Smash some pumpkins … or whatever.
Smash some pumpkins … or whatever.
The co-founder of the Weather Channel has said that man-made climate change is “no longer scientifically credible”.
John Coleman says:
The ocean is not rising significantly.
The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.
Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).
I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.
There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future.
Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed.
There has been no warming over 18 years.
Princeton University climatologist, William Happer, supports Coleman’s comments:
No chemical compound in the atmosphere has a worse reputation than CO2, thanks to the single-minded demonisation of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control and energy production.
The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.
The global warming scam has made a lot of “scientists” very rich, not to mention the politicians and scaremongers who have promoted the scam to get rich off their “green” investments. Authoritarian politicians have seized on global warming as a way of extracting more taxes out of us and controlling more of our lives. Smart meters are being installed in millions of homes and it’s only a matter of time before a law is passed to make these government-controlled remote control kill switches mandatory. It has always been about greed and power and those that are benefiting from it won’t give up that power and wealth willingly.
Obviously I’m disappointed that the Scots threw away their once in a lifetime chance of independence yesterday but they’ve had their chance and wasted it. Now it’s our turn to sort out our country.
Cameron, Clegg and Miliband have promised the world to Scotland but they can’t make good those promises without putting it to the British parliament and it’s not going to go smoothly. There are MPs demanding an English Parliament and others demanding English votes on English laws. Cameron has promised to ban Scottish MPs from voting on English laws (even though it won’t work – more on that in a moment), Miliband has ruled out anything that will prevent Labour from using their Scottish MPs from passing laws in England and Clegg will only support the recommendation of the McKay Commission which was to change nothing except add an extra stage in the legislative process so English MPs can make their views known. Both Miliband and Clegg only want power devolved to “city regions”.
It is an absolute disgrace that all three leaders of the old parties have happily promised to give the Scottish government extensive new powers but none of them will entertain the idea of an English Parliament. Cameron thinks we should accept a half-arsed fudge that won’t even work whilst Clegg and Miliband think that not only should we accept a half-arsed fudge but unless we live in a city or its suburbs we should accept the sum total of nothing.
English votes on English matters won’t work because anything that costs money will mean Scottish MPs can claim an interest in it because it affects the amount of money available for Scotland. It would change nothing other than dragging out the legislative process in England and delaying the inevitable implementation of an English Parliament unnecessarily. So as it’s got to happen and the British nationalists will try everything they can to prevent it from happening, let’s dispel the myths that they will be using to argue against it.
The most common argument is that it would increase the number of layers of government, increase the number of politicians and cost the taxpayer more money. This simply isn’t the case. We currently have three layers of government in England – local government, House of Commons and House of Lords. By replacing the House of Lords with a federal British Parliament and replacing the House of Commons with an English Parliament we would still have three layers of government. By doing away with the House of Lords we would cut 775 politicians in one fell swoop. By reducing the number of British MPs from 650 to 200 given that three quarters of their job would be done by someone else we would cut another 450 politicians. An English Parliament would need about 400 members so that gives us a net reduction of 825 politicians. According to a paper written by Christopher Gill when he was a Conservative MP, that would save around £250m adjusted for inflation and MP pay rises. For the numerically challenged, here’s a helpful graph:
Another common argument is that England is too big and that it wouldn’t really bring decision making any closer to the people. This is probably their strongest argument but it’s easily countered. In a geographical sense it doesn’t bring decision making that much closer but democratically it does. At the moment MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can make decisions affecting only England which they have no say on in their own constituencies because it’s a devolved matter. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish people have given their British MPs a mandate on reserved matters – those things that their own devolved governments don’t have any power over. British MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have no mandate to interfere with the NHS, environment, transport, etc. in England An English Parliament would only have members elected in England to represent England. A committee of British MPs elected in England voting on British laws for England isn’t the same as an English Parliament with members elected in England to make English laws for England. The sky fairy worshippers realised two thousand years ago that no man can serve two masters – it’s in the bible – so why can’t British nationalists see it?
Let me address the point about bringing decision making not being closer to the people at the same time as the vacuous argument that an English Parliament would break up the union and play into the hands of the EU at the same time. There is an absolutely valid argument that devolving decision making to a local level – be it regional, county or local authority – would improve accountability and decision making. I would envisage an English Parliament devolving power to a local level once the transfer of powers from the British government has taken place. It’s an important distinction that power is devolved from an English government to a local level and not from the British government because local government in England should be subordinate to the English government, not the British government. It’s also important that England has a national government to keep the country together in the face of constant pressure from the British establishment and the EU to break it up into regions and to be able to compete on the global stage in a way that a Birmingham city region or the north east of England couldn’t.
Another argument that will be used against an English Parliament is that England is too big to have a federation with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will argue that there are no examples of a federation working with one member bigger than all the others put together and that England will dominate the union because of its size. There are three key points to address in that argument. Firstly, it is correct that there are no examples of federations with a mismatch in size that you would see in the UK because it’s never been tried. That also means there are no examples of federations with such a mismatch in size not working. There was no evidence that eating mouldy bread could cure diseases or that if you sailed far enough east you would end up where you started rather than falling off the edge of the world until someone tried it. Secondly, the size of England is irrelevant when it comes to devolved matters because they’re devolved. If they were relevant to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they wouldn’t be devolved. Finally, England should dominate the union. Not to the detriment of the rest of the UK but the needs and priorities of 85% of the population should carry more weight than those of 15%.
One of the arguments that MPs like to use to dismiss an English Parliament – especially MPs elected in Scotland – is that it would create a two tier of MPs. They say that if Scottish MPs can’t vote on all legislation then they would be second class MPs and all MPs should be equal. But there is already a two tier system – British MPs elected in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can’t vote on devolved matters in their own constituencies, only in England. MPs elected in England can vote on all legislation in their own constituencies, including things that are devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
English vote on English laws simply cannot work and the only way to address the inequality that seriously threatens the union is to create a devolved English Parliament with at least the same powers as the Scottish Parliament. Why should we accept an inadequate, unworkable compromise instead of equality?
The English Commonwealth campaign has set up a petition for an English Constitutional Convention to let the people of England determine the form of government best suited to their needs. I would strongly urge you to sign it.
The Scots go to the polls tomorrow to vote on their independence and the polls are all too close to call it either way.
There’s just 2-4% between the yes and no camp in the polls with a 3% margin of error and 4-8% undecided. It’s going to come down to which side the don’t knows plump for tomorrow and which side is most motivated to go out and vote on the day. A distrust of the postal voting system rife with fraud will probably result in more yes voters preferring to vote in person tomorrow and physically casting your ballot in a polling station feels more real, like you’re actually taking part and not going through the motions. The yes camp have probably got the edge on the no camp when it comes to motivation.
Many promises have been made by Cameron, Clegg and Miliband to give more power and money to Scotland, including agreeing to Gordon Brown’s three demands for more money and influence for Scotland in the event of a no vote. The problem is, none of them have the power to deliver those promises. They can make personal pledges and even declare them to be party policy but there’s a general election in less than 8 months and MPs representing English constituencies are getting a little uneasy about how far the English can be pushed before it starts inflicting damage on them at the ballot box. One Tory MP has promised a “bloodbath” when the new powers Cameron has promised for Scotland are up for debate in the British parliament. More people than ever are demanding an English Parliament and expressing their disgust at the unfair treatment of England. There are votes in supporting equality for England and MPs in England will be doing their sums and wondering if they can afford not to support an English Parliament.
I would like to implore our neighbours north of the border to do the right thing and vote for independence. If you vote no you won’t get another chance for a couple of decades at least. When you find out that the promises that have been made are empty and you won’t be allowed to have your cake and eat it if you vote to stay in the union it’ll be too late to do anything about it. There’s no point staying in a loveless marriage for the sake of the children, it’s best to part on good terms before it turns completely sour. This is the only chance you’re going to get of getting independence, don’t fuck it up.
Gordon Brown might not bother going to vote in the British Parliament more than a few times a year since he lost the last election but he’s still capable of screwing England over. Today he made the following demands for the British nationalist parties to sign up to before Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum:
- A permanent role for Scotland in the evolution of the UK
- A guarantee of "fairness"
- A guarantee that the Barnett formula will survive and Scotland will be able to raise taxes to protect spending on the NHS if necessary
I didn’t think it was possible for Gordon Brown to be any more offensive or detached from reality than he has been over the last few years but he’s really excelled himself. We didn’t vote for him, we don’t want him yet he still pokes his nose into English affairs (or “the regions” as he calls England) making demands for his beloved Scotland.
English people have had no input whatsoever into the promises the British government have made to give Scotland extra powers if they vote no so why should Scotland have any influence over how England is run? And why should the Barnett Formula – an arbitrary, temporary way of giving Scotland extra money drawn up on the back of a fag packet in the 70s – be guaranteed forever? It isn’t based on need, it’s based on greed; the irrational belief that the Scots are entitled to a share of England’s wealth just because they want it.
Gordon Brown signed the Scottish Claim of Right in 1989, promising to put the interests of the Scottish people first and foremost in everything he did. He honoured that promise throughout his tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer, during his brief but destructive stint as Prime Minister and he’s still honouring it now.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet. Smile at us, pay us, pass us by. But never forget.
RBS and Lloyds have both said that if Scotland declares independence, they will move their registered offices to England.
The British nationalists have seized on this as a reason to vote no to independence but actually, what problem does this cause? Lloyds is already headquartered in London but employees a disproportionate number of staff in Scotland. RBS has relocated a large number of jobs from England to Scotland since the English taxpayer bailed them out. Both banks have restated their commitment to keeping as much of their operations as is possible in Scotland regardless of where their registered offices are.
Both banks have cited currency and credit rating uncertainty in their decision to move their registration to England if Scotland declares independence but both have omitted to mention the real reason: EU law says that they have to have their registered office in the country in which they do the majority of their business and that’s England for both banks. If RBS and Lloyds want a UK banking licence they’ll have to comply with EU banking law and that means registering in England. If they didn’t move their registered office to England and Scotland joined the EU then they would have to move their registered office to England to comply with EU banking law.
I don’t doubt that both banks are concerned about the implications of a Scottish currency and the impact on credit ratings but as most of their holdings would be held in sterling and most of their business transacted in the rump UK it shouldn’t really make that much difference but again, EU banking law requires them to be risk averse. The fact that both banks are part-owned by the British Treasury undoubtedly comes with a heap of pressure from the British government to support their position.
The bottom line is, if RBS and Lloyds move their registered offices to England it will have no real effect on Scotland. The number of Scottish jobs are almost certain to remain the same, as is the rate of job transfers from England to Scotland.
David Cameron is flying the Scottish flag over Downing Street until after the Scottish independence referendum to show them that they are the only thing of importance to him.
This is just getting ridiculous now, it’s like England doesn’t even exist. Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and the rest of the British establishment are entirely consumed by the Scots and their independence referendum and seem to think that they are the only people that matter. What about us? What about what we want?
I don’t want the Scottish flag over Downing Street. I don’t want the British flag over it either. I want the Cross of St George flying from that pole as the residence of the Prime Minister of an independent England.
I’d like to thank the guys at the company that hosts my website, Runtime UK, for all the work they put in to recovering the database behind it that I accidentally deleted on Sunday evening.
They put in many hours of hard work recovering a database that wasn’t even supposed to be backed up so I didn’t lose the years of material that not only has great sentimental value but also goes some way to charting the history of English nationalism and the (small “c”) campaign for an English Parliament over the last decade for which I am extremely grateful. They even identified a dodgy Ajax script that was destroying the performance of the website to the extent that Google emailed me to tell me there was something wrong with it. This is why it’s worth paying for a good service from a local company instead of the cheapest offering from a faceless corporation. Would the likes of 1&1 or GoDaddy have gone to those lengths to help me? Not a chance.
So thank you Andy and Phill for your hard work and anyone else at Runtime who was involved in my minor (self inflicted) disaster, the doughnuts are on me.
A YouGov poll released Saturday night is the first to show a majority yes vote for the Scottish independence referendum. A further poll by TNS-BRMB has it at 50/50.
The YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found a statistically negligible 2% lead for the yes camp which means that the referendum could go either way. It was enough to prompt yet another promise of more devolution of powers to the Scottish government from the Brits though with a pledge to hold another Scottish Constitutional Convention to decide what extra powers the Scots want if they vote no over and above the extensive new powers already promised to them by the British government.
If the Scots vote no on September 18th the union is done for. The democratic deficit in England will turn into a huge democratic gulf with Scotland having all the benefits of independence with none of the responsibilities and England still the only country in Europe with no representative national government under a British government so consumed with pandering to the rebellious Scots that they have forgotten we even exist. The people of England are finally seeing that England means nothing to the British, we’re just there to make up the numbers and pay the bills. Giving Scotland yet more powers on top of the extra powers they’re being bribed with to stay in the union whilst refusing to even acknowledge that England has wants and needs is one insult too many.
I’m glad the yes camp is in the lead and I hope with all my heart that the lead increases in the run-up to the election and that the Scots vote for independence on the day. With a bit of luck that will precipitate the end of the union and the return of democracy to England.
Tucked away on the BBC News website is a video mentioning the results of the Future of England Survey conducted by the Universities of Cardiff and Edinburgh for YouGov.
With the Scottish independence referendum a month away you’d thing a poll on English attitudes to devolution, independence and the relationship between Scotland and England after the referendum would be major news but no, it’s hidden away in the video “features” section. I can’t find an actual article about the poll at all, just this video which is using a new interactive video format the BBC are trialling which doesn’t work on mobiles or in Internet Explorer, thus limiting the already limited prospective audience who watch video even further.
The findings of this survey are very interesting and as far as I’m aware it’s the only survey of English opinions on the subject of Scottish independence and English governance that have been carried out during the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.
- English Identity
- What if Scotland votes yes?
- What if Scotland votes NO?
- English governance
|Which, if any, of the following best describes the way you think of yourself?|
|English not British||11|
|More English than British||20|
|Equally English and British||41|
|More British than English||12|
|British not English||6|
|Recently, people in England have become more aware of English national identity|
|Tend to agree||34|
|Neither agree nor disagree||27|
|Tend to disagree||16|
|Should Scotland be an independent country?|
|Should England be an independent country?|
|An independent Scotland should be able to continue to use the pound|
|Tend to agree||14|
|Neither agree nor disagree||15|
|Tend to disagree||18|
|People should be able to travel between England and Scotland without passport checks|
|Tend to agree||24|
|Neither agree nor disagree||11|
|Tend to disagree||6|
|The rest of the UK should support Scotland in applying to join international organisations, like the EU and NATO|
|Tend to agree||17|
|Neither agree nor disagree||26|
|Tend to disagree||16|
|The UK’s standing in the world will be diminished|
|Tend to agree||27|
|Neither agree nor disagree||24|
|Tend to disagree||19|
|Relations between England and Scotland will improve|
|Tend to agree||7|
|Neither agree nor disagree||26|
|Tend to disagree||35|
|The Scottish Parliament should be given control over the majority of taxes raised in Scotland|
|Tend to agree||31|
|Neither agree nor disagree||21|
|Tend to disagree||17|
|The Scottish parliament should be given the power to decide its own policies on welfare benefits|
|Tend to agree||29|
|Neither agree nor disagree||22|
|Tend to disagree||17|
|Would you say that compared with other parts of the UK, each of these gets pretty much their fair share of government spending, more than their fair share, or less than their fair share?|
|Gets their fair share||25|
|Gets more than their fair share||8|
|Gets less than their fair share||31|
|Gets their fair share||20|
|Gets more than their fair share||38|
|Gets less than their fair share||4|
|Levels of public spending in Scotland should be reduced to the levels in the rest of the UK|
|Tend to agree||31|
|Neither agree nor disagree||21|
|Tend to disagree||6|
|Scottish MPs should be prevented from voting on laws that apply only to England|
|Tend to agree||27|
|Neither agree nor disagree||15|
|Tend to disagree||9|
|With all the changes going on in the way different parts of the United Kingdom are run, which of the following do you think would be best for England?|
|For England to be governed as it is now with laws made by all MPs in the UK Parliament||18|
|For England to be governed with laws made by English MPs in the UK Parliament||40|
|For each region of England to have its own assembly||9|
|For England as a whole to have its own new English parliament with law-making powers||16|
|Thinking about possible arrangements for making laws for England two options are often mentioned. If you had to choose which ONE would you prefer?|
|For England to be governed with laws made solely by English MPs in the UK Parliament||36|
|For England to be governed with laws made solely by English MPs in the UK Parliament||25|
|Keep things as they are at present||22|
|A Secretary of State for England in the UK cabinet|
|Tend to agree||31|
|Neither agree nor disagree||23|
|Tend to disagree||7|
|UK government ministers for each of the regions of England|
|Tend to agree||33|
|Neither agree nor disagree||22|
|Tend to disagree||10|
|An English Parliament|
|Tend to agree||28|
|Neither agree nor disagree||20|
|Tend to disagree||9|
|Changing the rules in parliament, so that only English MPs can vote on laws that would apply only in England|
|Tend to agree||29|
|Neither agree nor disagree||14|
|Tend to disagree||5|
|England and Scotland will still continue to drift apart|
|Tend to agree||29|
|Neither agree nor disagree||29|
|Tend to disagree||17|
There is clear support here for preventing MPs not elected in England from voting on English laws and for cutting the amount of taxpayers’ money Scotland gets so England gets its fair share. Most people want to keep open borders with an independent Scotland but don’t think they should be allowed to keep the pound. The majority are in favour of Scotland getting more powers over taxation and benefits spending and think England should have its own parliament. Over half think each English euroregion should have its own UK government minister but less than 1 in 10 think England should have regional government.
So, if the UK was a truly representative democracy with a government that listened to what people wanted and acted on it we would have a devolved English Parliament with a Secretary of State for England in the British government along with a minister for each English euroregion and the £11bn or so subsidy that’s given to Scotland would be abolished and shared equally with England. What we have instead is an ever increasing bill for Scotland’s profligate spending, MPs elected in Scotland making laws that only affect England, no English government of any sort and a sustained campaign to break England up into artificial regions.
There has been very little coverage of next month’s Scottish independence vote down here in England (much like the Scottish devolution vote in 1997 actually) and what media coverage there has been from a purely Scottish viewpoint. So what does it mean for England?
The important thing to remember is that a No vote in Scotland will be a disaster for England. I don’t mean because Scotland will continue to drain English taxes to pay for their unsustainable public spending and prolong the forced marriage for at least another 50 years but because it will lead to a widening of the democratic deficit in England and we won’t get another chance in our lifetime to finally put the union out to pasture with all the other anachronistic supranational bureaucracies that have expired in recent years.
The British government have already promised extensive new powers to the Scottish Parliament in the event that they vote No on 18th September. They’re getting even more tax raising powers to go with the ones they haven’t bothered to use for the last 17 years and they’re getting some powers over the Scottish benefits system. All three Scottish LibLabCon parties have signed a declaration promising more powers for Scotland and reiterating their commitment to a strong and powerful Scottish Parliament:
We support a strong Scottish Parliament in a strong United Kingdom and we support the further strengthening of the parliament’s powers.
The Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have each produced our own visions of the new powers which the Scottish Parliament needs.
We shall put those visions before the Scottish people at the next general election and all three parties guarantee to start delivering more powers for the Scottish Parliament as swiftly as possible in 2015.
This commitment will deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament in a stronger United Kingdom.
The British Labour, British Conservative & Unionist and British Lib Dem parties have no vision for England other than taking powers off local authorities and giving them to unaccountable, ineffectual regional and sub-regional quangos. There is no intention of recognising and respecting the sovereign right of the English people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs.
The British nationalist Better Together campaign is only interested in making the case for the union in Scotland and only Scottish politicians have been allowed to front it – Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, John Reid, David Cameron, Michael Gove. UKIP wanted to join the Better Together campaign but was refused because it isn’t a Scottish political party. No irony there. Better Together might be headed up by British nationalists but it isn’t about British interests, it’s about Scottish interests. Scotland gets the best of both worlds as they say on their website – they can spend money without worrying about where it comes from and make decisions without having to worry about the costs or implications because if it goes wrong it’s always London’s fault for not giving them more money.
Here are the facts about the Scottish independence vote that an English person needs to know:
Scottish independence doesn’t mean the end of the UK. If you’re English and a unionist you can take comfort from the fact that the British union will continue to exist if the Scots declare independence, just the same as it did after the Irish Free State left the union in 1937. If you’re English and want an end to the British union then bad luck, Scottish independence isn’t the silver bullet for the union.
Scottish independence won’t turn Westminster into an English Parliament. The British Parliament will continue to be the British Parliament for as long as the UK exists. The British Parliament was still the British Parliament after Irish independence and it would continue to be so after Scottish independence.
Scottish independence won’t make an English Parliament inevitable. If there was a slim chance of England getting a devolved government with Scotland in the union there’s bugger all chance of it happening without Scotland. England currently comprises 85% of the population of the UK which is one of the excuses the British use to argue that we don’t need an English Parliament. Without Scotland it would be over 90% of the population, making it even harder to sell the benefits of an English Parliament.
A No vote won’t make an English Parliament inevitable. The run-up to the Scottish independence vote has been all about Scotland and whatever the result, it’s all going to be about Scotland afterwards. A fair and democratic settlement for England isn’t going to register. the Brits will be too busy negotiating Scotland’s departure from the union or slapping each other on the backs for their “victory” in securing a No vote.
The UK’s international standing won’t be diminished without Scotland. Most people won’t even notice the difference either here or abroad. The UK would retain its membership of all the international bodies it is a member of, all treaties would remain in force and the UK would still be the sixth largest economy in the world by GDP. The UK’s economic power and international standing comes from England, not Scotland or even from Britain.
You won’t need a passport to go to Scotland. You can travel to the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands without a passport so there’s no reason why you should need a passport to travel to Scotland if they become independent.
Your Scottish friends and relatives are already foreign. They might be British by law but they’re Scottish. Does it matter? If Scotland votes for independence and a Scot wanted to stay “British” then they could move from Scotland to the rump of the UK. If they don’t want to because they want to live in Scotland then they need to make their mind up whether they’re Scottish or British.
Scotland can continue using the pound. It doesn’t matter whether the British government says they can or not, they can use whatever currency they want if they declare independence. A large number of countries use another country’s currency either alongside its own domestic currency or as legal tender in that country. An independent Scotland can choose to adopt the pound as legal tender and there’s nothing the British government can do to stop them.
England would benefit economically from Scottish independence. It costs over £11bn a year to subsidise Scottish public services and that bill is paid by the English taxpayer. The Scottish nationalists think that north sea oil and gas tax receipts cover that bill and claim that they have in fact been subsidising the UK’s spending for decades. It’s nonsense but that’s Scotland’s problem not ours. Just removing the burden of subsidising Scotland’s profligate spending would give the English and rump British economy a boost.
Scottish independence would help eurosceptics. Scotland is by far the most europhile part of the UK and their views skew public opinion which in England is very much eurosceptic. If a referendum was ever held on our membership of the EU then Scotland could well swing it in favour of staying in. Scotland also votes almost exclusively for openly europhile British MPs – with the exception of the one EU reformist Tory, all the British MPs in Scotland are Labour, Lib Dem or SNP and openly in favour of ever closer union.
The British flag won’t change. It didn’t change when the Irish Free State declared independence so why would it change if Scotland declared independence? If you like the BNP logo then don’t worry, it doesn’t need to change.
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately.
Depart, I say; and let us have done with you.
In the name of God, go!
I’ve seen the sad news today that Andrew Ian Dodge passed away on Friday after losing his second battle with cancer.
Andrew was a seasoned campaigner who couldn’t help but try and right any wrongs he came to know of. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and his desire to effect change led him to stand for election as Senator for Maine for the Libertarian Party.
Andrew was a supporter of an English Parliament, a eurosceptic, a prolific blogger and a rock/metal fan. We had a lot in common!
We’re most of the way through day 9 of the Commonwealth Games and England are leaving the opposition for dust.
For a couple of days England and Australia were leapfrogging each other at the top of the table but England have pulled well into the lead with 43 gold medals to Australia’s 36.
Here are the all important standings for the home nations.
|Isle of Man||0||1||0|
Left Wing think tank, Unlock Democracy, recently ran a survey on what should go in a replacement Magna Carta. They didn’t want to know if people wanted a replacement Magna Carta of course because their raison d’être is to push for a new constitution written in a single document.
The thing is, we don’t need a new Magna Carta. All we need is for Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, the Bill of Rights and the other constitutional laws – the European Communities Act excepted, obviously – to be upheld by judges rather than dismissed out of hand to protect multi-billion pound state-controlled rackets like on the spot fines (illegal under the Bill of Rights) or unacceptable assaults on our constitutional rights such as restrictions to the right of trial by jury (illegal under Magna Carta) or internment (illegal under the Habeas Corpus Act).
We already have all the rights we need and any attempt to supersede these fundamental rights and freedoms with a modern bill of rights and responsibilities would put a heavy emphasis on responsibilities at the expense of some carefully worded and heavily caveated rights that would legitimise the illegal deprivation of our rights and freedoms perpetrated by successive British governments.
I’ll never get tired of hearing the words “And now the national anthem of England“.
England are topping the Commonwealth Games medals table at the moment with 16 golds, closely followed by Australia. But the important question is how are we doing against the rest of the British Isles? The answer is, we’re thrashing them!
|Isle of Man||0||1||0|
The BBC is asking “Why don’t the English want more power” in response to the Scottish independence referendum in defiance of the evidence that actually they do.
In an article promoting the balkanisation of England into artificial regions, they make the ridiculous claim that 19% of English people support regional government and only 15% support an English Parliament. Toque has been keeping tabs on English Parliament opinion polls since 2002 and not once has support for an English Parliament dipped that low – in fact, in a 2007 ICM opinion poll for the Telegraph 15% supported English independence. Are we to believe that just because people have stopped asking the question in the last year and a half, the support for an English Parliament that has consistently been between more than 50% and almost 70% depending on the question asked has suddenly nosedived to just 15%? That’s rubbish and the BBC know it which is why they’ve left it unsourced.
You can gauge the support for an English Parliament quite easily by just asking any random sample of people – your family, friends or work colleagues – whether they think England should have its own government like Scotland does and unless your circle of friends are ill-informed hardcore British nationalists, most of them will say yes.
The case for an English Parliament does need to be made again because there hasn’t been an effective campaign highlighting the issues and the solution since the Campaign for an English Parliament collapsed into a mere parody of itself a few years ago but support for an English Parliament is still high. Support for regionalisation is still low but increasing in Yorkshire and Cornwall where Labour and Mebyon Kernow respectively are peddling their divisive, anti-English politics.
The message for Yorkshire and Cornwall – and elsewhere in England for that matter – is that an English Parliament and regional devolution aren’t mutually exclusive. There is no reason why Cornwall or Yorkshire shouldn’t have an assembly of its own if that’s what the majority of people there want but that power has to be devolved democratically from an English government, not given away by the British government to frustrate the wishes of the English people. A Cornish Assembly or Yorkshire Assembly could never compete with the Scottish Parliament or Welsh or Northern Irish Assemblies let alone a G20 country but England in its own right would be a G8 country, one of the largest economies in the world. The British government won’t devolve meaningful power to a region and that’s one of the reasons why the regional assemblies were rejected by the electorate but a devolved English Parliament with greater autonomy for county or regional government under that English government could deliver local decision making where it’s more efficient or a national approach isn’t appropriate without breaking up England.
The message for the BBC is that we do want our country back and you can quote all the dodgy, unsourced statistics you want and give as many column inches to the regionalists as you like but you won’t change the facts. The majority of people in England want an English Parliament.
The British Minister for English Education, Michael Gove, has called for British values to actively promoted in English schools.
Gove says that promoting British values in English schools will stop the illegal indoctrination of children in schools run by Islamists and David Cameron thinks it’s a jolly good idea.
The British values that the British Minister for English Education says English children must be indoctrinated with are:
- How citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens
- An understanding that bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account by the people, through the democratic organs of government
- An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law, and an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- An understanding of the problems of identifying and combating discrimination
Now, let’s just examine these British values a little more closely from the perspective of an Englishman.
How citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
It wasn’t all that long ago that we had a British Prime Minister who was elected in Scotland with a cabinet stuffed full of MPs elected in Scotland spending roughly three quarters of their time making laws for England. Nobody in England could influence their decisions making because the British govern England directly from London. It’s also not all that long ago that we had Tony Blair’s former flatmate, the unelected Lord Chancellor England, Lord Charlie Falconer (a Scot, naturally) telling us that we would never be allowed to have an English Parliament. I also recall the murmurs of discontent when the big supermarkets in England went to Alistair Darling (who of course is only accountable to voters in Edinburgh) to ask for Sunday Trading laws to be abolished in England like they are in Scotland but he said no. I don’t think many people who take an interest in politics or the English question will ever forget that we only have university tuition fees and foundation hospitals in England because MPs elected in Scotland overturned the slim majority of MPs elected in England who voted against them. Nobody in England has any influence over those MPs elected in other countries or the unelected lords and bureaucrats that make laws for England. And don’t even get me started on the EU which makes 75% of our laws. Seriously, don’t.
An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens
This is an interesting one this. “If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear” is the rallying call of fascists and big state activists alike. The fact is, it’s virtually impossible not to break the law nowadays because there are just so many of the damn things and of course problematic people need only commit a minor offence to get them into the system and ruin their lives. The book “Taking Liberties” is getting a bit old now having been written (and turned into a film) during the despotic reign of Prince Tony but most of the oppressive laws and the abuses of our hard won rights and freedoms mentioned in the book are still in force and taking place now but they’ve become so commonplace now, nobody bats an eyelid. Remember the woman who was arrested under anti-terrorism laws for reading out the names of dead soldiers outside Downing Street? How about the man charged with terrorism offences for knowing somebody who was friends with someone suspected of terrorist offences, found innocent by a jury and then put under indefinite house arrest by the Home Secretary because the jury got the “wrong” answer? This is the law that supposedly protects us by essentially stripping us of the automatic right to liberty that we’ve had for centuries.
An understanding that bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account by the people, through the democratic organs of government
Another interesting one. How do we hold the police and army to account? The police force is now heavily politicised with the introduction of elected Police & Crime Commissioners which has put nominal control of most police forces in England into the hands of political parties. Since the Police & Crime Commissioners have been in charge have we seen an increase in accountability? No. Have we been asked what we think the police are doing wrong and what we want them to do better? No. Are people unhappy with them? Yes. There is a campaign to oust the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, to resign after bringing the police force into disrepute in an appearance on a TV documentary, the first youth crime commissioner she appointed resigned for making racist and homophobic comments on Twitter and the second youth crime commissioner she appointed was suspended just 3 months into the job for having an affair with a married police officer. She is refusing the stand down. As for what’s left of the army – how do we exercise any control over them? And more importantly, why should we be able to?
An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law, and an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
This is a good one because I bet the person who went to court arguing that it was religious discrimination for British Airways to allow Sikhs to wear a bangle but forcing her to remove her cross and lost doesn’t think that her religious beliefs are protected. When Muslim street patrols are out in force in Tower Hamlets abusing and threatening women who aren’t covered from head to toe and men who are drinking while the police turn a blind eye, how is that helping to prevent prejudice and discrimination? When the British government pressed ahead with legalising gay marriage in the full and certain knowledge that the EU courts would rule that it was discrimination for the established church to refuse to marry a gay couple despite it being contrary to their beliefs and teachings, how is that helping to protect the freedom of Christians to practice their religion?
An understanding of the problems of identifying and combating discrimination
This is great. Finally, our children are going to be told about the institutional discrimination against England that prevails throughout the British establishment. They’re going to be told about the British government refusing to allow the English a say on how their country is governed whilst allowing the Scots and Welsh devolved government. They’re going to be told how the British are breaking up England – starting with London and its regional assembly, then Cornwall and now a revival of the regional local government reorganisation that they planned with regional assemblies but are now targeting at cities. They’re going to be told that it’s morally wrong and unconstitutional for MPs elected in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to vote on laws that only affect England which are devolved in their own countries. They’re going to be shown the list of attendees of the British-Irish Council so they can see how England has less democratic representation on supranational bodies than the Channel Island, the Isle of Man and Cornwall. They’re going to be told about the laws that only affect England that MPs elected in England voted against but which became law anyway because MPs elected in Scotland voted for them. They’re going to be told about the Barnett Formula and the eye-watering sums of money that are given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to pay for superior public services. They’re going to be told about the life saving cancer treatments and cures for blindness that are freely available in Scotland thanks to the extra funding the Scottish NHS gets from the English taxpayer that we can’t have in England because there’s no money left to pay for them.
Except they won’t be told any of the above because of the British values they didn’t include in the list:
- The English are an inferior people
- There is no cost too great to keep the Scots and Welsh happy as long as the English are paying
- Englishness must be suppressed at all costs
- An English life is worth less than a Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish life
- War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, England is Britain
For years the BBC pursued a policy of denigrating England and suppressing any sense of English national pride or identity. They were eventually forced into changing their attitude towards England by a series of public embarrassments and criticisms that I’m proud to say I played a part in.
It seems that ITV have decided to fill the anti-English void left by the BBC directing marginally less hate towards England though. They have started conflating English and British like the BBC used to and promoting Britishness whilst portraying Englishness as something dirty an dangerous. Their coverage of England’s football matches this week shows the lengths they’ll go to to promote Britishness.
There were hundreds of English flags in the crowd in the game against Ecuador on Wednesday but ITV managed to find an English flag with a union flag in the corner that they zoomed in on while the British national anthem was played for the English team before panning round the England fans and finally finishing on the flag again but zoomed out so you could see the whole thing.
If it was an isolated incident you could dismiss it as crap camera work but it happened again tonight before the Honduras game – they managed to find what must have been the only union flag amongst the thousands of English flags in the crowd to zoom in on while they played the British national anthem again.
If I was a suspicious person I might wonder if we were being prepared for a rebranding of the English team bearing in mind FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s well known opposition to an English team, the British government’s desire for a British football team and the FA’s willingness to run the Team GB football team for the Olympics despite the very sensible opposition from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs. I don’t trust the FA, I don’t trust the British government and I don’t trust FIFA. There is more to this than meets the eye.