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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

Labour is corrupt, Blair is a liar and...

Labour is corrupt, Blair is a liar and many young British soldiers died for that lie.Brown shares in the collective responsibility for Blair's lie and the result. Liberal Party is still ridiculously out of touch with reality and has another Scot for a leader. Tories made the mistake of using Howard as it's leader and the British very rarely elect anyone who is bald - should have been David Davies, he has hair. We need our own English parliament not run by foreigners, liars or obvious lunatics.

written 18th Apr 2005


piersh replies: You sound like a natural UKIP/Veritas supporter. However, given your attitude I'm glad you have chosen not to vote.

written 18th Apr 2005

Jack replies: And you sound like a Labour toady. Very easily offended, rather prim and a little flaky. Oh I forget, no soldiers were killed in Blair's illegal war. The Liberals are the party of reality and Michael Howard isn't bald. Should make you happier since you appear not to be able to debate rationally.

written 18th Apr 2005

Tom Cochrane replies: The original post - "We need our own English parliament not run by foreigners"
Can you give more details of this opinion?

written 21st Apr 2005

tiger43 replies: Your suggesting fragmenting the home countries. Which appart from destroying Britain it will weaken Eorope and eventually the world.

written 21st Apr 2005

tiger43 replies: Your suggesting fragmenting the home countries. Which appart from destroying Britain it will weaken Eorope and eventually the world.

written 21st Apr 2005

Jack replies: Tiger 43, I think what used to be the UK is already fragmented: the Scots, the Welsh and the Northern Irish already have their own parliaments, but the English do not. This may be a deliberate fragmentation for pro-European interests, or it might be just a lack of care. Effectively, the UK no longer exists.

Tom, by 'foreigners' I mean those who having achieved their own national identity for the country of their birth seek to deny the English the same right. Examine how many of the cabinet and other ministerial positions are occupied by Scots from a country which has just 10% of the population of the British Isles. Prescott is the token Englishman.(Apologies to my Scottish friends!).

written 22nd Apr 2005

Tom Cochrane replies: Jack.
The UK ellections are for a UK Parliament deciding a range of issues that are not covered by local Parliaments or assemblies. (a range of issues that vastly outweighs the areas covered by local parliaments).

The evolution of local paliaments in regions of the UK places the UK (belatedly) in a similar position to a vast number of modern nations (Australia, Germany, USA etc) -
The lack of a specific English parliament is not the fault of the existing assemblies in Scotland, Wales, NI or London. It would require a popular demand from English voters.
The recent vote on the Northern Assembly did not suggest this is in demand. (either because people wanted an 'complete' English Parliament or they don't want one at all.)

In a UK Parliament with its current list of areas of competence a Scottish MP has every right to be there. They are not foreigners as they are representatives of the UK constituency from which the Parliament represents.

The areas that rightly cause some disquiet are when the areas covered by a Scottish Parliament (health etc.) are then voted on by a Scottish MP on English buisness.

This is a different question.

How an Engish Parliament is achieved is an interesting question in itself. Blaming the existence of Scottish or Welsh assemblies is not very fruitful.

Perhaps all individuals who want an independent English Parliament should support the SNP. It seems to be the quickets and easiest way to achieve it.

written 23rd Apr 2005

Jack replies: Tom, you mention that the UK parliament covers issues not covered by devolved assemblies. This is currently true, but by their nature any power group will seek more power so I do not think the various assemblies will want to remain static.

I also agree that there is not a majority demand for an English parliament and you have to ask yourself why this might be. Could it be that when the subject is raised those who raise it are accused of being racist? No other nation attracts this label except the English. The Scots are nationalistic and admired for it. If the English become nationalistic then it must be the rise of fascism.

Blame does not attach to any of the devolved assemblies regarding the current situation - they are doing what they are allowed to do by Westminster, and good for them!

However, until the same freedom is given to the English as a nation, the English remain disenfranchised to have sole ownership of their own policies without the interference of 'foreigners', particularly the Scots in whose parliament we English have no say.

Yet many of our leaders are Scots.
It's probably revenge for Culloden!

written 24th Apr 2005

Tom Cochrane replies: The Parliament and Assemblies may indeed evolve over time (I sincerely hope so - have you seen coverage on BBC Parliament - ZZZZZ).
That is perhaps the reality of parliamentary work.
Westminister has always been a cobled together blob of bits sellotaped together.
It is full of anomolies and ideocies.

I think you overstate the perception that a desire for an English Parliamnet might provoke.
Shouldn't it be a positive and noble persuit - as it surely must be.
Perceptions change in the face of reality anyway.

The devolved groups were brought into existence by referenda not by Westminister allowing them to exist. Perhaps if there is a more positive and "aspirational" spin placed on an English Parliament it will catch peoples immagintion.

Freedom (your phrase) is taken not given.
People want to think that change is an improvement.

Why did the recent referendum on a Northern Assembly fail? I always presumed that it would be a national English parliament not a regional one.

Perhaps we are all being chopped up for consumption into a European super state.

Scotland is not a foreign land. It is a Nation within the UK (as it always was according to the contact signed at the Act of Union) any M.P's ellected there from Scottish seats are memebers of a UK Parliament representing their ellectorate on the most important issues.

If the English remain disenfranchised it is perhaps a lack of political leadership for a national Parliament. Again I stress it is a positive and noble aspiration - which MUST be easily achieveable in the present set up.

If many of our leaders are Scots then it is that they 'happen' to be Scots - rather than they are involved in some complex Coup detat.

As for Culloden - the British troops involved in quelling the rebellion were mostly from Glasgow and Stirling.

Perhaps we as Brits forget that we have all been conjoined for hundreds of years -

We must be positive. It is so important.
Think on this - the development of a Scottish Parliament and the existence of a pretty upright and open party like the SNP compares like night and day when compared to the situation in N.I.

I don't think you would find one Scot who would not agree that the present situaltion on 'English' matters in Westminister is a nonsense.

The people voting in Westminister are M.P's and as such are dubious creatures with a vague link to the reality as we might percieve it.

written 25th Apr 2005

Jack replies: Tom, devolution was driven by a Scottish controlled Labour party composed of Scots. Doesn't this strike you as odd? With respect I think it is naive to assume that there was an overwhelming aspirational need as the driving force.

Freedom is often given, not taken. Witness the abolition of slavery by Northern politicians in the US. The slaves did not revolt and take freedom by force; they were given freedom because white progressives believed slavery was obscene.

Perhaps the Northern Assembly failed because it was not an English parliament but rather a reward handed out to cohorts of Tony Blair, and the public, bless 'em. saw through the scam.

I agree about Europe. It easier to subsume peoples who do not have a cohesive national identity, and English nationalism has always been feared. Scottish nationalism is too small to bother about. On this point, mass immigration is another way to modify a resident ethnic group and render it fragmented.

Scotland is a nation within the UK by rote only. I was in Glasgow at the last football World cup and sadly witnessed the degree of hatred (not too strong a word) exhibited by the Scots towards the English. The same is not true in reverse. One example, I know and perhaps not fully representative, but certainly indicative.

Indeed the British troops at Culloden were lowland Scots, but the blame is firmly ascribed by Scots to the English.

The ethnic composition of the Labour government is not just the result of 'happenstance' but we can argue about this all day without resolution. Again it is too much of a coincidence that a Scottish parliament is created under a predominantly Scottish government.

It is indeed a noble aim to create an English parliament, but it will not happen, political leadership or not. Europe does not want it, Blair does not want it and the English people
(except perhaps the Cornish) are too stupid to realise what they are losing.

written 25th Apr 2005

Tom Cochrane replies: Jack

Devolution has been on the modern political agenda in Scotland since the 1930's (a larger number of people signed a petition for a devolved Parliament in the 1950's than voted yes in the more recent referendum).

It was a Conservative govenment under Edward Heath that placed devolution on the table as a political aim. It was the Lib-Dems that have supported it for years. Devolution was very long in coming.

"A Scottish controlled Labour party"? I think you give the Scots for too much credit and pre-suppose some dasterdly plot.
It has been a political mandate in the Scottish Labour party that devolution is a desire of voters here. It was a clear manifesto policy and was campaigned on as such.

It isn't naive to assume that there was an overwhelming aspirational need as the driving force. It is naive to think that political parties will not use things on the political agenda to gain power.

It does seem clear that the Northern Assembly failed because it was not an English parliament.

Scotland is a nation within the UK by the Act of Union. It retained a seperate Legal, educational and established church system - the only thing it didn't have was a legistature.

Football is a bad analogy for nationalism.
I was in Manchester during Euro '96 and sadly witnessed the degree of hatred exhibited by the English towards anyone that was 'Foreign'. I ended up with a fractured scull.
But footall is certainly not indicative of anything - only itself.

When was the last time Man City fans cheered when Man City lifted yet another cup? Or Everton for Liverpool.

There are huge limits of taking the footbal analogy too far.

If as you say the 'ethnic' (sic) composition of the Labour government is not just the result of 'happenstance' then what is it a result of? What does it indicate?

We do not have a predominantly Scottish government. We have a predominantly Scottish Cabinet for the time being - things change. It wasn't so long ago that we had a Conservative Government and cabinet with no mandate or support in Scotland. It is just the way Westminister works. It will change.
One reshufle and there will be a different composition.

If there is no popular demand for an English Parliament then it can't be the fault of Scots or Welsh - indeed you might agrue that the existence os such devolved authorities puts an English Parliament firmly on the political agenda.

written 25th Apr 2005

Jack replies: I agree with your historical perspective regarding Scottish devolution, but it would not have happened without the British government being predominantly Scots. Notice that the Scots have a parliament and the Welsh and Northern Irish have assemblies only.

And it is not just the Cabinet which is Scottish: check how many junior ministers and their assistants are also. Whether this is purposeful or random I do not truly know. What I do know is that when Blair came to power he had many debts to repay and he did this at the expense of genuine issues relevant to the interest of the UK as a whole. As an example, apart from the Scottish question the fox hunting ban was bludgeoned through using an inordinate amount of parliamentary time and against the wishes of the minority most directly concerned.

The question is: can Blair be trusted? The answer is: not on his record as PM. The next question is: can Howard be trusted? The answer is: not on his record as Home Secretary.

So, apart from the ginger(Scots) bloke, we have the choice of two untrustworthy politicians. We know that Blair is a liar. We know that Howard introduced the Poll Tax. We know what a third term of Labour would mean - more lies and more broken promises. We don't know what the Tories would do,but we do know that the Libs could never form a government. If I was voting, I would vote Tory(which I have never done before) simply because I am disgusted with the Labour Party who have collective responsibility for the criminal action in Iraq, for the needless deaths of British soldiers which is unforgivable, and for the lies told about taxes, the NHS and practically everything else.

Perhaps PR is the way forward, or perhaps a new form of democracy is needed since the old model is patently dead.


written 26th Apr 2005

Tom Cochrane replies: I can only repeat that Devolution was on the agenda for Scottish voters for generations.

You are reading a lot into the fact that there are a number of Scots in Government. Perhaps that may be due to the fact that there was no opposition to Labour in Scotland for the entire Thatcher/Major era and a generation of Labour polititians developed there. The same is true for The North of England. (Beckett, Prescot etc.).

It does seem self evident that under these circumstances the Devolution bill was passed much easier and the referendum suported much more enthusiastically by Labour.

A parliament rather than an assembly is more appropriate in Scotland as a model as there already was a Judicial and legal framework in place for centuries - just a question of moving the legistaltive process for many bills from Westminister to Hollyrood - the bills that used to have (Scotland in parentheses at the end os the bill title).

I do see your frustration and like most Scots (is asked) deeply empathise with it. I am not sure what I can do to assist your aims.

I agree that the fox hunting ban was a completely ridiculous exercise in horse trading - (I don't have a particular strong view on the subject). Hollyrood seemed to pass the same bill without much fuss a year before Westminister.

Can Blair be trusted? No.
Can Howard be trusted? No.
Are the LibDems an alternative - probably not.

I agree that PR is the way forward.

written 26th Apr 2005

Jack replies: Tom, I suppose that if it comes right down to it I would like to see an actual, real united Kingdom, with all of us under one genuinely representative government, and without the division assisted by devolution. Personally, I have always regarded Scots, Welsh and N.Irish as being part of my tribe, even if the feeling is not mutual.

Devolution has, of necessity, changed that perception. I wish you hadn't mentioned the basilisk Becket and the thug Prescott as examples of English politicians! Dennis Skinner and even Margaret Thatcher are examples of conviction politicians for whom I have respect without particular agreement.

I have enjoyed this discussion, it is a pity that politics could not be conducted in the same ethos.

Check out 'Bilderberg' on your browser if you haven't already done so. Maybe that is the reality.

written 27th Apr 2005

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