Fight Blair before England Crumbles; the UK Needs an English Parliament (in Birmingham) and a Properly Reformed House of Lords, Says Nigel Hastilow

The Birmingham Post (England), October 27, 1999 | Go to article overview

Fight Blair before England Crumbles; the UK Needs an English Parliament (in Birmingham) and a Properly Reformed House of Lords, Says Nigel Hastilow


The scandal of Lords "reform" is simple. There is no reform at all.

Instead, hereditary peers are being given their marching orders - except for a little gang of them who will be allowed to hang on for a while - and our new-look Lords will consist of "Tony's cronies".

The accusation was that voting rights for hereditary peers were an indefensible anachronism out of kilter with this democratic age.

It has some truth in it - though there are sound reasons for defending the whole thing - but it is only acceptable to reform the Lords if something better is put in its place.

What we will get instead is an upper house filled with people like Baroness Jay who is, in all but name, an hereditary Labour peer - she may be Leader of the Lords but she's the daughter of an ex-Labour Prime Minister and that, more than anything else, is her main qualification for the job. She is the epitome of a crony of Tony's.

The hereditary Lords should have the guts to reject Labour's class warfare until something better is proposed to take their place.

But what should that be?

One answer is a House of Lords which becomes, in effect, a senate for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It would be the logical consequence of the Government's piecemeal destruction of the British constitution and the best solution to saving the nation state.

As we know, our Glorious Leader has given the Scots a parliament and the Welsh an assembly. If he lets out enough murderers, he will be able to give the people of Ulster their own government as well.

That just leaves England.

Here, the Government is trying to slice up England into "regions", most of which exist on maps in the Department of the Environment and nowhere else.

The West Midlands, for instance, may be a convenient administrative area but nobody who lives in it recognises its existence. Is a resident of Stoke-on-Trent a West Midlander and, if so, what does she have in common with someone in Hereford? Can you name the constituent parts of what the Department of the Environment calls "the West Midlands"?

The balkanisation of England into regions is encouraged, of course, by Brussels. The European Union tries to ignore nation states and prefers to administer its incipient empire by dividing the entire continent into regions.

Devolution in Scotland, Wales and Ulster is one significant step on the way. Setting up regional assemblies across England would complete the picture, allow Brussels to ignore Westminster and deal directly with competing regions.

Divide and rule is the Brussels maxim. It's already working - without the EU there would be no move for Scottish "independence" - and if we are saddled with regional governments, it will be completed.

Given Mr Blair's Euro-ambitions - perhaps he hopes to become the EU's first directly-elected President when he hands over a worthless Prime Ministership to Gordon Brown - the United Kingdom is in grave danger of being allowed to disintegrate.

And England, especially, is already losing out because Scots, Welsh and Ulster MPs can vote on English issues but not vice versa.

The three other countries in the UK enjoy over-representation in the Commons and are massively subsidised by the English taxpayer. …

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