9/07/2007

SNP plans highlight the need for an English Parliament

The plans announced by the SNP on Wednesday show that Scotland's devolved parliament has started to develop in to a real asset for Scottish people, and further highlights the lack of a similar parliament for England.

The bills the SNP propose include specifically local things akin to the powers pledged to Labour's proposed regional assemblies, before they were rejected, like the abolition of bridge tolls and safeguarding rural schools. But the Scottish Parliament goes far beyond the powers of a glorified County Council,. which is what the regional assemblies really were, by allowing the SNP to propose scrapping the graduate endowment and seeking to give patients a bigger stake in health policy, including direct elections to health boards.

I am not discussing the validity of the SNP's policy proposals, indeed I think there is a nasty anti English tint to everything to the SNP does. However, their policies do show up how the UK parliament is letting England down.

It is all well and good for people to call for regional assemblies, but they are unwanted and lack the powers that the Scottish Parliament has. With the added fact that people in some areas feel that the regions do not represent their identity, it makes me feel more and more that it is high time we had an English Parliament, to give England an equality with the rest of the country.

People will argue that the Westminster Parliament is an English Parliament, but this is plainly wrong because the votes of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MP's decide key votes on English issues.

So, given my views, I am now linked to the Witanagemot Club, a group of bloggers from the left and right of the political spectrum, who all think that England needs to be represented fairly and equitably by its own parliament. I am the first official Lib Dem to join the club, but I gather that there are a number of people in there who have liberal sympathies.

Update : The Thunder Dragon makes a good point about the SNP proposals being paid for by English cash. It does make our lack of a parliament here for the English all the more galling.

7 comments:

Harry Haddock said...

Well put. Something has to be done to address the democratic defect

ThunderDragon said...

Excellent post - and I'm glad you've joined the Witanagemot Club! Even if you are a Lib Dem! ;-)

Anonymous said...

welcome to the Witangemot.English MP's are letting down not only the people who elected them to parliament but the the whole of England. The situation regarding Cancer drugs as reported on the Campaign English Parliament news blog is going on not just in the North East of England.Why should English taxpayers be paying for the Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish administrations when we can't afford to treat people properly in England?

Grendel said...

Welcome on board Nich.

Iain Dale said...

You really are becoming my clone! Welcome aboard the English Parliament campaign. I keep being told that Simon Hughes is in favour of it. Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to persuade the Member for North Norfolk of its merits!

Matt Wardman said...

Agree with most of your post.

But ... ugh ... those topic tags. I thought they were adverts.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the SNP, can you please give me some evidence that our party and policies are driven by anti English racism. I'd love to know how you came to this conclusion my friend.

Scot not Brit.

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