Number10.gov.uk. the official site of the Prime Minister's office, has replied to the "Say England" petition. Remember it?
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop saying ‘Our country’ or ‘This country’ when he is talking in relation to devolved issues such as health, education and housing. If Mr Brown is talking about English matters then he should say ‘England’, even if it is politically inconvenient for him to do so.”
Details of Petition:
“There is a tendency amongst politicians of all hues to conflate England and the UK as if devolution had never happened. It’s less complicated that way. But devolution has happened and referring to England as ‘our country’ is confusing to a public that is not always aware that Mr Brown may be talking about policy areas that do not have a direct affect on his own constituents (to whom he is democratically accountable) because in Scotland those areas are the responsibility of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament and Government. Gordon Brown (Andrew Marr interview, 6 Oct 07): “But what I want to do is show people the vision that we have for the future of this country in housing and health and education and I want the chance, in the next phase of my premiership, to develop and show people the policies that are going to make a huge difference and show the change in the country itself.” Gordon Brown (PMQs, 10 Oct 07): “We will govern in the interests of the people, and what matters to the people is the health service, education, housing, and we will govern to make education, health and housing better in this country.”
The UK Government's response:
The Prime Minister has been elected by the people of Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath to represent them in the UK Parliament. As Prime Minister he heads the UK Government. It is in this capacity that he speaks when articulating his vision for the future of the country.
But over 75% of the legislation Gordon Brown proposes does not apply to those who elected him. Only to those who didn't. Only to those who can't vote him out. The UK Government seems to be admitting that if we desire democratic rule for England we must never again have an MP representing a Scottish constituency as Prime Minister. Also, the UK is not a country. It is a supposed union of countries.
Ignorance or what?