Yesterday the people of Northern Ireland went to the polls to elect assembly members for the Stormont Assembly.
The DUP, under Reverend Ian Paisley, has taken the majority of votes with
The IRA Sinn Féin in a fairly close second place.
All parties involved in the Northern Ireland Assembly have until the 25th of March to come to an agreement on power sharing or devolution won’t happen. At least that’s what Tory Bliar has told them but there is no way in the world that the British government are going to go back on their pledge to restore devolution to Northern Ireland.
So where does that leave us, the people of England? Well, it leaves us in precisely the same position that we currently find ourselves – the only nation in Federal Europe that has no direct political representation and the only part of the British Isles that doesn’t have its own government. Scotland has its Parliament, Wales and Northern Ireland have their Assemblies, the Isle of Man has its own Parliament (the oldest in the world apparently), the Channel Islands have their own Parlaiments – even the Scottish Isles have more say over what happens in their little corner of the world than we do with their Islands Council.
Liebour has pledged to restore devolution to Northern Ireland, they pledged to bring devolution to Wales and Scotland but all they’ve pledged for England is to continue the current racist, undemocratic system of asymetric devolution with England ruled directly by the British government. Of course, we’ve been offered devolution but with a big price to pay – the dissolution of England. The only offer of devolved power in England is in the form of regional government, either by Regional Assemblies or City Regions, but its a price too high for most people in this country.
John Major has criticised the way England is being robbed blind and discriminated against by the Scottish Raj but it’s too little too late – he had his chance to do something about it when he was in charge of the country but he chose to do nothing. Only now that it is looking increasingly like becoming the big election issue are the Tories looking to do something about it but even then they can’t bring themselves to give us what we want – an English Parliament.
Yesterday the Conservative MP for Dorset introduced the House of Commons (Participation) Bill which would have implemented the Tory policy of English Votes on English Legislation (EVoEL). The EVoEL proposal would allow the Speaker of the House of Commons (currently a Scottish Labour MP – well, you wouldn’t expect anything else from King Tony would you?) to certify that a bill only affects England and Wales and ban MP’s elected in Scotland and Northern Ireland from debating and voting on it. The bill was opposed and didn’t get a second reading with most opposition coming from what the Daily Mail describes as “hostile, mainly Scottish, MP’s”. The fact that MP’s elected in Scotland are even allowed, let alone have the bare-faced gall, to take part in a debate on whether it is right that they should be allowed to interfere in English legislation only serves to emphasise the ridiculous mess that Liebour have made of devolution.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a supporter of EVoEL – it is an inherently fauly concept and will solve nothing – but it is at least an acknowledgement that there is a problem that needs addressing and should it ever miraculously get passed into the statute books it will fall on its face spectacularly and the only solution will be to introduce an English Parliament.