Monday, 10 August 2015
Letter to Mr Dominic Raab MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for English Devolution Ministry of Justice
I recently suggested that supporters of our Cause might like to write to the new Minister of English Devolution. Here is a sample of what one has written which is perhaps long for a Lobbying letter but comes from the heart and makes the point well.
Mr Dominic Raab MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for English Devolution
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
7th August 2015
Dear Mr Raab,
Re: English Devolution
I was pleased to learn of your appointment, as resolving the “English question” was a Conservative manifesto pledge, and consequently, I am expecting a resolution acceptable to us English including an English Parliament.
As an Englishman, I, and many of my colleagues, friends, business acquaintances, and family, have strong views on the subject, and have had these for many years, especially as we are now strangers in our own country. My thoughts, and those of others, follow below.
In September 2014 the people of Scotland voted 55% to 45% against independence after a long and sometimes antagonistic campaign by both sides of the divide. Just two days before the people of Scotland cast their votes in the referendum, the leaders of the three unionist parties - David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg made a public vow to give Holyrood more powers. Mr Cameron promised the day after the referendum that if he won the 2015 general election he would deliver on the 'vow'.
The Queen's Speech after the election demonstrated that the 'vow' to Scotland discussed prior to the referendum had indeed been kept by the incoming Conservative Party. The Scottish Parliament will now be able to raise 40% of taxes and decide on 60% of public spending. There are a number of other devolved powers that the Scottish Parliament will receive, including new welfare powers worth £2.5bn. The people of Scotland now have a devolved Scottish Parliament with its own Executive, First Minister and almost full control over how it shapes the future of Scotland.
We must remember that Wales too has its own assembly with a number of devolved powers and there are promises by the new government that there will be a further devolution of powers to Wales, including more powers over energy, transport and local government elections in Wales (pity they can’t run their NHS).
Northern Ireland has control over areas such as agriculture, education, health and social services, economic development and the environment with further devolution of powers in the pipeline.
Many commentators have suggested that the present constitutional settlement in relation to devolution is grossly unfair to England. The English people indeed are the only people in the Union who have no dedicated political representation. It must be remembered that there is no English government or parliament, no devolved English assembly and therefore no one to speak up for the people of England or represent their interests. The unfairness of the present constitutional discrimination against us English has been recognised by David Cameron who wants to introduce 'English votes for English laws', thus ensuring that only MPs representing English constituencies could vote on legislation affecting England alone.
However, what does this mean in practice? English laws will still be proposed by a British government and scrutinised by a House of Lords containing members from across the UK and abroad. There will be no administration devoted to English affairs and British MPs will still vote on British party lines. It simply ends up being a blocking device which can be used by English MPs to stop laws that they do not think are suitable for England. Why can't England be treated like the other constituent parts of the UK? Why not an English assembly like Wales? Why not devolved powers like Northern Ireland? Why not an English parliament with an Executive, First Minister and devolved powers like Scotland?
The British government and the establishment afford England no recognition as a legitimate nation. In many ways they have made every effort to keep England invisible, and discriminate against the people of England at every opportunity; indeed one gets the impression at times that the British state would like to abolish England, e.g., by breaking it up into regions. Many British politicians have expressed their contempt for England and the English and they are very anxious that England should not assert her identity.
It is a matter of fact that the British state refuses to acknowledge that England is a nation like Scotland or Wales. One can discuss whether these are true nations, but it is very clear that if that designation is afforded to both Scotland and Wales then it surely must be to England also.
No other nation is delegitimised and deconstructed in the way that England is. We English are constantly told that there is no such people as the English or that they are just a 'mongrel race', a nation of immigrants. The question, 'What does it mean to be English ?', is constantly thrown at anyone who identifies as English, in a way that it would never be thrown at a member of any other ethnic group. Have you ever heard of a multiculturalist MP asking Pakistanis to explain what it means to be Pakistani?
The British state also, clearly, has no problem promoting Scottish and Welsh identities and indeed celebrates these; however there is no focus on English identity or English culture. Scottish and Welsh children are rooted in their respective heritages in a way that English children have not been for a very long time. English children must make do with British identity rooted in a make-believe multicultural past.
Whilst Scottish and Welsh nationalism is actively promoted, English nationalism is characterised as 'racist' and 'xenophobic'; it's seen as the preserve of the 'far Right'. It has become totally acceptable amongst the middle class metropolitan elites to castigate the English, and they simply do not care what impact these statements have on the collective dignity and psychological well-being of English men, women and children. These politicians are quite willing to undermine our collective self-esteem whilst all the time going to great lengths not to offend minorities.
As long as the British state remains, England will continue to be subjected to second class status within the Union and the people of England subjected to the abuse meted out to them. We English need to develop a sense of Englishness again if things are to change and begin to assert ourselves in the way that the people of Scotland and Wales have done in recent decades. Thankfully, there are signs that this is starting to happen. More and more people living in England are rejecting British identity and simply identifying themselves as English. There is also emerging what might be called an "English political community". This is clearly a response to the gross injustices of the devolution settlement and the privileging of the other constituent parts of the UK, especially Scotland.
Many English people are asking why the people of England must pay ever increasing prescription charges whilst people north of the border don't pay anything! English people want to know why lifesaving cancer drugs are available in Scotland but not in England. They want to know why more money is spent in Scotland per head of population than in England and why this privilege is paid for by the English taxpayer via the Barnett Formula. They also want to know why Scottish MPs can vote on matters affecting England (e.g., the introduction of student fees) but English MPs cannot vote on matters affecting Scotland. Many English people are beginning to wonder whether we would be better off without the Union!
I think that the Union is effectively over. The SNP will use its position in Westminster to manoeuvre for another referendum in the not too distant future - regardless of what Sturgeon and co. are saying at the moment - and I am convinced that if this is held within the next decade Scotland will vote for independence. We English must now seek a constitutional settlement that reflects our interests of us, the people of England. We demand either a devolved English parliament with exactly the same powers as Scotland within a federal UK, as long as the union remains, or they must vote for independence.
It should also be borne in mind that we English have recourse to the UN regarding the elimination of race and cultures and I am aware the certain people are following this up.
My apologies for this rather long letter, but this matter is close to my heart because I no longer recognize the country I grew up in and, like many, feel betrayed and dismissed by a ruling elite who regard us English with contempt. I do not want my country split into regions or “power-houses” and will support anybody and anything that will promote England and Englishness.
D P Fair