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"Please point me to where Cameron suggested that.!


"He is also looking at how English MPs can be more fairly represented."

If he was going to support 'English votes for English laws' he would have said it, this phrase is the ground work to renege on the EVFEL commitment. In addition the person he gave the job of reviewing constitutional issues is Ken Clark who never one to support this idea, and as the saying goes, you put the person in charge of looking at an issue to get the answer you want.

I, like many Scottish Tories, have been waiting for such a clear support for the Union and are thrilled that Cameron has spoken out on the issues - congratulations! It is a thrilling day.

Sally Stewart: Perth

Cameron should stick to chocolate oranges.

I don’t really understand what Cameron is doing here. Just who is he trying to attract?His voice sounded incredibly etonesque on radio Scotland. The people at the till in the grocers I visited on the way home all rolled their eyes and groaned when he came on the radio. He couldn’t have sounded ‘toff’ier. Maybe that was just when juxtaposed with the presenter.

He will not attract anyone to vote Tory on the constitutional debate who wasn’t already converted. Certainly not on the Labour front. Certainly not from the SNP. And if a voter is compelled to vote purely on the constitutional front they will vote for whoever keeps the SNP out. No new votes to be won.

Our previous strongholds have been eroded by a desire for more Scottish autonomy in the north or an anti Tory alliance. How he moved forward there is beyond me. The language he used ‘stained’ sounds like it’s out of Thatcher’s phrasebook. I think he sounded quite out of touch with today’s Scotland and like he was on a day trip to a foreign country.

It wasn’t a bad speech I just don’t think it got us anywhere.

Thank you Cameron.
I am eternally grateful that you have run your true colours up the pole. I am now in no doubt that you are anti English.
Rest assured, the fact that you would prefer an "imperfect union" to non at all, even though this disadvantages your own constituents, shows just what Britishness is all about.
As not wanting to be the PM of England, GOOD.
You haven't lost one vote here, but nine so far in this family, and rising fast.

Oh for goodness sake, despite all the perfectly cogent arguments above we're still getting the same tired old whinges.

Rest assured, the fact that you would prefer an "imperfect union" to non at all, even though this disadvantages your own constituents, shows just what Britishness is all about.

In what way does the Union, as it exists now, disadvantage David Cameron's consituents? Are you saying you think the people of Whitney would be better off if the SNP were governing them?

Please stop spouting this hysterical nonsense. Read Cameron's speech, read the arguments above (there are numerous posts from several people which coolly and logically argue the case for the Union) and THINK about this. If you still believe England would be better off devolving too, fine - go and join/vote for the ENP. Good luck to you.

Who speaks for the English Mr Cameron?

I have a feeling that all these 'falling on my sword' posts are all set-ups. It is not 'Anti-English' to go along the route of the brand of petty English nationalism of late where Scotland is perceived as some 'golden land.'We pay taxes too, we have high levels of poverty and our NHS is in dire need of better management. Many of those who have the audcity to call Mr Cameron 'anti-English' use childish anti-Scottish rhetoric that seems to pass them by.

The fact that the SNP administration chooses to spend the budget allocated to it (we would like to raise our own taxes if you'd let us)in a different manner to how Messrs Brown and Darling choose to is simply what devolution does. You cannot grump because Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland choose to look after their devolved affairs in a different manner.

You can travel across the US, from state to state and see different laws and different budgets yet they all remain quintisentially 'American' at heart.

Oldhack said,
"
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."

That about encapsulates it.

The lopsided devolution settlement put in place by Labour won't work and can't sustain the Union. It levered fault lines into cracks which are becoming fissures. Of course, they saw it as a way of sustaining Labour in power and never saw that the SNP would do them in in Scotland. English Nationalism was never spoken about until the last few years and now, the SNP are very keen on it, and pushing it.

We now have an unstable devolutionary settlement which is hardly going to lead to a stable Union. One of the woes of the world which escaped from the box is English Nationalism and Cameron's waffle isn't enough to shut it up.

The credible solutions are, dumping devolution, separatism, or having a federal UK; not EVFEL and not the staus quo. Prattling on about the problem with no workable idea on how to deal with it and just fudging it by wrapping himself in the Union Flag won't wash. I recall Gordon Brown's shortlived attempts to do this recently.

Of course, if you are going to face the question of troublesome national identities, you have to face the question of these in relation to the EU. Cameron shows no clear thinking there either.


There was I just getting comfortable with the sobriquet "Little Englander (sour)", I now have to add "(bigoted)". Surely he will run out of words to describe the English before the next election.

An excellent speech. I suspect he will get a far more favourable press from Fleet Street than he will get from the English Democrats who always seem to invade this blog whenever the subject of Scotland comes up.

@ 20.11 - "You haven't lost one vote here, but nine so far in this family, and rising fast" - Good God, how fast is A.Ellis breeding?!!.

There are no votes for the Conservatives in Scotland.
Congratulations David on alienating the English, where their are votes.

Good God, how fast is A.Ellis breeding?!!.

Obviously when sustainabilty of population growth is discussed, migration is not the only factor to be consdered in future...

And that is why i will not be voting tory at the next election,"pandering to English nationalism?"when every other nationality in this country is encouraged to keep and celebrate their culture and we English are told to shut our mouths and open our wallets and ignore the unjust treatment meted out to us,and for what? to sustain a union with nations that make plain their hate of us?No,I am English not British and the sooner the union breaks up the better.

Cameron said:
If you replace Barnett with a needs based formula then Scotland will still get a large amount of money.

That's what you think stooge cameron.
No English vote how are the pro scotch tories going to win the election you idiot? They aint!
We English wont forget this backstabbing!
Cameron you really are a thicko. You just gave the English democrats a lot of votes!

Cameron says the House of Commons is British! AHA! HA! HA! HA! No, Cameron, the House of commons is ENGLISH!

Opps! Who stated this codswallop?

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.

The right move? Oh look, you dont say why it was the right move. You sound just like new labour. Full of hot air amongst other things.
Seeing as the English nation are going to notice that you have ignored their wishes (i.e. 70% want the English parliament back!) why do you think they're going to vote for the tories? Opps! Camoron just made a huge mistake!
Bye Bye tories!

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.

Posted by: MrB | December 10, 2007 at 13:38

"This issue"? What issue? If you are talking about the reestablishment of the English parliament then like hell it isnt an issue!
There have been several polls conducted over the past few years and nearly 70% voted yes to the English parliament's reestablishment in one of the most recent. Stop lying!

Poll results can be found here: http://www.thecep.org.uk/poll.stml

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

So, Gordon Brown has signed a solemn oath (and refuses to rescind) stating that Scotland’s interests shall be “paramount in all his deeds”…and the leader of the opposition who will not “pander” to the interests of the English.

Brilliant David, what has to happen before you’ll stand up for your supporters?
Scottish Tory relief (I bet he’s happy) and English Tory despair!

A lot of nonsense on this thread in my view.

Recent polling has shown that the majority of people in both England and Scotland wish to retain the union. There is very little enthusiasm for breaking up Britain.
The SNP success - which to put it in context is little more than they were getting in the 70s in %age vote share - is based on the premise that they will fight Scotland's corner, not break up the UK (whatever they may hope).

However there is a danger of the political classes allowing us all to sleep-walk into separation. That is why David Cameron's intervention is so welcome. Also why the decision of the three unionist parties at Holyrood to thrash out a common position on devolution is so welcome.

The Conservative Party is more than just an English party. It belongs to all of us, no matter which part of the UK we reside in. If we play fast and loose with the union and seek to "play the English card" we will all be losers.

Cameron says the House of Commons is British! AHA! HA! HA! HA! No, Cameron, the House of commons is ENGLISH!

It is made up of British political parties, including parties outside of England's borders. I think you are wrong Mr Anderson.

I thought Camerons speech would be more favourably received in Fleet Street than it would be on this blog. At least as far as the London press was concerned it seems I was right.

Malcolm, just out of curiosity, what's wrong with being an English Democrat? As you know, I'm not English so I don't qualify anyway but I'm curious.

Nothing at all Michael. They are an electoral joke and being a proud Briton I don't agree with them in the same way I don't agree with Plaid, Sinn Fein or the SNP.
I mentioned it only because these people don't usually contribute anything to this blog except when Scotland is mentioned. Then, as you can see they always come out in force.

North Briton, how is giving England what Scotland and Wales already have, wanting to break up the union?

Selecting England for a democratic and fiscal shortfall will guarantee the union's demise quicker than any other policy I can think of.

This is why Cameron's stance is so unwelcome. "Playing the English card" as he clumsily puts it, would be no more than righting a wrong and that would be beneficial for all of us.

Ken, Iain, Man in the Shed and all the rest of you moaning Englishmen - stop moaning and do something about it, and like this proud Englishwoman - join the English Democrats - the only party campaigning for an English Parliament. We stand in elections, and ceaselessly lobby our M.P.s, the press and the disgracefully biased B.B.C. In May this year we took part in the Justice for England March in London but Gorbals Mick Martin,the Scottish Speaker of the House would not allow us to march past the Houses of Parliament. But we will not be silenced.We are the party of the future for England. The people of England are only just beginning to realise how they have been exploited and used by the Tartan Army comfortably ensconced in Westminster and wrapped in the Union Flag. David Cameron wants to preserve the Union - I would like to ask him why? The Empire is no more and soon our every action will be determined by Brussells - what is there in the Union for the people of England?

Anne Palmer, I am seriously thinking about it, having recently dropped off the membership list of the Conservative party, I was hoping that there would be some, even if a limited reason why I should support the Conservatives at the next election. Unfortunately Cameron seems intent on levelling any and every abuse he can at English people angry at the constitutional discrimination set up by Labour, from calling us 'sour faced little Englanders' to 'bigots' and from his out burst in Scotland there seems to be very little hope he will do anything to change Labour’s constitutional arrangement.

In this I feel as exasperated as I did at Major and the EU fanatics which surrounded him, where he too resorted to abusing those who felt he was wrong about the EU, but as history shows he was, and the Conservatives now have a more rational set of policies on the matter, but at a cost , a cost of losing many activists like myself to the Referendum party, and the open wound of UKIP. In this Cameron seems intent on making the same mistakes on English matters, as Major did over the EU.

Except of course Iain , David Cameron is not levelling any abuse at all at the English. If can if you want waste your time in the English Democrats. Like UKIP or the Referendum Party they will fail to achieve anything.

" if you want waste your time in the English Democrats. Like UKIP or the Referendum Party they will fail to achieve anything."

Will it be a waste?

I joined the Conservative party when there were the first hints the leadership were thinking of joining the ERM. This I thought would be a disaster, for all the arguments for joining the ERM were in fact arguments for an independent central bank. In the Conservative party I found there was no method or route to in which one could asrgue your case, the membership was viewed as no more than a source of subs or useful supply of labour at elections to stuff circulars through letter boxes, opinions were most definitely not wanted, to that the leadership was brain dead. Major signing up to Maastricht was point at I ceased being a Conservative at that time, and joined up to the Referendum party. The Referendum party though did make the Conservative leader sit up and take note, which is the ridiculous thing, for the Conservative leadership to sit up and take note of members views, the Conservative membership has to first leave the Conservative party and join another, then they take note! This is how I feel about English constitutional matters, here again the leadership is brain dead, members views and opinions are to be ignored or insulted. So how do you make the Conservative leadership sit up and take note? Well it looks like the best strategy is to join another party!

I spent time during the 1997 election delivering leaflets for the Referendum Party too.
What a waste of time! The candidate in my constituency spent most of her time abusing the UKIP candidate to corner the Eurosceptic vote. We didn't come close to winning a seat anywhere and were probably responsible for removing some moderately Eurosceptic MPs and replacing them with Europhiles from the Labour and Liberal Parties.
The constitutional damage done by that Parliament we are still feeling the effects of today.
One of the more foolish decisions I've made.

‘here again the leadership is brain dead, members views and opinions are to be ignored or insulted.’

No, David Cameron, like every recent Conservative leader, has to reconcile the mainstream views of the electorate as a whole, whose votes are required in order to have a chance of winning power and who are simply not as exercised as you are with these issues, with the more (how to put this as innocuously as possible) zealous opinions of some grassroots members.

"zealous opinions of some grassroots members."

Do you think these zealous opinions are not shared by the parents of students studying in Scotland who find that, England and Wales apart, the rest of the EU escapes the penalty payments levied for higher education there?

How about the parents of students in England seeing their children buried under debt, debt the Scottish students don't have to worry about, are they zealots.

Or the people paying for prescriptions in England whilst they are free elsewhere.

Or the youngster who had to organise a charity event to help pay for their mother's cancer drugs, cancer drugs available elsewhere in the UK.

Prison Officer and Police Officer are they zealots seeing their pay rises staged when they aren't in Scotland.

The hospital capital budget which was cut in England whilst Wales and Scotland's went untouched.

And I wonder if you think the pensioner in a northern old peoples home is a zealot, when they are angry at being bled dry to pay for the costs of their home care, whilst in the next room there is someone, who, just because they are Scottish , has the British state pay for their home care.

No I don't think I am a zealot, nor are all the English people who are angry at being discriminated against by the British state. No the problem we face is the couldn't care less attitude by the people who should care, but are happy to allow the vulnerable in our society, the young , sick and old, be discriminated against by the British state.

If to be angry at this is to be called a zealot, well I take that as an honourable label, but what does it say of you who couldn't care less for the vulnerable?

So, let me get this straight- your main problem is that Scotland is currently more State orientated in the provision of services than England, less market based and you want England to follow this route?

Where on earth did all that come from? Calm down before you do yourself an injury.

Iain, get your facts right! If the money is spent in one are in Scotland then it will not be spent elsewhere!

Lets just take a few of the long list of whipped up grievances you mention.
Yes English students are paying tuition fees, but they have also seen considerable more investment in further education than the colleges and Universities North of the Border. As for debt, the students in Scotland do not get a grant to live on so still have to pay for their living costs which are in the end considerable more than the tuition fees, so yes students in Scotland still end up in debt!
Certain drugs available in Scotland but not available in England could also be swapped around, certain drugs available in England but not available in Scotland would also be correct.
Obviously you don't bother to follow events in Scotland too closely or you would know the present situation with elderly care.

But don't let little *FACTS* like that get in the way of your rant against one group from within the UK. Its the selective and inaccurate way that you portray the facts with words like discrimination bandied about, or even further up the thread someone used the word apartheid. You live in a democracy, every one can cast their vote and all the people of Scotland have been guilty of is voting for something different from you.

Iain, a pertinent and succinct post.

David, no you are incorrect, the problems are…

1. all citizens of the UK paying the same rate of taxes, yet on group (Scotland) receiving 30% more per capita spending than the English.

2. Scots having a national and a UK Parliament, that enables the sending of MSPs to vote one way when it affects them and then sending MPs to Westminster to vote the other way when it only affect England (free tertiary education, foundation hospitals)

3 Cabinet members using executive powers to deny the England what their constituents enjoy (Sunday shopping; pay for nurses; pay for the police; 2bn worth of NHS budget)

4 Chancellor Darling telling the House that Scotland would benefit indirectly from the £16bn Crossrail project in London (via Barnett) when he was the person who cancelled tram projects in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.

5 A PM with a Scottish seat that uses his power to stifle debate on the Barnett Formula (Graham Stringer, 22/11/07)

6 A leader of the opposition that thinks that 1 to 5 above are OK and to do anything about it would be “pandering to the English Nationalists”, rather than righting a wrong.

7 Members of the Conservative party who accuse those attempting to gain equality for England as being “nationalist”, “zealous”, “narrow minded” etc.

Scotty said “the students in Scotland do not get a grant to live on so still have to pay for their living costs which are in the end considerable more than the tuition fees, so yes students in Scotland still end up in debt!”

English students have to do this AND pay for tuition fees

and he also said “Certain drugs available in Scotland but not available in England could also be swapped around, certain drugs available in England but not available in Scotland would also be correct.”

Name one. Name one PREFERRED drug that is available in England, but has been denied in Scotland because it is deemed too expensive. Give us a link please (I can supply many that prove the case vice versa)

And finally “…all the people of Scotland have been guilty of is voting for something different from you.”

When did we get to vote on an English Parliament, like you got to vote on a Scottish one? Were my ballot papers lost in the post.

BTW no one is having a go at the Scots, I’m expressing my anger at the unequal, unjust system set up by Blair/Brown and now, it appears, supported by the opposition…so who do we vote for? How do we get to change this situation democratically? I want to know, I really want to know.

“…so who do we vote for?”

I should have thought that was obvious. If this is the single most important issue for you, that overrides all other considerations, you should vote for a party which is committed to the dissolution of the union.

Rob, I wish to save the union. The biggest threat to the union is the unfair, unequal treatment of England.

So, which party is committed to putting that right? Obviously not Labour because Brown has signed an oath to ensure Scotland’s interests are “paramount” and now we learn that Cameron refuses to do anything it as well.

The biggest threat to the union is the unfair, unequal treatment of England.

There is no unfair or unequal treatment for England. It is in your head, paranoid nonsense.

These arguments have been rebutted continually in this thread - see above, and the other thread on the speech itself. There's no point re-hashing it all.

Cameron cannot commit the Conservatives to "put right" an injustice which doesn't exist.

No Terry we have NOT learned that Cameron refuses to do anything at all. The ability of some posters to interpret his remarks to suit their own prejudices are beyond belief. Where has he ever stated EVEL will not happen? Nowhere,absolutely nowhere. It can't come soon enough for me.

It is astonishing that Cameron or anyone else thinks that the Tories could be accused of 'pandering to English nationalism'. Is that comment supposed to refer to the policy of restricting votes on English-only legislation to English MPs? That unworkable suggestion and Rifkind's slightly better one merely toss a scrap towards the English.
The Labour Government's proposal to match devolution to national assemblies in Scotland and Wales with the Balkanisation of England into nine regions, even with watered down powers, created a new generation of English nationalists who realised that they had to start defending their own country before it disappeared. The Tories, frankly, did not seem much help in resisting Prescott's regional plans - and have never acknowledged the vital part played by Neil Herron's North East No campaign.
Why does Cameron have to describe English nationalism as 'narrow'? I became an English nationalist late in life in 2001. Was I narrow when I voted Tory from 1979 to 1997? In 2004 I joined the SNP as well after hearing Alex Salmond speak. Does being twice over a nationalist made me a wider one? I believe that people are most content when they are governed within their own nation state and that they have a sovereign right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs. I would expect both England and Wales to play their part in the world if they were independent states. I am happy that both countries welcome migrants (though I would like them to make a better job of it). Does that make me a narrow Anglo-Scottish nationalist?
Neither people of England nor the people of Scotland had a vote on the Union in 1707. They rioted in Scotland but to no avail. Is it not time in 21st century for the people to have their say? In England we have not even been offered a referendum on English votes for English laws, let alone our own national assembly. Is it not the case that narrow Unionists are afraid of wider democracy? You are beginning to look like the aristocracy in the 18th century - governing in your own interest, resisting democratic reform and choice, clinging to the out of date first past the post system. I would like to think that Kenneth Clarke will come up with another Great Reform Bill but it seems unlikely.
Mr Cameron has said that he does not want to be Prime Minister of England. He may come to regret having said that.

Vernon, you need to differentiate between what is fact and what is opinion.

An undisputable fact is Scotland has a Parliament of her own.
Another fact is she has enjoyed spending 30% more money per capita than England.
Another fact is this has created resentment in England.

My opinion is that if England is not given equal status, it will threaten the union.

You have presented no facts, just your opinions.

Malcolm, I am sure that Cameron will not give England what Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have. That is, a) an English Parliament and b) a review of the Barnett Formula so that tax payers’ money is spent on the needy. He has rejected both, so anything else will be an unacceptable fudge.

As a citizen of this United Kingdom I want the same democratic rights and mechanisms enjoyed by other citizens of the union: nothing more, nothing less. Can anyone put their hand on their heart and say I am being unreasonable, or wrong?

"There is no unfair or unequal treatment for England. It is in your head, paranoid nonsense.

These arguments have been rebutted continually in this thread - see above, and the other thread on the speech itself. There's no point re-hashing it all.

Cameron cannot commit the Conservatives to "put right" an injustice which doesn't exist."

Posted by: Vernon | December 11, 2007 at 19:43


Vernon, you talk such utter rubbish.

English cancer patients CANNOT get the same life saving drugs that scottish cancer patients CAN get! That is unfair AND unequal treatment OF ENGLISH PEOPLE whatever way you look at it? This union is one sided.


"It is in your head, paranoid nonsense"

No, it is not in anyone's head, it's fact!
I havent even mentioned the discriminatory treatment English students face or the West Lothian question OR the Barnett formula!

I dont know why you are deliberately ignoring reality vernon, BUT YOU NEED TO HURRY UP AND GET A GRIP!
Lying and leaving out inconvienient truths is not going to help idiot cameron OR the tories!

The English democrats are an electoral joke

These people don't usually contribute anything to this blog except when Scotland is mentioned. Then, as you can see they always come out in force.

Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | December 11, 2007 at 10:22

An electoral joke? The tories, new labour and the idiotic liberal democrats are all a big joke. They are full of hypocritical, deceitful, pseudo intellectual control freaks. Tories Lord Archer = criminal. New labour Blair and Brown = criminals. Lib dems champagne charlie = degenerate smug addicted idiot.
No wonder the English democrats have sprung up.
The English democrats party was only established 5 years ago so be smug because the EDP will only grow and grow, unlike the tories and new labour.
People are sick and tired of the corrupt so-called three main parties. The EDP are going to take tory and new labour votes more and more. And, it's all thanks to people like you pal. Keep up the vindictive arrogant comments you mug! Are you an undercover EDP voter?

Dream on M Anderson.

A lot of nonsense on this thread in my view.

Recent polling has shown that the majority of people in both England and Scotland wish to retain the union. There is very little enthusiasm for breaking up Britain.
The SNP success - which to put it in context is little more than they were getting in the 70s in %age vote share - is based on the premise that they will fight Scotland's corner, not break up the UK (whatever they may hope).

The Conservative Party is more than just an English party. It belongs to all of us, no matter which part of the UK we reside in. If we play fast and loose with the union and seek to "play the English card" we will all be losers.

Posted by: NorthBriton | December 11, 2007 at 09:41

What "recent polling" would that be? The polling in your head?

70% of English people want the English parliament reestablished! Now this was the result of a real poll; not some imagined one! ha! ha!

http://www.thecep.org.uk/poll.stml

dream on this

http://www.thecep.org.uk/poll.stml

and dream on the snp when they stuff up your butchers apron union and when theres a united ireland. I gather youve heard the line unionists need to learn to swim?
I am not surprised at your fascist attitude. Was your great grandaddy in the black and tans?

I have to say that this is another occasion when I have read posts by apparently intelligent people that descend to the depths of recrimination and insult.

Why is it that people cannot discuss the relative benefits of the Union or independence without resort to hyperbole and insult?

This was intended, I thought, to be a discussion about David Cameron's speech in Scotland ... it has become a rant by people who are in favour, for their own reason, of independence - for England and Scotland.

This is not, it seems to me, a blog by people who are the 'grass roots' of the Conservative Party - far from it, it has become a blog by people from other parties who refuse to accept that there are legitimate and reasonable positions that oppose their own.

David Cameron's speech was interesting in that it expressed a wish to see the Union, which in terms of the Crown has existed since 1601 and in terms of Parliament has existed since 1707, continue. It has been well received in the mainstream media; and even in Scotland's press.

Perhaps inevitably, the radical supporters of the SNP and the radical supporters of independence for England have picked up on individual sentence and phrases from the speech and decided that David Cameron has insulted them. Interpretation of his words appears to be at the forefront ... and the result, rather like the argument over grammar schools, has descended to two or more sets of people shouting at each other without listening to what the other sets say! Please, please, stop it! It makes your arguments, however valid, appear stupid, venal and ill-considered.

Terry - just as there are drugs licensed for use by the SMC in Scotland but not by NICE in England so equally it applies the other way round with drugs like Elaprase or Sutent which treat such trivial ailments as Hunter Syndrome and Kidney Cancer. So there is 2 drugs rather than the 1 you requested - both available on the Engliush NHS but not availbale in Scotland.

I think that Philip Johnston's article is a quite astute summary of the situation, particularly his conclusion.

The English Question will still need to be addressed even if Labour loses the next election. This is not about party advantage, nor is it about the Barnett formula, free prescriptions or university fees, however much these issues might rankle with English voters.

It is about identity and governance. Within a Union, it will never be possible for one ancient nation to be satisfied on these matters if the other, bigger, ancient nation feels its claims are being ignored.

Neither Cameron or Clarke seem to understand this.

In recent weeks Kenneth Clarke has talked of the 'political ruling class' and it seems clear now that the Democracy Task Force is little more than a self-indulgent front led by Clarke to promote the Conservative arm of this elitist group. It has offered nothing in terms of democracy to the British people.

No doubt Clarke (and perhaps Cameron) hope to fob the public off with such meaningless drivel. However, the British public are not that stupid and can easily recognise when politicians are playing with each others' navels. Why else has national turnout fallen to 60% in the last GEs?

In the meantime, all this will do is provide Alex Salmond more fuel to throw on the fire of English and Scottish nationalism. He needs to do nothing except to continue to poke sticks at the English and let their reaction further rile his own electorate. Cameron and Brown are doing his job for him. This in turn will bring forward the destruction of the Union.

Further tinkering with the Union will only hasten its demise. Only radical surgery will save it.

I suspect it is time to federalise the UK and as a result reduce the size and responsiblities of the UK Parliament so they only deal substantively with the most critical national issues (National Security, Defence, Immigration, Foreign Affairs etc). Virtually all domestic issues need to be completely devolved to the Home Nations (health, education, transport, local law enforcement etc) Only funding and the economy should be left as a shared matter.

If Cameron accepts Clarke's recommendations then the nationalist movements will grow in size and power and increasingly be a thorn in his side. Rather than mending Britain's Broken Society Cameron could well preside over it's long term division.

Not only will he be under threat from the 'Eurosceptic bastards' but also the 'English Bastards' and his own heritage could well become a topic of derision. Perhaps Alex Salmond will call him a 'Half Feartie'?

Unless Cameron moves away from this weak dithering self indulgent policy he could well end up being kicked out office (whatever that may be) way before his time in a more ignominious way than his predecessors and only Michael Howard's has in any way been dignified.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the English cause is most prominent in Conservative heartlands. The more it grows the more it is likely to destabilise Cameron's authority.

I suspect Cameron needs to learn that sometimes it is necessary to feed the beast to quieten it. Starving it only makes it more dangerous!

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