Archive for October 2006

Has wonko been banned from Nick Robinson’s blog?

Nick Robinson’s blog on the BBC News website had some coverage of Boris getting himself into trouble.

I posted a couple of comments, one of them explaining what Boris meant to say about the Ignorant Jock not being suitable for Prime Minister and one of them debunking the oft-peddled myth that North Sea oil subsidises England.  Imagine my surprise today when I tried to post a comment explaining why the British Conservative government of the 80’s and 90’s governing North Britain with a minority is completely different to the post-devolution British Labour government governing England with a minority and was greeted by a message saying I wasn’t allowed to post comments!

Boris for PM!

Boris is in trouble again.  He’s committed the capital crime of suggesting that North British university students shouldn’t get free education courtesy of the English taxpayer.

The press are in a frenzy as Boris provides the only entertainment in an otherwise dull conference and people start demanding that he apologise for suggesting that North Britain is subsidised by the English.

Before I go on, a reminder of last years figures:
Scottish budget defecit – £11.3bn
North Sea oil receipts – £7bn
Net subsidy – £4.3bn

I hope Boris refuses to apologise.  He is speaking up for his constituents and his fellow countrymen.  He is merely echoing what more and more English people are saying themselves and for that he should be commended.  If he’s going to get criticised every time he speaks out about something that isn’t party policy then it’s about time he stood for the leadership because, to be honest, Cameron is a bloody liability.

Boris for Prime Minister!

Cameron pushes EVoEM

David Cameron has reiterated his belief that English MP’s should be the only ones allowed to decide on English legislation.

He’s got the right idea in principle but the wrong solution.  He is absolutely correct in saying that MP’s with constituencies outside of England should be barred from interfering in English matters in the same way that MP’s elected outside of England are barred from interfering in devolved matters in their own constituencies.  However, English Votes on English Matters (EVoEM) is a ridiculous and unworkable proposal.

The Campaign for an English Parliament has produced a critique on EVoEM and openly invited any and all Tories or supporters of the policy to come forward and explain how it will work.  Nobody has taken them up on this offer for the simple reason that EVoEM will not and can not work.

I really hope that EVoEM is a simple ploy to get Labour and Lib Dem MP’s to demand an English Parlaiament be set up to fix the massive constitutional and practical mess that EVoEM will cause because the alternative – that they think the policy will actually work – shows that the Tories are not only naive but bloody stupid.

First day of the West Midlands NO! campaign

Had some success resulting from the official launch of the West Midlands NO! campaign today.

A local MP called and offered to meet me, a couple of people have offered some support and it got a decent sized story in the Shropshire Star.

The Shropshire Star used quotes I’d given to a reporter at the London office of their sister publication, the Express and Star, this morning.  I’m quite a way outside the catchment area for the Express and Star so I haven’t been able to check it today to see if it got a mention there too.

It would be nice to build up a group of people from across the euroregion who can put a local perspective to the campaign.  If anyone is interested, please contact me.

Shropshire Star: Campaigners bid to halt city region plan

Campaigners bid to halt city region plan

By Sunita Patel

A campaign to halt regional government plans that will see Telford swallowed up into a West Midlands-wide city region dominated by Birmingham was launched today.

The West Midlands “No!” campaign is calling for a referendum on the issue. It follows the proposal for a Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country City Region to boost skills, transport and the economy.

But those opposed to the change claim people do not want it. They say it will have a negative impact on trade and industry in fringe areas not included within the new boundaries, which will be forced to compete against the city region for national and European funds.

All the local authorities involved, including Telford & Wrekin Council, were today urged to hold “binding referenda” on whether to join the city region “instead of making the decision privately behind closed doors”.

One of the campaign leaders, Stuart Parr, of Telford, said: “Nobody in the West Midlands has been elected to office on a manifesto of regionalisation and therefore nobody has a mandate to make such fundamental changes to local government in the West Midlands without first gaining the consent of the electorate via a referendum.

“Democracy is not a spectators sport. We want local people to have their say. We really don’t think there is any support for a city region.
“It is going to be a detriment to the rural parts of the region.

“It will take skills and money away from the rural sections of the West Midlands in Shropshire and Staffordshire that are not included and will have to compete against the city region for funding – places like Shrewsbury and parts of the Welsh borders.

“The north-east is the only region to hold a referendum on this issue and rejected an elected assembly with a 78 per cent “no” vote.

This year, Local Government Minister Phil Woolas said the Government favoured city regions run by elected mayors.

Shropshire Star: Gordon serves Scotland

Gordon serves Scotland

Gordon Brown launched his leadership campaign with a gushing Blair-hug and a lovely speech about how great Britain is going to be under a Brown premiership. The only problem is, nobody seems to want Gordon Brown as PM and pretty much everything he’s talked about changing is only relevant to England, not Britain. A poll conducted in Yorkshire asked the question whether Brown make a good Prime Minister with a simple yes/no option. Only three per cent of people thought he would – even Labour would struggle to put a positive spin on that result.Newsnight spoke to a sample of 30 Labour voters ranging from swing voters to Labour Party activists about what they thought of Gordon Brown as their leader and most people objected to him because he is old, deceitful and Scottish.

Of course, any suggestion that Gordon Brown shouldn’t be Prime Minister because he is Scottish is denounced as racist and Gordon is keen to show us all that while he is a die-hard Scot he is also British so there’s no problem there.

Except there is because the issue is not with his nationality, it is with the constituency he was elected to represent.

When the people of Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath elected Gordon Brown, they didn’t elect him on the basis of his policies on the English NHS, English schools or English emergency services.

They elected him to represent their interests in the British parliament on those matters that are not devolved to the Scottish Parliament and that list is a very small one.

Stuart Parr, Telford

St George or Shakespeare?

Patricia Hewitt and John Reid have suggested that England should have a national Shakespeare day just like North Britain‘s Burns Night.

They’ve suggested April 23rd as a suitable date which, coincidently, is the date of St Georges Day.

So, if the British government are happy to have April 23rd as a special occassion to celebrate Shakespeare then why can’t it be a special occassion for St George?  Simple really.  St George and the St George’s Cross are both symbols that bind the English together and as far as the Scottish Raj are concerned, England is a group of 9 regions.

This is cultural genocide.