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Monday, 18 August 2014

We must choose our words carefully - Letter:- Western Daily Press (Bristol, England) - Friday, August 15, 2014

We must choose our words carefully

Letter:- Western Daily Press (Bristol, England) - Friday, August 15, 2014


I have just watched Andrew Neill’s programme on the BBC about the implications of Scottish independence for “the Rest of the UK” I am not a lawyer, but the constitutional legal position has been explained to me by a solicitor with expertise in constitutional law, and it seems fairly straightforward.

Wales and England were united in a 16th-century Act of Parliament under which, constitutionally, Wales became part of England.

The Kingdom of England (E) and the Kingdom of Scotland (S) were united by the Act of Union of 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, (G), with a single parliament, (the British Parliament) in Westminster.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland through a further Act of Union in 1801. With the partition of Ireland in 1922, we were left with the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

For Scotland to leave the UK, it would be necessary to repeal the 1707 Act of Union. From the moment of that legislation’s receipt of Royal Assent, there would be no more United Kingdom. (E+S=G ergo G-S=E.) The British Parliament would have no constitutional validity and the British Government would also cease to exist.

Since the union of Ireland, in 1801, was with Great Britain, once Great Britain ceases to exist, so does any union with it.

So, any talk of “the Rest of the UK” is codswallop.

Scottish independence (bring it on!) will mean the dissolution of the United Kingdom and any negotiation of the terms of exit will have to be undertaken by representatives of England, as the former British Government will have ceased to have any mandate.

Clive Lavelle

Weston-super-Mare English Democrats 


Here is a link to the original >>>
http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=UKNB&p_text_direct-0=document_id=(%2014FB8976864149B0%20)&p_docid=14FB8976864149B0&p_theme=aggdocs&p_queryname=14FB8976864149B0&f_openurl=yes&p_nbid=S6AR60NXMTQwODM2MzU2MS42MzE3OTI6MTo4OnJmLTE5MDcy&&p_multi=WDP1

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Leading historian says - "Yes to Independence!"

Leading historian says - "Yes to Independence!"

Just consider these quotations:-

"The Union of England and Scotland was not a marriage based on love. It was a marriage of convenience. It was pragmatic."

What about the present?

"From the 1750s down to the 1980s there was stability in the relationship. Now, all the primary foundations of that stability have gone or been massively diluted."

The alternative?

"Devo-max" would merely prolong a running sore. "If more powers are granted, many English people will be unhappy; they're already unhappy about the Barnett formula."

The solution?

"Only through sovereignty can we develop a truly amicable and equal relationship with our great southern neighbour."

All these remarks are just as pertinant from either side of the Border!

Here is the whole article:-
 

Scotland's leading historian makes up his mind: it's Yes to independence


The marriage with England was based on convenience, not love, says prizewinning author Sir Tom Devine. Now it is time to split
Scotland's leading historian has delivered a major boost to the campaign for Scottish independence with the announcement that he will be voting yes in the forthcoming referendum.

The eagerly awaited announcement by Sir Tom Devine, made in an interview with the Observer, will provide much-needed support to the pro-independence campaign, which has seen support for a yes vote stall in recent weeks.

Neither side in the campaign has openly courted Devine, but each has been eager to receive the endorsement of a man who is considered to be Scotland's foremost academic and intellectual.

The professor of Scottish history counts several senior figures on both sides among his friends, including Gordon Brown, the former Labour prime minister and now a driving force of the no campaign. Last week he also shared a platform at the Edinburgh book festival with the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond. The latest news will be welcomed by Salmond, who was perceived to have performed below par in the recent televised head-to-head debate with Alistair Darling, leader of the no campaign.

In an exclusive interview, Devine said that at the outset of the campaign he had been a firm no supporter, though he had favoured a "devo-max" arrangement with extra powers devolved to Holyrood. He had been persuaded by what he believes has been a flowering of the Scottish economy in a more confident political and cultural landscape. "This has been quite a long journey for me and I've only come to a yes conclusion over the last fortnight," he said.

"The Scottish parliament has demonstrated competent government and it represents a Scottish people who are wedded to a social democratic agenda and the kind of political values which sustained and were embedded in the welfare state of the late 1940s and 1950s.

"It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey."

He also analysed the progress of the Union since its birth in 1707 and the reasons why it had worked for both countries, but why he believes it is coming to a natural end. "The union of England and Scotland was not a marriage based on love. It was a marriage of convenience. It was pragmatic. From the 1750s down to the 1980s there was stability in the relationship. Now, all the primary foundations of that stability have gone or been massively diluted."

Devine received a knighthood in this year's birthday honours list for "services to the study of Scottish history". One newspaper wrote: "He is as close to a national bard as the nation has."

Devine is the author of 34 books and holder of all three of Scotland's most coveted prizes for Scottish historical research. His analysis of the issues at play in the independence campaign is forensic. "We now have a proper modern history of Scotland which we didn't have until as late as the 1980s. We have a clear national narrative underpinned by objective and rigorous academic research. This wasn't always the case."

Devine also points to what he calls the "silent transformation of the Scottish economy", based on the metamorphosis in manufacturing from heavy industry through de-industrialisation to a more diversified model. "Our economy is now based on some heavy industry, light manufacturing, electronics, tourism, financial services and a vibrant public sector which provides sustainable jobs.

"We have a resilient economic system and reserves of one of the most important things for an independent estate: power, power through the assets of oil and also through the potential of wind energy. In this, Scotland is disproportionately endowed compared to almost all other European countries."

Devine, who is from a working-class family of Irish immigrants, is fiercely proud of his ethnicity. It is a theme that informs much of his research and figures prominently in his writing. He believes the emancipation of the Catholic Irish in Scotland has also contributed greatly to a more robust economic model. He is scathing about the views espoused by George Galloway and some others that Catholics in Scotland would become more vulnerable in a smaller country. "This is nonsense. George, as usual, is talking rhetoric. None of those assertions is based on any academic understanding or knowledge."

He also cites the enhanced reputation of Scottish higher education and research, with four Scottish universities among the world's top 200. "We get 16% of the UK's competitive funding despite having only 10% of its population. If we can apply this research to industry and the economy, Scotland will have a head start in the future which will all be about brain-intensive industry. That adds to the potential resilience of the economy."

He now says "devo-max" would merely prolong a running sore. "If more powers are granted, many English people will be unhappy; they're already unhappy about the Barnett formula. Only through sovereignty can we develop a truly amicable and equal relationship with our great southern neighbour."

Devine believes the union served an important purpose and has now simply run its course. He believed it united citizens on either side of the border from the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 until the dawn of Thatcherism and that the cornerstone of the union and its main pillars have either crumbled or become rotten.

He cited the loss of empire and the dilution of Protestantism as a unionist ideology and the primacy of European markets over English and imperial ones. The loss of 12 Scottish regiments since 1957 had loosened military ties," he said.

"There's also the weakening influence of the monarch and the absence of an external and potentially hostile force which once would have induced internal collective solidarity, such as fascism and the Soviet empire.

"When you put all of these together, there's very little left in the union except sentiment, history and family."

(Click here for the original >>> http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/17/scottish-independence-tom-devine-yes-vote-referendum-alex-salmond)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

My verdict on Andrew Neil's "What's at stake for the UK"

My verdict on Andrew Neil's "What's at stake for the UK"

Mainly a good effort and worth watching but Neil avoided the constitutional law consequence of Scottish Independence on the dissolution of the UK. He also failed to interview ANY English nationalists.

Mr Neil fully confirmed that the only argument that Unionists appear to have for maintaining the Union is to enable our leaders to strut their stuff on the "World Stage" and to"Punch above our weight" there!

This is thin stuff indeed to justify maintaining such a hubristic pantomine of Great Power status as the UK which, since the end of the era great power politics, has been a persistent drag on the English Nation.

The United Kingdom State is expensive, incompetently authoritarian and vain-gloriously addicted to its great power status whilst draining the wealth of England with its vanity projects, its international interventionalism and its failure to focus on the best interests of the English Nation.

Here is a link to the BBC2 programme:- BBC iPlayer - Scotland Votes: What's at Stake for the UK?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04dr69k/scotland-votes-whats-at-stake-for-the-uk

Below there is an article by the highly respected and fair-minded Scottish Journalist, Iain MacWhirter, which is also worth reading:-

Time to stop opprobrium that is heaped on Scotland

Thursday 14 August 2014

Iain Macwhirter 

'Never go below the line', friends tell me.

They mean don't look at the comment sections on UK newspapers if you want to retain your sanity. But you would think the liberal Guardian would be an exception. After all, it is the organ of the thinking classes and supports constitutional reform and self determination for all nations.


Not this week it hasn't. There has an been an air of jeering triumphalism as the Yes campaign appeared to founder on the rocks of opinion polls.


"Salmond and Sturgeon are just mouthy, groggy pub drunks who think they can make a point into fact by screaming it the loudest..." was one typical comment under a report on Mr Salmond's continued insistence on currency union. Others celebrated "the demise of the Yes campaign [which] is setting up to be a must-watch bonfire of some preposterous vanities". "Can we delay the referendum for a year and watch Salmond's mental breakdown play out in glorious tartan Technicolor" said another.


The personalisation of the campaign, as if independence was just about Mr Salmond's personal vanity, is typical of much conventional journalism. But what is jarring is the widespread assumption, even, it appears among many Guardian readers, that Scotland has been living of English taxpayers money and finally been found out.


"The sound of bleating and mewling was so loud coming from your end that we paid out just to shut you up ..." said one correspondent demanding an end to Scottish subsidies. "They could always form their own Dollarisation Union with Panama and Zimbabwe", said another. "Scotland soon to be known as 'Greece of the North'."


Well, everyone's entitled to their views and these are moderate compared to the vituperative ejaculations in the English red top press's comment section. (Just don't go there.) And we had better get used to it as I suspect it is going to become worse as we get closer to the referendum. The mood in Westminster is changing from one of anxiety that Scotland might actually mean it, as when the polls began to narrow in the early spring, to a confidence that Scots have bottled the referendum.


This is being followed by a sense of indignation that the UK has been put through this whole business in the first place.


That certainly is Nigel Farage's take on things. He inevitably featured prominently in Andrew Neil's documentary Scotland Votes on BBC2 the other night. "We see this man Salmond, on the telly", said the Ukip leader, "his supporters are rude about us, they don't like us, they don't support our football team ... " Along with other interviewees in the programme he said there would have to be a reckoning after a No vote, not just on the West Lothian Question but on finances. No love-bombing here.


I have considerable respect for Andrew Neil as a broadcaster, and have no complaints about his documentary, despite his long hostility to devolution, independence and the Scottish chattering classes. Just a pity the BBC in London would never let a non-party political Yes supporter of comparable broadcasting clout like, say, Lesley Riddoch, loose on this subject. It would make riveting television for a start. But I digress.


Scotland Votes was very much an establishment view of the dangers of Scottish independence for the UK. It avoided currency and economics and stressed Britain's diminished footprint in the world if Scotland left, ejecting Trident; rather as if Scotland's only real contribution to the UK has been as a repository for weapons of mass destruction. Neil's thesis is that Britain is yet to wake up to the implications of losing a third of its landmass, five million citizens and all its nuclear weapons. It would no longer be a "great nation - a significant figure on the world stage".


But many of his interviewees - Tory and otherwise - clearly did not take the threat of independence very seriously. They were more concerned with what Neil called the coming "constitutional revolution" if and when Scotland votes No. Now, optimists believe this will involve greater powers for Holyrood, some form of democratic decentralisation to the English regions and even full scale federalism. And I hope they are right - I really do.


However, the first issue on Westminster's mind is clearly not federalism but curbing Scotland's over-representation in Westminster and our alleged feather-bedding through the Barnett Formula. A succession of voices this week has been spelling this out.


The former Tory leadership candidate, John Redwood, in his McWhirter Lecture (no relation) to the Freedom Association called this week for an English parliament within Westminster with Scots excluded. Another former Tory leadership challenger, David Davis, said Scottish over-representation was untenable. There will have to be either a reduction in Scottish MPs or - more likely - a move to exclude them from votes on exclusively English issues.


I must say I find it hard to disagree with this on democratic grounds - though this "in-and-out" solution, as it was called in the days of Gladstone and Irish Home Rule, is not as easy as it looks. It is often difficult to define what is an exclusively "English" Bill even on devolved issues. "English" measures, like the various higher education Bills under Labour, often have implications north of the border, and involve Scottish taxpayers' money.


This is why we need a proper written constitution, federal parliaments and a new upper house or Senate in Westminster based on regional representation. But don't hold your breath.


As always, Boris Johnson has spoken the mind of most of his Tory colleagues. "Alex Salmond has been thrashed in these debates" he said this week. "But for some reason we are promising the Scots more tax raising powers. There's no need. What has England ever got out of this devolution process?"


As mayor of London, Mr Johnson should know that a colossal amount of public spending has been poured into London infrastructure - more than all the other regions of Britain combined according to the Institute For Public Policy Research. But he has long argued Scotland gets more than its fair share of public spending.


He is clearly after the Ukip vote, both on Europe and Scotland. As he edges closer to the centre of the Tory party power, Bullingdon Man will have a big say in the post-referendum world is ordered. He will be leading the non-conciliation party, which includes MPs of all political denominations, in seeking to cut Scotland's cloth after a No. And he may strike a popular chord with English voters who think Scotland, its independence bluff called, should be appeased no more.


The historian Patrick Hennessey told Neil that many English voters think negatively. "Scots have done nothing but whinge for a generations, you can hear them say, all we hear is a constant drizzle of complaint." The solution is for Scotland to have proper fiscal and economic autonomy and, as I say, there are optimists who keep telling me this is definitely on the cards. I really don't see it short of a Yes vote in the referendum. But in or out of the Union, the drizzle will have to stop.


(Here is a link to the original >>>
Time to stop opprobrium that is heaped on Scotland | Herald Scotland
http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/time-to-stop-opprobrium-that-is-heaped-on-scotland.25023400)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

England can’t speak up for its interests The spectre of over population is already a stark reality for England’s inhabitants.

 

England can’t speak up for its interests 

 Another letter by a member in the Western Daily Press (Bristol, England) - Saturday, August 2, 2014. What do you think?
 

The spectre of over population is already a stark reality for England’s inhabitants.

Due to the so-called UK government’s crass NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) subservient English councils and JCS bodies, bullied by Westminster, are destroying our countryside.

Westminster and its self-seeking UK parties, due to 1999’s devolution, have no political authority outside of England in local government, so it can only desecrate England’s countryside.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicts “that if immigration and population trends continue as they are the UK population will be 132 million by 2100” with England’s population, being 85 per cent of that in the UK, rising to 111 million.

England’s current 53 million people generate a density of 407 people per square kilometre (ppsk) making it already the third most densely populated country on earth after Bangladesh and South Korea – this density will rise to 850 ppsk with 111 million people.

Immigration, an issue of “numbers”, is England’s greatest concern for over 95 per cent of immigrants, purported to come to the UK by Westminster, actually come to England.

Immigration debates on BBC Question Time are elementary and always end in a squabble over racism when the real issue is “numbers” yet no politician says the obvious “we have too many people in England”.

Preposterously the only conclusion they ever reach is to “to build 300,000 houses annually (in England) each year for next ten years – when England is already Europe’s “Bangladesh”. If France had a density of 407 ppsk its population now would be over 200 million and not the current 65 million.

Typical current “ppsk” densities in European countries are Germany 231, France 120, Italy 202, Spain 94 etc yet all face similar ageing, demographic problems.

However, like all proper democracies, they have national governments who protect their national interests – not so in England for we have no “national” governance.

Surveys show over 80 per cent of England’s inhabitants rightly say their country is already full and a density of 400 ppsk must now be a maximum for a sane stable and sustainable environment – England is already facing the spectre of over population.

Westminster and its remote self-indulging UK parties are not building “Jerusalem” in England’s green and pleasant land, they are erasing it.

R A Hopkins

Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

  http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=UKNB&p_text_direct-0=document_id=(%2014F6EBDD8AAC8B40%20)&p_docid=14F6EBDD8AAC8B40&p_theme=aggdocs&p_queryname=14F6EBDD8AAC8B40&f_openurl=yes&p_nbid=N5FK5FFWMTQwNzUyMjU5OC43OTAxNDM6MTo4OnJmLTE5MDcy&&p_multi=WDP1

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Not punching above our weight any more? Given his enthusiasm for the UK to “punch above its weight” and following his government’s draconian defence cuts, the numbers of servicemen and women at Mr Cameron’s disposal are extremely modest compared to those available to his 19th and 20th century predecessors. A deteriorating situation in Eastern Europe might find the UK with little choice but to leave any punching to others.

"Not punching above our weight any more?"

One of our key members in the Sout-West had this published by the Western Morning News | Posted: August 04, 2014 

What do you think?

"In recent times ministers have been fond of stating that being a union of four nations allows the UK to “punch above its weight” especially when it comes to military or foreign affairs. I read that our Prime Minister has developed this theme further and is now saying that being part of a European Union of 28 nations increases the UK’s ability to act in this way.

I suspect this belligerent mindset harks back to the days of Empire when the British political and military establishment had at their disposal a fleet on every ocean and regiments on every continent. Such a situation obviously no longer exists by any stretch of the imagination.

Today the Prime Minister is one of the most vociferous, second only to the Americans, in calling for action against Russia over Ukraine. At present this action is confined to trade and financial measures but economic war could escalate into something more serious.

Given his enthusiasm for the UK to “punch above its weight” and following his government’s draconian defence cuts, the numbers of servicemen and women at Mr Cameron’s disposal are extremely modest compared to those available to his 19th and 20th century predecessors. 


A deteriorating situation in Eastern Europe might find the UK with little choice but to leave any punching to others."

by Steve Wright

Ilminster, Somerset


Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/WMN-Letters-punching-weight/story-22066558-detail/story.html#ixzz39pKgP41J

Saturday, 9 August 2014

English EU exit anyone?


What do you think of this English Democrats' members' letter published in Western Daily Press (Bristol, England) - Monday, July 21, 2014?

UK citizens are ravaged by EU


Greg Heathcliffe, Ukip spokesman ( Western Daily Press Letters, June 25) tells us Ukip’s aim is “to protect the UK” within the EU.

He may not have noticed but it is the country and people of England that are being financially and politically ravaged under the “UK member state” banner – whilst the other UK countries are beneficiaries of the EU. The UK ceased to be a single political entity in 1999 due to the advent of devolution a fundamental constitutional change that bestowed self-governance on Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland only.

As such the so-called UK is the most incongruous and illogical member state in the EU. For unlike the other 27 member states which are countries and nations in their own right, the UK is neither, it being a mere union of countries and nations. Formed in 1922 by the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the now UK, as a member state in the EU, is effectively a union of a union in a union. The mind boggles.

UK’s devolved governments are wedded to the EU and promote their own so-called national interests therein whilst an isolated England has been rendered anonymous by the UK and EU status quo. England’s taxpayers, via borrowing, fund the whole of the UK’s annual £20 billion contribution to the EU yet near all £8 billion returned to the UK (2006 – 2013) went to devolved governments.

EU directives are directed at member state government, that is, Westminster, so they all affect England whilst devolved governments are left relatively immune to EU’s destruction.

There are 23 national member states who have far lower populations than England, even minnow Cyprus, but each has more influence in EU than England which, effectively, has none. So though being UK’s major country, paying the bills and electing over 80 per cent of so-called UK MEPs, it is England’s people who suffer financial and political subjugation under the UK member state.

For England’s 64 MEPs, affiliated to the so-called three main UK parties or Ukip, put UK interests first before that of their country and its people who elect and pay them.

By contrast Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, being national EU regions, are championed in EU by 14 MEPs affiliated to their own national Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem or nationalist parties. England is the only country devoid of national political party representation in the EU as well as in Westminster yet these parasitic UK parties owe England’s electorate big time.

England, by population (53 million) and funding, should be a significant member state in its own right, not just the paying appendage of member state UK .

If Ukip wants out it should do a Scotland and campaign for England’s independence from the UK which, if achieved, brings expulsion from the EU. Job done.

R A Hopkins

Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

English excluded from the debate and from even watching it - Alex Salmond v Alistair Darling Scottish Independence Debate

English excluded from the debate and from even watching it - Alex Salmond v Alistair Darling Scottish Independence Debate


Yesterday I issued this Press Release. What do you think?


Tonight in Glasgow is the televised debate between Alex Salmond v Alistair Darling on Scottish Independence, yet (we) in England will not be able to watch the debate as it is only being shown in Scotland.

This is an affront to democracy as the English will not be able to make their own decision on who wins the independence TV debate. Instead we will have to listen to news coverage telling us what the results are by the "British" media.

Who could forget that after the Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage TV debate the British media immediately claimed that Nick Clegg had won, when it turned out that the UK public overwhelmingly thought that Nigel Farage had comprehensively won the debate?


Scottish Independence will impact on all the nations and on all the peoples living within the UK as it will mean the legal dissolution of the UK.


E + S = GB therefore GB - S = E

Where E = “Kingdom of England”
S = “Kingdom of Scotland”

GB = “United Kingdom of Great Britain”

Exclusion from democratic debate is worrying but it is worse than that, as not only have English, Welsh and Northern Irish voices been excluded from this debate, we have now been excluded from being even allowed to watch the debate as well.


Robin Tilbrook, Chairman of the English Democrats said:- "England's Unionist Masters don't want England to have a voice on Independence and don't want us to see what offers of special deals they are making at our expense to keep Scotland at least in appearance within the UK regardless of how much that costs English taxpayers and how much it is against the interests of the English Nation!"



Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats