1/03/2011

Let's end the discrimination against the English

As a party, the Lib Dems are supposed to want to make Britain a fairer place. Perhaps 2011 is the year the party could start this by addressing the discriminatory way in which the English are taxed and charged in comparison to those living in parts of the countries with devolved governments.

If you live in Wales, you children won't pay for University tuition fees like English students will, similarly you won't pay for prescriptions and I, as an English license fee payer will see certain services that I enjoy on the BBC cut in order to fund your Welsh language channel (which most Welsh people watch).

If you live in Scotland, you too won't see your kids paying the tuition fees my children will pay, whilst your government provides more doctors and access to services which we in England don't get.

Northern Irish people apparently pay no water bills, I was shocked to hear this week, whilst again, your devolved government ensure that Northern Irish people received benefits we in England do not get.

Now there will be those who will jump in and immediately see what I am writing as an attack on the Northern Irish, the Scots and Welsh. It is not. What I am doing is pointing out that it is the English who are more highly taxed but receive the least back. We are the discriminated against majority.

Let's see the Lib Dems in government tackle this in the same was as the party has become obsessed with stopping control orders on potential terrorist suspects.

Perhaps the obvious answer to this is that we need and English parliament.

36 comments:

Peter Black said...

Two points: 1. Wales pays its way. The budget of the Welsh Assembly is less than the amount raised in taxes in Wales. 2. If England want all of these things then they should vote for them and introduce them. It is not the fault of the Welsh, Scots or Northern Irish that the English Government has made different choices.

Norfolk Blogger said...

We DO NOT have an English government. That is my point. I am shocked that a Welsh Assembly member could come back with such a response.

I even stated that I don't begrudge the Welsh, Irish, Scots, etc, what they have. What annoys me is the democratic deficit the English have.

By the way, when it comes to payign taxes, do you include the costs of Defence, embassies, etc, or are they costs English tax payers have to carry ?

Anonymous said...

"Northern Irish people apparently pay no water bills"

So what are the charges shown at http://www.niwater.com/watercharges.asp ?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I have no idea, but both ITV and BBC reported re NI Water that in NI, people do not get charged for water as this is paid by local authorities.

Dan R said...

I have long been in favour of a bi-cameral system comprising national parliaments alongside the House of Commons.

Peter Black said...

You have Ministers with entirely English portfolios and a UK Government responsible for English issues so it is close enough. However, if that is not good enough then you should change it. It is not for me to say how. The democratic deficit is in your hands so dont go blaming the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish for it.

My point about taxation refers to devolved matters. The cost of funding devolved issues is met by Welsh taxes. The non-devolved matters are paid for by UK taxes as they are UK matters.

Norfolk Blogger said...

What a total fool you are. Let me repeat the point I made in my original posting, which you obvious failed to read.
--------------------------------
"Now there will be those who will jump in and immediately see what I am writing as an attack on the Northern Irish, the Scots and Welsh. It is not. What I am doing is pointing out that it is the English who are more highly taxed but receive the least back."
---------------------------------

Unlike you , I am not a "race to the bottom" sort of person, I don't want Wales or Scotland to be dragged down to our level, quiet the reverse.

Again, you mistake having ministers responsible for English decisions with having an English Parliament, These are patently different things, but you are unable to discern the difference.

What a fool.

Anonymous said...

Its the way that devolved politicians always behave. Mr Black has highlighted it again.

It a 'you can have it if you want it response which fails to comprehend that the English cannot have it because of the system.

Mr Black would have made himself out to be liberal if he had backed Nick's view that English people are suffering compared to the rest of the UK. Instead, he underlines why the LibDem Party is no longer a home for liberal minded people.

Wyrdtimes said...

English parliament - absolutely.

Followed as quickly as possible by English independence.

Tally said...

I believe that NI water charges or the lack of them was part of the Good Friday Agreement.
I was once told that part of the GF agreement also included no English Parliament,but I would not know for sure.

scilla said...

The fault lies with the BRITISH Government which is full of anti-English MPs from English constituencies. These MPs collaborate with BRITISH government to ensure that it spends far less per head on the domestic matters such as education and health than the devolved national administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Even though the grants to the devolved administrations may be decreased just watch where most of the sell offs and local taxes will fall to bolster the finances of the BRITISH government.
The Campaign for an English Parliament will be calling MPs to account, including the 109 unprincipled MPs from outside England who used their legal but undemocratic right to vote on tuition fees. These MPs are unaccountable to the electorate in England that is affected. Join us now! We are a cross party organisation set up to lobby and inform. www.thecep.org.uk

i albion said...

YES! to an English Parliament,the English have no voice,has any of this shower of MPs stood in the Commons and said "I am an English MP so I speak for England?" I think they have made it illegal to mention England.

Anonymous said...

Peter Black claimed “You have Ministers with entirely English portfolios and a UK Government responsible for English issues so it is close enough.”

NO, that is NOT “close enough”! How would you like it if English people went and sat in the Welsh assembly and forced the legislation they wanted on the Welsh against the wishes of the majority of Welsh representatives? Would you smugly tell the Welsh that that was “close enough” to democratic accountability? This has been done to England! And if we do have an “English government” as you previously claimed, why are there people for whom no one in England voted, who represent no one in England, sitting in the parliament from which the government is drawn? Why were there ministers from outside England in the “English government”? To whom did they owe their allegiance – England, the UK, or Scotland? Never forget, we had individuals in your supposed “English government” who had made a public pledge that in all their actions the interests of the Scots would be paramount! “English government” indeed! What nonsense!

Anonymous said...

Your point is spot on, Norfolk blogger. The problem in England is that, when Blair and Dewar created devolution for Scotland in order to 'dish' the SNP and included Wales (though less evenhandedly),they failed to carry through the consequences at Westminster, e.g. by providing that MPs from the devolved nations should not vote on purely English legislation (the West Lothian Question). Had they done so, top up tuition fees would have been rejected as the English voted against. However, there was no adjustment at Westminister because Blair's govt had other plans for England -dismemberment through the creation of 9 regional assemblies, with less powers than the NAWA and so subservient to the UK Govt. Regionalisation was rejected by the people of the North East but the Labour party did not then return to fix the WLQ - because it would still like to dismember England if the English are not on their guard.

Alfie said...

Blimey. Peter Black's comments sort of sums it all up really doesn't it? Crass ignorance and abject complacency hardly describes his bizarre 'we're alright Jack' conclusions...

If this is the best that a member of a devolved body can come up with, it's no damned wonder the UK is the basketcase it is.

The sooner England rises and declares total independence the better. The UK is finished - good riddance to bad rubbish...

ENGLISH PARLIAMENT NOW!!!!!
(and no Peter mate, Westminster ain't an English Parliament - have a butchers at any schoolboy history book - I think you'll find the EP ceased to be in 1707)...

Anonymous said...

It's not wonder Nich you read as being jarred off with the Lib Dems if Peter Black is the type of person you have to put up with.

He obviously didn't read what you wrote and the comments he made were not clever.

Andy said...

Why do you use the term English? Any Scots Welsh or Northern Irish living in England are subject to the same discrimination as the English.
Any English living in Scotland, Wales etc receive the benefits of living in a devolved country.

Surely you mean citizens of England

If you want to stop discrimination against the English then how about highlighting the THOUSANDS of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) groups that exist which give preferential treatment to any Black and minority groups.
Is the housing federation racist?
If not then why do we need a Black housing federation?
There are thousands of such discriminatory groups.

Its amazing that people can stand up and oppose discrimination against England whilst ignoring the discrimination against the English.

Whatever your ethnicity we should all be treated equally.

As for the English parliament Im all for it.
Lets see how Wales and Mr Black funds his non devolved UK policies when England decides it will spend its revenues only on England.
Wales and Scotland both have nationalist parties slowly taking over power in their nationalist parliaments, the same will happen in an English parliament which represents the citizens of England and to hell with Scotland and Wales.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled that a man as ignorant of constitutional affairs and even a plain everyday democratic deficit is helping to run England. No wonder we are in such a state.

Westminster (NOT the English Parliament – just English buildings!), goes to war in the name of democracy yet preside over a huge democratic deficit within the Union over which they directly preside. And that includes YOU Mr. Black. Shame on you for such ignorance!

Anonymous said...

If only you were representing the majoriry of your Party, I would not hesitate to vote for you and shout about it from the hills.

Thank you for sticking your neck out. You make a fair argument and suffer the usual nonsensical vitriol from the neighbours in response. It is par for the course, I'm sorry to say.

Michael Kilpatrick said...

The last thing we need is an English Parliament, blimey! England is about 85% of the UK in population so a single parliament for England is going to be so similar to the House of Commons that it would be a pointless duplication.

No, what we need is regional parliaments - about 8 or so across England. And parliaments which all have the same tax-raising and other power so that the English regions, the Welsh/Scots etc are all on a level footing.

Further to that, we should also do what has been done in Scotland and make all local authorities unitary. We wouldn't need district councils *and* county councils *and* a parliament. The counties would be redundant.

Stephen Gash said...

Devolution has shown that fairness is an English characteristic, not a British one.

The worst enemies of the English are the British and it is British MPs that have ensured that the English receive the worst of everything, while still paying for the benefits the rest of the ridiculously named United Kingdom receive, that are denied to the English.

The only reason British MPs oppose an English Parliament is because one would make them all redundant, just as the Scottish Parliament has made them pointless in Scotland.

Time for each nation to have its won fiscally autonomous parliament, so we can see who is really paying their way.

Anonymous said...

Michael Kilpatrick, there is no way eight English “regions” could all have assemblies equal with those of the Scottish Parliament, so your suggestion is a non-starter. Besides, if England should be divided into regions, why not divide Scotland and Wales into regions? It is unacceptable to give Scotland its own parliament because, in Blair’s words, it is a “proud, historic nation”, while denying the same rights to another proud, historic nation. No, the only answer to the current mess is an English Parliament with powers at least equal to those of the Scottish Parliament. Anything less is discriminatory.

ariversideview said...

What you forget is the fact that because the Scots and Welsh do not pay tuition fees, their universities are being underfunded meaning that in the future, the best universities will be in England.

Of course they'll be blaming the English when that happens.

Andy said...

What a weak reason not to allow England its own parliament. Yet again double standards are argued as the only way England should be governed.

Pathetic.

Labour have only allowed one of your EU regions to vote on a regional assembly and the NO VOTE was overwhelming. In fact it was so overwhelmingly against regional assemblies that Labour abandoned any further referendums.
British anglophobic democracy in action.

England have never had the opportunity to vote on an English parliament yet the Scots and Welsh have had two.
Yet more double standards for England.

The reason people oppose an English parliament is that once England gets its parliament then that will signel the end of preferential treatment for Scotland and Wales.
It will also see many of those Unionist politicians out of work.


Good riddence to them.

A parliament for England will see an end to the unfair barnett formula and then Scotland and Wales will have to learn to live according to thier revenues and not to what they can plunder from the people of England

Home Rule for England said...

Michael Kilpatrick why stop there? Why not have 16 English regional assemblies, 3 Scottish regional assemblies and 2 Welsh regional assemblies? The case for Wales having a North Wales Assembly (Welsh speaking) and a South Wales (English speaking) Assembly is surely overwhelming? Get rid of the Cardiff Welsh Assembly. Similary get rid of Holyrood and have 3 Scottish regional Assemblies. One probably being gaelic speaking.
All with the powers of the now defunct Scottish Parliament.
Can you imagine that? Free prescriptions, tuition fees, elderly care costs paid in some regions not in others etc.etc. What a post code lottery we would have with 21 regional assemblies plus N.Irelnd all making their own decisions.
Different rates of income tax in these regions of yours. I bet HMRC would love that one!

Home Rule for England said...

Peter Black would you say that Gordon Brown's government was an English Government? He represented a Scottish constituency while he was British PM and de facto English First Minister.
What a democratic outrage it is that England is ruled by the British.
England does want out of the disunited kingdom.
I note your comments about taxes raised in Wales. That's OK then Wales will do very nicely as an independent nation.
I look forward to the day when passports need to be shown at the English Welsh border in the same way that they are shown when people enter England from France or any other foreign country.

Michael Kilpatrick said...

Anonymous said "there is no way eight English regions could all have assemblies equal with those of the Scottish Parliament, so your suggestion is a non-starter."

That's a completely unqualified comment. You're just stating a meaningless opinion - you haven't justified in any economic, social or other sense what is such a "non-starter" about the suggestion.

Furthermore, forget any nonsense about "proud, historic nations". The practicality of the matter is that England is too large a part of the UK for a single English parliament to make any sense. It would not belittle Scotland as a nation for "mere regions" of England to be granted equal status, nor would it belittle England as a country for it not to have a single parliament of its own.

Michael Kilpatrick said...

"Home Rule for England" said: Why not have 16 English regional assemblies...

Obviously, given that Yorkshire, for example, is recognised as a cultural and historic identity and has approx 5 million people in it, and given that greater London has a population in the region of 8 million (or something?) it's very clear that if you are going to apply any sort of consistency of scale within English devolution, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a solution that had more than 8 or 9 regions without having silly boundaries that subdivided any of the significant cities or historical regions of the country, and without having silly little "rump regions" with hardly any population.

As for different rates of tax, it's a doddle. If the HMRC know your postcode, that's all there is to it. I don't think HMRC would either "love it" or "hate it". They would just get on and do it.

After all, in the USA they seem to manage with different local income taxes and sales taxes from state to state. What's the big deal? And they have 50 "regions", not just 10 or 20.

Andy said...

Home Rule for England,
Well said mate, why should England have two, three, four or twenty assemblies or parliaments.
Scotland has one
Wales has one.
Northern Ireland has one

Therefore England should have one.
Unless Mr Kilpatrick can give a good reason why England cannot have one parliament then i assume he has another agenda.
I believe the likes of Mr Kilpatrick wants a divided England with region fighting region.
Not a united England under one parliament governing England for the benefit of England.

At the moment England is governed by a British parliament for the benefit of Britain.
Scotland governed by Scotland for the benefit of Scotland
Wales governed by Wales for the benefit of Wales.

Mr Kilpatrick is aware that an England governed by England for the benefit of England will see those other countries suddenly having to give up many of the benefits they now enjoy at our expense.
However that is not the argument here.

If it is good enough for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland then Mr Kilpatrick needs to tell us why it is not good enough for England.


Why cant England have an English parliament Mr Kilpatrick, and if the answer is it can then what is your reason for arguing against it.

Hendre said...

"What I am doing is pointing out that it is the English who are more highly taxed ..."

In what sense are the English 'more highly taxed'? We have a unified UK tax system. If the tax take in England as a whole is higher per capita than the rest of the UK, isn't this a reflection of the inequalities that stem from an over-dominant South-east of England?

Home Rule for England said...

Michael Kilpatrick you say that 'the practicality of the matter is that England is too large a part of the UK for a single English parliament to make any sense'.

The answer to that of course is for England to declare independence and leave the UK.

Michael Kilpatrick said...

Andy says "Unless Mr Kilpatrick can give a good reason why England cannot have one parliament then I assume he has another agenda."

Uh? What's this "agenda" you are imagining? I've already explained why I think I separate English Parliament would be a silly idea. Read my earlier responses.

Andy says: "I believe the likes of Mr Kilpatrick wants a divided England with region fighting region."

Erm, what's this emotive twaddle about "divided", as though we were pitting regions against each other in order to let England be enslaved by the marauding Huns whilst we argue amongst ourselves about the price of beans? Blimey, get a grip. Have you heard of diversity, or healthy competition? There is no competition between different ideas of social and economic management within England thanks to its monolithic govt structure. Yet England is a large and diverse country. Why do you think that people in either Cornwall or East Anglia actually have more in common *beyond their national identity* with people from Northumberland than those same Northumbrians do with their nearest neighbours over the Scottish border? [Which were originally part of the Kingdom of Northumbria anyway]

Why shouldn't East Anglia have free prescription charges yet the West Midlands decide not to? In what sense does this actually "divide" England?

Andy says "tell us why it is not good enough for England":

As I said before, England is 85% of the UK. An English Parliament is going to have such a similar power centre, make-up, entrenched national party politics, as the UK parliament that there will be little difference. What is the point, other than satisfying nationalism? What would actually *change* in the way we manage our affairs? Sod all, I think.

Now, if you think what I'm saying about the need for regional English devolution being far more beneficial than English national devolution somehow belittles England as a nation then you just have some sort of nationalist paranoia which someone from any of the mature and stable countries of England, Wales and Scotland simply shouldn't have.

Lastly, I wonder what the answer would be if you asked a large number of Yorkshiremen to rank these three terms in order of relevance (a) British citizen (b) Englishman (c) Yorkshireman

Michael

Andy said...

Micheal said,
As I said before, England is 85% of the UK. An English Parliament is going to have such a similar power centre, make-up, entrenched national party politics, as the UK parliament that there will be little difference. What is the point, other than satisfying nationalism? What would actually *change* in the way we manage our affairs? Sod all, I think.

The difference would be no Scottish Welsh or Northern Irish MPs.
The difference would be an English parliament representing England for the benefit of the people of England.

As for competition if its competition you want then lets have the competition between England Scotland Northern Ireland and Wales rather then your English regions.

On one hand you claim my assumption your agenda is to get your English regions competitng with one another as 'twaddle' then in the next breath your defending getting them competing with each other as healthy.
In that case it will be healthy for England to compete with Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.

As for your Yorkshire man we could do the same in Scotland, or Wales.
I know lets have a parliament for every county.

Your argument for denying England a single parliament is weak.
England had its own parliament before 1707 and the country hadnt fallen apart.
In fact we were heading towards building a successful English empire.

Andy said...

Michael
The solution to our dissagreement is simple.
Give England a referendum.

Three choices,
1. Continue as we are
2. Implement 6 regional assemblies
3. An English parliament

Scotland and Wales have both had their referendum yet England has been denied a choice.
Oh! except for the so called North East region (I think it was) who voted overwhelmingly AGAINST being given a regional assembly.

We supposedly live in a democracy, so surely you havent a problem with letting the people of England decide how they are governed.
Just as Scotland and Wales were allowed their voice.

I am prepared to give the people a say, are you.

Michael Kilpatrick said...

Andy says: "On one hand you claim my assumption your agenda is to get your English regions competitng with one another as 'twaddle' then in the next breath your defending getting them competing with each other as healthy."

You're misquoting yourself! You clearly said "fighting" the first time round. The "competition" I was referring to was nothing to do with fighting (for bigger slices of the same pie, perhaps?) but to do with diversity and competing with ideas for social and economic management within a level playing-field of regions/countries/provinces/whatever.

Our countries and regions already "fight" against each other economically when it comes to pitching for important development grants from the UK govt or from the EU, or for important projects of large economic value.

Furthermore, if the UK were divided into just its 4 countries or instead into more numerous and smaller regions, if we work on a level playing-field then each division would presumably get its fair share of the national pie it obviously implies that the sum of all the English regions would equally be fair. So in what way would any individual Englishman be at a disadvantage to a Scotsman?

Andy says: "Oh, North East region...voted overwhelmingly AGAINST being given a regional assembly".

I hardly think it fair that the North East of England should to decide that the South West shouldn't be given an assembly, or even a referendum on the matter.


Andy says "Your argument for denying England a single parliament is weak.
England had its own parliament before 1707 and the country hadnt fallen apart."

What a complete non sequitur. What happened before the Union is off little bearing. It's hardly as if we had much direct democracy before 1707, and it's hardly as if we didn't have any civil wars not long before that...

Michael

Andy said...

Micael said
I hardly think it fair that the North East of England should to decide that the South West shouldn't be given an assembly, or even a referendum on the matter.

It wouldnt have, because of this first and only referendum in England, Labour knowing the answer it would get from the rest of England cancelled its already planned referendum for other regions.

So do you agree then that England should get a referendum on the three options given.

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