Friday, July 07, 2006

Do the Scots save the English or is it the other way round ?

I came across Tom Griffin's post on the Green Ribbon - commenting on changes in the politics of England and Scotland. Its brief and interesting. He links to Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian 5 July who is worried that the departure of Scotland will leave England in Tory hands - something that the left seem at last to be waking up to. He positions this against Jenny Hjul's article in the Sunday Times 25 June talking about the case for just reversing Scottish devolution. ( He also goes on the reference about another article on rule in India. )

I must say I'd love to see some references for Jenny Hjul's article - especially the GBP 30 Billion cost of devolution ( per what ? a one off cost or every year ), and the Scottish parliament only sitting for 2 days a week !! Sounds like a very large waste of money ( mostly from the English tax payer ).

This part chimes with how some of my inlaws and old Scottish friends feel:

"For those of us who live here, however, the prospect of Scotland severed from the UK and left to its own devices is terrifying. We fear that the leaders we have now are the leaders we would be stuck with. We lie awake at night worrying that the former trade unionists and councillors who lead us now would lead us, unrestrained, in the future."

Where I'd take issue with her is when she says:
"this backlash does not seem to have spread beyond the southeast of England and the political classes, "

I do get a little fed up when I hear people try to dismiss concern about the West Lothian Question as just people in the South East of England. And anyway the South East of England is where most people in the UK live, and where nearly all the money that isn't just pumped out from beneath the sea bed is made. We deserve to be listened to and treated with much more respect and just civil courtesy - rather than being dismissed as irrelevant or too savagely right wing to be listened to.

She also talks about the idea of an English Parliament as being silly - I think she'll find its a bit more serious than that.

If the Scots and Welsh want to go for an equal arrangement between the home nations which has symmetry then I'll live with it - whether its an English Parliament or just everyone in Westminster. Perhaps if we reinstated the home nations football tournament then we could all get our passions out of our systems without having to pay for very expensive political arrangements.

However I'm still, on balance, in favour of an English Parliament and a resurgent English identity - if Mr Freedland thinks that's to dangerous he should ask himself why the left supported Scottish and Welsh devolution.

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