But the Scottish Raj is not interested in democratic rule for the people of England.
There follows an interesting e-mail from Sue Campbell, Cambridge:
So Lord Falconer says no parliament for England. Not today. Not tomorrow... blah, blah, blah...
That's what he thinks.
My dad is a Scot - born and bred, proud, occasionally (very) anti-English (although he married an Englishwoman and lives in England) and he generally believes that England owes Scotland. Big time...
Let's scoff down a few bones of contention...
Some Scots: "It's oor oil": It's British oil until the Union breaks up - and then some of it will be in English waters [Hasn't the Blair government been fiddling around with the historic maritime boundary between Scotland and England to try and diddle England out of its share of the oil? - Chris]. Scotland has benefited many times from England, the country was saved from bankrupcy at the time of Union by England, and many subsidies and special favours have been done for Scotland over the years. Scotland benefited from being a mover and shaker in the British Empire movement and basically has done very well out of the Union. It's connection with England has given it opportunities and a louder voice on the world stage than it would ever have had on its own.
Then, good fortune - oil! But that's "oor oil. Scottish oil."
Spoilt brat attitude, I'm afraid.
Some Scots: "We deserve to have a go at England because of Thatcher."
Why? The vote at the time of Thatcher was split by the emergence of a new political party, which was not without Scottish influence, and the Mag Monster benefited. Certain parts of England certainly didn't benefit from her reign. Many Scots were in favour of the early arrival of the Poll Tax in 1989. And that's the way it goes. For better, for worse. Good times and bad. A union. All over now. Water under the bridge.
None of it justifies John Prescott stomping all over the English countryside, Peter Hain advocating apartheid, the government imposing regional assemblies on England, and the establishment of an elected national assembly for Wales and a parliament for Scotland. Or the West Lothian Question. Or the continuation of the Barnett Formula.
It is not fair. It is not democratic. It is not indicative of the Scots and Welsh MPs being Union minded. Unless it benefits them.
Of the countries of the UK, England was the most submerged by the Union. When some Scots and Welsh folk wittered on and on and on about Big Bad England over the years, answer usually came there none. That's because many of us didn't identify with England - we were too busy having "Britain" rammed down our throats, and being scapegoated for the British Empire.
Now, people like Lord Falconer think they can do what they want in England. England has gone. Gordon Brown desperately screeches "Britain! Britain! British! British!" and if you speak up for England you are a "little Englander", a stock, nonsensical phrase, trotted out for years by people who don't like the concept of England.
The problem here is actually Little Scotlanders and Walesians - dedicated to buttering their own parsnips; it's the PC crowd in England, demonising their own country and flag; it's England's MPs - so lazy and comfortable; it's the lure of the EU on MPs. Now, I favour communication and interaction with Europe and the World, but the EU is becoming less and less democratic. Very like New Labour. Very like Lord Falconer on Friday and his dictate to the people of England.
Big bad unified England has had its way for too long? No.The whole system of government needs adjusting to take account of the needs and wishes of the people of England? Yes.
Down with undemocratic regionalisation of England. Down with New Labour dictates. Let the people speak.
UPDATE - 7/7/2006
Paul Hinchcliffe writes:
Interesting blog - I was brought here by your article on the Cornish Question which is causing some flutters of interest and consternation, but have had a read through. You're right about the UK Government tweaking the Maritime Boundary between England and Scotland to favour Scotland when it comes to the oil. And guess what? Nobody spoke up for England!
I guess you're an emotional idealist... it's quite refreshing. Keep it up.
Glad the Cornwall article is creating some interest. Emotional idealist? Thanks - I think! I know I get quite emotional when I think of the UK Government changing things to suit the ruling elite in Scotland. In fact, I get so emotional, I get a knot in my stomach!
GRRRR...This blog supports the aims of, but is in no way connected to, the Campaign for an English Parliament.