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Mottoes are in Latin, Slogans are in English.

Why not a red star on every public building and exhortations to the Workers to surpass Japan and the USA ?

Children could recite the glory of the Party every morning and the guiding wisdom of the Leader .

What could be more patriotic than making a very public pledge to restore the Great British sport of foxhunting? Mr Cameron has been remarkably quiet about this when he should be trumpeting the policy from the rooftops.

I'm fed up to the back teeth of the trendy policies currently being promoted by the leadership at a time when rual England is on its knees. Let's see the restoration of hunting as a centrepiece of Conservative policy for the next election.

"English votes for English laws and a review of the Barnett formula should also be on the Conference agenda."

No an English Parliament should be on the agenda, English votes for English laws will solve nothing, for the reason English people find themselves discriminated against in the services they receive is due to the failure of our MP's to fight for our interests, putting their party interests above the interests of English people.

So what’s the point of having English votes for English laws when our lobby fodder MP's will still troop through the lobbies at the whim of their leaders and ministers, whether they come from English, Scottish or Welsh constituencies?

We need an English parliament in order to put English peoples interest centre stage.

I feel the principle of patriorism and nationalism to be ones that lead to Socialism, by demanding the public essentially collectivise in order for the greater good. We need to be careful not to bang this particular drum so hard.

- An English Parliament to redress the balance of devolution and to give the English democracy. We must hammer home that it is the Labour Party who has fired up resentment and nationalism in the English with their gerrymandering and devolution and that we are the party of Union but the Union will only stay together if the English are given their say
- Re-examination of the Barnet formula
- Compulsory British history teaching in schools
- A Union flag on all Tory literature - even if the branding doesn't look good with red, white and blue
- A large Union flag as a backdrop to Cameron's conference speech
- A large Union flag as a backdrop to Hague, Davis and Fox's speeches
- No to the EU's idea of inviting 20 million Africans and Asians to settle in Europe to fill the growing pensions and labour gaps - we need to address our own 5m unemployed, NEETs, etc - Tories standing up to help people stand up for themselves to get Britain back to work

That every public building MUST fly the Union flag (something taken for granted in the US and even France). A portrait of Her Majesty the Queen displayed in every school and public building. These things were common here untill the 1960s.

"English votes for English laws and a review of the Barnett formula should also be on the Conference agenda."

And down go the Tories in Wales and Scotland!

We should reunite the United Kingdom.

Brown's stated vision of 'Britain' is a union of nations and regions where the call to British patriotism only applies to the regions. The nations of Scotland and Wales have distinct identities that must be celebrated and respected whilst the status of Northern Ireland is as neither region nor nation. England as a construct no longer exists.

Brown's intention is to overcome the perceived risk that the English electorate might get a wee bit tetchy about the outcomes of the devolutionary settlement with an appeal to our loyalty and patriotism and this message is being reinforced via the national media.

Our national broadcaster is confirming Brown's message with a relentless stream of British themed offerings celebrating our nicest views, walks, chef and ad nauseam and has restructured itself into BBC Nations and Regions.

The public buildings of the regions (England) must fly the flag of Britain and will now feature some facile slogan to embed Brown’s message in the English consciousness. Naturally, this concept of a British identity does not apply in Brown’s homeland:

'Gordon Brown can wrap himself in the Union flag if he requires that to win votes in the south of England. It's not appropriate in Scotland.'

Christine Grahame.SNP.

As Conservatives we must expose the cynicism of this faux patriotism as yet another example of the iniquity of the present constitutional settlement.

It is time to play the English card.

Let's not be facetious, but the last time any large-scale patriotism surfaced was at WW2. We should not be embarrassed about it, and the more it is discussed, inculcated in schools, displayed symbolically (eg, in the form of flags, etc.) freely and widely, the better it is in encouraging national pride and communal cohesion.

More must be done to teach children about the great achievements of the British Empire. Our forefathers took enterprise, technology, culture and democracy to the far corners of the globe. Our nation was fundamental in the develpoment of North America and Australasia. We have much to be proud of as a nation.

The liberal/left have tried to equate empire with hegemony, which is a nonsense. Now Labour are trying to create a form of plastic patriotism. The Conservative party must take the lead in promoting true the true values of Britain's past and Britains future.

"Every school and public building in the country will be emblazoned with a new "national motto" under Gordon Brown's drive to encourage patriotism and Britishness...

For 'the country', read England.

"I feel the principle of patriotism and nationalism to be ones that lead to Socialism" - James Maskell Sept 21, 2007 at 09:40.

Rubbish! USA a socialist country?

Can't say I like Browns idea of slogans but we really should display the Union flag or the cross of St. George on public buildings.
Britain as a whole and England in particular seem to me to have lost much of its self confidence after this summer of floods,foot and mouth,the mounting casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan and various sporting disasters. Anything that could remind my fellow countrymen of Churchill's dictum about being born British is like winning the lottery of life is to be welcomed.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

RELENTLESS, DESTRUCTIVE NEGATIVITY ABOUT DAVID CAMERON IS VERY BORING, TT.

"Our national broadcaster is confirming Brown's message with a relentless stream of British themed offerings celebrating our nicest views, walks, chef and ad nauseam and has restructured itself into BBC Nations and Regions."

Yes I am afraid to say the Conservative opposition are also assisting Brown, in the detail where they allow Brown to talk about 'the NHS' or education, universities, etc, when it is really the English NHS, English education, English universities etc he is talking about for that's all he can legislated on. The Conservatives in not insisting on the proper definition, allow Brown to get away with meddling in English issues and not embarrassing him on it.

In addition, they also assist Brown by failing to have a strong distinct policy to correct the democratic obscenity of the West Lothian Question, that of a proposal to have an English Parliament, instead this limp feeble policy of English votes for English laws, which fails to capture anyone’s imagination, and so fails to garner support where the Conservatives will need it to get power, England. But then we shouldn’t be surprised for one thing the Conservative HQ is good at is squandering electoral opportunities handed to them.


Like IRJMilne [September 21, 2007 at 09:56], I am a Unionist and I abhor the thought of independent nations of Britain.

""I feel the principle of patriotism and nationalism to be ones that lead to Socialism" - James Maskell Sept 21, 2007 at 09:40.

Rubbish! USA a socialist country?"

Indeed, more pride in our strength as an *individual* nation would have stopped our slide into socialist political project like the EU.

"I am a Unionist and I abhor the thought of independent nations of Britain."

I am sorry to say you are living in the past, the Union you want was fractured in 1997, Unionists failed in their argument then. In the intervening years there has been no success in gluing it back together. It seems that Unionists now want to delude themselves into believing the old Union continues by denying English people equality. It seems to me you need to wake up to the new reality, the Scottish Parliament is not going away, neither is the Welsh assembly, so you need to deal with the situation in England, whether you like to or not, and you need to do it before the inequality of the current situation busts apart any vestige of the Union that remains.

Having watched Michael Palin's new programme at the weekend, I'm wondering if there is any mileage in popularising the phrase "the Former United Kingdom"?

Would make for an interesting acronymn, but not sure Our Saintly Editor would approve.

@IRJMilne

@Teck

'I abhor the thought of independent nations of Britain.'

So do I but it happened and Labour should be held accountable although the original intention of a guaranteed Labour hegemony in the devolved nations has magnificently backfired.

The success of Plaid and the SNP can only continue to plague Brown which is why Brown's Britishness only applies to England and the saltire continues to fly at all points north of Gretna.

An English settlement does not need to be anti-Scots nor should be perceived as such. A majority of the Scots believe that there should be an English parliament not least to stop the endless whingeing from single issue numpties like me.

We are *not* "the real and substantial party of patriotism", whatever that's supposed to mean. If patriotism means anything, it cannot be the province of any one political party. .

"English votes for English laws and a review of the Barnett formula should also be on the Conference agenda".

The Editor is therefore calling for ENGLISH patriotism to be part of the conference agenda. He will be disappointed. If we are lucky, we might get a call for a referendum on the EU constitution (but no mention of the "stay in EPP" deal with Merkel in exchange for the joint CDU-CSU policy groups).

I expect the conference agenda to be dominated by Theresa pay rights for women, Zac's green taxes and Gideon's huge spending increases (e.g. an additional £500 million per annum on foreign aid).

Anything that could remind my fellow countrymen of Churchill's dictum about being born British is like winning the lottery of life is to be welcomed.

It was Cecil Rhodes and 'English', actually.

If Scotland were to become independent it would quickly discover that its problems were not because of the union after all. I am sick to death of Scots laying all their problemsat Englands door. The Scots should realise it it the union that has prevented them from beoming just another little country like Iceland or Norway.

IRJMilne, Teck and Chad all pointed to the undesirable break of the UK. But the source is not Brown nor Blair. The source is the EU - a Europe of Regions. Go back to 1957, the Rome treaty, and subsequent Commission Communications on Regional Policy.

What we signed up to is not the UK as a member of the EU but 12 regions.

All the regions are now up and running: those who argue that we are divided into England, Scotland, and Wales ignore the other regions. England is not a unit anymore – its 9 pieces.

The Labour Government is already putting the EU’s next tier into place - the sub regions.

Its divide and rule Brussels style.

So what is the Conservative Party going to do about it?

It's very disappointing how the Conservatives have stopped attacking Brown over questions on the future of the Union.

Cameron should stand up for allowing voting on further devolution + getting Scottish MPs out of English-only votes in Westminster and push Brown into a corner, as he should keep doing over the EU referendum as well. These are the kinds of issues which Cameron must use as leverage against Brown.

I stand corrected TT.

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel and we should not put patriotism on the agenda. For the reasons given above it plays to Brown's need for Britishness as a cover for his lack of moral justification for interfering in English concerns.

We should play the English card but as practical benefits - 2p off income tax by cancelling the Barnett formula etc. Not as a matter of patriotism.

However, there is zero chance of DC doing this so it is entirely a bloggers argument. He might just focus on an EU referendum, I wouldn't count on that.

"Cameron should stand up for allowing voting on further devolution + getting Scottish MPs out of English-only votes in Westminster and push Brown into a corner,"

Just showing up Brown's funding discrimination against English people and the resulting reduced services they receive would be a start.

Patriotisn is always the last refuge of a rogue and a wrong 'un.

Jonathan/George Hinton: Dr Johnson's dictum is always mis-applied. The point he was making comes out best in the full quote from Boswell: Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apophthegm, at which many will start: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered, that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self-interest.

i.e. when all else fails a scoundrel will argue for a patriotic justification, not that all patriots are scoundrels.

Britain doesn't do flags - so vulgar!

Let's not be facetious, but the last time any large-scale patriotism surfaced was at WW2.

That was propaganda-driven rather than always spontaneous aided by Henry V for which foreign exchange was spared; Mrs Miniver, and a slew of films produced for market.

The Falklands represented a spontaneous outpouring.

Justin Hinchcliffe shows his true colours. There is nothing wrong with flags. The Queen has her own flag.

I would not be surprised if Justin has an EU flag on his bedroom wall. It appears that he does not like Britain.

"If Scotland were to become independent it would quickly discover that its problems were not because of the union after all. I am sick to death of Scots laying all their problemsat Englands door. The Scots should realise it it the union that has prevented them from beoming just another little country like Iceland or Norway."

Tony, as someone who lives in Scotland I can tell you that having Holyrood very effectively turns the Scottish voters guns onto their MSP's, so your rant about the Scots laying all their problems at Englands door is not true and a tad unfair. In fact all I hear these days is people down South whinging about Scots whinging about them.
It is boring and unproductive!
The WLQ has got to be addressed and the unfairness of the present model corrected. No one I know in Scotland disagree's with that fact, or has any problem with the issue being dealt with to allow a much more balanced model of devolved government across the whole UK.
In fact, many would say "about time" or "what took you so long". The answer to that question is simple, its the voters down in England that will push this through. So stop venting your spleen on a group of people up North who did get off there backsides and vote with their feet in this issue. I didn't agree or vote for devolution, but many did and that is democracy working.
The Conservative party should make much of the fact that LABOUR MP's from Scottish constituencies vote on England only matters, yet others like the Conservative(one) and the SNP do not. Don't make an issue of Brown's *Scottishness*, it will backfire because we are supposed to be the Unionist party and it will damage our credibility in both Wales and Scotland to pull such a nasty opportunistic stunt. We still need some of those seats!!
Let Brown carry on his rather obvious and less than credible British campaign, it will damage him both sides of the border believe me.

This is a tad off topic but they way I look at it is this: The Tory conference is a couple of weeks off yet. At the moment, since the policy review by Goldsmith was announced, we have drifted out of the public eye again, and are treading water at best or going backwards in the public eye at worst.

Labour are ahead in the polls and may call an election before, during, or just after our conference. But instead of Labour disrupting the Conservative conference, the Tories should be looking to disrupt theirs.

This could take the form of an announcement on policy or pledge, right slap-bang in the middle of the Labour conference, snatching the headlines and showing that the Conservatives are working hard to win arguments whilst Brown is busy having his love-ins with the unions.

What issue could do this for the Tories I don't know, but it's something Coulson, Hilton etc should be mulling over right now.

Or maybe I'm just naive.

@William Norton - who will now repeat his trick by instructing his father's mother in how to aspirate the ova of chickens.

Not in this case it isn't. The point of this thread is a recommendation that at the Conference the Party should wrap itself in the flag to cover the nudity of its other policies. It is truly the last refuge of the scoundrel.

My point was that we should play the England card and demand a referendum as a means to improving life for Englishmen i.e. as an adjunct of other policies on the public services, not as an exercise in flag waving like some Texan Republican or like a Scotsman in need of a justification for running England.

Since when, Justin? The flag was flying not just across the country but across the world merely half a century ago. Don't accept the leftist rubbish that 'Britain doesn't wave flags' - we regularly did in the past. It is only recently that has fallen out of favour. Cultural relativist policies stopped the flag-waving, not the other way round.

Harriet Harman has just been on Radio 4 praising Theresa May for her 'Equality Audit' proposals and saying how refreshing it is that the Tories now agree with such Socialist policies instead of decrying them as Politically Correct.

The party's new attitude - praised by a Socialist - is a thundering disgrace.

In other words the one flag that should not be flown at Blackpool is the flag of Freedom.

Jonathan: Talking of aspirates - wat as appened to Jack Stone tese days?

Whats the point of flying the flag, shouldn't it be an EU flag at the Conservative conference, as the Party has no intentions of returning powers back to Westminster,or if it says it will, won't say how.
On defence, it is not more money that is required, but spent in a sensible way, not expensive toys for the boys as presently happening.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR.

CONSTANT NEGATIVE AND PERSONAL COMMENTS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Patriotism at the top of the agenda? You're joking right?

Let Brown get on with the gimmicks and populism...tea with Thatcher, citizens juries, patriotic slogans etc We can do without trying to ape him.

Let Cameron get on with carving out policy on health, social breakdown and the environment. The policy groups have produced some amazingly indepth analysis and ideas which will help make the Conservatives the Party with the answers.

People will soon see through the Brown spin and I predict in 6 months time it will be Cameron who is rightly viewed as the man of substance and Brown a second rate Blair spinner.

Take a look at this lengthy, but riveting video. It goes a long way to explaining what is happening to the UK, how it is being systematically destroyed and what you can do about it.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=...3576873594&hl=en-GB

Hello Scotty

As I said, putting forward proposals for an equitable English settlement need not be framed as anti-Scot and as you suggest the Scots would seem largely sympathetic. The problem with our present PM and Chancellor is that they are both signatories to the Claim of Right (1989):

'and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests (the interests of Scotland) shall be paramount.'

The two highest offices of state cannot morally be held by Brown and Darling as they both have explicitly stated that they will act in the interests of one area of the UK above all other areas and, indeed, above the interests of the United Kingdom.

Consider Cameron stating that English self-interest was the primary concern and how well that would play in Dundee and Dolgellau. There would be insurrection.

Tory Girl - your link doesn't work for me - can you check or give me some other search criteria?

ta

Harriet Harman has just been on Radio 4 praising Theresa May for her 'Equality Audit' proposals and saying how refreshing it is that the Tories now agree with such Socialist policies instead of decrying them as Politically Correct.

I wondered why 'Harriet The Harridan' was on WATO since she failed to address the issue of Tribunals which was the reason she was on as a law officer......but she was polticking so clearly thinks she has to do something as Labour Chairleg to foment discord....but she never managed to explain how these tribunals should deal with the volume of claims.

Then again she is an remnant of the 1960s lumbering across the changed landscape oblivious to the role working women are playing in China's rise to 4th largest economy in the world

I echo the calls for regaining sovereignty from the EU. And there should be a full English Parliament; otherwise cancel devolution and return to one UK parliament.

Unless something positive is done, we will just drift into a Czech/Slovak or Belgian situation.

One point, though, Englandism: we should not bring up the Scottish Claim of Right. As I understand it, it was fulfilled by the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. It is not an ongoing pledge to put Scotland's interests first. See:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/nmCentre/news/news-99/pa0023.htm

The Claim of Right stated:

"We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.

We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:

To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland;

To mobilise Scottish opinion and ensure the approval of the Scottish people for that scheme; and

To assert the right of the Scottish people to secure the implementation of that scheme."

What we need is England's equivalent Claim!

Apropos Gordon wrapping himself in the Union Jack and talking about patriotism.

Are not the Citizen Juries that he has established nothing more than cynical exploitation, giving an outward face of the democratic process and the pretence of listening. But, what he has actually achieved is to get the public exchequer to pay for the party's Focus Groups. Afterall, who actually chooses the bodies to partake in these events?

Ken,

""We further declare and pledge that our actions and deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:

To agree a scheme for an Assembly or Parliament for England;

To mobilise English opinion and ensure the approval of the English people for that scheme; and

To assert the right of the English people to secure the implementation of that scheme.""

@50M voters in England, @5M voters in scotland.

Do you know....that might just catch on...

I want to stand up for Justin, whom someone had a go at because of his remark about flags. Someone said he clearly doesn't like Britain.

Can I remind that person that Justin gives up a huge amount of his time to fight to Tory corner in Tottenham? Would you like to swap your majority for his? Thought not.

He has a letter or an article in his local paper practically every week. He galvanises an amazingly large collective to get out and canvass every week. If every constituency chair worked as hard as Justin we would still be in power.

I don't understand why this site permits people to slag off other posters like that. I don't actually agree with what Justin wrote about flags either. It doesn't mean that I think there's something suspect about his patriotism.

I don't really understand the Editor's proposal here. I'm all for the teaching of British history and the rejection of the EU Treaty (though opposed to EVOEM, as regulars here will know). But I don't understand how we would be supposed to bring these things together into "patriotism". Isn't Patriotism about Britain (or perhaps Scotland, or Wales, or Ireland, or England, if one is a Nationalist politician rather than a Conservative & Unionist)? Is it about the Conservative Party?

Personally, I identify the Conservative Party very closely with Britain and with the Whiggish constitution. I believe that Britishness consists in the Whiggish Unionist constitution, that Britain could not survive without the Conservative Party and that the Conservative Party as we have understood her (the instrument of Whiggish rule) could not survive without Britain. So in that sense I can see the connection between Britishness and the Conservative Party. But, honestly, I see no appetite within the Conservative Party for forging such a linkage - Conservatives have long since ceased to take a coherent interest in constitutional matters except in a Nationalist English (as opposed to British) sense. This is clearly seen in this thread, with all its talk of English patriotism and an English Parliament - the very antithesis of Conservatism. Those arguing this sort of line are expressing the (confused and unConservative) outlook of most Conservative activists today. Unionists like myself, believers in Britain and in her constitution and rejecters of Nationalism, are quaint nutters - amusing to listen to after a few beers, perhaps, but otherwise largely harmless. If we are to re-establish the link between the Conservative Party and Britishness, it will take a long and slow process of re-education of our members, and a deep and coherent engagement by our leadership in constitutional issues - something that they (probably appropriately, given the short-term political considerations) have no appetite at all for attempting.

The Associated Press has just filed this story:
DUTCH GOVERNMENT REJECTS EU TREATY REFERENDUM
The Dutch Cabinet decided on Friday against submitting the proposed EU Reform Treaty to a referendum by the Dutch public, the same electorate that quashed the draft European constitution two years ago, Dutch television reported.
But the Cabinet also said it would take its decision to parliament, where many politicians - including some members of the governing coalition - favour a referendum.
The decision was widely expected, since Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had openly opposed the referendum. But a large faction within the Labor Party, the No. 2 partner in the three-party coalition, was in favour of the referendum, saying in principle it believed such important issues should be taken directly to the public.
None of the major parties has objected to the treaty itself, which was designed to replace the constitution that was killed off in 2005 when French voters, followed a few days later by the Dutch, rejected it by an unexpectedly wide margin.

"Patriotism, the defence of one's prosperity, freedom or rights."

None of this is possible without a school system to provide the raw material of one's country - an educated population.

I have just read the following in yesterday's Guardian - will someone please tell me this is not true?.....Please?

""Primary schools could be fitted with science labs and teachers paid more money to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers under Conservative proposals unveiled today.""

There are so many things we have yet to get right in primary education so that kids can actually get to grips with science when they get to secondary school - not least of which are reading, writing, arithmetic and a sense of moral values - for heavens sake don't go into the election pledging to throw money at science labs for primary schools.

Is there anyone there who lives in the real world anymore?

This is not a negative comment - on the contrary, NOT including a pledge to spend vast sums of money building science labs in Primary schools will have a very positive effect on our chances at the next election....

Please - commit to getting the basics right first - and start listening to the people who would like to start voting Conservative again....please....

Sigh....

Take a look at this lengthy, but riveting video. It goes a long way to explaining what is happening to the UK, how it is being systematically destroyed and what you can do about it.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=...3576873594&hl=en-GB

Sorry the link didn't work Patriot, can only suggest you try again

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=3664960863576873594&hl=en-GB

"A majority of the Scots believe that there should be an English parliament not least to stop the endless whingeing from single issue numpties like me."

To this and other English-nationalist commentators, I should explain that I have one English parent, one Scottish parent, and have always regarded myself as British. I have no more an English or Scottish personal identity than a European or a Wessexian identity, and hate Blair for devolution probably more than anything else. I'd consider the SWP if they'd reverse devolution. It's probably my next biggest issue after "power back from Brussels".

Having admitted bias, I'll say I think the Union makes us stronger and greater.

Regarding saltires in Scotland, why not put union jacks in Scotland more? The saltire is used too much.

If we can't have a proper union we should have a referendum on Scots independence now and get the miserable business of wiping out the United Kingdom over and done with.

We should also dump EU-imposed regional assemblies and everything like them. And less EU flags all round.

There isn't anything wrong with flags at all. Did you see that bloody EU flag at the Proms by the way? That should've been taken down.

Tory Girl - thanks that one worked - 1 hour 56 minutes, gosh - I've bookmarked it for when I have more time spare.......

Thanks again

"I am sorry to say you are living in the past, the Union you want was fractured in 1997, Unionists failed in their argument then." [Iain, Sept 21, 2007 at 10:44]

On the conjoined issues of nationalism and patriotism, I look dispassionately and without being subservient to nostalgia as might have been implied from the statement and Iain's comment.

The economic effects of devolved government might be predictable in the short term, but the longer term outlook is difficult to forecast, and with Scottish affiliation and previous connection with Wales, I fear the self-interests of those politicians seeking greater autonomy to the extent of independence might be myopic and a certain point might be passed when return is well nigh impossible, or impractical.

From a constitutional perspective, the break-up of the Union would render the position of monarchy ineffectual; of course, the role of the monarchy is another matter itself.

Back to the point of discussion, patriotism in this context of flux is about being British and nationalism can be applied to both regional pride as well as that of the Kingdom.

Hello Ken,

Does it not seem a bit odd that a signatory to the cause of Scottish independence should be promoting the cause of the United Kingdom when he has been directly instrumental in the division of the United Kingdom?

Hypocrisy and crass cynicism does not seem to worry Gordon Brown. The English vote, does.

"Those arguing this sort of line are expressing the (confused and unConservative) outlook "

Aren't we being told the Conservative needs to modernise, well seeking to hang on to the 1707 settlement doesn’t seem modern to me, and certainly doesn’t take note of the changed constitutional arrangement. Now unless the Conservatives intend to abolish the Scottish Parliament and Welsh assembly, which doesn’t seem to be on the agenda, then they have to have a response to the West Lothian Question. Sticking their heads in the sand will be the quickest way to end what remains of the Union, the English votes for English laws is a rubbish proposal and doesn’t solve the problem. So if the Conservatives want to get relevant, then they have to deal with the situation as they now find it, and put forward a workable solution, and that is an English Parliament.

Janice Small [September 21, 2007 at 09:48] - overdue assertiveness and 'nation-self' confidence. Right on the button!

[email protected]:59,

As Ken and englandism and others will know, I am very far from suggesting sticking our heads in the sand. The constitution is currently dangerously imbalanced, and you are quite correct that abolishing the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament are not viable options. However, since introducing an English Parliament would only make matters much worse, rather than better, I do not support that. My view is that since we are forced to have assemblies in the Welsh and London regions of England-and-Wales, we must have them everywhere. The Unionist solution is to introduce a common form of local government throughout England-and-Wales. We have to choose between Unionism, and the messy compromises it makes necessary, and English Nationalism. I know which side I'm on.

Why is it that so many commenters here seem to think that Nationalism is any more an expression of Conservatism when it is English Nationalism than when it is Scottish or Welsh or Irish Nationalism?

Sorry, silly jingoistic flag waiving isn't British. It implies a lack of confidence. Can we please avoid it. I find it embarrassing, and at best a distraction from discussing real issues.

By all means teach history, and talk about our great achievements. Kids should know what they are, but let's forget about slogans and flags.

Scotland can be cut adrift but Wales cannot. Wales is not incorporated by an Act of Parliament as such. In fact Wales is not an independent kingdom and when it was united with England the original plan was to integrate it entirely and have England subsume it, which is why we have the half-way house of "England & Wales" in all legislation and why the heir to the throne is Prince of Wales rather than of Scotland which is a Joint Kingdom.

England itself is unsustainable unless it is split North and South because the interests of London are so alien to those in the North East and North West; and simply casting Scotland adrift will leave Northern England as the aggrieved party never having had the financial largesse Scotland enjoyed but carrying huge social problems from immigration and decaying infrastructure

Important points [email protected]:47, largely correct in my view and far too rarely aired.

Andrew Lilico, doing Europe’s job and regionalising England into bureaucratically contrived regions is, apart from being an insult to English peoples history and identity, it also fails to deal with the issues that devolution have created.

I also find your contempt for English nationalism somewhat objectionable, for England is one of the least nationalistic countries you might find, and perhaps if we had been more nationalistic the British state might not have so outrageously discriminated against the young, sick and old people of England.

I saw an interesting proposal a couple of years back, from a few eccentric Republicans, that if Scotland and Wales became independent, England should be invited to join the United States. I presume that it would have had to be three or four states, rather than one - otherwise it would be much the most populous state and would destabilize matters. What would our English Nationalist commenters think of this idea? From a British perspective, is it more patriotic to suggest a separate English state, or England-within-the-US?

Andrew Lilico [Sept 21, 2007 at 17:19] eloquently articulated my shared sentiment on state of the Union, that replicating a fragmentary approach to the regions is not the solution to redeeming past errors.

There should be equity and uniformity of scope and responsibility of local government throughout the Union.

[email protected]:00

I'm not "contemptuous" of English nationalism, any more than I am contemptuous of Welsh or Scottish or Cornish nationalism. I just don't share it.

BTW, [email protected]:00

I don't know what "English" history you believe is insulted by having a common form of local government throughout England-and-Wales, but since "England" has not been a governmental unit since 1270 (from then on there was England-and-(most-of)-Wales (the rest of Wales came in in the Tudor period)), and only plausibly began as a united governmental unit on anything like its current borders from 1066 (when William finally killed off the Strathclyders, IIRC), your notion of English history relates to a very narrow period!

Next, I think you are completely mistaken to believe that introducing the same form of local government throughout England-and-Wales will not solve the problems created by devolution. It would, in fact, mean that there had never been devolution at all - just a particular type of local government (which is as it should be). No-one would talk of a "Prime Minister of the West Midlands", so they would stop all this nonsense of talking about the "Prime Minister of Wales". The Welsh Assembly would have no constitutional significance at all - none of the regional assemblies would. All constitutional significance of "devolution" would be crippled, and we would stop talking about the whole issue within two years.

Andrew Lilico | September 21, 200717:19
"The Unionist solution is to introduce a common form of local government throughout England-and-Wales. We have to choose between Unionism, and the messy compromises it makes necessary, and English Nationalism. I know which side I'm on."

You seem to have omitted Scotland-and-Northern-Ireland from your unionist equation. I'm prepared to leave NI as a special case but a Scottish Parliament without an English one is not acceptable. The messy compromise is an English Parliament -- or an English-Welsh Parliament if the Welsh are not so enamoured with their assembly after all. Anyway, now that Scots seem to be quite pleased with how SNP is doing, maybe Scotland will accelerate towards its independence and solve the problem.
http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=1513952007

Incidentally, would you advocate trying to block an eventual Scottish referendum on independence? If yes, then I doubt that would be very productive; if No, then why would you countenance Scotland's folk having a say but not likewise for England's folk.

I was once of British nationality; now I am English. If being British comes back on the menu, then I'd revert but no party is offering re-establishment of true Union.

@Andrew Lilico

Becoming part of the USA is as much anathema as becoming part of USE.

England is a country not a series of regions and deserves its own Parliament, having invented them.

The model for England is to go off shore from Europe - Switzerland with culture. The second most successful economy in the world is an island monarchy (Japan). There is nothing wrong with that model. We do not need a sugar daddy.

@TomTom

An independent England is no threat to the NE or NW, rather the reverse. Whitehall has to feel guilty about something. If it cant send money to Scotland it will pour it into the English regions. Besides we need a decent regional policy to reverse the concreting over of the SE.


Andrew Lilico | September 21, 18:01
"I saw an interesting proposal a couple of years back, from a few eccentric Republicans, that if Scotland and Wales became independent, England should be invited to join the United States. ...From a British perspective, is it more patriotic to suggest a separate English state, or England-within-the-US?"

I'll buy the idea! I'm a staunch Elizabethan royalist but not necessarily monarchist overall. No doubt a transitional arrangement would be permitted. Hawaii is not geographically part of the American continent and it incorporates a Union Jack in its State flag. Thus we would provide a nice counterbalance with a Union flag this side of another ocean. Presumably we'd have to put up border controls with Wales and Scotland, if they weren't also in on the deal, so as to operate American-style entry controls. ;-)


It might seem odd to be an English nationalist, yet contemplate US absorption so readily. Reason is that I admire American's patriotism for nation coupled with pride in State of origin. I could thus again be enabled to feel pride in my State/country and in belonging to a Union that actually welcomed me. Much better than this current position of a patriotism that dare not speak its name.

englandism | September 21, 2007 16:27
"Does it not seem a bit odd that a signatory to the cause of Scottish independence should be promoting the cause of the United Kingdom when he has been directly instrumental in the division of the United Kingdom?"
It is not beyond the bounds of credibility that hypocritical Brown will lose English votes and even personally be vulnerable in his own Scottish constituency! Well, I can dream, can't I!

Jonathan September 21, 18:49
"England is a country not a series of regions"
Presuming that remark to be reacting to Andrew's indications that England might warrant becoming more than one State of USA, I can imagine that our collection of States would become known as Old England, just as a collection of north-eastern US States is referred to as New England.

I'm not entirely sure that England couldn't be just one State. USA manages a Union of States varying between 36+ million (California) and 1/2+ million (Wyoming).

America began union somewhat later than UK and continued to expand voluntarily (albeit with a little hiccup in the 1860s) to 50 States of widely ranging population size, area and geographical spread. That the UK has failed to cement a similar level of cohesion after 300 years suggests to me that it is a failed experiment. Regretfully, we should do the decent thing by managing the separation systematically and amicably, rather than having it overtake us uncontrollably.

Mr Stevens - the union is cemented enough that people in NI have fought to remain part of it for a century, and a majority of Scots are opposed to separation.

It is suffering because this country has lost its strength and vigour, and because idiots like Blair have encouraged the Nationalists; who are benefitting from non-Tory anti-NuLab votes at the moment.

It's no wonder the Conservative party is in such trouble, when comentators on a conservative website make comments opposing patriotism, opposing nationalism, wanting the break up of the United Kingdom, wanting to make the UK a state within the USA, and on numerous other threads express hatred of the BBC and NHS.

All we need is for someone to suggest abolishing the monarchy and Branston pickle and we'd have the full anti-British set.

Jon Gale (Sept 22, 2007 at 11:36), a strong leader would and should expunge the separatism cancer that is invading and destroying our national soul, restore the integrity of the Union and invigorate our pride as a united and harmonious country.

Comment No 7 from IRJMilne takes the absolute biscuit as an exercise in denial of reality , thus :

"English votes for English laws and a review of the Barnett formula should also be on the Conference agenda.
And down go the Tories in Wales and Scotland!
We should reunite the United Kingdom "

This written in 09/2007 when there is one Tory MP , out of 59 ,in Scotland and a full blown Scottish government .

Er , Milny, old bean , its like this .

Since the 1997 Scotland Act passed by the your British government specifically for the nation, country and people of Scotland , there has been an entirely separate Scottish parliament,executive , prime minister - still called the first minister but not for long - and budget . Scotland is now in the process of developing its own civil service and foreign policy .

In effect they have self rule and British rule in Scotland is no longer .

Absurdly , Scottish MP's in the British pariament still have a say in English affairs - England having been carefully and specifically denied all those things which have been lavished on Scotland .

Even worse there is an essentially racist and nationalist programme by the British state to obliterate via regions all traces of England altogether .

This being so , large numbers of English people who formerly would have accepted being called British are now extremely wary of the word and the government .

The only way to retrieve the position of the United Kingdom of the recent past is that England has ALL those things which Scotland has ie English self rule with own parliament , government , PM , civil service and budget .

Summarised in the English flag which should , of course , fly from every English public building , permanently .

If this were so , then the English might , just might , accept of still being a self governing part of a continuing UK
( although the Barnett Rules will have to go ).

Until the British government passes an England Act bringing all this about you can but dream and whistle for any residual loyalty for Britishness .

Jake absolutely sums up what needs to be done to keep the UK as a country.
As for a good slogan for the whole of Britain, how about 'Keep on screwing England'. That' what it is all about as far as Gordon Brown is concerned. A parliament for England would tell him to keep his sticky Scottish fingers off our money.

IRJMilne | September 22, 10:24
I certainly acknowledge the efforts of the people of NI to stay in union. However I think the balance of Scottish opinion may not be as much in favour of continued union as it was. Anyway, it seems that a number of unionist Scots nevertheless favour greater devolved powers, i.e. not just the cake and icing but the cherry as well. That to my mind is even less of a union and I am viewing the the situation as it is, not as I would have preferred to retain.
"It is suffering because this country has lost its strength and vigour".
Teck @12:08 states forcefully the remedy for that deficiency. Which major party is offering such a potent medicinal brew?

Jon Gale | September 22,11:36
My fundamental position is that I would much prefer a strong, independent UK. Its break-up is nevertheless already in train, as is our absorption into the USE. My support for England joining the USA is because it seems a better option than anything else on offer by any major party. I am dealing with the reality rather than unrealistically yearning for how things used to be. Mind you, I would like to see a Scottish independence referendum offer a clear choice for scrapping devolution and returning to union.

Your throwaway line about Branston pickle shows how easy it is for things to change for the worse, step by step. Pan Yan pickle dropped out of sight a few years ago. Definitely an anti-British action, as it was much nicer than Branston!

I am still arguing the case for a united UK and the re-establishment of the institutions which made Britain a great nation.

I believe we can win votes in Scotland, and believe it would be immoral of those of us who feel any continuing sense of duty towards Great Britain to desert those in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland who retain unionist loyalties.

The creation of an English parliament would be the prelude to the final break-up of the United Kingdom. This plays into the hands of the regionalisation policy of Brussels, and would represent one more step on a journey towards European dominion.

The idea that Scotland has free this and free that is in any case a myth. The Scottish government in fact wastes its extra money on having its own International Development budget, and it is a body of such gravity that its only significant act in its first term was to abolish fox hunting. The fact that it exists presently in 2007 can easily be rectified - we abolish it, we argue the case for its abolition.

IRJMilne | September 22, 17:46

I would wholeheartedly support abolition of devolved administrations. I will not support their continuance without a corresponding English parliament. Maybe that would finally set the seal on break-up of UK -- but it weren't us wot started the the process, guv!

I only support continuance of the present arrangement with a view to abolishing the two other devolved assemblies, along with regional assemblies and any other unnecessary assemblies we are lumbered with in the meantime. It obviously makes no sense in itself.

We could have a set of devolved governments and a national government, but that encourages separatism and creates unnecessary extra politicians and bureaucracy. Therefore, I favour undoing Blair's work, as with the Lords, Hunting, and other major bad bills.

August 19th:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2284286.ece
"More than half of Scottish voters now regard the break-up of Britain as inevitable, according to a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times.

The survey found that 60% believe Scotland will become independent from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Support for independence remains low at present, with only 23% in favour. However, a majority, 61%, said they would consider voting for separatism in the future.

Circumstances that would persuade them to switch include the Conservatives winning the next general election or Gordon Brown, the prime minister, reducing the level of public spending north of the border.

There is a clear appetite for more powers to be devolved to the Scottish parliament, with only 20% backing the current devolution settlement."

So, it seems that election of a Conservative government would hasten Scottish independence. That doesn't offer a lot of comfort to those of us who would prefer a strong union under the Tories! That is why I acknowledge that it is ten years too late to get back to status quo ante and regard it as essential to think towards an English (+Welsh/Ulster?) future rather than a UK past.

Cutting Scotland off would be a desertion of loyal Unionists, of which a large number remain, even if the number *is* less than half the Scottish population.

Of course we must have an English Parliament. How can you have a successful "Union" when one member is denied the advantages which the other members have. It is only by allowing England control over its own administration that the Union will be able to continue.

IRJMilne (Sept 22, 2007; 17:46 & 21:08) and Ken Stevens (Sept 22, 2007; 22:11), our sentiments are not miles apart and they are indeed encouraging indication of a new rationale that should prevail, namely the avoidance of a fatalistic attitude, acknowledgement of past judgement errors, and a genuine desire for correction and restitution.

All too often in politics, criticisms are based on the false premise that emphasis of ideology cannot change. The success of new Labour is testament to such a metamorphosis, and I believe a similar result is sought by Team Cameron in transforming the party.

The only snag I see, based on comments from the public at large, is that the focus of change has not rated highly enough those issues that people want improving and the few policies that are pledged lack implementational realism.

Whether it patriotism, or the NHS, or law and order, our proposals for change must send out a clear message why any such change is necessary, coupling at all times with attacks on the flawed policies of Labour, and in particular, of Gordon Brown.

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