There is now a groundswell of expectation amongst the more politically active electorate in England for a parliament for us. This will immediately solve the long-festering West Lothian question regarding Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish members of the Westminster Parliament voting on issues related solely to England.
Already William Hague has been tasked by David Cameron to come up with a solution to the expectations of the ‘rest of England’ and when pressed by a reporter on the possibility of a Parliament for England, he responded: “We don’t want another layer of Government do we?” So already his remit is to deny the fundamental demand of the English activists.
I hear reported on the news this morning, Saturday 20 September, that the Labour Party will NOT support any changes worked out by the Conservatives before the next election.
The previous evening, Ed Miliband was interviewed and he said that following the next election, the Labour Government would set up a parliamentary study into necessary changes to the constitution. Doesn’t this sound very much like the promise of the Conservatives for a referendum on EU membership in 2017? Let’s offer them a carrot and kick the problem down the street.
Frankly I cannot see the Labour Party ever agreeing to a resolution of the West Lothian question because it would remove the present contingent of 41 Scottish Labour MPs from voting on English matters. It would also likely prevent a majority Labour Government in the English Parliament, maybe for generations.
So the problem is that actually, neither the Conservatives nor Labour would ever agree to any constitutional change that would limit their party’s hold on power and reduce their ability to feed from the gravy train. Only by reducing the number of MPs from both parties will we ever be able to achieve real change in the constitution.
Regardless of ‘The Establishment’, what the people of these islands need is, in my opinion, a federation of states of Britain. It could be called a number of things, from United States of Britain (USB), or United Isles of Britain. It needs a federal government formed partly from peers and partly from elected members. This will deal with issues common to all member states on foreign policy, the military, monetary policy, core taxation, industry, energy generation, fisheries & agricultural policy and overseas trade.
All policies specific to each member state, including additional taxation, should be left to their own parliaments to suit their own needs. I would hope that Eire could also be part of the federation because they are part of these islands and share with us much trade and fishing and the need for fishery protection within newly enforced territorial waters.