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As someone born on St Georges Day I wholeheartedly back a national day of celebration on such an occasion.

How about a Magna Carta day, recognising Britain's historic role in creating one of the first democracies? The document led to constitutional law, rights for the individual and eventually parliamentary democracy. This would recognise the proud history of our union.

How much longer must we tolerate the current discrimination, which borders on outright racism against the English?
Past comments and speeches by Scots and in particular, letters in the Scottish press, show this treatment to be directly related to the anti-English resentment which has been allowed to fester in "northern Britain" in order for certain members of the political establishment to court Scottish voters.
Must we in England be reduced to the same kind of mentality before we are give a sideways glance by our political elite? Must we really be that pathetic before we are allowed to live in a free and democratic England?
What will it take for England to be recognised as a nation and for that nation to be granted democracy in the UK?

Fully agree with St Georges Day as holiday but could we get the Churches to agree to move St georges day to a bit later in the year (Spring already has Easter, May Day and Spring Bank Holiday). Perhaps sometime in July?

Buster used to wear a Union Jack waistcoat so the change obviously reflects the changing nature of English nationalism. Labour, as so often, acted on devolution with no thought for the long term consequences.

The current unjust situation cannot last beyond a Labour government at Westminster and a new constitutional settlement should be a major task of the Conservative government in 2008/9.

Re: "Britain's" historic role in the Magna Carta".

Some people really haven't got the slightest clue what they are talking about!.

The Magna Carta has absolutely NOTHING to do with so called "Britishness", it was an ENGLISH achievement SEVEN CENTURIES before the creation of the now null and void "Union", Scotland has never even adopted the Magna Carta and common law! - Scotland it should be noted has a "European style" rule of Law, Corpis Juris, the Napoleonic code.

Gordon Broon tried to hijack this great achievement of England and rebrand it as "British" when he knows full well it has nothing to do with "Britain".

The question for people who do ha

This is a huge opportunity for Gordon Brown, not a concern.

Why not ride the lion? One of his first acts as PM could be to make St George's day a national holiday. Could be a great political coup.

Nobody is fooled by the Tories. This 'Unionist at any price' party feigning Englishness is beneath contempt.
The Conservative Party abandoned its core support in England. It started the regional carve-up of England which has been taken up with a vengeance by New Labour.
The Tories would sell much of England into slavery if it guaranteed some MPs in blasted Scotland.
The Conservative Party is a Unionist at any price party and it is quite happy for England to pay the price. When it comes to shafting England Conservatives and Labour are as one. Oh! You're as one anyway.

Tuesday's Torygraph had a front page report - Power of Scottish MPs "a threat to the UK" - on the findings of the Labour dominated cross-party Scottis affairs committee, highlighting how a majority of people in the UK now oppose a Scot becoming prime minister.
Surely this is something we should give maximum publicity to?

I never understand why people persist in believing that Labour did not think about the consequences of devolution. Labour carefully crafted a settlement which serves its own partisan interests admirably and will defend it vigorously. That settlement has three elements: (a) massive cash transfers from areas to Labour heartlands, even when there is no economic justification for such transfers; (b) denying the voters in the areas providing the cash with any significant say in how it is spent; and (c) ensuring that voters in Labour heartlands effectively get two votes - one over how money is spent in their own area and another, at General Elections, over how the areas that provide the cash and how much cash they are forced to cough up. There is only one word for this settlement: corrupt.

It is interesting that Labour is now seeking to control the egregious levels of public spending in Northern Ireland, which is effectively a sovietised economy where much of the private sector is run by organised crime. Labour's zeal in curbing spending in the Six Counties has nothing to do with thrift and everything to do with the fact that Northern Ireland does not provide it with significant votes.

But nor does Scotland provide the Tories with significant votes. It used to - at the peak in 1955, over half the votes and half the seats - but that was before the "Conservative and Unionist Party" had a change of heart over which "union" was most important to it - British or European. If there was still a reasonable core of Tory seats in Scotland, Blair would not find it so easy to use Scottish MPs to impose his will on England, would he? That is by far the best solution to the problem - a renewed Tory commitment to the British Union, "notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972", a restored Tory electoral base in Scotland, and a sizeable contingent of Tory MPs with Scottish seats to counter the other MPs with Scottish seats. It was done before, and it can be done again.

There's no need for an English parliament. Just mark the items covering devolved topics, and don't allow Scottish MPs to vote on them.

I do not want to break up the UK, so do not want an English Parliament, but do want this Labour made disaster sorted before it rips Britain apart through resentment. I'd prefer English votes on English issues (EVOEI). Scotland and Wales should be offered the same deal - abolishing the costly Follyrood and Cardiff Bay gravy trains for SVOSI and WVOWI.

There should also be a referendum on abolishing devolution. I think we could put up a good campaign focussing on the huge costs, waste, corruption etc. Maybe offer assembly style powers to all local councils instead - thereby taking the localist agenda but preserving the UK and symmetry.

St George's Day should definately be a Bank Holiday in England, and the same for St David's Day and St Andrew's Day in Wales and Scotland. Maybe we could move other bank holidays and have all three UK wide. I also want a 'British' bank holiday, maybe Union Day (when is it? 300th anniversary next year) or Trafalgar Day. Any ideas?

Surely, as Conservatives, we should be seeking to promote the Union, rather than putting forward this rather half-baked proposal which threatens to increase division between the four constituent parts?

If we must have yet another day in which industrial productivity and commercial activity can grind to a standstill, why not have a 'Union Day' on the anniversary of the Act of Union (August 1st), which we can all celebrate together, instead of pandering to the sensitivities and small-minded jingoism of the nationalists?

I'll let Gordon 'British' Brown suggest it to Alex Salmond and co.

Why is it Conservative to be unionist? How does the Union serve our interests?

Why is it Conservative to be unionist? How does the Union serve our interests?

Because the point the Tory party is to defend the established order. Or is that too complicated for you?

"Because the point the Tory party is to defend the established order. Or is that too complicated for you?"

Isn't that the very definition of a reactionary party?

That's not how I define conservativism personally.

"Why is it Conservative to be unionist? How does the Union serve our interests?"

Well, your party name is currently the "Conservative and Unionist Party" but I guess that could also go after the logo has been changed.

"Surely, as Conservatives, we should be seeking to promote the Union, rather than putting forward this rather half-baked proposal which threatens to increase division between the four constituent parts?"

Greater centralisation doesn't aid the union.

An English parliament simply creates transparent balance (no new building or layer simply HoC = EP), and is an act of decentralisation and balanced devolution. It will enable MP's to spend more time closer to their constituents too and save money (reduced long-distance travel, housing allowances etc etc).

That kind of fairness is the best way to preserve the overall union.

The current mess, and even the ill-conceived EVEL plan (imagine a scottish/welsh pm proposing a law that only applies to england that does not affect his country and constituencts and he is barred from voting on!) will just add to the frustration of the English, and is the most likely threat to a united kingdom.

"Why is it Conservative to be unionist? How does the Union serve our interests?"

We are the Conservative and Unionist Party, committed to the promotion and preservation of the Union.

Oddly enough, some people think our heritage is something to be cherished.

"Greater centralisation doesn't aid the union."

Maybe... but how is that related to my point about having one 'Union Day' instead of four separate national holidays?


To be fair to you, I was more responding to DavidB's comment at 13:07 about not wanting to see the union broken up with an EP but used your quote.

I agree that a union day would be great in addition to each country having its own national day too.

I think it's a good idea DVA.A holiday on August 1st would suit too!

Ted @ 11.03...

"....Spring already has Easter, May Day and Spring Bank Holiday. Perhaps sometime in July?"

Quite agree Ted - we could always abolish May Day !


No, as a conservative I think we should reclaim May Day as the great celebration it was before the Putitans - the English have gradually reclaimed Christmas back to its rightful place as the festival of excess lasting mearly a fortnight, instead of the simple religious day it had been shuffled off to.

Lets get back to the real meaning of May Day (celebration of sex rather than the gluttony of Christmas).

You might like to think through the consequences of dissolution of the Union, beyond "Oh goodie, once we've dumped the Scots we'll have a permanent majority in Parliament" - which in any case is unlikely to be true.

For a start, dissolution of the Union means dissolution of the British Army.

England and Scotland would revert to having their own separate armed forces, financed and controlled by the two separate sovereign Parliaments of England and Scotland. (Even after the Union of the Crowns, there was still an English army and a Scotch army, and that would have to be the case even in the unlikely event that the Scots agreed that the Queen would remain Head of State for both countries.) Or both would be subsumed into a European Army, which is of course the objective of the eurofanatics, including those within the Tory party.

It may be that we could have two armies on this island for generations without any recurrence of the traditional conflicts. There have been two armies on the island of Ireland for some time, and they haven't fought each other, although the Irish government might have entered into alliance with Nazi Germany if the Royal Navy hadn't been in control of the seas, and it did allow its territory to be used as a base by the IRA for attacks in the north. But this does need thinking about.

Alternatively you might like to think what the Tory party did to the Scots which turned it from being the most popular party in 1955, to being an irrelevance by 1997. Perhaps the damage is irreparable, or perhaps it isn't.

Ted - I live in Banstead, Surrey. The only sex we get around here are "sex of King Edwards" deliverded by Ocado. Hardly enough to justify a national holiday.

The rise fo the English Lion is nothing particularly new really. Even Billy Bragg of all people talked about back in 2004 during the European Championships.

It's become rather clear over the past few years that the constitutional settlement between the four nations, especially Scotland England, is knackered. This is a result of incessant tinkering on the edges by Labour.

There is nothing essentially wrong with the notion of an English Parliament, and it does not have to mean the end of the Union either.


Great post, except the bit about the "Scotch" whuch just shows how after 299 years even the very enlightened Englich still fail to understand their neighbours.

The Union as we know it is dead, but I don't think we will see a fully separated UK. More likely it will be a federal state.

Abolish some silly bank holiday when the weather is rubbish...May Day...and long live Union Day, 1st August.

Dulouz - do you mean my historical reference to the "Scotch" army? That was because "Scotch" was the adjective most commonly used at that time, at least in England. Now of course it's mainly restricted to whisky!


Sorry, I am new to the site and picked the name above the comment rather than your own.

As for "Scotch", yes that is seen in Scotland as a major insult. As you say, it is an English term. :)

Independence for a people that devours deep-fried Mars bars?

What's next -- self-government for cats and dogs?

If Scotland wants independence, we certainly should not stand in their way. England would not be diminished, and would certainly be a lot richer.

My question about why unionism is a current conservative belief is entirely genuine. I have no strong opinion on the subject but I can’t see obvious reasons why a union – especially an unhappy union - promotes prosperity or quality of life. It is undeniably conservative to limit government’s function to what’s beneficial for its people so, if a union is no longer beneficial, should the Conservative party reconsider its unionist views?

The great thing about ConservativeHome is that you can ask a question such as this and get intelligent, informed answers. Unfortunately you can also get ego-soaked comments from the playground:

Or is that too complicated for you?

Mark - couldnt agree more with all your sentiments. I was surprised at how much tosh was talked on this thread; and in some cases I was envisaging the writers foaming at the mouth as they thrashed the keyboard. Yet nobody commented on the Mail referring to "our very able chancellor"....errr, are you sure?

"Independence for a people that devours deep-fried Mars bars?

What's next -- self-government for cats and dogs?" - slinkybender

The first part of your comment is silly. In the same way the French think all Englishmen are paradoxically either football hooligans or effete snobs it has an element of truth, but considering I have never heard of anyone who eats deep fried mars bars, nor anyone who knows of any place that sells it, it's probably a great marketing ploy to attract the cameras.

However, the second part is certainly more than silly, it is highly offensive and has a touch of xenophobia about it. In any case it says more about you than anyone else.

As a Scottish Conservative, who believes in the Union, I am finding it hard to defend it when those who should be behind me are the ones gleefully stabbing Scottish Unionists in the back.

I don't think that Scotland has to prove itself in this Union as the proportionately higher number of Scots who have fought and died for this Island over the last 300 years testifies.

However, regardless of that the Union is dead as we know it. The Conservative Party has given up on the Union as this page shows, and even the Scottish Conservatives are thinking about total fiscal autonomy, which is basically a country run on the Serbia and Montenegro model before last month, and we all know where that led to.

We should neither be showering ourselves in myths and stereotypes, nor thundering towards full break-up, but realising that Scotland and England are very different, but also very similar, and that any change should be amicable.

One more thing that may lessen the blood pressure of all you English nationalists. There is hardly one person in Scotland who thinks that Scots should vote in English only matters. No-one cares. It is not a great conspiracy by the people, but a ploy purely by Labour.


Not all who post are Conservatives - some claim to be conservative with a small c - so don't take it as read that there aren't plenty of unionists who desperately want to see Scots Conservatism gain in strength.

As someone who spent the first 10 years of my life in a now defunct union I don't think many realise what separation would mean. Many seem to be small minded bean counters who presumably would agree with the Europhile approach of transferring sovereignty if it's judged good economically. The act of Union was probably driven largely by economicas but it created in Great Britain something greater than it's seperate parts.

There is a strong arguement to rectify the imbalances of assymetrical devolution but English nationalism should be about pride in the nation not defined in terms of dislike of Scotland or other nations.

P.S As for Scotch/Scots that's surely a result of differences in English dialects with Scots historically the preferred term north of the border while other English dialects used Scotch?

The current situation of MPs representing Scottish constituencies voting on English matters when the reverse is not the case is clearly both unfair and, in the longer term, unsustainable. However, stopping those Scottish MPs voting on "English" matters would lead to an unworkable mess.

Would not a sensible solution, which at least merits discussion, be something along the lines of the situation in Northern Ireland after partition until the 1970s?

The MPs from Northern Ireland had the same voting rights as any other MPs. However, because they had their own parliament for "home" matters (as Scotland now does) their number of Westminster MPs was drastically reduced, to about half what they would statistically be entitled to as I understand it.

It might be a bit messy, but it seems to me better than the unrealistic option of having different classes of MPs, allowed to vote on some things but not others, on the one hand and the status quo. It seems to me to be a fair compromise on the face of it.

Sorry Mark, I was unnecessarily sarcastic earlier - I didn't mean to cause offence though.

I can't speak for the "Bunny Smedley" character who made the 'complicated' comment, but my feelings on this are that preserving the Union allows us to preserve the historical and cultural ties that bind us together and this common heritage is something to be cherished.

I acknowledge that the relationship between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom is not a relationship of equals, however, in every country there are areas which are less prosperous than others, and cutting the less prosperous areas adrift won't help to 'promote prosperity or quality of life'.

If we are to start dismembering the Union on the basis of prosperity, where do we stop? Should we just draw a line from the Bristol Channel to the Wash and just wave goodbye to everything above it?

Ultimately, should we not consider this issue alongside questions of national identity and national self-determination? If the people of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Wight or wherever want independence, then of course they shouldn't be forced to remain part of the Union against their collective will, but the fact remains that the people in all four constituent parts of the United Kingdom wish to remain within the Union, and we should therefore be looking at the making the Union work for everybody within it instead of trying to promote petty divisions.

"Lets get back to the real meaning of May Day "

I couldn't agree more. We mark Remeberance Sunday out of respect to those who gave their lives in military conflicts for our freedom..........

What about respecting the sacrifice countless thousands who have died in mine disasters, factory fires, slaved 16 hours a day in cotton mills for a pittance, fought for decent safe working conditions,votes for all pensions and health care. People have died for those things too- May Day is their day, and we seldom remember it.


Speaking of Scottish MPs, I'm sure Sir Menzies Campbell will be thrilled about this.


You make excellent points.

I would like to agree that the Act of Union was politically and economically driven rather than from out of love, but it has created something greater than that.

On 7 July 2005, everyone I spoke to in Scotland was devastated for the attack on "their" country, in the same way that even the most fervent English nationalist would think if similar happened in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

It is actually because the Union is one of peace that there is debate.

However, this "imbalance" in the Union you speak of is laughable. How can 5 million people possibly dominate 50 million?

It is because England IS the dominant country that it allows Scotland and Wales to punch above their weight in the Union. It is to England's credit that it allows this peacefully, but it is also completely necessary if it wants a Union.

Otherwise, Scotland and Wales must vote for independence or be consumed by another country - and this will just not happen.

To think that almost 85% of the population are not ultimately in control is paranoia and an excuse.

Why do people keep having to go on about Union Day? Nowadays 'Union' smacks of unionists in northern Ireland not of what I presume it is meant to represent which is the union between Scotland and England? Ask people if you don't believe me. And we have had the almost unsolvable troubles of N. Ireland rammed down our throats for so long that one doesn't want to be reminded of them by having a 'union' holiday as well!!!!

Yes lets 'reclaim' May Day, maypoles (sex symbols) and all.

Yes I think there SHOULD be a St. Georges Day sometime, I hate the English flag only being associated with rather oafish football!!! Is there not a St.Andrews Day already? I thought there was.

"The Magna Carta has absolutely NOTHING to do with so called "Britishness", it was an ENGLISH achievement"

Since we are part of the same union, an English achievement is a British achievement, in the same way that a Welsh or Scottish achievement is a British achievement. Like it or not, British parliament descends from the Great Council (later called the parliamentum), which arose from Clauses 14 and 61 of the Magna Carta.

And the original treaty was signed on July 15, a time much more likely to produce a sunny bank holiday than the start of May.

English nationalists should be very careful what they wish for, because they might get it. They should understand that life wouldn't just continue as normal after Scottish independence, except that they'd be slightly better off - which is itself disputed by the Scottish nationalists, who argue that taking oil into account Scotland subsidises England. Dissolution of the Union means dissolution of the British Army, and there's no guarantee that having bitten on the bullet and chosen independence, the Scots would then retain the Queen as Head of State, or that Scotland would remain in NATO. This is what is meant by "independence". The economics may be a matter of dispute, but it's certain that the English and the Scots would once again become foreigners to each other, and potential adversaries in both diplomatic and military conflicts. It seems to me that there's now a real danger that the two nations could talk themselves into an outcome which would be disastrous for both, and I'm dismayed by the irresponsibility of British political leaders who appear reluctant to express any commitment to the British Union, while having no qualms about talking up the European Union. Yes, Mr Cameron et al, I do mean you.

As Denis Cooper says nicely, "English nationalists should be very careful what they wish for, because they might get it."

Scottish independence, at the very least of a federal kind, is now inevitable and England will have to come up with answers to what it will do.

Some problems that come to mind immediately are: what if Scotland gains allies that are not in England's interests? Where in England will it store the Nuclear arsenal as Scotland won't want it on the Clyde? How will it cope with immigration to the island of Britain outwith it's control if immigrants use Scotland as an entry point?

These are just a few I have quickly come up with and no doubt there are many more. The Union has lasted for nearly 300 years in a remarkably stable way, and yet it is now inevitably coming to an end. Who knows what will happen next?

Remember that there is little point in a patriotic 'national' holiday if it is hijacked by protesters for whom it is a prime headline-grabbing opportunity to increase division in pursuit of their own agenda. The example being New Zealand's 'Waitangi' day.

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