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Well, well, well! Waddya know? We are all just a bunch of "loonatics, fruitcases and closet racists". Well who would have guessed it? Vote Tory? I don't think so. Looks like it will have to be UKIP - is there any other choice?

Denis Cooper

The way things are going - egged on by "Conservative and Unionist" spokesmen ostensibly bashing Labour but in the process deliberately stirring up Scotophobia - the wrapping will end up being the English flag, not the Union Jack.

David Banks

Surely the west lothian question - which i take it your referring to - is a genuine concern and an anomaly rather than an outpouring of Scotophobia? It is Labour that is dismantling the UK by stealth by handing law making powers to scotland and , they would like , to Wales too. Those of us who hoped that devolution would silence the nationalists by buying off their supporters with a few talking shop baubles while leaving the Union intact have been sadly disappointed.
Our policy in regard to europe , ss to our constituent nations and our neighbours across the sea,should be Preserve the Union , put Britain's interests first.


QUOTE - What of the Conservatives? Do the Tories have a rounded and coherent view for modern Britain and the direction in which they wish to take it?

That is the key question. I believe that the Conservatives are moving towards a determination to take control. They communicate in winks and nudges because any honest discussion would be misrepresented by the BBC and others.

As for UKIP, dontmakemelaugh. There's less democracy in UKIP than in the EU. The Party's leadership is a racist cabal, frantically hoping no one will notice where they came from.

Denis Cooper


But I'm seeing this kind of sentiment expressed more and more widely:

"After reading that we subsidise each Scot by £1,400 a year, this Englishman would like to know how to help Alex Salmond to achieve Scottish independence."

That was a letter in the Telegraph only yesterday, from someone in Sandhurst, home to the Royal Military Academy of the British Army which would of course be dissolved at the same time as the British Union. Does he even realise that?

It seems that to avoid thinking how to tackle the long term economic problems in Scotland so that the Scots would no longer need to be subsidised by the English (if indeed they are subsidised now), and in the process also how to restore a Tory electoral base north of the border, the easiest way out is to dump the Scots and their pesky socialist MPs. Unfortunately Wales has rather similar problems, and so do large parts of northern England, and there are also separatist voices in Cornwall, and they wouldn't be silenced by a talking shop either.

It's no coincidence that these are the parts of the island which have on balance suffered more economic damage through the drive for European integration than the parts closer to the capital and to the continent. Yet while I hear Mr Cameron vowing his undying commitment to the European Union, I have yet to hear him make any commitment at all to the British Union.

Patsy Sergeant

Thats an interesting post Denis Cooper @ 12.16pm.

David Banks


yes, i do know you mean re : the Telegraph letter and various other ill tempered rants one tends to see - most of which claim , ironically ,to be partiotic although it tends to be an imagined English rump state which they are supporting. i think this is very unfortunate and is sometimes conflated with or disguised by valid concerns about the west lothian question and legitimised by the balkanising effect of blairs ham fisted and ill thought out devolution constitutional settlement.
I wouldn't want to endorse this view which does seem to invite a negative response - although in fairness the scots and the welsh have been slagging off the english for as long as anyone can remember , so maybe our surprise at the english biting back is just the shock of the new!
What really disturbs me is a car sticker i saw recently which is for use when travelling to Europe and shows the Welsh , scottish , Manx and Cornish flags and claims a sort of pan Celtic identity which deliberatly excludes England. this to me is the thin end of the wedge of a peculier form of racism and perhaps indicative of a coming Europe of the regions in which like yugoslavia our unitary state will be broken up and handed to two dimensional nationalist populists , while all sharing a common euro currency.
As you say , i would like to see DC defending the union tooth and nail.

Denis Cooper

So-called "devolution" is indeed a "divide and rule" strategy designed to split the EU member states and create a "Europe of Regions". The Labour Party plans were in fact based on the Millan Report, Bruce Millan being a veteran Labour MP in Scotland who then became EU Commissioner with responsibility for regional policy and relations with the Committee of the Regions. And how well that strategy is working, even in the absence of elected Regional Assemblies in England, with the English and the Scots now at each others' throats!

David Banks

As well as the scotophobia which you are right to draw attention to, i really object to the way in which seperatist voices from north and south of the border argue from the standpoint of a country that doesn't exist ( eg an 'Anglian' rump state) while contributing to tensions in a country that does exist , the UK. At worst it implies a point of view so narrow and particular as to be absurd, as if Kent could proclaim independence because all the members of the county council wanted a Kentish republic. Voila, Kent joins the United Nations. That people think like this about breaking up a unitary state which has armed forces and police from all areas , for instance, shows the lack of analysis behind this plan. The very idea of the world being dotted with Free Scottish embassies , of Cornwall breaking away from the UK or of Devon becoming a Workers Republic seem to be the outworking of a regionalist fetish raised to the level of a neurosis.

David Banks

Anyway , i think devolution plays into these unfortunate seperatist tendencies and even worse legitimizes them. And thats bad because as a citizen of the UK , Scotland is as much my country as anyone else's, Wales , England and Northern Ireland too. i have mixed Irish , English and a small amount of Welsh in my veins, and even the Irish element came over to the Midlands while there part of Southern Ireland was still part of the UK. So i feel i am UK through and through. This is my country. And yet this whole diverse gallery of characters from Blair to Blimps to Eurotwits seem determined to loosen its internal unity and eventually break it up.


"a regionalist fetish raised to the level of a neurosis"

The promotion of regionalism to break up the larger European nation states (except France) is very much part of the core EU project. It's notable that this has largely failed in England, but been very successful in Scotland. I was born in Scotland as was my father before me, but I feel increasingly alienated from the angry, whingeing, English-hating, money-wasting Scotland I keep hearing about, and I have no doubt that that's what 'they' want me to think...

David Banks

Ah well, here in wales they think nothing of spending a few million on a grandly named Senedd debating chamber ( not strictly necessary as already have assembly building) while at the same time whinging that we need grants from Europe cos there isn't enough cash to go round. If that money was ploughed into encouraging enterprise and attracting investment, there would be a few bob more for everyone. Instead the trappings of statedom , with Maces and assembly chambers and newly invented flummery wins out over the needs of the people they represent.


The debate on Scottish Devolution and its implications for the Union have only just started. This will run and run, but if the Conservative Party does not come off the constitutional fence pretty soon events will overtake us. The 1998 Scotland Act is very far from being cast in stone and we need to start realising that. Elected Scottish Conservatives should be leading this debate but are far too concerned about keeping their collective heads down and getting elected again next year! Radical thinking is needed - for example, reducing the numbers of Scottish MPs and MSPs, preventing Scottish MPs from voting on English-only issues and Scotland raising the money it spends. That's would be a start!

David Banks

Maybe - heretical thought this , brace yourselves -Scotland and the rest of the UK should have a trial separation and when they realise just what a non starter it is they will want to get back round the table and go all Unionist again. OK crazy idea, i know.

Denis Cooper

It would be wrong to reduce the number of Scottish (or Welsh) MPs while we're still being largely governed by international treaty. 80% of our new laws from the EU, under treaties ratified by the Westminster Parliament; similarly it is the UK which is a party to the ECHR and UN conventions, not England or Scotland. The corollary of "one man one vote" is that as far as is practicable Britons in Scotland should have the same level of representation at the British Parliament as other Britons - no more, no less. All that's required is that their representatives then behave honourably, so if it's a devolved matter which MSPs would vote on for Scotland, then the Scottish MPs should not vote on it when it comes up for England. If they won't do that voluntarily, the answer is to change the standing orders of the House of Commons.

Douglas Denny

From the review by William Norton it seems the book outlines the symptoms of the EU and it's effect on Britain but does not suggest the cure.

Certainly not for or from Conservatives anyway for they have a serious dilemma: the Conservative Party has always been split down the middle on the issue to the extent it can never be seriously discussed by them within or without the party.

All Conservatives have to live too with another serious problem: vis. the credibility of their official policy about the EU - as the Tories put us in there in the first place, signed most of the important treaties and are still keeping us in there. Their MEP's belong to the most pro-federalist group too and the leader shilly-shallying about removing them.
Conservative eurosceptic supporters have to answer a question in their minds: is the Conservative Party EVER going to get Britain out of the EU or is it committed to staying in forever? Only then can they decide if they wish to continue supporting that party.
I came to the carefully considered conclusion in the mid 1980's that the Conservative Party is as committed to the euro-integrationist path as the rest of the mainstream parties, and did the only thing possible - I left. I have opposed them ever since.
I put it to you that there is plenty of evidence 'out there' for those who wish to perceive, that it is indeed a truism that the Tories are fully committed to staying in the EU for good - but cynically, only allow a degree of "euroscepticism" to show near election times when needed to keep their supporters on board.
Slowly but surely a lot of their voters (and in the other parties too of course) are realising there is only one real option if they do not like what is happening to Britain in the EU - vote UKIP.

It is the ONLY option available when it comes to the ballot box.

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