Thursday, 19 June 2008

Should England have an English Parliament?

Political Editor Phil Hornby blogs from Parliament

Derek Wyatt, the Labour MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, led a special debate today calling for an English Parliament. He says it's crazy that Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have assemblies or parliaments - and we don't. He says it's unfair, and it's leading to a lot of resentment.

I am not sure how this will go down with his leader Gordon Brown - well, I am actually - so don't expect Mr Wyatt's ideas to become Labour Party policy.

But the English question will be a factor at the next election, especially in the key battleground that is the south and southeast.

The truth is, Labour's consitutional changes, much heralded when Tony Blair came to power, are unfinished business. Reform of the House of Lords is stuck; reform of the voting system has ground to a halt; regional government is dead; and Labour's hierarchy are in denial about England's democratic deficit.

The Conservatives haven't come up with a coherent policy either. Traditionally the party of the Union, they're terrified of being really bold.

But Derek Wyatt is right.

England expects a system that gives it a fair deal.


Terry Heath said...

"England expects a system that gives
it a fair deal."

and that means equality... and that means an English Parliament with the same powers as Scotland's

Toque said...

Derek Wyatt is right, it is crazy.

But what's more crazy is the fact that the English haven't been consulted - they simply refuse to ask us how we want to be governed because they are worries that they might not like the answer.

If Gordon Brown can sign a Claim of Right document that attests to the constitutional sovereignty of his countrymen, then he can abide by the same principles for England.