Every patriotic Englishman should welcome the news I heard on the radio early this morning: that the Scots had cannily exercised the good sense for which their people are justly renowned and voted by a considerable margin to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The union makes us strong.
Patria has not commented on the Scottish referendum till now, firstly because we did not wish unduly to influence its outcome and secondly because the home page of our web site makes our position clear: we are a party of and for the union of our indigenous peoples, the ethnic English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. Why waste words?
Now that the dream of Scottish separatism has faded like the mist in the glen, a few observations are in order.
If the powers of the Scottish parliament are to be increased, as the corrupt political Establishment has promised, then natural justice demands that England should have its own parliament with powers as great as those envisaged for its Scottish counterpart.
The abolition of the ‘Barnett Formula’ for resource allocation, which has unfairly benefited Scotland at the expense of England’s taxpayers for more than thirty years and its replacement by a more equitable system, though necessary, will not in itself be sufficient redress of the wrongs suffered by England.
There is also the unfairness to the English, resulting from Scottish devolution, known as the ‘West Lothian question’ to be resolved.
John Redwood’s proposal, now taken up by Cameron, for the exclusion of MPs representing Scottish constituencies from voting on matters relating exclusively to England and Wales is a non-starter. Why? Because it would create a caste of second class Members of Parliament, seriously undermining the integrity of the UK legislature. While the integrity of the UK parliament may be of little concern to politicians such as Cameron and Redwood, as compared to party advantage and especially their own career, it is of great concern to Patria.
Even less acceptable is the idea touted by Gordon Brown that England, by far the most populous of the countries of the United Kingdom, should be broken up into regions which would be encouraged to develop their own ‘local patriotism’, as a politically ‘correct’ substitute for the English consciousness so dreaded by the traitors of the political Establishment. The countries of the Celtic fringe are to be aggrandized, while England’s distinct identity is to be denied – this is Labour’s plan to divide and rule the English.
The only sensible solution is that advanced by Patria from the beginning: the creation of a Parliament for England, distinct from the UK parliament and with its members separately elected on the ‘first past the post’ principle, though holding its sessions in the chamber of the House of Lords – which should be abolished to make room for it. An English parliament and executive is now an indispensable safeguard for the interests of the English and of all who pay their taxes in England, against the Lib-Lab-Con tendency to treat us as a cash-cow for the Celtic fringe.
There would still be a vital role for the UK parliament in legislating on the reserved matters which were not devolved to the projected English and existing Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland parliaments. Currently these include foreign affairs, defence, immigration and economic policy, including UK-wide taxation. Enough to keep the UK government occupied, though the number of MPs ought to be reduced to reflect the reduction in their overall workload.
Why should the taxpayers of England continue to fund a range of welfare provision, such as free university tuition and free prescriptions, for every resident of Scotland no matter how wealthy, when the UK government denies the same benefits to us? We also pay for Scots over 65 to receive free social care to which our own elderly folk in England are denied access. This injustice cannot be permitted to continue.
Even if the result of the Scottish referendum had gone the other way it would still have been reversible at a later date. If the Scots’ experience of real independence, as distinct from ‘devo-max’, had proved unhappy – something like the Darien scheme writ large – then doubtless we in the rest of Britain and Northern Ireland would in due course have welcomed them back into the Union with no hard feelings. No prize for guessing whom the Scots would be most likely to blame for their failure though.
No parliament can bind its successor, which is one reason it is unwise ever to say ‘Never’. As the late Rev Ian Paisley discovered.
The result of the Scottish referendum illustrates the weakness of referenda as a means of obtaining a popular mandate. It will always be open to the party or parties in government to outbid an opposition party, during the course of a referendum campaign, by the simple expedient of promising to implement some measure which cuts the ground from beneath the opposition. We saw this with Lib-Lab-Con’s pledge of ‘devo-max’ not long before polling day.
If the SNP had been able to find a majority for it in the Scottish parliament they might have declared independence unilaterally. If they had dared. Two very big ‘if’s. By the same token, though with impeccable legitimacy in this case, once there is a majority in the House of Commons for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union we should repeal the act of parliament that took us into it in 1973 – without a prior referendum. We might have one afterwards, just as there was in 1975, to rubber-stamp the fait accompli.
The point is that the result of any referendum is not legally binding. It simply provides a snapshot of the state of public opinion, which changes from day to day and which a government is usually in a better position to influence than an opposition.
The constutional position is that the UK parliament cannot be bound by the result of a referendum. The result is advisory only.
But did the SNP leadership really want independence in any case? Was not the independence issue for them mainly an expedient for extorting a promise of even greater devolved powers from the UK parliament – at the expense of England’s taxpayers?
And who made this reckless promise? A UK prime minister with the Scottish name Cameron, supported by the former prime minister and former chancellor of the exchequer, the Scots Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling! For that matter, who was responsible for the subversive tinkering with our unwritten British constitution by giving Scotland a separate parliament with tax-varying powers, following a referendum in 1997 – which New Labour ensured the separatists won? Another UK prime minister, the Scot Tony Blair, whom Cameron has said he admires!
The SNP bears a certain resemblance to UKIP. Both are Establishment-approved phony patriot parties. Both parties support the permanent mass immigration of ethnic aliens from Africa and Asia. Both claim to want ‘independence’, the SNP from the UK, UKIP from the EU, but the leaders of each in truth only wish to use the issue in order to climb further up the greasy pole of politics.
Salmond and Sturgeon: have they done up the Scots like a kipper?
‘…bought and sold for English gold – such a parcel of rogues in a nation!’