‘Gordon Brown, MP for Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is using his office to break up England into regions and destroy its historic unity and national identity’. That is the message from Michael Knowles, head of the CEP media unit and national council member, to all CEP members. Brown is about to announce the establishment of the division of England into regional committees. The renowned economist Will Hutton had described the whole idea as ‘a veritable witches’ brew of internecine rivalries’. Nevertheless, under his predecessor Tony Blair it was Brown, a Scotsman, and John Prescott, a Welshman, who tried by every means possible to balkanise England into regional assemblies, pouring millions of English tax-payers money into promoting the policy until the people of the England’s North East in a referendum overwhelmingly threw out the idea by a majority of 78% to 22%.
Now Brown as Prime Minister is about to re-introduce the policy by dictat and by stealth. Without any manifesto authorisation and any public consultation he is setting up ‘regional committees of MPs’ for England, each with 9 MPs, each representing the 9 EU regional divisions of England, which have no roots in England’s local government history. They are 20th century EU artefacts. The real local government history of England is its historic counties and its great cities.
Gordon Brown’s purpose is both to invent a pseudo solution to the West Lothian Question and to terminate the historic national unity and identity of the English nation. Brown was the engine and architect of Scottish Devolution which re-established Scotland constitutionally and politically as a ‘distinct nation’ within the United Kingdom, and made it through its parliament 75% independent of the rest of the UK. With these regional committees for England he intends to create an impression that devolution has been given to England when in fact they will in the words of his Government’s own Regional Coordination Unit be nothing more than ‘Government Champions to promote national policies and explore how the ‘region’ can offer back solutions to Whitehall departments’.
By means of the Devolution legislation which he took through the Commons in 1997-98 Gordon Brown had Scotland treated as a single nation and he ensured that the balkanising EU policy of regional division would not be applied to Scotland even though it has very real and distinct regional differences economically, geographically and linguistically. He signed the notorious Scottish Claim of Right in 1989 in which he promised to act solely in everything he said and did in the interests of Scotland. He has never retracted that pledge, even as Prime Minister of the UK.
His polices for England as Prime Minister are, however, the precise opposite. He wants England divided against itself into competing ‘regions’, he wants English MPs competing against each other through ‘regional committees’; and in that way terminate the historic unity of the English people and undermine their sense of an English national identity. England is the oldest unified nation state in Europe. Gordon Brown wants to ensure, if he can, that it will never have its own national institution, such as his Scotland has in the shape of its own parliament, which will be a declaration of its distinct nationhood.
Contacts: Michael Knowles. Head of CEP
email: michael-knowles@ tiscali.co.uk