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Sorry to be pedantic, but did DC really "calls for an immediate stop to A&E and maternity services"

??

No, Ed! I've corrected that paragraph!

I am amazed that no mention is made of the West Lothian question. There is increasing resentment in England that the Scots MPs have so much power over us, led by a Scottish PM. It has taken the English a long time for the penny to drop. And we worry about so much power drifting over to Europe!
Whilst there is no wish to stir up anti Scottish feelings, surely DC would be right to also campaign on bringing fairness and justice back into the legislative arena- "English votes for English measures!"

I agree Michael. Portillo (as much as I dislike him) got it right on This Week when he said the main problem Brown has is his Scottishness. Add in a Scottish Chancellor and Scottish Election Co-Ordinator and there may be a bit of English resentment build up. We will have to see.

We have one A&E unit for 550,000 people which is what they regard as optimal....why should Southern England be over-provisioned with A&E units which are not properly-equipped because A&E needs full ward capability and specialists to function....and it is very 1950s to think every general hospital should support an A&E unit rather than run regional trauma centres

Michael, whilst I agree with you that English MP's should be the only ones voting on English matters, I disagree with your assumption that Scots MP's have so much power over you.
Push for similar autonomy for English matters, but the party would make a mistake if they pushed the argument that getting rid of Scottish MP's are the problem. A Labour government with a majority of Labour MP's in England is why you have this situation, don't give them a "get out of jail card" on some of their more unpopular decisions taken collective by the Labour party, Blair and Brown.

There are a hundred things we can attack Brown for - but to be effective we need to concentrate our fire.

The overwhelmingly important and topical issue is his decision to renege on his promise (and an election manifesto pledge too)to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution.

The treachery and cynicism of this is quite outrageous at a time when he is telling us he is going to listen to the people.

90% of the population - including 90% of the Brown-supporting population - think he should hold a referendum.

This is where he is vulnerable and this is where we should concentrate our fire over the next few months.

What is the use of being Prime Minister in London anyway - if our governent sits in Brussels?

michael miller,
DC has pledged numerous times that he would introduce english votes on english legislation.

The West Lothian question can be used as a beating stick at any point of our choosing, to use it now with so much other material available would be a waste.

Scotty- I was not suggesting that we get rid of the Scottish MPs- all I am saying is that it is quite legitimate for DC to campaign that they( and of course other non English representing MPs) should not vote in Parliament on purely English matters. We are a United Kingdom and that's how it will remain.However all constituent countries must be treated equally and at the moment, that is blatently not the case. As the Labour Government becomes unpopular, this issue will receive far greater prominence.

I think DC is right to campaign on "domestic" issues, as this is where Brown will win or lose. I think it's also worth waiting a few days to see what Brown has to say for himself, perhaps attacking him pre-emptively will give him the opportunity to avoid useful mistakes.

I agree with Chris, the West Lothian thing doesn't really need mentioning yet, because many voters are already hacked off with the Scottish Raj and don't need to be further whipped up yet.

Listening to 5 live this morning I heard someone complaining about the disparity between Scottish and English students regarding tuition fee's. What annoys me is the fact that no one highlights the same disparity over investment in further education in both parts of the UK. Our Universities and colleges are not getting the same level of investment, in fact the latest figures released show that spending per head in Scotland is trailing England by roughly the average yearly cost of tuition fee's.

Are ordinary people really that bothered about having a referendum?

"Are ordinary people really that bothered about having a referendum?"

Yes. Polls show over 80% support for one. Or you could read the Sun's editorial today.

Well done David Cameron, perhaps finally some ConHome sceptics will accept he is indeed a constructive Euro-realist!

I agree about the importance of campaigning for a referendum. People want one, even though most don't realise that the Treaty mandates the final creation of a functional European State; with its own foreign policy (and no independent policy for member states), legal personality, and full control over criminal law within the member states.

When reading Hansard, Ive always thought that Osborne was never better than Brown on Treasury Questions. Ranting at Brown about the economy when Brown can bat it back easily isnt putting him under pressure.

Are ordinary people really that bothered about having a referendum?

Posted by: michael miller | June 28, 2007 at 09:52

No Michael, people are more bothered at the moment about the floods and our troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan also those three young men killed in Basra today.

And as for the ordinary man in the street, if a referendum was to happen tomorrow it would be a resounding NO as only those anti EU people or very pro european people would bother to turn out. I am sorry to say that the No vote would probably come from about a 40% turnout (perhaps even less).
It is a dead in the water issue only the Press and the Murdoch Press in particular keep banging on about it, for their own vested interets. As for most people ask them what they know about these treaties and they will either say the do not fully understand it or come up with something totally unrelated or just quote what they have read and been foolish enough to believe from the press and media.
Most people do not fully understand and our politicians over the years including the Thatcher years have been quite happy to keep us in that state of bliss.

'Bradford' @ 9.28 - If you think our A&E units are under-employed here in the South, then I suggest that you come down here and see for yourself! The picture of privileged people in a rolling countryside that this government likes to promote of the South is very far from the truth, and only serves as an excuse for the further removal of monies from the South to be directed to areas 'up North' like yours, I imagine. It is a fact that the SOUTH of England is one of the most densely populated areas of Europe, though since that statistic came out several years ago, I should think it is even more over crowded given the number of recent immigrants coming here via Dover!

Are ordinary people really that bothered about having a referendum?

Of course they aren't. Most of them probably don't even know there was a treaty signed last week. Let Parliament decide, that's what it's there for.

This "80% wanting it" must come from a very small survey of swivel eyed headbanging nutters.

I think that people who know that they will lose a particular argument will always make the point that ordinary people aren't interested in the issue under discussion.

The Sun article can be read on the website.

The West Lothian question and Barnett formula will only be tackled when oil and gas revenue from what would be an independant scottish waters are materially less than the uplift recieved.

However the SNP at Holyrood are already manouvering to hasten this with outrageous mission creep. They have held a vote on replacing Trident and are now looking to use transport law under their control to prevent its fitting out. They are hell bent on destabalising the union, and the devolution Brown wanted to permanently shore-up strong Labour north of the border has gone completely out of control. What a mess.

Thank you Alan for The Sun link. I will update the original post.

Liberal Tory, I am sure that your spiritual forbears used the same sort of arguments when they opposed the 1832 Reform Act and the extension of the vote to women. One of the saddest aspects of the Tory left is people who claim to be modern and cosmopolitan exhibiting an often self-serving patrician mindset which looked obsolete by about 1850.

How to defeat Brown? Start by winning a by election such as Ealing Southall.

How to defeat Brown? Start by winning a by election such as Ealing Southall.

That's quite a promising article, going by DC's recent standards. That Guardian article is a helpful checklist as well.

I second what Michael Miller says.

As to Joseph's "resounding NO" does he mean that if we had a referendum we'd vote against (hopefully!) or does he mean that if we had a referendum on whether to have a referendum, less than 40% of people would vote in favour of having one? Hmmm.

I mean that there would be a resounding NO!! against.
What I do also think is it would open up further wounds again in the Tory Party.
Somehow or other Tories have a self destruct wish regarding this issue, I do not think the ordinary man or woman in the street is going to care one way or another.
I would have thought that after the "Save the Pound Fiasco" and having fought three elections and lost them with Europe as an issue that people would have realised by now that the only people that go on and on about it are the "Head Bangers" in the Tory Party.
Now I do think those words are an unfortunate choice of words and I apologise in advance to anybody who thinks it is offensive. No offence is intended, so I hope none will be taken but I am sorry to say that it what a lot of people think.
If Mr Cameron thinks the general public is going to vote for his party on the strength of offering a referendum. I think he is judging the electorate wrong. Most people have other priorities in their lives and for the majority I expect Europe is at the bottom of the pile.
Besides that this has been a historic day and I know the Labour party will have all the press and media attention for a day or two. However, who with the exception of the press is jumping up and down and screaming for a referendum?
I laugh at the Sun Newspaper and the 80% vote for a referendum, 8o% of what?

Joseph, sorry, I'm still not getting it.

Do you mean that if we had a referendum, people would vote "No" to the constitution?

Or do you mean that only a minority would vote in favour of having a referendum (which seems like a very roundabout way to run a country)?

Joseph:

If what you say is so true why is it that every poll on the subject in the last 3 years indicates around 80% of people are in favour of holding a referendum?

If what you say is so true why did Labour commit to a referendum on the EU Constitution at the last election?

If it is an irrelevent issue as you claim why didn't Labour take your approach and say 'It is just the same old Tory Headbangers rattling on about a load of nonsense' in the hope that the Tory party would self destruct?

John the reason the Labour Party offered a referendum prior to the last election was to pre-empt Mr Howard full stop! and it worked.

Before you come back and say that prior to Mr Blair signing the latest treaty, he promised a referendum arguing that if Europe tried to bring back the Constitution which the people of France and Holland had firmly rejected. He insisted it was not a return to the Constitution that they had rejected it was something different.
Now it may just be, or may not be, I am not sufficiently qualified to judge that one way or another. Neither is the majority of people in this Country either, so I am in good company.
I have never made any secret of the fact that I am a Labour supporter. However I ask you to believe me when I say that I would hate to see the demise of the Tory party. Unfortunately even although I am nearly as old as Methusilah (spelling?) himself, I can see the Tory party splitting over this issue in my lifetime due to the divisions in the party.
You are still not united on a lot of issues and the electorate will never vote for a divided party.
I know there are division in the Labour Party regarding Europe also. The difference between Labour and Tory is the Labour Party disguises it better.


Mark, so sorry if I confused you it was not intentional.
Allow me to word it differently.

If we had a referendum regarding the constitution people would vote NO.
However I think the turmout would be so low as to render any decision whatsoever worthless.
I just do not think it is a priority with the general public, people are simply not interested about it. Most think that is what we elect MP's to decide. And if I give you my honest opinion I think Mr Cameron and Mr Hague are both paying lip-service to the euro sceptic branch of the Tories.
They both know that they are not going to get a referendum, as when this comes back to the Commons it will get voted through. There are far more Pro Europeans in the Commons than there are those against. Plus the fact none of the previous treaties have had a referendum.
What capital Mr Cameron and Mr Hague think they are going to get out of this baffles me it reminds me of Amamda Patel and her save-the-pound brain wave. That did not work, neither will this latest lot.
Somehow or other I cannot see people breaking a sweat over this or marching to Parliament to protest.

Send Gordon Brown a gift wrapped in Euro wrapping paper - Ken Clarke and his tiny rump of followers.

Gordon seemed so pleased to get Quentin Letts. They might as well take the ensemble - the 5 or so remaining Conservative europhiles, taht we don't want. They can huddle in fear amongst Labour MPs who are readying themselves to rebel en masse against the Euro Constitution.

From a Labour website - RMT lead the way today by announcing that the planned rail strike could be coincided with a CWU strike day.

The incoming Prime Minister needs to be aware that his imposition of a three year pay cut for public service workers and his continuing privatisation of their jobs will haunt him all the way up to the next election

are we heading back to the 1970's? high inflation, high interest rates, strikes, union solidarity and governments trying to control pay while permitting a ludicrously high money supply?

NuLab is about to meet its destiny.

The headline of David Cameron's article in the Sun reads 'Brown will never deliver the goods'.
Even that will be before Dave Cameron delivers, judging by his performance to date!

NuLab is about to meet its destiny.

Posted by: Tapestry | June 28, 2007 at 17:56

Wishful thinking Tapestry. Gordon Brown has waited far too long for this opportunity to allow motor mouth Bob Crowe to spoil things for him.
Mrs Thatcher put these Union bully boys in their place and Brown will keep them there. You are whistling in the wind.

[email protected]:56

I take it that you aren't suggesting you would welcome these miseries you predict...?

Cameron should not become entangled in the referendum question, Europe is not the major concern of voters and should not drown out all that is been said on health, education and the environment. The party campaigned heavily on Europe in 2001 and it did not win them many votes.

No, Cleo, Europe does concern the voters. What turns them off is the appearance of obsession. A party must never fall into the single issue trap. This is not the same as abandoning all its - very justified - positions.

1) Blair concentrated on foreign policy issues because Brown kept him out of much domestic policy. Many domestic problems can be traced back to Brown. We have to keep showing this.
2) On Iraq , Brown never stopped Blair and never really tried to. Did he think he could let Iraq proceed in order to bring Blair down? If so then he is beyond contempt. Worse still he went along with Iraq and then didn't fund our troops properly.
3) Spin. Brown is not a frest start at all he is as much part of the spin of the Blair years as anyone. His current moves are hyper-spin - trying to build substance on foundations of spin, while pretending its not spin, will be disastrous.
4) He strategises things to death. On the one hand this is a problem for us as there is no doubt he is clever and has planned for his take over. However he tries to avoid risk, so on the other hand maybe we need to take actions that induce risks he hasn't the time to try and strategise out of.
5) Brown strikes me as a man of smoke and mirrors and bullying. He will always resort to that mindset, especially when he comes under pressure.
6)We should not underestimate him. What he is doing at the moment he has planned for a long time - he is trying to appear as a really new start and a change in political approach (it isn't really). He may even use that as a springboard for a quick early election and then afterwards if he wins start a more devious strategy to entrench Labour.

Matt

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