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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

“Scottish votes for English Stores”

Here is the Guardian’s views on the recent Sunday trading fiasco in the House of Commons 

“Scottish votes for English Stores"

The article is right on some very key points about the failure of the Government to get through its proposed changes to the Sunday Trading Law. 

However it downplays the most important constitutional point; which is that this incident has already proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the Government's EVEL rule change to Commons procedures has failed its very first test even in its own terms – let alone in terms of an answer to the whole English Question! 

Here is the article:- 

“The interest of Scottish Nationalists in the hours that English grocers keeps is more plausibly interpreted as simple mischief-making. Many things are wrong with society, but a shortage of shopping opportunities is not one of them. Some supermarkets open 24 hours midweek, and the big chains operate small stores that open whenever they like. Credit cards can purchase anything at any hour online. Subliminal ads drive commerce into every last corner of life, and many workers feel a pressure to do shifts at times when families would traditionally have been together. There is, then, a good case for clinging on to one of the last legislative defences against a shopping free-for-all – the residual Sunday trading laws of England and Wales. It is, however, plain weird that the government’s plans to scrap them ran aground on Scottish Nationalist opposition on Tuesday.

For one thing, the SNP is intervening to salvage something that Scotland itself has never had: there is not, and never has been, any general bar on Sunday trading north of the Tweed. For another, this separatist party used to claim a “self-denying ordinance” against meddling in “England-only” matters. True, the complexities of the Barnett funding formula have always provided for a bit of ambiguity and opportunism in determining territorial scope. The SNP managed, for example, to oppose Tony Blair’s foundation trusts in the English NHS. Before May’s election, it said it would oppose “privatisation” in the same English service, on the questionable grounds that outsourcing would inevitably lead to cuts down the road, and then feed into Scotland’s block grant.

In the case of Sunday trading, however, the SNP is falling back on an even shakier support – a claim that supermarket chains would respond to their new commercial freedoms in England by eroding Sunday premiums in workers’ pay in Scotland. Who knows? Cross-border employers may, conceivably, have responded first by rewriting English contracts in the way conjectured, and then have further decided that this was a propitious moment for ironing out differences with Scottish contracts. But even if this highly speculative scenario played out, it would reveal highly integrated British businesses which would, one might have thought, be most effectively regulated by integrated British governance. But this is not, of course, an avenue that the SNP would want to go down.

The interest of Scottish Nationalists in the hours that English grocers keep is more plausibly interpreted as simple mischief-making. After all, the SNP bloc – which swelled from just six to 56 MPs in May – lost no time in using its new clout to scupper Tory hopes of weakening the semi-effective English hunting ban. The sentiment may have been noble, but since Scotland has long had its own separate ban, what distinctively Scottish locus could there possibly be? Protecting the odd fox in the Borders that may stray into Northumberland?

No, the aim is to render the UK in general and England especially that bit harder to govern, and thus provoke irritated English Conservatives to begin wondering out loud whether the country would be tidier without the Scots. The government has rammed its “English votes for English laws” procedures through the Commons, but the whole House still votes on third reading, so the potential to make trouble remains. With a tiny Tory majority that relies upon several rebellious MPs, the SNP is not going to let constitutional niceties stand in the way of its efforts to pull down the shutters on the union store.”

Here is the link to the original article>>> The Guardian view on Sunday trading: Scottish votes for English stores | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian


  1. I've long said that, since devolution, the sole purpose of Scottish MPs is to meddle in English affairs. Q.E.D.!

    1. Clive,
      Laws passed in Scotland do not affect England. Laws passed England invariably affect Scotland. That is why Evel is nonsense and why there have to be Scottish MPs at Westminster for as long as the UK exists as a unitary state. There is only one way around it and that is independence for England.

    2. Laws passed in Scotland do effect England. From Education to health. Example: An English student in Scotland would have to foot the bill. A Scottish student in England does not. The Scots student's way will be paid for by way of the of the Barnett formula and other subsides from England. What is more Scots deliberately meddle in English only affairs. As shown in the article. English only laws, not that any exist really, do not effect Scotland. UK laws made by the UK parliament in Westminster, including Scots MPs, do effect Scotland and everyone else.

    3. A law passed in the British Parliament in Westminster, England can affect Scotland only if it concerns a reserved matter. Otherwise Scotland is immune from Westminster legislation. My comment was slightly tongue in cheek, but essentially correct. I agree entirely that independence for England is the only satisfactory solution.

    4. Clive,
      That is not so. Non-reserved matters can also affect Scotland, as with the proposed change to Sunday shopping in England. Evel is unworkable and the Government knows it's unworkable. as William Hague made clear, but the Government went ahead with Evel anyway. It is desperately clutching at straws to avoid granting the English parliament that it fears..

  2. The only way there can be English votes for English laws (Evel) is in an independent sovereign England.
    The Government is pulling the wool over our eyes.

  3. EVEL is the Tories own goal in England in the way that devolution was Labour's spectacular own goal while UKIP are silent.

    English Parliament is no longer enough.


    1. An English parliament is a start (which we do yet have) but as you say, "not enough". To be once again a full sovereign independent nation is the only outcome we desire.
      Of course it will mean the end of the union, which all the nations seem to now increasingly want. No matter the outcome of the fixed Scottish referendum and what they say on the Welsh government says; that they want to stay part of the union, though England has to become regions in their view!

      And d o not get me wrong, the union founded some fine countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. I for one was happy enough with the British union, when it was run for the indigenous nations of the union, when it was run democratically, when our constitution was up held and when we were not governed and occupied by the EU. But EU and other organisations were already planning the British union end in all but name. All using drummed up unjustified anti-English sentiment to get their way. Now we English have only one recourse left open, that is to save oursleves and England.

      but the union's time has passed,

    2. Yes Francis, we must have independence.

  4. Independence is the English Democrats' unique selling proposition (USP). It is what makes the English Democrats distinct from all the other parties and gives the English Democrats the edge over Ukip.
    Independence is the only way to get an English parliament. The other parties, including Ukip, can only be opposed to an English parliament.

  5. The government has sold £13bn of former Northern Rock mortgages. The portfolio is being sold by UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) to US investment firm Cerberus. The deal is thought to be the largest financial asset sale to date by a European government.
    More of England's assets being sold off to foreigners. There won't be anything left to sell soon.
    Osborne claims that the money will be used to pay down the national.debt. All it will do is to stop the debt rising quite so quickly. It has never been so big as under Osborne.. .

  6. I'm not an economist nor financial regulator. But it appears to me that every financial meltdown is caused by friends of the government in banking (including in the Republic of Ireland) and their corporate friends and MPs. Then the English are made to bail them out to what amounts to the tune hundreds of billions if you include payments to the EU, Republic of Ireland and UK banks. Then as shown by the above post, we are again short changed and sold out. The CONS believe everything has a price. they only want tax, no actually governmental responsibility as such. They want everything sold off and privatised. ..They want only to concentrate on generating tax from us in in order to fund their self-serving designs of greater enrichment and power.

    1. The CONS want voluntary taxation for them and compulsory taxation for us.

  7. Professor Roger Scruton, 'the sage of the English' must be persuaded over to the English Democrats. (Listen to him on BBC Radio 4's 'A point of view'.)