Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Power 2010 – English votes for English laws

There are some campaigns which merit fervent support, not because they are necessarily politically non-partisan, religiously unprejudiced or sociologically expedient, but because they are just plain and simple common sense.

The Power 2010 campaign is a laudable pursuit. They write:

‘Our democracy is in crisis. MPs fiddle while the planet burns. Our rights and freedoms are under attack. Bankers blow billions and the taxpayer foots the bill. We can't go on like this.

‘We need a healthy democracy that works for all of us and not just a powerful few. POWER2010 exists to help create it. It gives you the chance to have your say on how our democracy works so that together we can change it for the better.

‘Do you want cleaner funding? Fairer voting? More accountability? You decide. Tell us your ideas for changing the way we run our country. Those with most support will become the POWER2010 Pledge and the focus for our national campaign at the next election.’

The plan is, by public vote, to identify the five key reforms that will change the way we do politics in this country. They will then attempt to ensure that every candidate standing for election backs these reforms so that the next Parliament delivers change.

English Votes on English Laws is one potential reform.

It is not, of course, an English Parliament, but it remedies the manifest injustice perpetuated by the current devolution settlement, which permits matters of (say) English health and English education to be determined by Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs while English MPs are denied any reciprocal legislative powers on those competences which have been devolved. This permits Gordon Brown, a Scottish MP, to legislate to his heart’s content on issues in England which will never affect his own constituents.

Gareth Young has outlined the case for voting for this reform, and Cranmer commends it to you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear! hear!

17 February 2010 at 09:50  
Blogger Lallands Peat Worrier said...

To quote Alex Salmond, "I refute any suggestion that England is not capable of self-government. I think England is a great nation and will govern itself extremely well."

Speaking as a fellow nationalist-leaning Scot, although chances are that I'd be out of political sympathy with the projects which would follow, nevertheless, it is high time we recognised that the people of England are able, willing and capable of ruling themselves.

17 February 2010 at 10:24  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

Being a mongrel, your communicant approaches constitutional issues from a British perspective. It is rarely possible to turn back the clock in human affairs, and Britain as it is today and was pre-Blair is living proof that the past is indeed another country. So what is needed now?

1)Uncompromised Sovereignty. Achieved by an immediate withdrawal from the EU enabling a future British parliament to enact its own laws without any reference to Brussels.
2)A federal constitutional structure. The constituent nations of the British Isles should all have their own regional parliaments giving Home Rule. Regional competencies are policing, health, education and local government. There would need to be a national school curriculum. The national government deals with finance, defence and foreign affairs. Revenues, say the entire take from VAT, need to be granted to the regions so that there is a single tax system and no regional taxes.
3) A national parliament must to be established on a new site away from the Palace of Westminster which becomes the English parliament.
4) An elected upper house, still called the House of Lords, is an essential counter to the tyranny of the Commons and there are a number of models to follow. Essentially the role of the Lords is to represent the regions, and each region has the same number of Lords irrespective of population. Existing peers have the right to stand for any parliament.
5)There is a written constitution. Certain key parts of the constitution can only be changed by national referendum.
6)The Queen is head of state.

In essence this arrangement is a conspiracy against England which is the hegemonial power within the British Isles. But the relationship between England and the Celtic Fringe is symbiotic, a fact rarely understood within the Home Counties.

England would benefit by an end to the Scottish gerrymander, which has entrenched Labour and allows a relatively small part of the UK to corruptly dominate the majority. Introducing an English parliament by itself will not be enough. A new grand bargain needs to be struck.

17 February 2010 at 10:44  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

YG I hate to dispel your optimism on this very worth campaign, but it will founder I believe, on the powerful politcal consensus of the three main parties to protect the EU hegemony which reigns supreme in our political system.
Until that is broken the status quo of what is in effect a one party state (the EU Lib/lab/con) will continue.
For anybody interested in finding out just how this consensus is maintained to the denial of true democracy then visit:

and view Theo Chalmer's interview with David Noakes.
Its all there !

17 February 2010 at 10:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would not prevent a Scottish MP [Gordon Brown] imposing policies and laws onto England, which did not affect Scotland [top up fees, etc]. Parliament operates on the whip, not on what is best for the country, or constituency.

We've had MPs from Scotland in charge of English portfolios - Health, Law, Education. So they can formulate policy, but not vote on them can they?

How about the new civil servants, working in a department to decide which laws are only English?

What about a Scottish Speaker having to decide what is English only? Do you think Martin would have behaved fairly?

How much time will be wasted on this? Parliament would grind to halt. It would only need a few trouble makers to constantly query what is and what isn't English only.

NOTHING is Enlgish only, as long as the Barnett Formula is in existence. MPs know that. So should you.

Only and English Parliament with equal power to the Scottish Parliament will be fair and workable. What kind of fool would deny equal access to democracy for each of us in the UK?

17 February 2010 at 11:02  
Anonymous He's Spartacus said...

Forget the referendum on the Euro.

It should be a straight in or out.

17 February 2010 at 11:07  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

Only a unitary (as before Blair) or a federal system will ensure equality for each of the constituent countries of Britain . Until then we are left , as usual , with Labour's temporary solutions designed to give temporary advantage to itself .

bluedog is a bit strong , though , in saying "the Scottish gerrymander" . The Labour Party has had a majority of English seats since 1997 allowing it to govern even without its Scottish MPs .

It is definitely England that needs to change and take charge of its own fate .

Labour has already found out that it doesn't own Scotland . Shortly , I hope , England will disillusion it further .

17 February 2010 at 11:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labour hope to get power again, by changing the voting system and maximising its Scottish votes to ruler over England once more - and this, when Scotland had the cheek to elect totally separate national government. They thought Scottish Labour were good enough for England, but not for them!!

17 February 2010 at 11:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I agree with Gareth Young’s argument. The West Lothian question needs resolution. For the current arrangement is unsatisfactory in that, as you point out, MPs from Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are at liberty to vote on exclusively English matters; the implication being at worst that they might vote for negative measures upon English matters and vote for positive measures on Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish matters. But if that is the case then it reveals how deeply the ethic of nationalism (rather than patriotism) dominates our country’s national affairs.

Let us take this analysis further. What if northern English MPs voted on matters that were exclusively related to the south east? What then?

Our country, by embarking on the devolutionary process brought to the fore an unintended consequence: raising nationalism as a legitimate ethic rather than unionism. Nationalism (as in devolution) is a force that is destructive of the nation-state (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). With the collapse of Judaeo-Christianity (shared historically) the vacuum had to be filled by some ethic (as nature abhors a vacuum).

The philosopher Roger Scruton said ‘the nation-state has been the greatest guarantor of freedom in the modern world, precisely because it establishes a territorial, rather than a religious [or nationalist], jurisdiction. It is this that enables the nation-state [Great Britain and Northern Ireland] to treat citizenship, rather than creed [or nationalism], as the criterion of membership, and that enables it to adjudicate conflicts between people of different faiths [or nationalisms].’

Taking devolutionary nationalism to its logical conclusion means: Scotland for the Scots and Scots for Scotland (for example). That, in the end, will not secure: freedom, security and liberty.

The failure of our political thinkers not to have made and expressed in clear terms the difference between patriotism versus nationalism has meant that our politicians did not have full knowledge in selecting which route to go down and foreseeing its consequences: disunity. A house divided cannot stand.

Of course, this view needs further intellectual development.

17 February 2010 at 11:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Salmond and the Scottish poster who says we should be able to govern ourselves in England - of course we can. It is the Scots, Welsh & NIrish who are not able to let go of the waning Empire. And I mean the policiticians, when I point to those nations. The people are just as much pawns as the English, when it comes to politicians wanting to continue riding the British gravy train. They'll trample over us and smear anyone in their way, to cling onto power.

Democracy counts for nothing when power and wealth are there for the taking. Just look to Westminster and smell the stench from the Scots, Welsh, Irish and British for evidence of that. I leave out English, because MPs are not elected on an English ticket, but on a British one. Their deeds and words are evidence enough of that.

Why are we still paying the Celtic fringes the same money as MPs elected in England, and who have to do constituency work? 85% of the work in Parliament is to do with England. They wanted devolution - we shouldn't have to pay them extortionate and unearned fees for it as well.

17 February 2010 at 11:51  
Anonymous Andy: said...

English votes on English laws;

So what is the point in having Scots and Welsh MPs in Westminster? Will they have thier pay reduced for the minute amount of work they would do?

Who will decide which English policies that are debated? An English parliament would govern England for the English they would have to look at inequalities like the Barnett formula. Westminster wouldnt touch this policy with a bargepole.
The MPS who represent England will still follow a British party agenda.

If we are going to go down this line then why is it not good enough for the Scots and Welsh MPs in Westminster. Let them decide Scots and Welsh policies.

This English votes is just an attempt to keep the sponging Westminster MPs in thier second homes and in some form of power.

This idea should be binned and ONLY a full English parliament considered acceptable. If you are prepared to accept less than perhaps 'some' in England are not able to govern themself.

This election should be amusing as it is a perfect time to highlight that when politicians are discussing British policies they are actually only addressing England.

But Im sure few bloggers will bother.

17 February 2010 at 11:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

English independence is the only way forward.

17 February 2010 at 12:02  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Lets have a referendum Your Grace as to whether the Scots and the Welsh want to stay in a Union with England or whether the English want to stay in a Union with Scotland or Wales.

I have now no problems about England going it alone. It would reduce the chance of another Labour Government for a start.

After the next election, Brown could be still in Government supported by Scottish Labour or Nationalist MPs.

By the Way Your Grace as its Ash Wednesday, may I wish you a happy Lent

17 February 2010 at 12:14  
Blogger Witterings From Witney said...

Whilst Power 2010 and English Democrats have laudable aims, none of those aims will be achieved whilst this country remains a member of the EU!

First we come out, then we can have a discussion about the nuts and bolts of how we are to be governed.

Bear in mind that as it was the United Kingdom that joined, so it can only be the United Kingdom that resigns membership.

Power 2010 and organisations like the English Democrat are putting horse before cart.

17 February 2010 at 13:30  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Do I smell tea brewing?

17 February 2010 at 14:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You certainly do.

17 February 2010 at 15:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You English can have your parliament, independence even, and make the EU very happy. As for all you English moaning about us Scots and the (real) inequalities of the system, well, did you not put one over us when YOU ENGLISH (i.e. Blair) foisted the unspeakable Scottish parliament on us. We did not ask for it but since you offered it and the UK was in nothing to rave about anymore, we took it. But if you want the break up of the UK so be it...

17 February 2010 at 18:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish and the English stick together - the EU is going to finish us - all of us.

17 February 2010 at 18:50  
Blogger Oswin said...

D.Singh says ''Unless the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish and the English stick together - the EU is going to finish us - all of us.''

This is the case, exactly! As much as it seems merely reasonable for England handle her own affairs; I can't help but see this as yet another 'nail in the coffin' of the Union! Let us not break what ought not to be broken!

17 February 2010 at 20:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A house divided cannot stand.

17 February 2010 at 20:30  
Blogger Andy said...

Surely it's already divided? Does nobody listen to the pleas of Scots and Welsh nationalists? Is nobody concerned about the effect the West Lothian Question has on England? Using the EU as a bogeyman does not wash. England is big enough to govern itself either within or without the EU.

17 February 2010 at 23:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jolly Good Luck to England, we wish you well,but

we're keeping the oil.

18 February 2010 at 02:59  
Blogger adrian said...

More divide and conqEUr.

How are Ireland, Wales and Scotland devolved or 'independent' when 80% of BRITISH Laws are made in the EU.

the Proletarians obviously cant think more than one move deep, and the establishment knows this.

we are being carved up, divided and ruled.

18 February 2010 at 05:49  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Unfortunately ,i was informed by the 2010 campaign that a vote on the eussr was not possible since the issue did not reach the qualifiying level of 50%,and so was not included in the options,that was the reply that i recieved when i pointed out that without a referendum on the eussr ,all else is fantasy and a fruitless discussion,just who voted and why the eussr did not reach prominence is a mystery,since any-one interested in any of these issues should not be able to ignore the fact that the eussr is the lynch pin upon which everything else rests.Danemark and smelly.

18 February 2010 at 09:09  
Blogger Wyrdtimes said...

"Unless the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish and the English stick together - the EU is going to finish us - all of us."

Not so. In case you'd not noticed it's the British government that has sold us to the EU without our consent. The Scots and the Welsh are in general much more pro EU than the English. Recognition and representation for England is a great leap forward towards England getting out of the EU.

"Jolly Good Luck to England, we wish you well,but
we're keeping the oil."

Not sure what the Shetlanders will make of that in a post Union situation - I'd personally say that the case for Shetlands independence would win the day. Oh yes and lets that that maritime boundary set back to international norms and not favouring Scotland at England's expense as it currently is.

The English votes solution is unworkable but voting on the issues at Power2010 will at least keep the English question out in the open - something that none of the main parties want - that's good enough reason to vote for it I'd say.

Ultimately though I hope for the return of the English Parliament and the rebirth of England as a small peaceful independent nation.

18 February 2010 at 09:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, perhaps the logical conclusion of this is to have home rule all round. England should have her own Parliament in Winchester. Let the London Parliament deal with things like defence, foreign policy and social welfare?

18 February 2010 at 11:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you enjoy this blog: please donate £5 - to keep it going.

18 February 2010 at 16:43  
Anonymous GTGTWG said...

It's bullshit while we're stuck with the EU! Just more huffing and puffing until we get our backsides as far away from the EU as possible. And I agree, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland should stick together. Probably another organisation set up by LibLabConners.

19 February 2010 at 07:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Power2010 is not a serious organization. It is chaired by a Labour Peer (Blair's chum Lady Kennedy) and funded by the Lib/Dem supporting Rowntree Trust, of which it is a part. There seems to have been no Conservative involvement in this project with inevitable results. The list of so called 'experts' who were involved in the formulation are mostly of the left. All in all a waste of time and the next government should tell Power2010 to get stuffed.

19 February 2010 at 19:46  

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