'40 times Gordon Brown made the claim to fairness in his speech to the Labour Party conference. No less than 40 times in one speech he used the word. Now that has to be counted as sheer unadulterated hypocrisy, nothing less, when it is applied to England.' That is the message Michael Knowles, media spokesman for the Campaign for an English Parliament, has sent out to all CEP members and supporters, and to all the people of England. 'His claim isn't just untrue. Coming from the Scotsman who was the driving force behind Scottish devolution and who had made a public pledge to put the interests of Scotland before everything else in everything he did, it simply beggars belief. What is possibly even worse, it must be seen as Brown's way of hiding the truth, the very unpleasant truth, of how as Chancellor of the Excehquer and now as the Prime Minister, he is treating England. He is using his office to exploit the English people to benefit his own Scottish people. He is a disgrace.
'How can anyone claim to be a fair Prime Minister of the United Kingdom when he gets for the Scottish people, his own Scottish nation, free university tuition, free hospital parking, free personal care for the elderly, free eyetests, free water piped to every home, all of which in England people have to pay for? How can he claim to be fair when in Scotland there is a freeze on council tax while council tax in England increases year in year out more than inflation? How can he claim to be fair when his own Scottish nation, precisely as he engineered in the 1998 devolution legislation, which he took through the UK parliament, is 70% independent of the rest of the UK, independent in every single matter internal to Scotland like education, health care, the legal system, agriculture and and fisheries? How can he claim to be fair when he operates a legislative system in Westminister that enables Scottish MPs to legislate for England and be ministers for England while no English MP can be a minister in the Scottish parliament or take part in any legislation that affects Scotland's devolved matters which make up 75% of actual government? Gordon Brown's conference claims must be accounted sheer hypocrisy. And it isn't as if he doesn't know the score. He knows it all too well. He engineered it. The situation is grotesquely unjust and unfair to the people fo England.
'How can anyone claim to be a fair Prime Minister for the United Kingdom when to pay for all these benefits which the Scots receive he maintains a taxation system in which each English taxpayer pays an extra £281 per annum; and when each Scottish man, woman and child receive in expenditure on health and education etc £1600 more than people in England receive, thanks to the Barnett Formula. The Scottish people has been given formal constitutional recognition as a distinct nation by getting its own parliament, so has the Welsh through getting its own national assembly. While Brown openly and adamantly refuses to consider a parliament for England. The injustice, the unfairness, the discrimination is outrageous.
'And it is not as if somehow it is all an oversight affecting just a few people. The injustice, the unfairness, the discrimination is imposed upon 80% of the UK population, which is what the people of England are. Gordon Brown is using all the levers and powers of his position as UK Prime Minister to put the people of Scotland first and make their interests paramount precisely as he pledged he would when on March 30 1989 he signed what he and his fellow Scottish MPs and MEPs called the Scottish Claim of Right.
'Brown's repeated claim on fairness must be recognised as grotesquely wrong and untrue. It is nothing less than outright hypocrisy.
Head of the CEP Media Unit.
tel. 01260 271139
Email: michael-knowles@ tiscali.co.uk