Who legitimately speaks for England?
Simon Lee, writing in the Hull Mail, asks who legitimately speaks for England?
It cannot be any political party that relies upon the votes of other nations at Westminster to determine the policies which will shape the future of England alone.
When New Labour introduced its White Paper on Scottish devolution in 1997, it asserted that the consequence of "entrusting Scotland with control over her own domestic affairs" would be "a fair and just settlement for Scotland".
But which of our political parties will offer a fair and just settlement for England?
On Sunday Charon QC asked Iain Dale whether England would ever get its own parliament. This was Iain's reply:
No, I don't think it's likely. I do think it is going to be an issue which becomes more important as the years go on because I think there is already a feeling in England that we are treated differently to Scotland and Wales. People understand that more public spending happens in Scotland and Wales than England, and I think in the end that that is not sustainable. I'm afraid that the reason I don't think it will happen is that none of the political parties seem to recognise it as an issue. Even UKIP who are vaguely in favour of an English parliament doesn't make much of it. The only party that does is the English Democrats - who were formed for that reason - but they have a rather chequered reputation in some ways. So I think it's a fairly lonely battle. If you look at the opinion polls, among the population there is quite a lot of support for it, but in Parliament there is very little. If you did a poll of 200 Tory MPs you'd probably find that about 20 that were in favour, but most of them wouldn't ever have even thought about it.
A rather depressing analysis from Iain Dale which tends to suggest that our current crop of MPs don't reflect public opinion on this matter, and are unlikely to speak for England, legitimately or otherwise.
So let's Hang 'em
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IPPR have a short paper on Identity, Politics and Public Policy that touches upon the English Question.
This brings us to the question of Englishness and how it has evolved in the context of a multicultural Britain. ippr’s previous research has found ...