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Dec 17

One Englishman’s view of Unionism

Ken Stevens is a retired admin manager from Oxford. He was born and raised in London, but moved away after marrying a “Scots-born Unionist Brit” with whom he has three children, and has since lived in various places including the Shetland Islands. He regards himself as a “one-nation centrist conservative”, and votes UKIP.

I’m a Unionist who moaned to Henry Hill that this site – and his regular ConservativeHome feature “Red, White and Blue” – seemed rather oriented from the perspective of three of the four components of the UK, ignoring my bit of it. His response, in effect, was to do something about it, so here is one Englishman’s view of Unionism.

Born almost seven decades ago, I grew up in the subconscious understanding that I was British (which to me included Northern Ireland), happening to be in the part called England. Latterday developments have caused me instead to feel overtly English, within a construct called Britain. What changed my attitude was not some blinding flash of proud realisation of English Nationalism,but a reaction to the fact that two of the four territories showed a distinct taste for wanting to do their own thing, expressed first in devolution and now in Scotland’s case possibly to leave the Union.

Some in Northern Ireland also want to leave the Union but that is for different historical reasons, which I can at least understand (though without in any way condoning the atrocious manner of expressing that desire). Ulster Unionists are self-evident in their desire to stay in, perhaps the only visible ongoing element of the UK to proclaim so!

In a shorter span of time than the merger of England and Wales and their subsequent union with Scotland, the USA was created, admitted more territories, and survived a comparatively recent civil war. Yet there is no serious sentiment in any US state to secede from their union – indeed, Puerto Rico wishes to join. So how did it go so wrong in our case? I’m not suggesting that the Union was perfect prior to devolution, but that instead of improving unity, devolution has only served to erode it.

Given that we’re where we’re at, with devolution rather than where I would have preferred to have been after centuries of Union, the way ahead has to involve some form of federalism. I am a member of the Campaign for an English Parliament, as I subscribe to the notion that that the present set-up is democratically unfair to England. However, that is only one element of a necessary wider UK revision that I believe should happen.

The potential difficulty with federalism is that it could institutionalise our separate existences to have four wholly unconnected national parliaments and governments over-arched by a separate, small UK forum and government handling a few pan-UK responsibilities such as defence and foreign affairs and entailing yet another set of directly elected representatives. Therefore I favour the idea of just one set of representatives sitting part-time in their respective national parliaments and part-time all together in UK session, rather than having Westminster MPs and also MSPs, etc. One less tier of representation – what’s not to like!

Such a significant change would require a rewriting of the constitutional rule book. There should be a codified written constitution, something I have long advocated regardless of devolution, because it seems that the present mish-mash is too dispersed and enables politicians to interpret it conveniently to suit their purposes. Also, there are various constitutional matters that have been dealt with or are under consideration in isolation from each other, such as voting systems, Lords reform, the EU and devolution. Reappraisal of our structure and codifying it should be aimed at giving us all a refreshed, coherent sense of UK identity that nevertheless facilitates celebration of our various national identities within the Union.

Changes of presentational detail should also be effected. Some examples:

  • Why after all this time is it still The Bank of England, rather than The Bank of the United Kingdom?
  • Why are there Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but not for England?
  • Why is our side of the British-Irish Council comprised of representatives of the UK government and separately designated ones of the administrations of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey – but not England? (IoM and CI are not even in the UK, for heaven’s sake!)
  • Why do Her Majesty’s guards regiments consist of Scots, Irish and Welsh ones but not English Guards?
  • Why do the main parties have a UK organisation plus separately designated Scottish and Welsh ones?

Yes, I know there are various historical reasons but the whole point of reappraisal is to upgrade and update. Those kinds of continuing nomenclatures perpetuate the impression that UK = England… plus some appendages.

By the way, can I forestall any suggestion of a “solution” to the fact of England’s disparity of size compared to the other UK nations by splitting it into bite-sized chunks akin to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and directly represented as such in the UK Parliament. Sorry lads and lasses but you’re not going to resolve your perception problem by abolishing my nation as a single entity!

So, that’s my ingenious master plan for the future of the UK. Do I believe that this or an alternative grand scheme will come to pass?

No.

The more likely scenario is of a halfhearted sop such as “English Votes for English Laws” and/or a parliamentary English Grand Committee, though not until after the referendum so as not to spook Scotland beforehand. Scotland will then vote No, though with a sizeable Yes minority, and be rewarded with yet more devolution, which the government hopes will kick the topic into the long grass for a while.

It will gradually thereafter be perceived in Scotland as such a small step onward to independence that when the inevitable rematch occurs further down the line, the Yes vote will prevail. In the meantime, popular sentiment in England will be so disenchanted by the Union that it won’t give a damn about Scotland’s departure.

Where is the visionary statesman who can, hopefully, prove me wrong?

OU 3 V Small

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23 comments

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  1. JamesW

    English Guards? Well we have the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards that recruit almost exclusively from England. Seems a daft comment really.

    1. Stephen Cooper

      Ken,
      an interesting piece, but I feel perhaps a bit misplaced as England has the other constituent parts of the UK subservient to its parliament and the other structures you allude to in your five questions.
      In every case the answer to each of the questions/examples posed is because England is in charge of each of the items you list, and like James, I am amazed you didn’t realise that Guards, (all of them, Scots and Irish included), are under the administrative control of the Lifeguards, an English regiment, and the first guards introduced were by English kings.*
      At present, with the looming referendum in Scotland, and perhaps if Cameron holds to his word, (which he should if he wants to avoid electoral annihilation by the UKIP), a referendum on EU membership, the uncomfortable shifting of the English has increased, as the mutterings of discontent is something akin to an ungrateful member of the family who is viewed as a malcontent and only adds to the growing sense of latent annoyance at the devolved administrations in NI, Wales and Scotland. I view devolution and the structures produced as an abject failure. Bliar (sic), picked the wrong time and as history will judge, only the disgraceful appeasement of terrorism in NI can be understood, (but utterly condemned from this quarter), as to why he was keen to allocate an assembly to the ira, which was part of the despicable ‘process’, which is continuing to be entertained in the most bizarre and immoral fashion, with the primary aim to keep bombs out of London.
      As regards the number of mps and their respective constituencies, you might reflect on the increase of four members for England after Scottish devolution, and the fact that England has a vast majority over all of the rest of the members elected from the other three component parts. Approx 533 members at present, (compared to 40, 59, and 18 for Wales, Scotland and NI respectively), which underscores the democratic make up of the English dominance of the kingdom and therefore, surely a sweetening of the bitter taste in your mouth at the disparity of regional power allocated to the outlying cousins?
      As much as I understand and to an extent, sympathise, with your views on writing a concise and clear constitution, this would be near impossible, as the layers which overlap each change throughout history could not be easily administered, and as a retired administrator, it would be akin to disentangling several thousand contracts of employment/trade agreements/etc with each of them having differing terms and conditions and prices, and with some having bi-lateral agreements and others standing alone, and yet more having multi party resolutions to previous disagreements, and so on…(you get the point)
      The most startling aspect of your proposition is that the federal model you are advocating is almost a mirror image of what is exactly the current status quo, but crucially of course, apart from England having its own regional assembly.
      I do question why you would want to remove the powers of Westminster, or diminish her authority by replacing it with a ‘small UK forum’ when; a, the English have a huge majority, and b; the cost and hassle to do so would be enormous and would only further de-stabilise the Union.
      Lastly, to deal with two of your concerns; I would never want nor suggest abolishing England as a single entity, and nor would I change the English having the ability for not only being able to vote for English laws, or those throughout the UK, but I remain confident and comfortable that England and the majority of those who represent her, have in the main, the best interests of both her and the wider UK at heart.
      That is crucial and until that changes and removes or significantly reduces your English majority, I would ignore the adolescent gesturing of Salmond and sit back, secure at the family table.

      very best,
      Stephen.

      (ps, without being condescending, I thoroughly recommend Jeremy Paxman’s book ‘The English’, if you haven’t already read it; it is an old book, published over a decade ago, but I dip into it from time to time and find it illuminating, and thoroughly thought provoking about your great nation.)

      *(ref: http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armyunits/britishinfantry/1stfoot.htm)

      All views expressed are my own.

      1. Stephen Cooper

        *nb, second paragraph, I am referring to Scottish mutterings of discontent.

      2. Ken Stevens

        Stephen,
        Many thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response.
        Well, I haven’t worked out whether I’m guilty of trying to cram too many aspects into one short article or else am victim to presumption that I am a resentful English Nationalist, rather than the English Nationist (i.e. within the Union) that I profess to be. Or both, of course!

        My presentational examples were intended to illustrate the shortcomings in the evolution of the institutions of the Union, rather than be a moan about lack of English features.

        I don’t quite see the argument that a codified constitution is not an appropriate thing for us because of the manner in which we have evolved historically, as though other countries have not similarly evolved in ways unique to their histories. There are several examples of European monarchical constitutions which could provide material for initial drafting of our own one, e.g. (all helpfully in English versions):
        Denmark (explanatory narrative)
        http://www.thedanishparliament.dk/Publications/My_Constitutional_Act_with_explanations.aspx
        Sweden
        http://www.riksdagen.se/en/Documents-and-laws/Laws/The-Constitution/
        Norway
        http://www.stortinget.no/en/In-English/About-the-Storting/The-Constitution/The-Constitution/
        Netherlands (pdf link for English language version)
        http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/brochures/2008/10/20/the-constitution-of-the-kingdom-of-the-netherlands-2008.html
        It wouldn’t entail untangling countless numbers of past statutes and other provisions. The major features & features would be included, with a catch-all provision leaving present legislation untouched pro tem “ except such as are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution (- pinching some words from Article XVIII of our 1707 Act of Union).

        With completion of the devolution process by establishment of an English Parliament and government, the Constitution would include the arrangements between the small central UK government & parliament and the devolved administrations & assemblies. As UK government would relate to the few pan-UK overall responsibilities such as defence & foreign affairs, I could visualise the UK parliament having a greater proportion of representation from the smaller partners, on the basis that relative population size was not directly relevant to the subject matter. What I dislike about our uncodified constitution is that it is subject to piecemeal tinkering and can be conveniently interpreted according to the whims of the government of the day.

        That’s a few disjointed extra comments about a vastly wider subject area but I hope it conveys some of the flavour of my thoughts. I’m no constitutional expert; merely a customer who is dissatisfied with the service currently offered!

        As regards your PS, yes, Paxman’s book is on the shelf beside me. It’s the only England-specific book, the others being about English language in all its wonderful anglospherical variations. Pride of place however goes to “The Isles, A History” by Norman Davies, which takes a holistic view of the interactions over the centuries within the British Isles, plus relevant aspects of mainland Europe, rather than from any single national perspective.

        Cheers

        Ken

        1. Stephen Cooper

          Ken,

          I think the evolutional shortcomings you allude to from the inception of the union is more to do with the natural progression of England having nations adjoining to her, and therefore becoming naturally increasingly more disinclined to feel the necessity to streamline everything uniformly like the rest of the UK.
          As for the constitutional question; I have debated this at length with many academics and none of us can agree on all of it. Some of it, yes, but never in my time has there been complete agreement on the entire interpretation between us, and none have been able to unravel the plethora of loose strings which have been left dangling, and thought safe to be discarded, only to realise years later that some of them are still entangled in parts of legislation.
          To have a straightforward constitution like the US would be an admirable feat, and on first reaction, may sound like a good idea. However, bearing in mind the history and the many battles between religious zealots and the church and the monarchies and the creation and dismantling of the Empire, it is in my opinion a fantasy which will remain unfulfilled. The US, as they are a young nation, had a quite basic history in comparison to ours to say the least, and theirs was to a large extent not difficult to embody, due to many of the pioneers and forefathers coming from British ancestry. A quick glance over at the land of their lineage would have given guidance. We didn’t have that, and as the UK went through massive upheavals throughout centuries of bloodshed and battles, we had to adapt as the times dictated and that explains the mish mash of overlapping acts of parliament.
          The four countries you cite were mostly unhindered by adjoining countries or additions onto their sovereign state, which simplifies things considerably, although I do concede that the Netherlands did have numerous overseas territories, but quite easy to include as and when to an already established constitution.
          To leave several strands floating and subject to interpretation of them being contrary to the terms of any new legislation would be a rather unsatisfactory exercise and one which I feel would exacerbate things further.
          It is the equivalent of saying, here are the new rules and anything that was enacted prior cannot be counted. In legal terms, that would be open to challenge and conjecture as to which parts were contrary, and more to the point, why?
          You wrote, ‘What I dislike about our uncodified constitution is that it is subject to piecemeal tinkering and can be conveniently interpreted according to the whims of the government of the day.’
          Surely, the same could be said of whatever government would set up your ideal of a constitution and those thereafter could amend as they please?
          Also, that sentence explains why the union has evolved, and perhaps why England has accommodated rather than merged with the other nations?
          The main reason why I am against a single stand alone constitution is that the present complex set of legislation offers and provides much more protection on many different levels than one all encompassing piece of new legislation ever could.
          I think this debate in any case will have to wait until the Scottish referendum and the EU one is held and then depending on the outcome of both, the landscape could and should have significantly changed and maybe even a few minds.
          Thanks for your time, and yes, I know Norman Davies and his writing, he has another book called Europe, a history, which is also very informative and well researched.

          1. Ken Stevens

            Gosh, I lurk humbly in the shadow of your constitutional erudition! :-)

            I only dare to respond the piecemeal tinkering aspect. The link to the Danish constitutional narrative gives an example of how governments-of-the-day cannot tinker casually with the constitution:

            “Section 88
            Should the Folketing pass a Bill for the purposes of a new constitutional provision, and the Government wish to proceed with the matter, writs shall be issued for the election of Members of a new Folketing. If the Bill is passed unamended by the Folketing assembling after the election, the Bill shall, within six months after its final passing, be submitted to the electors for approval or rejection by direct voting. Rules on this voting shall be laid down by statute. If a majority of the persons taking part in the voting, and at least 40 per cent of the electorate, have voted in favour of the Bill as passed by the Folketing, and if the Bill receives the Royal Assent, it shall form an integral part of the Constitutional Act.”

            Many thanks for sharing your wisdom.

          2. Stephen Cooper

            Ken,

            not sure about ‘wisdom’, but certainly an opinion!

            The Danish model is interesting, though Belgium’s is more similar to the UK, in that the fluctuating nature of the nation with boundaries and language and fiefdoms shows the difficulty of encompassing the centuries and the fluid movement of citizens.
            I am not in agreement with a mere 40 % required to pass any legislation in the case you highlighted, I think democracy has to have a majority in favour, otherwise the absurdity of a minority dictating terms is doomed from the outset.
            I am signing off for the new year, so I wish you and anyone else out there deluded enough to read my musings all the best for 2014.
            sjc

    2. Ken Stevens

      My point about the guards was because the specific naming of Scots, Welsh & Irish gives the appearance of vestiges of UK “colonialism”, on the basis that there doesn’t need to be “English Guards”, as such, because “we’re in charge anyway, ain’t we”. It was a simple (though evidently perceived as simplistic) illustration, rather than in any sense the ignorant resentful mumbling of a Little Englander wanting his own little set of soldiers! The overall thrust of my sentiment is for UK equality rather than English superiority or inferiority.

      1. Stephen Cooper

        Ken,

        I understand.
        My central thrust was that you can’t have it both ways, unfortunately.
        In that, the make up of the Union at its inception was and has continued with English dominance and established as such ever since.
        The guards example is a good point to illustrate the lack of necessity of the English to have their ‘own’ division or regiment, as the other component parts of the UK joined THEM.
        Ergo, that is why the answers to your five points revert back to this salient fact.
        England is not equal in the union, they are higher in many regards as the head of the family, for wont of a better analogy.
        A regional paltry forum overseeing a regional English parliament would undermine your Englishness and diminish hugely your influence within the kingdom.
        Are you sure that is what you would want?

        1. Ken Stevens

          “A regional paltry forum overseeing a regional English parliament would undermine your Englishness”
          The equivalent paltries in Scotland don’t appear to be undermining Scottishness to any noticeable extent.

          “…your influence within the kingdom.
          Are you sure that is what you would want?”

          I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want, to quote the Spice Girls!
          - I wannabe a traditional Brit again in a genuinely United Kingdom (i.e not simply a reversion to status quo ante devolution). I want to be part of, not head of. I want the same rights, duties, responsibilities, benefits, etc, irrespective of where I live in our land.

          Unfortunately that is an unattainable dream and so I look to fixing the Union in a way that takes account of presentday realities, including the fact that circumstances changed me to being English in a formal rather than just a conversational sense.

          We’re sliding inexorably away from each other and no politician is doing anything tangible to sway matters positively back on course.

  2. David B. Wildgoose

    There’s only one daft comment on here JamesW, and that’s yours.

    England needs recognition and respect just as much as the other nations of the UK but it’s clear that this is never going to happen. Which is why many former English Unionists such as myself are now in favour of English Independence.

    So, keep up the contempt. You’re all helping the cause of English Independence no end!

  3. Ken Stevens

    A footnote, one of my kiddies (emigrated to USA some years ago) read the piece and commented:

    “…there’s actually a ridiculously strong movement in Texas to secede from the Union, gathering steam in recent years in revolt against Obama’s “socialist” policies… but then again, everyone I’ve met who’s not from Texas takes the view “yes, but that’s Texas…they’re…different”. Everyone I’ve met who IS from Texas has the view “Yes, we’re Texas…we’re…different”.

    He also noted ” …well reasoned/thoughtful responses and not just plain abuse – very rare on the internet these days, sadly!”

    1. Stephen Cooper

      Ken,

      I will have to think up some abuse then…wouldn’t want to be down with the kids, wouldn’t do the street cred any good.

  4. Stephen Gash

    English independence.

  5. Steven Davis

    Mr Cooper, in your first paragraph you write -England has the other parts of the UK subservient to its parliament. I feel you are in error. England has no parliament. The Westminster Parliament is the British Parliament. Most of who’s members would like to see England abolished, and headed by a prime minister who wont even say the words England or English.

    1. Stephen Cooper

      Well, we can side step the pedantry, the point is Westminster was and is the mother parliament and the others JOINED it, as opposed to the other way around, which is why it was the English parliament and continues as that in the present day, but with additional influence and authority over the rest of the kingdom.

  6. OU Editors

    “Most of who’s members would like to see England abolished, and headed by a prime minister who wont even say the words England or English.”

    The vast majority of the MPs *residing* in Westmnister represent English constituencies.
    Do they and the electorate who vote for them want “England abolished”?

    1. Scilla

      They are BRITISH MPs from BRITISH political parties, which recognise Scotland and Wales, but not England, by publishing directed manifestos for those territories. They may represent English constituencies but that does not mean that collectively they have the welfare of England at heart. Indeed experience and some of their utterances show that the opposite is the case. They slavishly follow the party line which clearly marginalises England. A notable exception to the above is Frank Field MP.

      Although the issues of the discrimination against England, principally evidenced by the disparity in funding by the British government, is beginning to come to the notice of the man on the Clapham omnibus these have been swept under the carpet by the British Establishment until now. Indeed we have been told to put up and shut up. It took 40 years for the nationalists in Scotland to make their mark it may take as long in England but the dog that never barked is awakened.

  7. Steven Davis

    Yes they represent English constituencies So why are they happy to refuse to let their English constituents have a referendum on their future as they have the Scots and Welsh. Why are they happy for Scotland and Wales to have their own parliaments as well as their own ministries in Whitehall and their own ministers in the cabinet while their English constituents have no equal representation. Why are they happy to have the government spend £1300 pounds a year per person more on the people of Scotland than on their English constituents. And why are they happy to have Scottish MPs inflict policies on their English constituents -tuition fees for instance- that they know will not effect Scotland. We need to ask these British MPs who sit in English constituencies why they are so happy to see their constituents so continually disadvantaged.
    Also I have attended many political meetings up and down the country where the advantages of breaking England up into nine regions has been the central topic. A policy that is actively supported by many MPs.
    I haven’t heard any MPs demanding that their constituents should have a say in the matter.

  8. Alan England

    It is quite bizarre how the question of establishing a separate parliament (and executive and bill drafting facilities) is almost invariably diverted into issues which were not raised when devolved powers were given to Scotland and Wales. Equally bizarre is the propensity which individuals have of pontificating at length without declaring their particular interests. Consequently, we cannot be sure whether those opining are English or even sympathetic to England.

    I live in England and regard myself as being English by nationality (having been born in England), and by ethnicity (having grown up in England with English culture).

    It is, quite simply, absurd that the 84% of the UK’s population which lives in England should be treated less equally and denied no less (or fewer) devolved powers than Scotland with merely 8%.

    There seems to be an assumption that the British Government is ‘dominated’ by the English by reason of 533 parliamentary being in England. When was the last time anyone heard any MPs refer to themselves as ‘English’ or speak about “the people of England” in the manner of Scottish and Welsh MPs about THEIR respective backgrounds.

    The fact is that the Commons is filled with Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Northern Irish and British MPs and a couple of English MPs. Many of those non-English MPs allow the impression to be gained that they are English. Indeed, I never heard either Michael Hestletine or Geoffrey Howe (for example) refer to their Welsh origins prior to having been ennobled and no longer needing the support of electors in England!

    There is a long established and underlying discouragement of people in England referring to themselves as English which has started to be resisted only in the last decade or so. I go furher and assert that this ‘deterrance’ has been fostered semi-covertly by individuals who do not reveal their backgrounds in the way that some have felt at liberty to post their comments here. Until very recently, I had never heard a discussion mounted by the BBC either on TV or radio in which discussion about ‘the England Question’ was not dominated by Scots, often with a Scottish presenter such as Eddie Mair presiding. [The BBC is so skewed in favour of Scots that, when its "Any Questions?" and "Question Time" programmes are recorded in Scotland, the panels are packed out with Scots; Scottish audiences being shielded from any English opinions!]

    If anyone here doubts the extent of Scottish penetration of England and hence British affairs, I recommend they read “ON THE MAKE, How the Scots took over London” by David Stenhouse (himself a Scot) and “Making It Happen” by Iain Martin (yet another Scot).

    However, neither of those mention the undeclared policy of eradicating the English and with them England as nation, a national entity! This is unbelievable you might cry, but the evidence is there. Consideration even now is still being given to regionalising England but, no doubt different names will be found for it. The other leg to this undeclared policy is to be found in the 2001 and 2011 Censuses AND the so called ‘ethnic monitoring’ based on the census categories. Quite simply, there is no provision to identify oneself as having “English ethnicity” AND having that recorded AND having the results published. However, in Scotland there is provision to record one’s ethnic identity as “Scottish” but only if one is White but, as over 95% of people in Scotland are White this is discounted.

    Who presided over the census arrangements in 2001 and 2011? Oddly enough it was a British Government dominated by Scots who were hugely over-represented. Furthermore, whilst he was British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (“pledged to make the interests of the Scottish people paramount” http://www.almac.co.uk/business_park/scc/scc-rep.htm ) introduced Britishness lessons, but only in England’s schools.

    So, there you have it ~ no one White or Black is to be encouraged to idenify themselves as English and by doing so engender loyalty to England. When the question of an English Parliament is raised, opponents descend to raise all kinds of hares to chase including misleading assertions about the extent that English interests are represented.

    When Stephen Cooper has managed to grasp the idea that 533 parliamentary seats does not remotely indicate the true extent of (under)representation of England’s interests, he might like to consider the following: (1.) the Northern Ireland Assembly has 108 MLAs to deal with the affairs of circa 1.8 million people (2.) the Welsh Assembly has 60 AMs to represent 2.9 million people and (3.) the Scottish Assembly has 129 AMs representing some 5 million people. If the 52 million people of England had a national parliament, similar proportions of representation would be: (1.) 3,120, (2.) 1,075 and (3.) 1,340 Members. In marked contrast, David Cameron wants to reduce the number of MPs representing England by 40 to 493.

    I could go on, but there is no persuading those determined to continue the unfair treatment of England and the English even on the most absurdly spurious of grounds. History shows that when the reasonable demands of a people are denied, the point will be reached when that denial will no longer be tolerated. Already the agenda is changing and increasing numbers of England’s people are finding the idea of English Independence attractive.

    1. Stephen Cooper

      Alan,

      I am well aware of the ratios, and furthermore think it is a disgrace that a tiny country, my country NI has 108 assembly members.
      Totally unnecessary and plain appeasement of republican cowardly terrorists.
      My point of the English majority stands, and cannot be dismissed, as the fact remains that the English have a considerable democratic lever at their disposal, and my thrust was that you and those sharing your identity should reflect on what you would like to change, as reducing that majority or diminishing your control would surely not be in your favour.

  9. oneill

    “We need to ask these British MPs who sit in English constituencies why they are so happy to see their constituents so continually disadvantaged.”

    First, you need to ask who voted for those MPs whom you claim refuse to represent their constituents.
    Then, you make it an issue they can’t ignore.

    By claiming that there is a “British” Unionist conspiracy against England then you (those of you who want an independent England) are in fact letting yourselves off the hook. If it is an issue which genuinely is supported by the majority of the English, then the typical MP will not ignore it- it’s the nature of the beast, if they think there is an issue which is so overridding may result in them losing their comfy spot on the gravy train, then they will concentrate on that issue.

    But as I said at the beginning those MPs are put their by their English constituents, not by Unionists in N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales and it is only those constituents who can change their mind on the issue of England breaking up the Union.

  10. Steven Davis

    In answer to oneill, I am a unionist and I do not support independence for either Scotland or England. Also, I am is a democrat, and I believe that democracy should be fair and equal for all who live in this country. At present that is not the case. As for the English voting for the British MPs then who else can they vote for? MPs never tell those people in English constituencies who are voting for them how disadvantaged they are in comparison to the other UK nations. And don’t expect the anti-English media to inform them either. However, the people of England are gradually becoming aware of how shoddily Westminster politicians treat them. One only has to look at the polling evidence over the last few years and reports from think tanks like the IPPRs, The Dog that finally Barked, to see that public perception in England is changing. If nationalism is on the rise in England, and all the evidence suggests that it is, then British MPs at Westminster only have themselves to blame for it.

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