Sunday, 16 August 2009

UKIP for an English Parliament

Back in July I wrote a fairly lengthy post on why UKIP's devolution policy is wrong. The relatively few comments it attracted belies the number of UKIP members and sympathisers that hold the same views - I received many more comments away from the blog and through the UKIP members' forum.

This prompted me to look at setting up a group within UKIP for members who support devolution and disagree with UKIP's policy of abolishing devolution and setting up grand committees of dual mandate British MPs to do the job.

I am pleased to announce that, along with Maidstone branch chairman, John Botting, enough UKIP members have pledged their support for the group to make it worth the effort of applying to the National Executive Council (NEC) for official recognition.

Don't let the title of this post mislead you though, this group - the UKIP 1997 Group - isn't just about an English Parliament. The aim of the group is to influence UKIP's policy on devolution so that the party supports devolved government in all four home nations on an equal basis.

For more information on the UKIP 1997 Group, click here. There is also a Facebook group related to the UKIP 1997 Group.

Just to clarify, the UKIP 1997 Group is not a Bloggers4UKIP project.


Bob Feal-martinez said...

What you are advocating is the only real distinction between UKIP and the English Democrats.

UKIP has a fundamental policy of a United Kingdom. With respect would it not be more appropriate for those who disagree to join the ED.

How many UKIP members agree with this stance, it is important to know. As you state there are sufficient to warrant an NEC motion.

wonkotsane said...

Bob, it's not the only distinction, just the main one. Both UKIP and the English Democrats are chasing the same votes - English eurosceptic conservatives (small "c"). We're never going to make any serious inroads into Scotland or Wales and we don't even contest Northern Irish elections. We can continue with our current policy on devolution which is completely out of step with public opinion and loses us votes or we can change the policy to what the electorate actually wants and attract voters who would normally give their vote to the SNP, Plaid or the English Democrats.

UKIP's attitude to devolution is where the Tories were some 7 or 8 years ago - irrationally opposed to to it with the corresponding alienation of a large section of the electorate.

Bob Feal-martinez said...

You still do not answer the point about the numbers within UKIP who agree with your.

Full devolution for all four countries of the Union would be an incredibly expensive thing to achieve, monetarily let alone politically, most people want to see English only issues discussed and voted on by English Constituency MP's but not a break up of the Union an inevitable result of your plan

wonkotsane said...

Bob, we'll soon find out how many members agree as word gets round. I disagree that most people are happy with English Votes on English Laws or a variation on that theme. On what do you base that contention?

Brownbread said...

As I understand it the UK/Britain has signed up to being a member of the EU.
Therefore it is the UK that we have to address to leave the EU.
There is a lot of evidence demonstrating that the UK is disintegrating into its four main tribes and I use this word to reflect the ancient, historical fact that folk of the same tribe wish to control their own destiny and rule themselves.
The devolution of the UK is evolving and time, sprinkled with events and politics, will determine the pace at which this progresses.
For similar reasons the EU empire will eventually disintegrate.
The English Democrats are right to require an English Parliament but I don't see this as a clash with UKIP, more a united front to rule ourselves. Now, whether England gets its own parliament before or after the UK leaves the EU doesn't really matter. Our membership of the EU suggests that the English parliament would be more easily set up after the UK has exited the EU but that may be a matter for debate although events and circumstances may determine the outcome.
Now we come to votes in the General Election. Yes, we do want greater unification by the various disparate groups, especially the UKIP and ED's and if these two groups could find common ground then we concentrate the votes against the opposition. The combining of UKIP and ED votes is far more important than whether we get an English Parliament before or after leaving the EU and the bosses of both parties should put their heads together to find common ground; better to be a stud lion in a big pride than a weak lion in a small pride!

Steve Halden said...

I thought that the oficial UKIP policy was to have English days when only English MPs would discuss English issues.

This would be the equivalent of having an English parliament.

wonkotsane said...

Steve, tell me whether you can spot a difference:

Scottish people elect Members of the Scottish Parliament to take care of Scottish domestic affairs in the Scottish Parliament for the sole benefit of Scottish people.

Scottish people elect Members of the British Parliament to take care of British affairs for the benefit of all British people for 3 days a week and to also take care of Scottish domestic affairs in the Scottish Parliament for the benefit of only Scottish people for 1 day a week.

Which solution do you think is more attractive to voters?

wonkotsane said...

Brownbread, the European Empire decrees that England has to be balkanised into 9 euroregions and governed as such. Creating a national parliament for England - something the majority of the electorate wants - is a two fingered salute to the European Empire and a step closer to leaving.

wonkotsane said...

Bob, there are now 10 UKIP members who have added their names to the supporters list of the group. Two are branch chairmen, two are PPC's and one is from Scotland.

crafter said...

I agree with Bob and Steve. I would much prefer Westminster MPs voting on English, Welsh and Scottish matters as appropriate than elect a whole new layer of politicians with their hands in our wallets for their salaries and expenses and the cost of new buildings and offices (how much did the Scottish Parliament building cost?).

The Scottish Parliament is already asking for greater powers and the same would happen with Welsh and English Parliaments with the inevitable result of Westminster becoming obsolete, whether we leave the EU or not. If the Westminster MPs do both jobs then they will have all the power they want and it will not lead to the break up of the UK.

I don't think this is an irrational point of view as you claim.

Steve Halden said...


The fact that Scotland has just let a mass murderer go free after killing 270 people has shot your argument to pieces.

Devolution is clearly not working.

Devolution obvioulsy leads to a general policy of being soft on crime.

21st August 2009
I am ashamed to be British today. Releaseing this killer was a disgrace.

wonkotsane said...

40,000 prisoners have been released less than half way through their sentence to solve overcrowding problems, including convicted murderers. This shows that that non-devolved government leads to a general policy of being weak on crime.

wonkotsane said...

Justice has always been devolved in Scotland, it was in the Act of Union.

whitedragon said...

I thing I can see that the thought and idea's seem to reflect the two main parties, the word British was created by politician to politically control the three countries, so, the people of Britain are the English, Scottish and the Welsh, as the two countries have devolution, then it is only right that England has devolution as a hole country other wise it can be seen as racist, as far as the building for the English parliament it is not required we have one, the lords can go, leaving room for the British government, no need for 636 of them,

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