Ed Balls has it right; according to the BBC he said there is no “simple solution” to the current situation regarding English devolution, as most of the tax and spending decisions he would take if he was Chancellor would affect the whole of the UK.
This is a consequence of England’s population size, relative to the other UK countries. England has more than 80 per cent of the UK’s population – with three times that of Scotland in London alone.
“There is *no* change to English tax, public services, inflation, employment legislation, company law, trade union law… that *does not* affect Scotland,” according to a comment quoted in the recent Skwawkbox blog article on this subject.
So Mr Balls said: “I think David Cameron is just trying to dupe people with the idea that he has got some easy, quick political fix. You can’t play political games with our constitution.
“The danger is that the Conservatives are now going to completely destabilise the fairness, accountability and stability of the union by suddenly trying to play an English nationalist card.”
Balls was responding to comments, especially by William Hague, that devolution was necessary to bring “fairness” to the UK.
As you can see, that is not the case – quite the opposite, in fact. The Tories want to convince the public – especially in England – that the only fair thing to do is change the structure of the UK Parliament, to make it possible for English MPs to vote on matters affecting only England. If the other Parliamentary parties refuse to accept this, then it will become a general election issue.
Hague – on the orders of his puppet-master David Cameron – is hoping that English devolution could help win the next election for the Conservatives.
If that happens, then the English voting public will deserve them!
Let us reiterate:
1. There are no matters discussed in the UK Parliament that affect England alone.
2. Even if there were, it would be unfair to change Parliament in order to bar Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs from voting. English MPs were never asked to accept being banned from voting on matters affecting Wales – that country was given its own assembly instead. If an England-only legislature were demanded – silly though such an idea may be – then it would have to be created separately from the UK Parliament – either as a single body or a series of regional assemblies. That would be, in fact, the only fair way to do it.
The fact of the matter is, the Tories want English MPs to decide such matters because, in an English-only Parliamentary sitting, they would command a 59-seat majority and could therefore run roughshod over the English people in any way that suited their fancy.
Do not accept for one moment any claim that they would govern for the good of the country. We have seen, over the last – long – four and a half years, that it simply is not in their nature.
So, if anyone asks you whether you support the idea of an English Parliament, tell them it should never be done with existing English MPs, and even if it was, its decisions would affect every other part of the UK anyway. Once a way is found to negate that effect, it might just be acceptable for members to be elected to a separate body – or bodies.
It’s only fair.
Oh, and by the way: Isn’t it nice to see Cameron and Hague backed into a corner by Ed Miliband, U-turning like mad on their position over powers for Scotland? “Commitments to Scotland would be honoured,” said Hague.
After Ed Miliband’s “No ifs, no buts” speech, what else could he say?
Commenters may wish to attack the viewpoints expressed above. If you do, please address your argument to the points raised above and make sure you have a reasonable argument to make. If your gripe is “everyone else has got one (assembly) so why shouldn’t we?” your comment won’t see the light of day. Life’s too short.
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