Campaign For An English Parliament Press Release.
What sort of Union has the United Kingdom become?
With the announcement from the Scottish Parliament that prescription charges will be reduced to £5 in Scotland and abolished altogether in 2011; and from the Union Parliament that they will be increased to £7.10p in England; while in Wales its Assembly has already made them free to all its population, the question has been asked yet again: What sort of Union is the United Kingdom?
'It is a Union in which the people of England are discriminated against at every turn when they look at what is happening in Scotland and Wales,' said Mrs Veronica Newman, Secretary of the Campaign for an English Parliament. 'And this is only one of an ever-increasing list of differences between the three countries which has come about since Scotland and Wales got devolution and we in England did not. What makes in unbelievably worse is the fact that the Union government makes it all possible for Scotland and Wales through taxation upon English tax payers. Every English tax payer pays £281 more tax per year to subsidise Scotland which does not collect in enough tax to pay its way. The unfairness and the discrimination is getting beyond belief'.'
Mrs Newman, who is also the organiser of the Campaign in the county of Wiltshire, raised the whole issue at a meeting of her branch members. 'Where are the 550 MPs who out of the 650 in the Union Parliament represent English constituencies?' she asked. 'Why don't they show concern for their English constituents who are being treated so unfairly? What are they elected by their English constituents for if not to stand up for them? Why do they keep silent and let this happen? All five ministers in the Department of Health: Alan Johnson, Dawn Primarolo, Ben Bradshaw, Ann Keen and Ivan Lewis are English MPs. Yet not one of them shows the slightest concern at this gross injustice. What are they in office as MPs and as ministers for? '
The Head of the CEP Media Unit has circulated a statement to all the membership in which he asks the question which everyone is now beginning to think about. 'Could it be the case that with a Scottish Prime Minister and a Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer the Union finances are being used to benefit Scotland over England? After all,' he said, 'in 1989 both men signed the Scottish Claim of Right which expressly committed them to making the interests of Scotland paramount in everything they did as MPs. Only if England has its own parliament like Scotland has, can it stand up for just and fair treatment by the Union of the English people'
The Campaign is holding an Open Conference on 'The Future of England' at which these and related issues will be debated. It takes place in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London on Saturday April 26th from 10:30 to 4:30. Principle speakers are Frank Field MP, Simon Lee Department of Politics Hull University, Canon Kenyon Wright of the Scottish Constitutional Convention and Professor Hugo de Burgh of Westminster University. The conference is free to attend and open to the public.
End of press release.
Michael Knowles Head of Media Unit, Campaign for an English Parliament
Tel: 01260 271139. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scilla Cullen, Chairman
Tel: 01439 833155