SNP’s irrelevant autopilot response to Ming Campbell’s raising major issue on disadvantage to England

Yesterday, former Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, raised an issue For Argyll has long made a focus for political change: the discrimination against England resulting from the UK’s incomplete devolution.

Alone amongst the four home nations, England has no devolved powers enabling it to exert some control over its own affairs. None of the other three nations would have tolerated this situation for one minute – but the pragmatic and stoical English have just carried on trucking where the celtic and viking fringes would have gone into battle.

Ming Campbell makes it clear that he anticipates that every political party or party group in Scotland will support plans to devolve more powers to Scotland following the probable 2014 vote in favour of retaining the United Kingdom.

But he is saying that he also expects this development to produce a powerful call for a devolved parliament for England.

In simple justice and in the creation of equality of opportunity, this has to happen.

There will also be no proper union until all four home nations have authorities over themselves and share responsibility for the common core.

That is the basis for new and constructive relationships.

At the moment England is at the same time a political chimaera and the economic engine of the UK, through its south east.

The introduction of English devolution will make imperative a radical revision of the Houses of Parliament, with different and more tightly focused roles for each house.

This will require far fewer MPs at Westminster, as the devolved partners in the Union carry increased responsibility for themselves and where England finds itself in this position for the first time.

As we have repeatedly pointed out, it has been persistently shaming that a Scotland keen to make its own voice heard in demanding authority has been completely disengaged from drawing attention to and calling for change to the indefensible discrimination against England.

This silence has only served to support the inference that Scottish separatism is centrally driven by blind Anglophobia. If it were a grown-up political philosophy, Scotland would have been sympathetic to England’s position and offering collegiate solidarity.

There is a major advantage for Scotland itself in the omission being remedied, seeing a devolved parliament for England and a refocused and very much slimmer Houses of Parliament.

We would see the repatriation of substantially more capable political representatives from across the spectrum than the mediocre parochials with which, largely, Holyrood is currently lamed.

Every aspect of this is a fascinating, productive, challenging and complex issue with profound ramifications in change for the better.

This is a genuine subject for objective debate on political philosophy and management, to be engaged in universally and beyond party politics.

In response to Sir Ming’s raising of it,  an SNP spokesperson said:

‘An independent Scotland means we will always get the government we vote for and will not have to put up with deeply unpopular Tory governments propped up by Menzies Campbell and his Lib Dem colleagues.’

Suddenly the horizon shrinks to the tedious predictability of the parish pump.

Ming Campbell’s initial intervention had made no mention of party politics in any vein.

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19 Responses to SNP’s irrelevant autopilot response to Ming Campbell’s raising major issue on disadvantage to England

  1. Devolution for England is a reserved matter and so the UK Parliament will decide. I think the First Minister has supported this. The spokesperson’s statement of fact doesn’t contradict that. England would also get the government it voted for (not a deeply unpoular Labour).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  2. Interesting how you refer to us as a Celtic fringe– is that how you view the Scots, Irish and Welsh, Cornish and Cumbrians etc?
    You go on ad nauseum “This silence has only served to support the inference that Scottish separatism is centrally driven by blind Anglophobia. If it were a grown-up political philosophy, Scotland would have been sympathetic to England’s position and offering collegiate solidarity.”

    Speak to my English relations I am not an Anglophobe or anti-irish nor anti-welsh, French, German, Israeli, Palestinian, Chinese, Russian………… I am pro Scottish because if I and other’s like me do not place my country first people like you and UKIP/Lib Dem/Tory pals certainly will not but will continue to support the draining of resources from this country. As for Sir Menzies C , Privy Councillor watched him several months ago on a foreign tv company running his nation down –sorry Scotland down — while preening himself over the Bristish/English state.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 10

  3. why is it the only time I read this anti-English stuff is on unionist dominated sites/newspapers?
    If the people of England want devolved parliament(s) they should be demanding them more loudly … but it seems relatively few are .. strange state of affairs to have highest populated part of UK not having it’s own parliament — although UK one does carry on traditions etc of the slumbering since 1707 English parliament (maybe holding things back)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  4. “Though I was convicted of ‘gross indecency’, I have never known of such a minger as this man”
    ~ Oscar Wilde on Ming Campbell

    Oscar was prophetic.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  5. If Ming Campbell and his Lib Dem colleagues were true to their beliefs they would have made it a pre condition of government that a Federal Constitution be proposed.

    The fact that the enticement of a seat in government was more important to them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  6. “Tedious predictability”? Pot, kettle …

    This sort of repetitive, twisted, partisan report is tedious in the extreme and becoming too predictable to be worth the effort of reading it.

    For a hundred years, the Liberal stance was unambiguously in favour of a federal UK. Now it’s patently not. Ask Mr Campbell to expain that, FA. That’s the REAL news element arising from Campbell’s statement, not that another party, any party, dismisses it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

  7. Please someone tell me this article is a spoof?
    Has the Scotlandshire website hijacked ForArgyll?
    I’m lost for words and the only reason I can come up with for anyone producing a shocking opinion based article like this is quite simply to provoke reaction.
    It is no surprise that most of those who have posted already are of the ‘Yes’ persuasion so well done Newsie.
    Can’t wait to read the counter from the ‘No’ visitors in their attempt to defend the indefensible.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  8. The painful reality is that when David Cameron insisted the ballot be restricted to “Full Independence: Yes or No” that the outcome was likely to end up with Scotland having less devolved autonomy than it would have had if it had been allowed to go for “Devo-Max”. Cameron’s action is the most powerful incentive for me to vote “Yes”.

    Many people, including myself, who would probably have supported “Devo-Max” will find themselves unable to vote for full independence, not least, because our best chance of escaping from the multitudinous tentacles of Brussels is by sticking with the UK and its Tory government.

    Sticking with EU membership is a disastrous “bullet through his own foot” by Mr Salmond, an inexplicable blunder by a normally canny politician.

    What I like best about your article is that the obvious outcome is an English parliament for English decisions and a reduced UK parliament for overarching legislation i.e. foreign policy, etc. There would then be no need for a bicameral parliament, we could have the unicameral system favoured in Scandinavia where governments top the world democracy table.

    At last, an end to the House of bloody Lords and all the bovine fall-out of privilege and patronage in our society which it, along with the existence of the monarchy, underpins.

    Just because they often speak more sense than their plebeian next door neighbours doesn’t make it right.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  9. There is no demand for devolution in England because they have 90% of the population of the UK.
    To all extents, the UK and England are the same thing.

    There is certainly no disadvantage for England, because English MP’s control the purse strings – including the devolved parliaments.

    And does anyone seriously expect any significant new powers to be devolved if Scotland fails to gain independence – you would have to be pretty naive to fall for that one..

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

    • The proposition that, on the grounds of percentage of population, ‘the UK and England are the same thing’ is as valid as saying that Glasgow and Scotland are the same thing.
      It’s not about numbers, it’s about character, texture, contribution, difference.
      In the larger world, the UK punches well above its theoretical weight.
      Are we to take from your criterion that an independent Scotland could aspire to be no more than a small fish in its own pond; and that in any context where it could not measure up in scale to its partner organisations, it would be of no account?
      Time ‘tae think again’.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

      • I am simply saying there is no demand for devolution in England – possibly because residents do not see the need for it – they do not consider themselves disadvantaged with a union where they comprise 90% of the population and voting power, and which naturally will always put their interests first.

        We currently have an unbalanced union, where most money and power flows to the South East…. A devolved Scottish parliament without the economic powers to challenge that, and a UK parliament that will never vote to devolve any significant powers that can balance out the natural advantages of the South East.

        A federal UK just isn’t going to happen, so the only practical solution seems like a new and improved looser union between equal independent governments.
        That seems like the only REALISTIC way forward to a better fairer Britain – instead of a one city state which is the way things are going.

        In regards to the wider world, I personally wouldn’t care about ‘punching above our weight’ if it meant a fairer, more prosperous country for the people who live here… instead of large areas of poverty, and thousands of kids having to leave for London to get a decent job.

        Norway might not be the biggest country in the world, but with control over their own economy, they have built up a fair, equal society, and the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

      • The proposition that, on the grounds of percentage of population, ‘the UK and England are the same thing’ is as valid as saying that Glasgow and Scotland are the same thing.

        No it doesn’t Glasgows population is around 1/2 million compared to Scotland’s 5 +million so DB is right if England wants something it can have it.
        The English regions could demand more powers but they have not. In my view this has meant Londoncentric fiscal and social policies do not help the English regions. Mind you the regions will be good for fracking to keep the Westminster and City of London gravy train going. To our cousins in The NE and NW of England do you fancy being part of Scotland. You will get on better!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  10. “The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England!”
    This is as true today as it was back then.
    Thank goodness that the Scots who live and vote in Scotland have taken back the power to choose to run our own affairs instead of being the voting fodder of the “Scotchmen” on the make at Westminster, their “noble prospects” guaranteed in return for control of our country’s people and resources.
    Any Scot who spends time at Westminster (including Alex Salmond} becomes a lesser Scot from the experience.
    Voting Yes is our only hope to bring back our country’s pride and self respect by standing on our own two feet.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 9

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