Tory MP Michael Fabricant has called for a new Act of Union to establish the principal of institutional discrimination against England in constitutional law.
Fabricant wants a new Act of Union which will ban British MPs elected in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from voting on devolved matters in England, only allowing British MPs elected in England to vote on them. This would make an English Parliament unconstitutional, explicitly denying equal rights for the people of England.
Mark Wallace, the executive editor of Conservative Home, has written an article Michael Fabricant is right, we must give political equality to England in which he explains how England shouldn’t be given equality by refusing to create an English Parliament with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament but should instead settle for the unworkable fudge that is English Votes on English Laws (EVoEL).
Wallace (who claims to be an avowed libertarian) is typical of the British nationalist Tories – opinion polls show that a majority of people want an English Parliament but because that’s not the Tory way of thinking it has to be opposed. That’s certainly not libertarian thinking.
The Scottish Conservatives could wind themselves up if Murdo Fraser MSP is successful in becoming leader of the party north of the border.
Fraser realises that the Tory brand is toxic in Scotland and wants a clean break. He has made it clear that if he is elected leader of the Scottish Conservatives he will hold a ballot of the membership to disband the party there and reform as a new party with a different name. His intention is that the new party would be federated with the British Conservative & Unionist Party with elected members taking the Tory whip as used to happen before the Scottish Unionist Party merged with the Tories in England & Wales to becomes the Scottish arm of the British Conservative & Unionist Party.
I don’t imagine the “Not the Tories because we’ve got a different name” Party in Scotland will see a significant revival of its fortunes just by changing its name and cutting some of its ties with the British Conservative & Unionist Party but let’s face it, they’ve got nothing to lose.
The right has been in serious decline – terminal decline – in Scotland for decades. It’s why the SUP merged with the British Conservative & Unionist Party in the first place and it’s why the Tories now have just one British MP elected in Scotland. It’s also why (along with pledging to abolish the Scottish Parliament) UKIP has never retained a deposit in an election in Scotland. The state accounts for 24.9% of everyone in employment in Scotland, what incentive is there for anyone in what is rapidly descending into a communist state to vote for a party that advocates a small state and low taxes with the cull of public sector workers that will ensue?
There are those who will see this as an opportunity for other hard unionist parties to mop up Scottish Tories who want to belong to a pan-union party but it’s not going to happen. This is little more than a rebranding exercise – they will still be Scottish conservatives, they will still take the Conservative & Unionist whip and they will continue to tell Scottish people that whatever their views on independence, they will never be granted independence on their watch.
If the Scottish Conservatives cease to exist as part of the British Conservative & Unionist Party, it won’t make any material difference to their electoral success (or lack thereof) in Scotland but it will make it very difficult for the British Conservatives to claim a mandate to govern the whole of the UK when it doesn’t even have a party in Scotland, let alone an MP. It will also make it very difficult for the Tories to maintain the illusion of the union in England where they are fighting a losing battle against the decline in unionism that has come about as a result of the institutional discrimination against the English.
Ian Paisley, the MP for North Antrim in Northern Ireland, has warned the British Conservatives not to give in to English demands for equality which he says would create a Parliament “of little Englanders”.
I appeal to my Conservative friends…they should recognise they should not play party politics with constitution of this nation.
We will have a House of little Englanders.
That does not serve this nation.
You have a responsibility to lead the people of England into believing passionately in the union as I do.
You only do that by not encouraging this view that we need another Parliament for the English only.
I have one thing to say to Ian Paisley: fuck you. I’d rather be a little Englander that a racist, bigoted, hypocritical big Britisher.
The election is almost upon us and it’s time for a prediction I think: Nick Clegg will be Prime Minister.
Now, don’t get any silly ideas about the Lib Dems winning the election because they won’t. The Tories will win the election with most seats but they won’t have a working majority and Cameron would rather go without than share power. The newspaper ads and constant talk about how terrible a hung parliament would be confirm that Cameron is out for absolute power and nothing less.
There will be no shortage of offers to form a coalition with Cast Iron Dave but they will be rebuffed. The party faithful will be told that it’s better to let a LibLab coalition limp along for a few months before collapsing and then the Tories can romp home to victory in a snap election. Most of them will fall for it of course and those that don’t will accept it for the greater good.
So that just leaves the Lib Dems and Labour. The Lib Dems will come second on Thursday, relegating Labour to third place. Clegg will want a coalition of the left which rules out the Tories and whilst the SNP and Plaid will make gains at the election (the former more so than the latter) they won’t have enough lobby fodder for Clegg to see off the Tories so it will be a LibLab coalition with Clegg as Prime Minister.
Whether El Gordo will manage to cling on as leader after the election remains to be seen. Mandelson is already leader in all but name and I expect him to take over the reins from El Gordo at some point after the election. Clegg says he won’t work with Brown but once he smells victory he’ll soon change his tune.
And what about the non-LibLabCon/celtic nationalists? Well, UKIP will come out with a handful of MPs – I think between three and five. The BNP will retain some deposits but they won’t win and seats. The English Democrats will spring a few surprises but won’t win any seats. The Greens will come worryingly close to winning a seat but won’t quite make it.