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What a disastrous decision, especially coming as the Scottish police are informed their payrise will be paid immediately and in full. Many more such insults for the English will arrive between now and the election.

A good day for the English Democrats.

Tim, you forgot to mention that the Conservative vote figure for Westminster elections is improving and is at its highest for many years.

Well done Cameron. I've criticised him often on this site, so here's some unadulterated praise - on this issue he is doing exactly the right things.

"Scottish Tory "relief" at Cameron's decision to emphasise Unionism, not Englishness" this really does smack of hypocrasy.

Are the scottish tories emphasing unionism instead of scottishness?

FACT 1: There are no votes for the Conservatives in Scotland. There are many more among the English.

FACT 2: Scotland needs to become independent of English subsidy and follow the Irish model of low taxes and low regulation. It can then become a proud European nation.

"Many more such insults for the English will arrive between now and the election."
Eh!!
The Police were awarded a pay rise, the fact that it has been implemented in full in Scotland should shame the politicians down South into doing the honourable thing. Don't turn this into a pathetic anti Scottish rant.

I am delighted at the clear stance that David Cameron has taken on this issue, I think that it is the right move for the Conservative Party in the long term. To have tried to use Brown's Scottishness while pandering to English Nationalists would have backfired and ended up hurting the party and undoing all the hard work of the last 2 years.

"Plans for a distinct Scottish Party have been shelved for the time-being." I remain sceptical that this idea was ever a serious option outside a minority group within the party North and South of the Border!

I'm glad that Cameron isn't listening to the anti-Scottish sentiment expressed here. "Keep the Barnett formula in perspective" is about the most statesmanlike thing he has ever said.

Good insofar as it goes. But the devil will be in the detail: What is this solution to the West Lothian Question that he has in mind...?

"It is not one of my top five issues"

Now THATS a revelation. Almost every political issue under the sun is his highest priority, so it makes a change for him to show some perspective...

As for him pointing out his family history, isnt that just a variation on playing the race card? I dont care about his family history. It means nothing to me. He seems to be using his family for political benefit again...

I am relieved at David Cameron's emphasis on "British" rather than "English"! I am thoroughly British and was born in London. However "English" is only a comparatively small part of my genetic make-up - I am mostly Scottish on my mother's side (and probably about a quarter English!) - on my father's side although going about 5 generations back they lived in England, before that most of them lived in either France (not too far from Strasbourg, interestingly!!) or Germany (Frankfurt). Many other people who are thoroughly British will have as varied or even more so a background. If David had emphasised "Englishness" many (though not necessarily me) would have felt excluded.

This is another bad mistake for Dave.

The Scottish people are treated as sovereign when the English are treated as bigots. The mere fact you talk of Scottish Tories but not English Tories shows a failure to grasp what is going on. Why is there no English Conservative Party when there is a Scottish one ?

We now have the hypocrisy of the Scottish Conservative going and negotiation for a Scottish constitution, when if you are really a Unionist you would insist that English, Welsh and Irish interests were represented also.

This is the establishment completely losing touch (again) with the grass roots.

If there is not a distinctive Scottish Party, what is it that Annabel Goldie is leader of?

I think that Mr C is risking some English seats where minority party votes hold balance of electoral result that might otherwise have swung onto Tory.

Why don't we all just forget devolution, Union etc, and just accept absorption into the empire of Greater Scotland - for a brief while before it in turn gets subsumed by Greater Europe.

I was really swinging back towards voting Conservative again, with all the hopeful signs that appeared to be emerging.

However, I now realise ruefully that none of the major parties has any intentions of holding the interests of my country first & foremost.

There is no point in me continuing to take an interest in the Conservative Party and this is therefore my last posting on this site.

Best of luck, Tories. You'll need it.

"However, I now realise ruefully that none of the major parties has any intentions of holding the interests of my country first & foremost."

Yes I feel the same way, for having got exasperated at Cameron's failure to say anything in defence of English peoples interests.

Cameron has said nothing about the discrimination enacted by this Labour Government against the young people of England.

Cameron has said nothing about the discrimination enacted by this Labour Government against the sick of England.

Cameron has said nothing about the discrimination this Labour Government has enacted against the pensioners of England.

Above all Cameron has said nothing about English people being made constitutionally second class citizens.

Worse Cameron has actually make racist comments about English people, calling us 'sour faced little Englander' the only group against whom racist comments can be made.

I got so exasperated I didn't renew my Conservative membership, and though thinking a Conservative Government would be preferable to a Labour one, even though they weren't prepared to offer any worthwhile constitutional changes to correct the discriminatory arrangement, in light of Cameron’s outburst I see nothing will change, and though loathed to work against the Conservative party, I will now most likely look to through my weight behind the English Democrats.

The Conservatives should note, they failed to respond to Scottish national interests and became a rump of a party there, are they going to make the same mistake in England?

Sorry read

'I will now most likely look to through my weight behind the English Democrats.'

as

I will now most likely look to throw my weight behind the English Democrats.

Well DC is perhaps at a stage in his ascendancy when he can push this rock uphill for a while and no doubt it will help reinforce the Union for a while longer.

However....

Pandora's box has been opened and what was locked inside by the Act of Union has escaped.

There has to be a global effort to rebalance our constitution. Devolution is just one part of a wider conundrum that includes reform of the House of Lords and our relationship with the EU.

Somewhere, sometime, a more objective and inclusive process that seriously addresses the state of the United Kingdom must take place.

In the meanwhile, unless DC is going to meet Salmond in a cupboard and cut a deal to form some sort of future Westminster coalition government that would shaft the Lib Dems and lock Scotland into a looser Union, I cannot see the rift between Scotland and England getting any smaller.

Ken's (Ken Stevens | December 10, 2007 at 09:54) comments should really worry the Conservative party.

One of the most solid arguments of the campaign for an English Parliament is the need for English politics.

David Cameron is at one moment talking of not pandering to English Nationalism when he does exactly that for Scottish Nationalism ( I'm not talking about the SNP independence sort, but the aspects of the assertion of Scottish identity that further breaking up the UK with devolution provides ).

Frankly this has the potential to have me leave the Conservative party I have supported since child hood and always voted for.

How dare David Cameron describe the patriotism of Englishmen and women as narrow nationalism !

This *will* lose the Conservative party seats at the next general election if this hypocrisy isn't put right very quickly.

Once again Cameron's usual speech,every one's vote is worth chasing except the English vote.
As much as i long for Browns Government to be gone,I cannot as a English women and a Conservative voter ever! ever! vote for Cameron

This is the last straw. I was angered by anti-English speech in Glasgow, when he was pandering to the Scottish nationalists, but I really can't overlook his constant vitriol of the English any longer.
My godl, but we've been patient. More patient than any other nationality would have been. We've seen the erosion of our history, the sniping at all things English and the deliberate imposition of an aparthied regime during the last 10 years.
The fact that Cameron is happy to see people England condemned to poverty and death, due to higher stealth taxes and the refusal to allow our dying the same drugs the Scots get, is beyond belief.
A fair price to pay? He's not paying the price, is he? We are.
I can no longer call myself British and no longer support the Scottish centric Tory Party.
All we ever wanted was equality in the UK. No longer. Independence will be my aim from now on.
Cameron and his English Vichy groupies can go to hell in a handcart for all I care.

Dave Cameron,

Do you see any inherent contradiction between advocating the extension of powers for the Scottish parliament and the absolute denial of the existence of England as a national identity?

Who exactly is the aggrieved party in the Union?

This is not about some feeble minded ‘racists’ or some bizarre and entirely esoteric fringe movement.

This is not about out of touch crusties languishing in the shires blathering about past glory or ferocious yoofs in white vans bellowing Ingerland and frightening your pheasants.

This is not about ethnicity although you continually refer to your own ethnicity. This is not about colour. This is not about the Unionist flag draped British NP. This has nothing to do with hating anyone or, as you say, the ‘ignorance’ of the English.

This is about England. Not an amalgamation of compliant and passive regions marching stoically toward administrative oblivion but a united identity. And your platitudinous, patronising drivel is for the sake of what, exactly?

One MP and a lost cause.

Oh, and a lost general election. Well done. A bit like grammar schools but exponentially worse.

I will now turn my energies against you.

Goodbye Conservative Home.

Cheerio,

Robert

www.englandism.com

Iain writes:
"Cameron has said nothing about the discrimination enacted by this Labour Government against the young people of England."

I assume he is referring to the decisions in Scotland about tuition fees - this is an easy accusation to make, but difficult to sustain. With the advent of local decision making, different local authorities will make different decisions about funding and about priorities. In Scotland, they have decided that they wish to fund tuition fees - and the SNP appears to have adopted (for its own political and nationalist reasons) a policy that makes English students pay fees to Scottish Universities where Scottish and other European students will not.

A result of devolution is that it was inevitable that decisions would vary between Scotland and England (and indeed Wales and Northern Ireland) on issues where power was devolved. That these things occur is not 'discrimination' against anybody.

When one looks at the Barnett Formula, and its application of money between the 'Home Nations' and then considers the effect of transfer payments within each of those 'Home Nations', one can see that the Barnett Formula does have some difficulties (as any formula would that has been in existence for 30 years and more at a time when significant economic change has occurred). But to overstate the difficulties is absurd.

In parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are depressing figures relating to unemployment, health and education (to take 3 areas). To counter the appalling figures in relation to life expectancy in Glasgow, I have no hesitation in approving disproportionate funding to assist with health provision - and all of the other factors that affect life expectancy in parts of that City. To counter the appalling figures in relaiton to unemployment in some South Wales valleys communities, I have no hesitation in approving disproportionate funding to assist with employment and opportunity in those communities. To counter the appalling figues in relation to education in some London Boroughs, I have no hesitation in approving disproportionate funding to assist with education in those communities.

Thus, in my view, even some the criticism of the Barnett Formula is overdone and as a result distorts what could otherwise be a sensible debate about changing priorities and needs.

That Scottish Labour MPs dominate the Labour party is interesting ... but as we see from their actions, their primary interest and concerns are not in Scotland, but for the Labour Party. Those of us who oppose Labour should do all we can to oppose them ... and to appear to be overly concerned about things at the periphery will not help our cause.

Let's wait to hear what he has to say in Scotland. If he gives a commitment to EVEL I will be happy.Even more so if he suggests reform of the Barnett formula.

I applaud Cameron's stance on this, I am mightily relieved he is bravely ignoring the narrow-minded English nationalists.

I am the most English person I know. I have traced my family tree back to the mid-19th century and my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all English. Yet I heartily support the Union and think that the UK is immeasurably enriched by the inclusion of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, by harnessing the talents of those nations.

All this hysterical talk about English people being second class citizens is rubbish. England is 80% of the UK and has dominated Scotland and Wales for hundreds of years.

OK, so we currently have a Scottish prime minister. We have occasionally had them in the past (Macmillan, MacDonald most recently), while we have only ever had one Welsh PM. But that's how the Union works - anyone from the four nations is entitled to aspire to government in the UK. How many English prime ministers have lorded it over the Scots over the last couple of centuries, often without a mandate? And used Scotland for political experiments (poll tax)?

Well done David Cameron for not taking the opportunistic English nationalist line, as frankly I had feared he might. He is growing in stature.

Unlike his counterpart, Gordon Brown, PM, leader of New Labour who promised when he signed the Claim of Right for Scotland to put Scottish interests paramount, David Cameron promises to put the interests of the Union first.

So we have a choice of leaders who put the interests of England nowhere.

"How dare David Cameron describe the patriotism of Englishmen and women as narrow nationalism !"

The dark insinuations being made against English nationalism, patriotism, call it what you may, by the likes of Cameron, Brown, Cable, etc, are without any sort of substance. What appears to be informing this reactionary element of the British establishment, is their worry that their power base may be limited, and the trough in which they have taken their fill , may in the future be more limited.

Its essentially a power struggle, the British establishment don't want to concede any ground to English people, and getting their hits in first!


I notice that the more hysterical voices on this thread yet again come from those who lack the courage to post under their real names. Why?(sic).

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN FOR PLAYGROUND NAME-CALLING.

Good fighting talk from Cameron - backing Britain.

The main reason why we now spend so much time arguing the toss about devolution or no is the European Union on which Cameron says next to nothing. As Old Hack said @10.42 Pandora's Box is open.

We were committed to regions - like Scotland and Wales - when we joined the EEC. All part of the Brussels divide and rule. The more 'powers' we give to Scotland and Wales for example the more they want - of course.

Wedge politics.

So well done DC but when are you going to face the only issue in British (Scots and Welsh) poltics today - and head on - the European Union.

And PS: I do hope DC understands about divide and rule but that he says the issue is not in his top five suggests the answer is No.

"That these things occur is not 'discrimination' against anybody."

I am sorry it is, and is due to the problem that there is no Executive fighting for English people's interests, the failure of which was no better shown up by a report in the Financial Times (not a 'little Englander paper) who reported the following......

'''Gordon Brown quietly slashed by a third this year’s hospital building and equipment budget in one of his last acts as chancellor.
Prompted by the tightness of the public finances, the new prime minister, who has placed the NHS as his “immediate priority”, cut the capital budget of the English NHS for 2007-08 from £6.2bn to £4.2bn. The move could delay the government’s hospital building and reconfiguration programme in England.
However, Mr Brown avoided equivalent cuts to the Scottish and Welsh NHS budgets even though the funding formula for the UK nations suggests they should have shared the pain. That decision leaves him open to criticism that he favoured patients in his home country.''''

Yet who in the British political establishment raised this issue or sought to fight for English peoples interests in this matter ? NOBODY!

I really doubt that this is an issue the party could lose seats on. The vast majority of voters will have no knowledge of the Barnett formula. Even if they did, you don't see "Constitutional issues" in the opinion polls as anywhere near the most salient issue.

I am fully supportive of the Union. People who constantly go on about their respective countries within the union being "cheated" and therefore independence are dangerous. You would see our country split into a fractured collection of States wielding substantially less political, economic and military power.

Don't forget, we are the Conservative AND Unionist Party, so it's about time we acted like it.

Man in a Shed writes: Frankly this has the potential to have me leave the Conservative party I have supported since child hood and always voted for.

I don't presume to guess how old you are, but if as I suspect you were a child at some point after 1912 then you have been supporting the Conservative and Unionist Party all these years.

Rather odd to walk out on the party for upholding its traditional beliefs, isn't it?

These hysterical posts do the "English" cause no good whatsoever. As for the above post referring to "apartheid rule" - you are either unbelievably ignorant or being deliberately provocative.

Scots are today and always have been a minority voice in the government of Britain. But they are just as entitled to be there as the English, Welsh and Northern Irish.

I notice that the more hysterical voices on this thread yet again come from those who lack the courage to post under their real names. Why?(sic).[sic]

Because of personal threats from jolly Scotsmen against me and my family. I can C & P examples if you wish. Also I have 'interests' in Scotland and do not wish to lose business. Ta. All the same.

And your point is?

If passing leftie approves of what Cameron has said, it must be wrong. Is Vernon Douglas Alexander in disguise, trotting out bilge in defence of Labour's gerrymandered devolution ssttlement?

Vernon

100% Wrong. the Unionist element relates to Irish home rule and has nothing to do with Scotland. Why 1912 d'ya think?

'"apartheid rule" - you are either unbelievably ignorant or being deliberately provocative.'

Umm.

'A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.'

As happening in the UK according to geographical location for free access to basic provision.

Ignorance?

"In Scotland, they have decided that they wish to fund tuition fees - and the SNP appears to have adopted (for its own political and nationalist reasons) a policy that makes English students pay fees to Scottish Universities where Scottish and other European students will not.."

Actually it was the labour/ libdem goverment that decided about tuition fees for english students not the snp.


"A result of devolution is that it was inevitable that decisions would vary between Scotland and England (and indeed Wales and Northern Ireland) on issues where power was devolved. That these things occur is not 'discrimination' against anybody."

Yes but it IS discrimination when scottish mps impose something on england that msps have not imposed on scotland.

Vernon - I'm 40 (since you ask ). I'm a Unionist and married to a (wonderful) Scottish woman. I've lived in Scotland for a number of years on two occasions.

What I am telling you is that unless England is afforded the same respect, rights and support as a nation as Scotland ( devolution - Barnett formula + new Scottish Constitution + Scottish Conservative Party ), Wales ( just getting its own laws - the lawyers are salivating at the madness of that but there you go + Welsh Conservative party ), Northern Ireland ( where the small Conservative party there is treated as a mad aunt stored in the attic by the main party ).

Quite honestly when spending on English people is so low, compared to else where you have to wonder who has been asleep on the political job to allow this to happen. The answer is becoming more apparent that the lack of English politics is leading to the English being mugged by the British establishment, whilst special favours (paid for by the English who will not enjoy the same benefits) are handed out to all the Celtic nations.

Save England - and save the Union. Call English identity bigoted, narrow, little then you condemn the Union to a dramatic end.

At last.
A positive case for the Union needs to be made, both in Scotland, and England, where the main issue is.

There are unfairnesses on the English now the Scottish Parliament is in place, and political problems in Scotland, but the Tories there are getting slightly better electoral results (May 2007).

The way forward is a positive case for the Union in both countries, not to effectively side with the SNP and leave our colleagues in Scotland high and dry.

Many of the more virulent comments being left on this thread are exactly the kind of resentful accusations I well recall being made by those on the fringes of the Scottish nationalist movement in the 1980s and early 90s. Back then it was all ‘England’s will being forced on Scotland’, ‘Westminster having no mandate in Scotland’, ‘Tory Proconsuls being sent north’ etc.

Now, apparently, it’s apartheid being forced upon the downtrodden English.

We can argue until the cows come home about how much money is spent in different corners of the country (and for the sake of clarity, I mean by that the sovereign state that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), about the fairness of the current constitutional settlement, about the West Lothian Question, and all the other related matters; and quite right too as these are clearly legitimate issues to be addressed.

But that is all beside the point. At the end of the day, if the sum of the total of these grievances outweighs your commitment to Britain as a political entity then no resolution other than the dissolution of the union is ever really going to satisfy you.

You either value the union between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland or you don’t. You either identify yourself as being British or you don’t.

John Stuart Mill defined nationhood as a core ethnic group sharing a ‘fellow feeling’, and that this sense of common identity is the foundation upon which a viable nation rests.

Depressingly, that fellow feeling is not much in evidence on this thread.

Good post Bill.
My point, Enhglandism .com, is a very simple one. You lack the courage of your convictions.

Mr. Englandism.com,

I'm afraid your history is clearly a bit rusty. The name Conservative and Unionist Party officially dates from the merger of the Conservatives with Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists, which was completed in 1912. Although the Conservatives had had a Unionist policy for some decades before this.

Yes of course Irish Home Rule was the big issue of the day in 1912 (and indeed the issue which originally caused the split of the Unionists from the Liberal Party in the 1880s), but that doesn't mean that the C&U Party was indifferent to Scotland and Wales staying in the Union as well.

Now, as to your definition of apartheid... The reason I consider the term offensive and provocative in this debate is that the UN definition of the crime of apartheid - domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them - simply does not apply to the UK and, given the history of crimes of apartheid, is offensive when applied to the political system in this country.

Your more neutral, dictionary-style definition - A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups - also cannot be applied. The UK government has NO POLICY of segregation. What you appear to have a grievance with is the policy of the Scottish government, where it differs from that of the UK government.

You seem to be confusing apartheid with minority rule. Yet even here you are just plain wrong. Nowhere in Britain, at least since devolution, does a minority rule over the majority. Your paranoia about the Scots running England is just nonsense.

I agree Bill. Dan Hannan has written a great piece with similar sentiments on the Telegraph website:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/politics/danielhannan/dec07/we-need-to-feel-british.htm

Can we please focus on the issues, not each other? Thank you.

I think commenters should be judged on the quality of their arguments - not the names they use.

"Scots are today and always have been a minority voice in the government of Britain. But they are just as entitled to be there as the English, Welsh and Northern Irish."

Lets take a look at the old cabinet shall we,

Prime minister: Tony Blair
Home secretary: John Reid
Chancellor of the excheqer: Gordon Brown
Trade and industry secretary: ailistair darling
Defence secretary: des browne

I forget which position douglas alexander had.

I could go on.


It is rediculous to suggest that scots should be allowed to make decisions for the english but not the other way round.


"All this hysterical talk about English people being second class citizens is rubbish. England is 80% of the UK and has dominated Scotland and Wales for hundreds of years."

They had MPs and cabinet minister representing them did they not?

More MPs in proportion to their populations than England got wasn't it?


"OK, so we currently have a Scottish prime minister. We have occasionally had them in the past (Macmillan, MacDonald most recently), while we have only ever had one Welsh PM. But that's how the Union works - anyone from the four nations is entitled to aspire to government in the UK."

We have NEVER had an enlish prime minister governing scotland and up until gordon brown (ill ignore tony blair) we had NEVER had a scottish prime minister governing england. What we did have were BRITISH prime ministers governing Britain, they were acountable to the british parliament and the british people.

The scottish can't have their cake and eat it too.

I see that after a period of success Cameron is now back in "grammar schools mode": by supporting the Union he is really nailing his colours to a sinking ship with no discernable political benefit for the Conservative Party.

Is Vernon Douglas Alexander in disguise, trotting out bilge in defence of Labour's gerrymandered devolution ssttlement?

If you had read my posts properly you would know that I am as English as anyone. And I'm not defending Labour's devolution settlement, I think it's unsatisfactory and full of holes. But I have no problem with the concept of devolution within the United Kingdom. Not least because it removes the SNP's historic gripe about England forcing its policies on Scotland - as Bill points out, that was their constant complaint in the 80s and 90s. They can't make that claim now.

However, we appear to have reversed the situation, so that English nationalists seem to be arguing that the Scots are forcing their will on us? HOW?? If Alex Salmond wants to do some things diffently in Scotland, good luck to him. But he has NO influence on UK government policy, except inasmuch as he is a British Member of Parliament, which gives him only the same influence as a MP for Cornwall, or Cardiff, or Norwich.

It is ridiculous to say this is the same as the grammar schools row. Firstly, there is far less public interest in the Union and secondly support of the Union is a traditional Conservative position. When Cameron made the Grammar schools announcement it was a policy against the tradition of the party.

Many on this site are always crying out for a "Strong" leader with his own principles. Yet when this happens people then fret about the possible implications.

I cannot understand why so many Tories are desperate to defend the Union in its current form. If Scotland became independent, this would have minimal impact on England's influence. The Union was an artificial construct put together for reasons of political expediency (mainly to benefit the Scottish ruling classes) which have long gone. It is simply a nostalgic emotional spasm for Tories to cling to the Union in its current form. The Labour Party only clings to it because the constituinal dice are so loaded in their favour. At least that makes (partisan) sense. The Tory stance is just plain dumb....but then we are talking about the Stupid Party here.

In any case, ONLY vested interests stop the Union simply evolving into a proper federation with each part running its own devolved matters and not interfering as at present with devolved matters in any other part. That change would have to be accompanied by a proper appraisal of what Scotland actually needs in terms of public funding. The short answer is a lot less than it wants....as Lord Barnett has more or less acknowledged.

We have NEVER had an enlish prime minister governing scotland and up until gordon brown (ill ignore tony blair) we had NEVER had a scottish prime minister governing england. What we did have were BRITISH prime ministers governing Britain, they were acountable to the british parliament and the british people.

Dale, the British prime minister is still accountable to the British Parliament. It doesn't matter whether he or she is English, Scottish, Welsh or from Northern Ireland.

As such, all prime ministers govern all parts of the British Isles. Devolution was an answer to the SNP and Welsh Nationalist argument that the majority (the English) were imposing their views on the minorities in domestic affairs. Let them run their own affairs then, leaving the bigger picture (national defence, foreign policy etc) to the UK government. As I said above I don't think the current structure of devolution is ideal, but I can understand where it came from and am sympathetic.

What does annoy me though is the English gripe that somehow the Scots are now dominating us. I answered that in my last post (@12.19) but I will just add this in response to your list of Scottish ministers: there are FEWER Scots in the cabinet today than there were either under Tony Blair OR under John Major. Brown has four Scots in his cabinet, Major had five (and he only had 10 MPs out of 72 in Scotland). So so-called Scottish dominance at the top of the British government is less, if anything, than it was 10-15 years ago.

For me Michael, it is a largely emotional position. For me the Union recognises the great effect our respective countries have had on each other over the Centuries, whether its how we united against our enemies in the two World Wars or worked together in building an Empire that covered a quarter of the globe (A very high proportion of those who helped build the empire were from Scotland).

In short, I feel British. It may not be an entirely sound logical arguement (though there are many locigal arguments for the Union), but it's a strong one for me.

Vernon, if you think the current structure of devolution is not ideal, then you presumably agree that there is nothing other than vested interests to stop us moving to the set-up summarised in the second paragraph of my post at 12.28?

The reason why English nationalists are complaining is because we do have a rigged post-1997 constitution where a Scot living in Scotland has a bigger say in the running of the entire country than a Scot living in England, while the financial burdens of running the entire country are the other way around.

Fair enough, MrB, but it is not obvious to me why preserving the current post-1997 devolutionary settlement is necessary to underpin your emotional attachment (which I do not share) to the Union. The Union which you extol was in fact one where, ignoring Northern Ireland under Stormont, there was no devolution at all.

Yes Michael, I have always thought that it was a bit of a Pandora's box. But to advocate having no devolution for Scotland is surely now unrealistic.

I love Dave Cameron. Keep talking. The more you call the English childish names and brag about your Scottish roots, the quicker we can end this sham of a Union.
So just keep talking, Dave. You're the best thing that's happened to the Conservative Unionist Party.

A result of devolution is that it was inevitable that decisions would vary between Scotland and England

Right, in that case it ought to be possible to point to areas where Scotland is spending less than England. For the sake of completeness, could you quote one?

That's my vote lost then.

If he wants to protect the Union he should give England a parliament and end the Barnett Formula.

That he won't is because he is scared of unpsetting the Scots and don't give a flying fig about England.

Stuff him, and stuff the Tories.

Why can't we just devolve power away from the scottish parliament? Why can't we empower local authorities? Surely that would strengthen the union.

If we began at the BRITISH parliament and devolved specific matters to county and district councils SYMETRICALLY then nobody would have anything to complain about.

Dale, that would be great in an ideal world but unless you are a high-tax tory those ideas are not realistic. To add all those extra layers of beaurocracy that would be needed to give councils that sort of power would most likely be ludicrously expensive.

Vernon, with Brown as PM it doesn't matter how many Scots are in the Cabinet, for only one voice matters, Brown's. Essentially Brown has crowned himself the First Minister of England, but as few of his decisions will effect his own constituents it makes Brown more like the Governor General of England, and what a Governor General, for even though he rules England, in his signing of the Claim of Right, he has declared to all that he wishes to make Scottish interests paramount!

Ooops, forgive my terrible spelling of the word "beaurocracy".

The strong opinions on both sides of this thread really surprise me seeming as this issue never shows up as being salient in opinion polls.

"Right, in that case it ought to be possible to point to areas where Scotland is spending less than England. For the sake of completeness, could you quote one?"

I seem to remember reading an article that explained that the Scots were spending less per head on primary school education than in England.

There will undoubtedly be other areas as well ...

""A result of devolution is that it was inevitable that decisions would vary between Scotland and England (and indeed Wales and Northern Ireland) on issues where power was devolved. That these things occur is not 'discrimination' against anybody."

Yes but it IS discrimination when scottish mps impose something on england that msps have not imposed on scotland. "

There is a representational issue that needs to be resolved, often called the West Lothian Question ... and in my view increasing local decision making will in part be an asnwer to it.

But members of the British Parliament having a vote over issues that affect other constituents than their own and that they have no vote over those same issues for their own constitutuents does not, it seems to me, amount to 'discrimination' in any sense. It is unfair and the problem created by devolution will need to be resolved ... but if we descend to hyperbole and overstate the case we end up unable to engage with the unfairness in the system created by this form of devolution.

The answer is not to create another tier of Government - for goodness sake we have enough politicians and Labour seems determined to increase their pay and conditions to a degree that is both unsustainable and inordinately expensive.

A sense of perspective needs to be kept; the West Lothian Question is important, but it is not a question that is being asked by people in the pub on a Saturday afternoon - they are more concerned about their homes, the debts they owe secured by mortgages, the ability of their children to learn effectively at school, the ability of them, their friends and family to obtain timeous effective healthcare and dental care, their continued employment (or if they lose their job, the route to renewed employment). Devolution and its effects, like Europe in the 90's is a matter that many of us are very concerned to find solution to, but which is very much a minority sport!

"Dale, that would be great in an ideal world but unless you are a high-tax tory those ideas are not realistic. To add all those extra layers of beaurocracy that would be needed to give councils that sort of power would most likely be ludicrously expensive."

Switzerland seems to manage it.

MrB probably because English peoples opinions are never canvassed. In 10 years of this discriminatory devolution arrangement the BBC hasn't done a program on the issue from an English perspective. Newsnight has done two programs, in both cases they went to Scotland to host the program there and ask Scots about it. Look at the World at One today, in the issue Cameron has raised they went off to ask David Trimble to comment, who even though he set up an assembly for Northern Ireland is opposed to letting English people have any sort of representation, and they asked the Shadow Minister for Scotland, they did also ask an English Democrats opinion as well, which, with one out of three of them an Englishperson, is fairly overwhelming coverage of English opinion for the BBC!

There are two types of Unionism - British and European. The EU wants to destroy the British Union so that it can rule our regions directly from Brussels. All British Unionists must recognise that the Union is Better Off Out of the EU.

"Keep the Barnett formula in perspective "

I've got it right in perspective chum and the words are crystal clear . What it says is that for 40 years the celts have been quietly plundering England aided and abetted by the entire British political class , British media and and the British great and good .
Rigid discrimination and dislike of the English by those same forces is implicit in its every word and clause .

Mr Cameron really ought to shut up . He is beginning to sound like Brown . I suppose what he has done is useful in a way in that he redrawn attention to the the huge official prejudice against England by the British state which he aspires to lead. Thank you for that .

( he has just , for the second time , publicly rule himself out of any aspiration of the Prime Minister ship of England )

If he thinks that attempting to fob off English discontent with a British sub committee is going to keep the show on the road he must be dreaming .

We should be as interested/uninterested in having English nationalist votes as we should in supporting Irish nationalism, Scottish nationalism, or Welsh nationalism - except in the obvious sense that there may potentially one day be more English nationalists. At the moment I'd feel pretty confident that the number of English nationalists is very small - the postings here just reflect how strongly this small number of people feel about the issue. I'd be astonished if any poll on English independence from the Union got above 20% support, and my guess is that the number of people actually interested in the issue is far less than that.

English nationalism is as dangerous and destructive an idea as its Scottish, Welsh or Irish variants, and we should have nothing to do with it - even as flirting. The Conservative Party could no more survive without Britain than Britain could survive without the Conservative Party.

Iain, your last post @13.37 was so full of inaccurate and illogical claims that it hardly merits a response. However, I will force myself.

Vernon, with Brown as PM it doesn't matter how many Scots are in the Cabinet, for only one voice matters, Brown's.
The Eng Nats really need to make their minds up - complaining about the number of Scots in the UK government, then saying its irrelvant because all power is in the PM's hands.

Essentially Brown has crowned himself the First Minister of England, but as few of his decisions will effect his own constituents it makes Brown more like the Governor General of England, and what a Governor General, for even though he rules England, in his signing of the Claim of Right, he has declared to all that he wishes to make Scottish interests paramount!
There is no such job as First Minister of England as England has not devolved from the UK. Brown, or any prime minister, therefore "rules England" only inasmuch as he also rules Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Anyway, he governs us rather than rules us, which is a different thing.

The Governor General parallel is ludicrous. A Governor General is appointed by the Queen to represent her overseas. Since she lives in Britain the issue doesn't arise.

How many more times does this need to be said? The nationality of the prime minister is irrelevant (we even had a Canadian PM in the 20th century, and a Tory one as well). The constituency he/she represents is also fairly irrelevant in this context since we are discussing their executive role - i.e. as a minister in government, not an MP in parliament.

"English nationalism is as dangerous and destructive an idea as its Scottish, Welsh or Irish variants, and we should have nothing to do with it "

Well that was the’ winning’ strategy the Conservatives employed in Scotland, and look what it achieved for the Conservatives, them ending up a rump of a party in Scotland as Tory votes went to the SNP. So they want a replay of this ‘winning’ strategy in England, well if they do it just goes to confirm that lessons are never learnt.

But as to English independence, another Telegraph poll in their article Break up Britain showed that there was a 48% majority in favour of English independence against 43% against!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/26/nunion26.xml

Vernon, the nationality of a PM was irrelevant pre devolution when we were still a unitary state, not now after devolution. And yes Brown has crowned himself the defacto First Minister of England, for in areas of Health, Education, further Education, Transport, Housing, Environment, Police, (police pay) etc, are areas he will be dictating policy in England, yet these are areas of Government which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, so areas of policy which won't effect his constituents.

So what do you call a person in charge of Government in a country, where the people can't vote for him, and where his decisions don't effect his own constituents? I recon Governor General is a pretty close description, certainly closer than any notion which could be applied to a democracy!


I have voted Conservative at every election since 1977. If Cameron stonewalls today on an English Parliament or the Barnett formula then I will not be voting Conservative in 2010 and I will resign from my ward committee.

Which gallery does he think he's playing to? He is throwing away votes for no discernible purpose whatsoever. He has 41%; he needs 43%; he has no idea how to get there. For God's sake, someone invite him to a house party outside of London and south of the wall and let him here the rumble of discontent building on this issue. Doesn't he want to win?

Vernon, the nationality of a PM was irrelevant pre devolution when we were still a unitary state, not now after devolution.

You are effectively saying that either (a) England should devolve from the UK - in which case the UK might as well cease to exist, or (b) the prime minister of the United Kingdom from now on can only be an English person. Neither of those positions are ones I can share, for all the reasons I've outlined above. If you think that, then you have no business being in a Unionist party.

what do you call a person in charge of Government in a country, where the people can't vote for him, and where his decisions don't effect (sic) his own constituents?

That is our system. People don't vote for a prime minister, they vote for a party and the party votes for a leader. No-one is disenfranchised. If you don't like the system, campaign for PR. But for now it's the system we have.

The Queen can appoint as prime minister the person she thinks most likely to command the confidence of the House of Commons. At the moment, that is Gordon Brown. That will almost certainly change after the next election, but we'll see.

The fact that Brown is Scottish is no more relevant than the fact that Thatcher came from Lincolnshire but represented Finchley and Major came from London and represented Huntingdon.

“So what do you call a person in charge of Government in a country, where the people can't vote for him”

74,163 electors in his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency are able to vote for him. I’m unaware that anyone else can do so, no matter where in the UK they live.

Well argued, Vernon.

"You are effectively saying that either (a) England should devolve from the UK - in which case the UK might as well cease to exist, or (b) the prime minister of the United Kingdom from now on can only be an English person. Neither of those positions are ones I can share, for all the reasons I've outlined above. If you think that, then you have no business being in a Unionist party."

How dare you imply that just because a person beleives in democracy and equality they aren't a unionist. I support the existence of the UK, but I don't support this transitional union. The union as it is today can not and will not last. It was never designed to last and something needs to change.

You would have to be a fool to beleive that anthing less than radical change will save the union. I agree with you and lord falconer that the creation of an english parliament would end the union but that does not mean to say that not creating an english parliament wont also end the union. The union is on life support and aslong as the argument is unionist or nationalist things will never change.

The english have a right to nationalism just as the scots and welsh do, but patriotic welsh and scottish people would never be called 'narrow minded' by david cameron.

The main things I would like would be for Goldie to be reffered to as 'the leader of the conservative and unionist party in the scottish parliament' not the 'leader of the scottish conservative and unionist party' and politicians to talk about england and scotland or about the UK, not scotland and the uk as if england doesn't exist. I would also like a secretary of state for england and an english office.

What an unedifying thread, with the usual trolls who pop up the minute the word Scotland or its politics is mentioned to vent their anti Scottish bile thus ruining any genuine debate on the issues addressed in the article.
But calling British democracy an "apartheid regime" for gods sake!!

There is always one or two fair minded posters who end up battling to defend the debate and the thread before it collapses completely into its usual anti Scottish rantathon.

You barely see any of the previously Scottish ConHom regulars post on these threads anymore.

scotty,

Why don't you get your own house in order before criticising everyone else.

Scottish nationalism has caused the problem, not english nationalism.

"The fact that Brown is Scottish is no more relevant than the fact that Thatcher came from Lincolnshire but represented Finchley and Major came from London and represented Huntingdon."

Vernon, I presumed I was debating with someone who understood the difference between a Unitary state and one which has been put through an asymmetrical devolution rearrangement. In suggesting that there is no constitutional difference between Brown as PM and Mrs Thatcher as PM, I can only presume you don't under stand or able to perceive the difference. Essentially you seem to be unaware that devolution ever happened, and that the Scottish Parliament , Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies don’t exist.

How dare you imply that just because a person beleives in democracy and equality they aren't a unionist.

I neither said or implied any such thing.

The english have a right to nationalism just as the scots and welsh do

Of course they have. But Scottish and Welsh Nationalists have their own political parties, they haven't joined the Tory party. There seems to be a desire to hijack the Conservative party and turn it into the English National Party, and Cameron is wisely making it clear that that's not going to happen.

I would also like a secretary of state for england and an english office.

What on earth for? The Scottish and Welsh Secretaries are now virtually redundant, they are combined with other Cabinet jobs. An English Office would just be another layer of pointless (and expensive) bureaucracy.

"Essentially you seem to be unaware that devolution ever happened, and that the Scottish Parliament , Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies don’t exist. "

That makes no difference to the issue of whether Gordon Brown is Scottish or represents a Scottish constituency. The position of Prime Minister is the head of the national government, chosen by the Monarch as the MP who can command a majority in the Commons.

"I presumed I was debating with someone who understood the difference between a Unitary state and one which has been put through an asymmetrical devolution rearrangement"

As it happens, there has always been an assymetry in the relationship with Scotland. It has its own judicial system for a start.

Iain, I'm well aware of the constitutional situation thank you. Gordon Brown is prime minister of the UK, just as Mrs Thatcher was. The fact that some domestic issues are now decided locally in Scotland and Wales doesn't alter that.

Having two judicial systems doesn't produce asymmetry in the sense people are complaining about: Scottish judges don't decide English cases, unless they sit in the House of Lords which is the final appeal court for the entire UK, and in which a Scottish judge has no greater say than an English, Welsh or Irish judge.

I agree with Vernon (!!) that the nationality of the PM per se is irrelevant. But that doesn't come close to answering the question: the need to deal with the unfair and unbalanced nature of the current arrangements. If that's an anti-Scottish rantathon, Scotty, tough. Presumably the 13 Colonies in 1776 were engaged in an anti-British rantathon too? That doesn't mean they were wrong.

Vernon - we would like the same domestic matters decided in England. Just because they make up most of the government's legislative agenda - just goes to show how anti-democratic and unjust the current system is.

You have made our point for us.

"What on earth for? The Scottish and Welsh Secretaries are now virtually redundant, they are combined with other Cabinet jobs. An English Office would just be another layer of pointless (and expensive) bureaucracy."

Because it sends out the signal that the goverment cares about england.

If you dislike pointless beurocracy then you would surely support the abolition of the scottish parliament and welsh assembly as the only argument for keeping them is scottish and welsh nationalism.

"I neither said or implied any such thing."

You did say that "If you think that, then you have no business being in a Unionist party." did you not?


'The fact that Brown is Scottish is no more relevant than the fact that Thatcher came from Lincolnshire but represented Finchley and Major came from London and represented Huntingdon.'

'The fact that some domestic issues are now decided locally in Scotland and Wales doesn't alter that.'


In a legal sense all is above board and hunky-dory. Gordon Brown is PM, unelected, as Major was before him because we elect a party to govern and not a PM per se.

The problem does not, in this case, lie in the existing framework of our constitutional law but in a fundamental adjustment in the constitution itself. Our unwritten constitution has been re-written in the absence of any consent or consultation with the majority of the electorate: England.

This raises a moral rather than legal problem with the legitimacy of Brown to govern the people of England in the absence of either the explicit or implied consent of the people and of any attempt to address the iniquity of the settlement imposed upon England.

Morality trumps legality every time.
As the other geyser from Huntingdon said:

'Necessity hath no law.'

'There seems to be a desire to hijack the Conservative party and turn it into the English National Party'

De facto. It already is.

Wake up and smell the Earl Grey and have a look at one of those nice little maps with lots of blue splotted about in England.

Notice the red and yellow bits? Now that's what I call unionism. Apart from in NI which is actually the reason for Conservative unionism and why they flap the Union flag about on the 12th and other festivals.

"How dare you imply that just because a person beleives in democracy and equality they aren't a unionist."

Agreed, when devolution was first announced by Labour I did campaign in defence of the Union, which was probably more than the sweat Conservative Parliamentary party was prepared to shed. I believe Michael Anchram was the party spokesman on constitutional issues at the time, in this the only thing I heard him say was to utter, no, mutter something about 'constitutional imbalances' WOW passionate stuff? NOT! The Conservatives lost their pathetic campaign in defence of the Union as a Unitary state, matters have moved on now, what Cameron is now suggesting is that English people should be content with a second class constitutional status just for the good of the Union, that suggests that the good of the Union comes before the rights of the people, the construct of the state being more important than the equality and rights of the people. If that's his argument, then the British state has lost the moral right to exist at all, and the sooner we cast it into the dustbin of history the better for all of us. Of course there is the alternative of federating the Union, and giving all nationalities an equality of representation, but that seems to be beyond the vision of our feeble politicians, instead they seek to plough on with this discriminatory arrangement which is guaranteed to produce one result, no Union in any form!

Has anybody mentioned Gordon Brown's signing the Scottish Declaration of Right,/a> yet and swearing to put Scotland's interests first ?

You did say that "If you think that, then you have no business being in a Unionist party." did you not?

Yes, I said that, but I did not say that non-unionists don't believe in democracy or equality, which is what you said I said.

I was saying that if you believe that England, Scotland and Wales should all be independent of each other then you have no business calling yourself a unionist or being in the Conservative party. Ditto if you believe the prime minister of the UK can and should only be English.

People holding the above view should form an English National Party.

Sadly I see Mr Englandism.com has returned and is asserting that the Conservative Party IS the English National Party just because it holds the largest share of the vote in England.

Well not while David Cameron is the leader it's not. And a good thing too.

Man in a shed, yes I did earlier on.

But beyond the nuts and bolts of this issue, what may I ask has Cameron achieved by opening up this issue, range on previous undertaking of English Votes for English laws, the minimum policy offer which would get my political support, and get Conservative voters tearing into one another? Are we back to Cameron blundering around trying the masochistic ploy of doing everything he can think to infuriate people who should be his supporters?

What a pity that nobody seems to want to discuss what David Cameron actually had to say in Edinburgh today, which was the point of this thread.

It seems clear to me that in his speech he did not offer any generalised criticism of English nationalism or Scottish nationalism, or seek to deny the validity of patriotic sentiment on either side of the border, but he did specifically warn of the dangers of what he carefully defined as ‘the legitimate and affectionate doubling up of patriotic pride … (being) pushed aside by a coarse and casual nationalism.’

That seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable position to take, and one which is likely to receive a fair hearing and have a resonance in each of the four constituent parts of the UK.

The ‘soundbite’ of the speech is where he states “If it should ever come to a choice between constitutional perfection and the preservation of our nation, I choose our United Kingdom. Better an imperfect union than a broken one.”

That for me sums up what our approach should be. While it is perfectly correct to seek to repair imperfections where that is possible, I would like to think that we proceed from the premise that, those imperfections notwithstanding, the union is better preserved than not.

"Better an imperfect union than a broken one". In other words, Cameron will perpetuate Labour's constitutional failures too. Why hold on to a broken-down construct shored up by misplaced nostalgia and whose flaws are manifest? This from the man who claims to be a moderniser.

Vernon is being a bit selective with his historical facts. If the litmus test of being a Tory is being a Unionist, then shouldn't Vernon be opposing Irish independence too? That's why it's called the Conservative and Unionist Party.

I refuse to believe that any one called Vernon is English. (giggle)

“Why hold on to a broken-down construct shored up by misplaced nostalgia and whose flaws are manifest?”

I’m not entirely clear on what you mean here, Michael. Are you arguing that the concept of the union itself is a “broken-down construct”, and that it should therefore be discarded?

"It seems clear to me that in his speech he did not offer any generalised criticism of English nationalism or Scottish nationalism, or seek to deny the validity of patriotic sentiment on either side of the border,"

Come on we have got wise to politicians not saying what they mean, but hinting what they want understood with press interviews. The fact in this matter is that Cameron made sure the Telegraph got the message he wanted to get out into the public domain.

Why is only England asked to sacrifice its identity ?

"The fact in this matter is that Cameron made sure the Telegraph got the message he wanted to get out into the public domain"

The purpose of getting such a message 'out into the public domain' being what, exactly?

Man in a [email protected]:33. I wasn't aware that England *had* an identity that was distinct from, say that of English-speaking people who live in the Welsh region. But suppose that it does for now - who is asking "England" to "sacrifice its identity"?

And what would "sacrifice its identity" mean, anyway? What is the idea? Has someone suggested that the "English" should stop speaking English, stop eating roast beef, stop playing cricket, stop reading Shakespeare, stop getting drunk in Ibiza nightclubs and going home with a semi-comatose Spanish waitress, stop exhibiting large beer bellies at every sporting event, sun, rain, or snow? What is it, precisely, that you think you are being asked to "sacrifice"? It isn't anything constitutional, for sure, because "England" has not been a constitutional entity since the thirteenth century. So what is it that you are worried about?

Good post Bill. "Better an imperfect union than a broken one" sums up my approach to the issue entirely.

As for England sacrificing its identity, I really fail to see what has been sacrificed.

“Has someone suggested that the "English" should stop speaking English, stop eating roast beef, stop playing cricket, stop reading Shakespeare, stop getting drunk in Ibiza nightclubs and going home with a semi-comatose Spanish waitress, stop exhibiting large beer bellies at every sporting event, sun, rain, or snow?”

Absolutely right, Andrew. And it is testament to the shared experiences that bond our United Kingdom that I, as a Scot, am a keen practitioner of each of these myself (other than cricket and Shakespeare).

"The purpose of getting such a message 'out into the public domain' being what, exactly?"

I don't know, its a question I asked a little earlier on.

It looks like Cameron is going to reposition the Conservative party, renege on the Conservative commitment to English votes for English Laws, which seems to be the reintroduction of the masochistic strategy of his which was such a disaster earlier in his leadership where he did everything he could to irritate his natural supporters, or else it could be that the Conservatives are unwilling to run any policy agenda which puts them at odds with Labour and the metrosexual media, resulting with them having to fight their corner, it easier for them to be a fully paid up member to 'inclusive' establishment, and as English issues are most definitely not to be included or held in any regard, that's a policy agenda Cameron is happy to jettison.

Cameron says : Things that make us British: ""That includes the BBC, the NHS, but also the House of Commons...

Have you noticed that the reputations of all the above three mentioned have institutions are greatly tarnished in the mind of Joe Public and are considered either as the enemy or downright dangerous. As a well-known sportsman (it applies to Cameron) John Macinroe once said, “You can’t be serious”.

“However, I now realise ruefully that none of the major parties has any intentions of holding the interests of my country first & foremost”

Having heard and seen Cameron and his Party in action I came to the same conclusion quite some time ago and will not, therefore, be voting for the mainstream embedded impediments to British interests in Parliament, but voting I will most certainly be doing.

“English nationalism is as dangerous and destructive an idea as its Scottish, Welsh or Irish variants, and we should have nothing to do with it - even as flirting. The Conservative Party could no more survive without Britain than Britain could survive without the Conservative Party.”
Therefore you are saying that we should have nothing to do with Scots devolution; Cameron agrees with it. (Perhaps you believe that a desire for the Scots to have their own parliament has nothing to do with nationalism?). Why should the English wanting equal treatment be regarded as being foaming xenophobics? As for Britain being unable to survive without the Conservative Party that does not necessarily mean that it needs one led and energised by the ideas of Cameron and its present incumbents.

The sad facts are that it appears that we can keep the Union, but a real and not wishy washy Conservative Party will have to try to get elected without the blessing of the Scots, the great majority of which are very anti Tory. You pays your money and you takes your choice. Cameroon would sooner keep us under the thrall of the vote buying, massive immigrant supporting socialist Broon.

Cameron: There'll be 'no pandering to English nationalism': "I don't care whether pandering to English Nationalism is a vote winner”.

The wrong choice of words Mr Cameron – an implied insult. Another regrettable outburst on “How to win friends and influence people”?

'It looks like Cameron is going to...renege on the Conservative commitment to English votes for English laws'
We must be living in a parallel universe as I took his words to mean exactly, exactly the opposite.
Please point me to where Cameron suggested that.

Yes, Malcolm, that’s what I thought too.

As the posts on this thread plumb new depths of bizarre conspiracy theory, poor spelling and grammar, I think it’s time to go to the pub and work on that beer belly.

…and I bet nobody there is talking about any of this.

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