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« Michael Foot 1913 - 2010 | Main | Sometimes it's easier to pillory WAGS than politicians »

March 04, 2010


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These debates will be a farce the same as the political set up in the UK is a farce.

At present Scotland has three parliaments running it, the Scottish Parliament that runs all our everyday activities but needs the full powers and all of its own resources to be effective, The Westminster Parliament where the Scottish MPs do absolutely nothing for Scotland and only interfere in English matters, and the European Parliament.

There are too many politicians and too many parliaments. Scotland does not need politicians at Westminster any more than England needs another layer of politicians called an English parliament.

All of those from England complaining about Scotland and the Scottish MPs - well stop funding the unionist parties up here then you will solve your problems.


The Anglo-Scottish border was moved south in the Solway Firth because Cumbria County Council refused planning permission for huge offshore windfarms. Now Windfarms off the English coast are under the Scottish Government's control.

The first thing that happened was Scottish fisherman hoovering up shellfish beds previously protected when under English control.

The Welsh maritime border in the Irish Sea extends northward to Cumbria where it meets the Scottish maritime border. This is because there are plans to transfer Cumbria into Scotland just as Monmouthshire was transferred to Wales under Heath's lamentable PM-ship.

The same moves are being made about Berwick-Upon-Tweed. The River Tweed is now totally under Scottish control along with tributaries in England around Berwick.

Cornwall now has observer status in the British-Irish Council which does not even recognise England and indeed refused to to so.

North Wales and Cheshire councils now have a "working agreement". This is intended to move parts of Cheshire into Wales.

The deadliest enemies of the English are the British and the greatest threat to England is the so-called "United" Kingdom.

The English need to get out of it pretty smartly.

Gash, what an appropriate name.

Firstly, I am an English nationalist wanting English independence.

However, the North Sea oil argument irks me. Before the oil was discovered we were supposedly in a union where resources were shared. For example, Scotland's navy was 3 ships in 1707, whereas England's was 240 ships. Why would England buy ships from an erstwhile enemy, Scotland, any more than it would from France? Scotland's shipbuilding industry would not have existed without the union. This is one of many examples.

However, when oil is found, all of a sudden "it's oor oil".

Well they were our banks that the Scots f***ed up and a Scots-led socialist government that f***ed up the English economy.

So please vote SNP and in God's name go away in a curiously rhythmic fashion. Oh, and make sure you take your part of the national debt with you.

For the record, you didn't discover penicillin, invent radar, television, telephone or tarmac.

Just as Brown showed today in the Chilcott enquiry, Scots are congental credit-claimers, but pathological buckpassers.

Scot - a four-letter word meaning overrated.

Those who believe in the Ancient Nation of Scotland also believe in the Ancient Nation of England.

To David Rikard and his English perspective.

Thanks for taking the time to differentiate between the farcical unionists of north britain labour who see fit to tell you English folks how you should run your lives and the SNP whom wish to be good neighbours of England, have an open border but manage our own countries as France and Italy do.

Did you know that you are not permitted to choose English as your nationality in your loal authority's voter registration for 2010.

Imagine that, a country of 50 000 000 people and you are not allowed to state your English.

I do appreciate the frustration of the union is not all one way.

Donnie McDonald

Trident: I imagine this will be discussed in the debate on 'international' affairs, as it relates to so-called 'national' security. I agree it definitely should be discussed, though, given the concerns about safety and the location near to Scottish population centres.

By contrast, though, Scotland should also be brought into the debate on nuclear power. When the British government's plans for ten new nuclear power stations were announced at the end of last year, no one in the supposedly 'anglocentric' media bothered to point out that none of the proposed plants were located in Scotland, despite its considerably lesser population density. That's because Scotland has control over its own planning, whereas a distinctly authoritarian planning law, which the media discussed as being 'British', allows the government to ride rough-shod over environmental and safety concerns in England and, in the area of power generation, Wales. Can't see that being discussed in the debates.

School curriculum: the Scottish one should form no part of any of the debates, not even the one broadcast only in Scotland, as none of the Scottish-elected Westminster MPs will be empowered to do anything about it, though they will be able to meddle in the English education system (SNP honorably excepted). So the debate should and will be limited to England; and it should, but won't, be explicitly flagged up as being limited to England.

Devolution debate: this is somewhat Scotland-centric in your post, might I point out. However, there's also a vigorous debate going on in Wales, and devolution for / in England should also be included. Clearly, the main reason for excluding the SNP and Plaid is not so much to suppress the debates in Scotland and Wales respectively but to keep down the spectre of England, which is Banquo's ghost at the devolution feast. That's the reason why the parties will also do their utmost to suppress any mention of England even when discussing exclusively English policies.

Westminster balance of power: yes, you're absolutely right. That could also include the N. Irish parties. It's a total disgrace that all the people in the UK will not hear about what the parties in the 'nations', as the establishment likes to refer to the devolved nations, would do in a hung parliament.

London control over broadcasting: hear, hear! How about some English-focused news and current affairs programmes, for a change, like the ones that already exist for Scotland and Wales?

Powerless in Europe: well, the leaders probably will have to discuss Europe in the debate on international affairs. From the English perspective, this is more about being denied a referendum on Lisbon / EU membership, which all the parties stand accused of. So how about UKIP being invited, too, alongside - at least - the SNP, Plaid, Sinn Fein and the DUP?

Re Toque's comment: my post is at Shameless self-promotion!

Joan, the point to remember about these debates is that they are a manifestation of the philosophy that England is Britain is England.

They take the rules of political impartiality for England which has three parties defined by OFCOM as major parties and apply these rules across the UK when Scotland, Wales and NI each have four OFCOM defined major parties.

The debates will also completely ignore devolution and will discuss policies on domestic matters without acknowledging that these are specific only to England.

A large part of the reason that they want neither Salmond from the SNP nor Jones from PC on the platform is that their presence will mean that they have to acknowledge that Britain is not a nation but a collection of nations and that may damage the idea Britishness that all of the three parties promote heavily. Without Salmond or Jones the fiction that it is a series of British debates, with British parties about the governance of Britain and that Britain is a unified nation can continue.

None of the ten items for discussion you list fit in with that British theme and several of them are dangerously nationalistic so you'll hear them debated by Brown, Cameron and Clegg when the Devil drives a snowplough to work.

Torque totally agree. SNP MPs refuse on point of princple to vote on English domestic should Brown or any Scottish MP. It is very unfair.

As for Newsnight England, why not? Although I thought that generally the programme showed english domestic issues in the final 20 minute slot - like the stuff on the stinking Thames last night, which I saw because you can only watch the UK version live on the internet.

David Rickard @ Britology Watch has also blogged bout this, from an English perspective.

If you stop and think about it for a moment you might see that the real unfairness lies in the fact that one of the contestants is a Scottish MP, elected by Scottish constituents, informing us English what he intends to do with our schools and health service - and do you think he will mention the word 'England' when he's doing this?

There should be a separate series of TV debates for England alone. Just as there will be a BBC debate for Scotland alone, addressing Scottish issues.

We English have to put up with three toss-pots prattling on about the 'British NHS' and 'British schools' when they know full well that they should be talking about the English NHS and English schools because they have no direct say over devolved issues like those.

Personally I'd love it if Alex Salmond took part, if only to force the three little Britishers to concede that they had no mandate for 'Britain' for vast tracts of their manifestos.

So this Englishman for one welcomes Salmond.

The BBC shows a Scottish Newsnight at 11pm. In England we have to put up with a continuation of the British Newsnight. Why can't England have an English Newsnight at 11pm?

Excellent work Joan, you are so right - it's ridiculous.

The Greens and SNP would do well to use this as a key issues in the coming months by taking out full adverts / Billboards with this list on them.

It's ridiculous. Not only are we denied the power to decide these issues for ourselves, but we're even denied the ability to debate them. You mention that domestic issues will be discussed, but only for England. Education and health are likely to be big issues at the election, so when Tweedledum, Tweedledee and Tweedlewho start spouting off about what they'll do for our schools and hospitals, they will be misleading the Scottish public.

In a way, I'm almost glad these debates have come about, because they've highlighted just how ridiculous the current set up is, and how England-centric the media is. If we're not allowed to decide upon things like Trident and energy policy for ourselves, we should at least be able to have them included in the debate so we can see which party has the best policy. But the fact is by excluding the SNP, they can sidestep these sort of issues, and avoid having to make commitments.

The biggest miscarriage of justice, however, is that Calman/devo max/independence should probably be the main issue for the Scottish electorate, and it will be completely ignored. It won't be brought up at the debates, and I suspect these debates will frame the overall debate of the election. Anything not included in these programmes will be considered unimportant, which means completely ignoring pretty much every Scottish issue.

They'd better watch, though - it's little things like this that annoy people and make them say "right, well if you're not going to pay attention to my concerns, I'll vote for the only party that does". Could the result be 20 SNP MPs after all?

But all the oil and gas is not Scottish - and Scotland was benefitting from higher spending years before the Barnett Formula.

I would certainly like the Continental Shelf Act of the 1960s, which placed formerly English waters in a Scottish "sector", looked at.

Your post is one-eyed and incredibly biased.

I'd be surprised if you let this through your comment moderation - or have fair answers to give if you do.

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