Monday, 11 June 2007

Labour Deputy Leadership candidates: don't mention the "E" word!

The Labour Deputy Leadership candidates were recently asked on OurKingdom, “What should be done, if anything, to give England more representation or ‘voice’?”.

The answers were, predictably, abysmal.

The CEP's view of their repsonses has been put up on the OurKingdom website. Have a read of it at OurKingdom or read it below, but don't forget to add your own views.

It is interesting that the candidates, when asked what should be done to give England fair representation within the Union, immediately start talking about Scotland, Wales, the Union or even the “Regions”. They would rather talk about anything other than the “E” word.

Their response is, sadly, not surprising. This Labour Government has done more than any other to undermine England and the English way of life. The plans to balkanise England into regions failed when it encountered that annoying little thing called “democracy”: in the only referendum to be held on a regional assembly in the north east of England, the idea was emphatically rejected by 78% to 22%. Despite this, regionalisation in England has continued. It’s undemocratic, it’s unwanted, it’s unfair. That the candidates said nothing of this does not bode well for England in the near future. It certainly shows that talk of “re-engaging” with voters and the public is just as false as it was in 1997.

What the Labour Deputy Leadership candidates must realise - indeed what all Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians must realise - is that the public want an English Parliament. Successive opinion polls have shown this: 68%, 61%, 67% in favour. Therefore their arguments about regions or the Union are irrelevant. As Labour MP Frank Field said recently, an English Parliament “is what voters want and what justice demands”. It cannot be said more simply or more powerfully than that. The fact that England’s voice is ignored by our political masters is evidence enough of why we must have an English Parliament.


UPDATE 15 JUNE: Tom Griffon of The Green Ribbon covers this, adding an importnat point about the sheer uselessness of regional assemblies. Worth a read.

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