, because that would still leave English government in the hands of the full British government.

  • john

    End the monarchy, replace the HofL with an elected Senate (absolutely essential to get some regional impact at Westminister), end all the other dreadful hangovers from earlier centuries – honours, inherited titles residual colonies etc. Accept that we are a middle sized Euro country and not an imperial power.

    • HookesLaw

      What has any of that got to do with Scottish devolution.

      • john

        Whenthe Scots go (an I hope they do), it will be a real rebuke to the entrenched elite and monarchy. The sans culottes need to make their voices heard and finally push for a democratic RUK based on giving everybody an equal shot (unheard of in Britain). Our moribund constitution only serves to allow a tiny elite to dominate every aspect of British life. We need all 63 million involved.

        • GreyNag

          “We need all 63 million involved”.

          But if Scotland goes there will only be 58 million left!

          • Wessex Man

            Not a big loss then!

            • GreyNag

              Not if you don’t mind losing one of the only 3 net positive contributing regions of the UK and the only one with a positive balance of payments.

          • john

            Fair enough. You’re right!

            • Wessex Man

              no it’s not, England will survive the independence of Scotland perfectly well and this is why Salmond is now worrying that his brave new world is falling to pieces,trying to bully boy George into currencey union, can’t lie his way into the EU, his Economic Guru now advising him to revert to the Merk.

              Hopefully after a yes vote, ten years Salmond will be presiding over a successful vibrant nation, nearly as strong economically per person as England. Then again maybe not.

        • HookesLaw

          How will abolishing the monarchy change anything?
          We are a democracy and your notion that the monarchy are anything to do with any failings is risible.
          It would not bother me if we were not a monarchy actually but I am not fooled into thinking it would change one penny piece.
          I would like Scotland to stay and your motives for it to leave seem dubious to say the least.

          • Wessex Man

            well you were always slow but today you seem even slower, your party to it’s credit wanted to do some minor prunning of the out of kelter representation and you buddies the Lib/dums wouldn’t agree. Then as usual Call me Dave caved in!

            • HookesLaw

              And what has that got to do with the monarchy?
              The Tory policy was one of equalising the constituencies, changing the situation that smaller ones elected labour and larger ones elected Tories.

              • Wessex Man

                who said it did? do learn to read.

          • john

            Risible comment. The monarchy denies the right of every citizen to equal opportunity. It fails to even follow the weak rules its predicated on – Chuck’s famous “black spider memos” instructing Ministers what he wants in legislation.
            Anyone who pretends that the monarchy is powerless isn’t playing with a full deck.

            • Andy

              The power of monarchy is not in the power it wields itself but in the power it denies others.

              • john

                Andy:
                Glib nonsense.
                Power belongs to the citizens – monarchy has no role. It is up to the voters to control the Government and its agencies.
                How can monarchy have no power but prevent others from having it – isn’t that the greatest power available to anyone.

                • Andy

                  It is you that is talking ‘glib nonsense’ based on little knowledge and less understanding. And why don’t you actually read and think about what I actually wrote ?

                • john

                  My reply directly addresses your facile comment.

                  Please explain: How can monarchy have no power (as you say) but prevent others from having power (as you say) – without implicitly having great power?

                • Andy

                  You obviously do not understand how the British Monarchy (& constitution) works and until you do there is no point in wasting time talking to you. I’ll repeat for you: ‘The power of monarchy is not in the power it wields itself, but in the power it denies others’.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Very well said.

        • Colonel Mustard

          What a silly comment. Like the sans culottes were so good for France! Are you some kind of rabble rousing radical schoolboy?

      • Wessex Man

        Why do you bothered the answe is in the article, do grow up!

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yeah, great. That’s all we need. Another gang of Baroness Ashtons and some ghastly “elected” Head of State who ticks all the right right on boxes. A Von Rompuy for Britain.

      No thanks. Constitutional Monarchy and hereditary House of Lords. No more ghastly Mumsnet Baronesses.

      • john

        I love the deeply entrenched deference that causes Brits to offer the nutty view that only people with inherited titles are fit for positions of power. What’s Ashton got to do with anything? Maybe you can pull out the old favourite – who wants President Blair? BTW Who wants King Condom III?

        • Wessex Man

          john, in case you didn’t notice Blair and Brown completely changed the Lords for the worst and now there’s no automactic way to bring the Commons to account.

          • telemachus

            Yes there is
            Barroso

            • Wessex Man

              go away you slimy liar.

          • john

            Bit of a non sequitor? The HoL has no credibility to bring anyone to account.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Who wants President Blair? I don’t want KIng Condom III. I’ll settle for KIng Charles III and King William V.

          Baroness Ashton personifies the unelected mediocrity of ideologues who get to lord it over us because they’ve done right on stuff in local government, fake charities, quangos or social work. Why should she be worthy of any more deference as the High Panjandrum of Eu La La Barrosoland? But go republic and that is exactly what you’ll get here. Note that all these champagne socialists, these egalitarians, these peddlers of equality and fairness just love the titles, the ranks, the security posses, the private jets, the fleets of black 4×4’s whisking them to their hot air talking shops, the power and the money.

          I love the deeply entrenched naivety that causes some Brits to offer the nutty view that only sleazy ‘elected’ and unelected career politicians like that or slebs and sleb mothers of ‘victims’ are fit for positions of power. After all Tower Hamlets is such a good model to usurp hundreds of years of a constitutional system of government that was the envy of the world (until socialists began to ‘improve’ it).

          • john

            What an odd harangue.
            I hold no brief for Baroness Ashton but as you point out she wasn’t elected to her job. I’m the one who’s against titles and unelected position holders.
            But why such irrational hostility to elected officials – are you a fan of divine right to rule for royalty?

            • Colonel Mustard

              You call for a republic in Britain with a sleazy politico as Head of State and yet call me odd!

              “…are you a fan of divine right to rule for royalty?”

              No, of constitutional monarchy. The point is the monarchy fills a space in the constitutional narrative of the nation which keeps politicians out. Long may that continue.

              • john

                The point is the monarchy fills a space in the constitutional narrative of the nation which keeps politicians out.

                A pompous way of saying you don’t support democracy. What on earth is a constitutional narrative? Democracy requires we let “politicians” ie our elected representatives in. A hereditary monarchy (whether “constitutional” or not) has no valid role. It’s just a classic British fudge to keep the elites in power. Time to move on.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Not pompous at all. And not time to “move on”. The Monarchy is actually an important factor in preserving our democracy because the office cannot be compromised by the vested interest of political factions. You clearly have no understanding of how the constitution benefits from that impartiality and continuity.

                  Fortunately it is not up to you to decide the fate of our long proven constitution.

        • IMarcher

          Nothing to do with ‘deference’. The hereditaries have a long-term stake in the country, are not dependent on political parties for patronage, and can thus take an independent and long view on what is good for the country.

          • john

            This is an amazing statement of utter deference that I’m shocked you can utter.
            Don’t you have a long term stake in the country? Haven’t many of us been in the UK for centuries?
            Can’t we all be independent? (Virtually all HofL members are Tories)
            Aren’t you free of political patronage?
            BTW Many hereditaries have clear underlying, selfish objectives (like the royals) land ownership, priviliged status, protecting class advantage etc. If they bring such valuable skills, they’ll win election to any democratic Senate.

            • Wessex Man

              Still I would rather have a Constitutional Monarchy than any other form of government elsewhere in the world. The very thought of President Cameron, Johnson or Miliband makes me feel ill!

              • john

                No logical justification then! I have no problem with any of the names you quote – they’d need to win an election and serve a fixed term on set rules. You missed out scathing reference to President Blair.

  • dalai guevara

    “UKIP want a fully federal UK!”
    Fantastic news, is it?
    Will the electorate keep up with this amazing change of agendas?

    • HookesLaw

      Will kippers spot the irony?

      • Smithersjones2013

        The irony is only for shallow superficial pom-pom skirt wearing partisan cheerleaders like you.who are incapable of differentiating the wide scope that federalisation implies. In the EU it means centralisation. In the UK it means decentralisation. As ever it’s all in the detail. Now do you want me to explain the difference between the two to you or can you look it up yourself?

        • HookesLaw

          So that’s a no then, from the usual humourless bunch.

          • Wessex Man

            My word, Hooky babe accusing others of being humourless that’s like and blacked burn out pot calling a boiled dry kettle silly.

            • HookesLaw

              I’m a laugh a minute. A bit like you to be honest.

              • Wessex Man

                No I don’t think so, not in a million years Hooky babe, I’ve not got my head ** David Cameron’s **** like you have for a start.

                • HookesLaw

                  No, only Farage’s.

                  See what I mean, you have me in stitches.

                • Wessex Man

                  Why are you so humourless then? I hope you told Nige about the location of your head hooky babe, it must have come as a nasty surprise for the poor bloke!

                • HookesLaw

                  You need a course in English comprehension.

                • Kitty MLB

                  And English humour as well as our obscure
                  characteristics…the list endless.

                • Wessex Man

                  You need to change your moniker to David Brent.

      • Salmondnet

        No, but they will spot that there is no equivalence between being part of a British Federation with a 300 year foundation and a common language and part of a European one with (for Britain) a fifty year history and no common language.

    • Wessex Man

      You truly are a slow halfwit.

  • misomiso

    Not a very long article but a good point.

    Big problem for Labour, as they will not be able to use Scottish MP’s to vote on English matters of Health, Education an Welfare.

    And journalists should not let Labour or the Lib Dems put up politicians from Scottish seats to speak on devolved matters, for example letting a Scottish MP onto the Daily Politics to talk about the recent Birmingham Schools scandal.

    • misomiso

      And also, the biggest mistake Osborne and Cameron made was not allowing a Independant Unionist party to form in Scotland. A grass roots center right ‘Unionist Movement’ would be able to unite the unionist vote and maybe even take some MPs off the SNP and the Lib Dems.

      But they need independence from London to be credible.

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