Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 08:32 am
Here is, at least to me, and interesting article on a rather complicated political situation in the UK.

I would appreciate our UK citizens weighing in to suggest what the UK public's pulse is on this web of issues.

It's fascinating, as well, that within a nation that has so welcomed immigration from disparate parts of the world that it, arguably, has sowed the seeds of destruction or serious dissolution of its national culture, nevertheless remains driven by the nationalist interests of "indigent" peoples whose differences, at any level, are largely unrecognizable to most of the world.

I do appreciate that this differences are of significance to those involved, and have no interest in measuring the degree of actual distinction, but I have to wonder why these veins of nationalism seem to only intersect with each other and not with extra-britannic influences. But then maybe they do. Do Scottish Nationalists have a difficulty with foreign immigration within Scotland? Is it simply a desire to have national independence irrespective of the make-up of the national citizenry?

It seems there may possibly be systematic anomalies which I find interesting.


The British anomaly: The attempt to abolish England
By Paul Belien



Ever heard of the West Lothian Question? West Lothian is the Scottish region immediately to the west of Edinburgh. The question is so called because it was first posed by Tam Dalyell, a Labor member of the British Parliament for West Lothian. Mr. Dalyell wondered how long the English would tolerate the situation in which Scottish members of the British Parliament, such as himself, have a (sometimes decisive) say about issues affecting only England, while English parliamentarians have no say about the same matters in Scotland.

In 1999, Tony Blair's government installed a Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Similar parliaments have since been installed in Wales and Northern Ireland. This has led to the anomaly, pointed out by the "West Lothian Question," that, while English members of the Parliament at Westminster have no say about Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish domestic affairs, parliamentarians from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the power to vote on issues that affect just England.

Several proposals have been made to solve this anomaly. One of them is to abolish the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Another is to give England its own parliament, which would imply that the United Kingdom become a federation of four states - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The solution proposed by the Labor government in Westminster, currently led by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (a Scot) and previously by Tony Blair (also a Scot), is to dissolve England by splitting it up into nine regions, each with their own parliamentary assembly. In a 2004 regional referendum, however, the voters in the Labor-dominated North East of England overwhelmingly rejected the plan to install an elected North East Assembly. Consequently, the British government shelved its plans for the other assemblies, but this means the West Lothian dilemma has still not been solved.

The whole issue has led to a rise of English nationalism. Though many English do not demand an English Parliament, since they consider the British parliament at Westminster to be their English parliament, the attempt to split up England has made them aware that Britain is being threatened and that the very survival of England is in jeopardy.

The Scottish National Party, the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, favors downright independence from the UK and wants Scotland to become a member of the European Union. Many Scottish Nationalists regard the EU as an enemy of the UK, hence their ally. The English, however, see the EU as a threat to the sovereignty of their, British, parliament at Westminster.

British politics is currently dominated by the question whether there should be a referendum about the new EU treaty, which attempts to ram through the European Constitution previously rejected in referendums in France and the Netherlands. Polls indicate that a majority of the English want a referendum and are not prepared, like the French and the Dutch, to be cajoled into accepting the new treaty that is merely a rephrasing of the previously rejected Constitution.

Though Labor's 2005 election manifesto promised a referendum on the issue, Mr. Brown intends to avoid one. For the English, however, the very essence of democracy is at stake. Some go so far as to say that if the EU forces its new treaty on Britain, the latter should secede from the EU. This is a position which Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of The Daily Telegraph would immediately adopt, if only he was sure that it would not lead to the collapse of the UK, pitting England against Scotland. "It is a very big risk, and perhaps the biggest single reason for sticking it out in the EU," Mr. Evans-Pritchard writes.

In fact, this is the West Lothian Question writ large. If Scotland does not want to leave the EU while England does, some English, in order to save the UK, would subjugate Westminster to the EU.

Others, however, are prepared to give up the UK in order to save democracy in England. "I have never doubted that the existence of the United Kingdom was a benefit to England," Lord William Rees-Mogg wrote in last week's London Times. He adds, however, that the rise of English nationalism does not frighten him. "A healthy nationalism is the shield of liberty," he writes, and he warns: "I do not think that Gordon Brown is English, or that he understands that English nationalism is just as attached to independence as Scottish."

This piece was originally published in The Washington Times on September 26, 2007 .
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 11:46 am
The piece has been written in the same genre as a child's drawing of a house.

Media entertainment outlets indulge in that type of thing as it allows their readers to think they know what is going on and can then spout authoritatively on the matters at cocktail parties, coffee mornings, deli-counters and in bus queues.

Were it to be otherwise we could dismantle the Foreign Office and the Home Office and allow Mr Evans-Pritchard and Lord Rees-Mogg, who, if I remember correctly, was the expert who authenticated the Hitler Diaries, to meet over breakfast once a week and set things in order with the consequent saving to the taxpayer of hundreds of millions of pounds even allowing for the unemployment pay which the thousands of redundant civil-servants would need in order to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

Scottish MPs are renowned for their stupidity and presbyterian indignation which we find both amusing and a useful inhibitor to the schemes of clever Englishmen which, as everyone knows, are perfidious and not amenable to the comprehension of the The Washington Post.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 12:30 pm
Actually the Washington Times, but no matter.

So if the article is a child's rendition of the issues, what would an adult's look like?
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 05:19 pm
On a subject such as the Balkanisation of the UK it might look like a lot of wagon loads of pulp lumber being hauled down the freeway to have ink inserted into it after it had been flattened and dried.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 11:43 pm
spendius wrote:
On a subject such as the Balkanisation of the UK it might look like a lot of wagon loads of pulp lumber being hauled down the freeway to have ink inserted into it after it had been flattened and dried.


Glib, but uninformative.

I'm perfectly OK with the notion that Belien is full of shite, but it will take more than your vague and smarmy replies to assure me of so.

Address the issue --- please.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Sep, 2007 10:03 am
I haven't got wagon loads of pulp at my disposal nor a hundred years of writing time.

We have a legislative assembly which can address any issue at very short notice. If a danger is ever perceived to English interests the English MPs can soon sort it out.

Discussing the subject doesn't represent a danger. Possibly it reduces any potential danger because while they are discussing it they are not doing anything. Except posturing.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 10:26 pm
spendius wrote:
I haven't got wagon loads of pulp at my disposal nor a hundred years of writing time.

We have a legislative assembly which can address any issue at very short notice. If a danger is ever perceived to English interests the English MPs can soon sort it out.

Discussing the subject doesn't represent a danger. Possibly it reduces any potential danger because while they are discussing it they are not doing anything. Except posturing.


OK, you don't want to engage on a meaningful level.

Spend an equivalent time responding with substance, or haunt another thread.

Surely there are other Brits out there who can shed light on this issue.

Or not.

Cool.
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