Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fame at last.

Well, not exactly. Only about 3-4 people usually visit this blog daily, but I had 17 and 18 visits yesterday and the day before (It's little thing like this that pleases me you see). You can see how people come to your blog by viewing this page. For quite some time now, most visits came from people searching for 'Welsh Crazy Frog', but recent visits have come from a link from The Campaign for an English Parliment blog of all places. I'm assuming because my previous post about a 'Map of the 100 nations of Europe' was posted on the (Scottish) Independance blog.

To be honest I've not given much thought to a Parliment for England. I realised and expected that there would be a new take on Englishness and England as a nation in the wake of devolution for Wales and Scotland, but I thought this would be to strengthen it (at the expence of Britishness hopefully) rather than undermine it. In the days prior to devoulution, I was very much for devolution for two main reasons
1. As a nationalist I saw being governed by a PALIAMENT (not the present mess) elected by the people of Wales as a better solution to meeting the aspirations and tackling the problems of our small nation. Even with the best will in the world a prime minister in London is never going to put the interests of the 3 milion in Wales people before the interest of 48 million (?) people of England.
2. The Welsh population of 3 million (and 5 million in Scotland) are nice suitable numbers for administrating, and compares with devolved 'regions' in Europe and with some of the smaller states in the USA.

After taking the populations of Wales and Scotland (and Northern Ireland) away from the total UK population, you are left with an unit which is still too large to be goverend effectivley if you believe in devolution. Will dividing this unit (England) into regions threaten an English identity?


Blogger Toque said...

I'm pleased that I directed a few people your way. Regarding your position on an English parliament/English governence; put yourself in the position that we English are in, imagine Wales split into two parts each with its own regional assembly, leaving Wales with no national assembly. How would you like that?

I have no problem with devolution. Once we have an English parliament then it can ask the English people through a referendum whether they would like regional government or not.

That would be the fair way to do it. After all Labour did give the nations of Wales and Scotland referendums on how they wished to be governed, so why not England?


8/14/2005 1:21 am  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

I'd certainly be against the idea of seperate North and South assemblies for Wales. One of the tools of anti devolutionsits has been that the Assembly will be dominated by the more populous south and wuld ignore the wishes of the north.
As a Welsh nationalist my ideal would be an independent Wales, but realise that this is very far from the position of the majority of the Welsh population.
I think a Fedral Britain with England, Scotland and Wales being equal partners would satisfy the majorit of Welsh nationalists. I suppose having an political/administrative for the whole of England should be the first step, and devolving to areas within England afterwards.

8/15/2005 11:23 am  
Blogger Toque said...

A federal Britain would suit me fine too. I think it would lead to a much more amicable relationship between the nations of the UK.

8/15/2005 12:49 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Not to mention avoiding a lot of confsion for Ministries who either don't know which of their responabilities have been devolved (or worse still who don't relise devolution has happened at all).

8/15/2005 2:42 pm  
Blogger Toque said...

Exactly, at the moment we have devolved ministries in Scotland and Wales and, bizarrely, UK ministries in England.

There needs to be devolution at a civil service/Whitehall level too, and also at party level. This would set Scotland and Wales free because at the moment the parties in their respective assemblies are too busy towing their UK party lines, rather than doing what is good for Scotland and Wales.

8/15/2005 10:31 pm  
Anonymous Peter Davidson said...


I cannot argue with the simple logic you have applied to the argument. England as single entity would dwarf the other constituent elements of any potential federal arrangement for the UK.

The English Parliment campaign has no intention of allowing such a constitutional arrangment to remain within the EU, although they carefully omit any direct reference to the topic in their literature.

The defeat in last years referendum clearly constituted a setback to the aspirations of those who wish to see fully devolved, self-funding, robust Assemblies for their Region (in my case North-West England) but then we need to recall a similarly crushing defeat of plans for a Welsh Assembly many years ago. We'll be back!

Creating an English Parliament is a constitutional dead-end that will do nothing to address the increasing economic disparities that are so apparent across the UK.

You obviously realise that Wales is nowhere near to achieving the levels of self-determination described above but at least you have made a start.

Those in the English Parliament campaign are being disingenous when they point to the overwhelming defeat in the North-East as evidence of support for their veiwpoint.

The result was significantly influenced by negative reactions from an electorate who felt the proposed Assembly was a sop to their wishes for "real" Regional autonomy.

For example, the NE Assembly would have displayed no competency in those policy areas which really matter to people on an everyday basis, i.e. Healthcare, Education, Law&Order.

Peter Davidson
Alderley Edge
NW England

10/27/2005 2:23 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Thanks for visitng (nad especially for leaving a comment!)

The size of England could be a stumbling block to a fedral Britain, but there's nothing that can be done about that. Splitting it up into regions would make sence for administrative purposes and also for being more responsive to local (regional) needs, which would differ greatly from one area to another.

I would not have thought that a regional England would be that much of a threat to Englishness, it has always seemed quite robust to me (although often confused with Britishness by many). Having said that it arrouses a lot o feeling within CEP and I can see where they're coming from.

The rejection of a NE assembly is'nt necessarily a rejection of regionalisation I agree, and could in part be due to the type/level of devoltion offerd. I honestly believe that many voted no in the Welsh referendum as they were unhappy that so little was offered (or unsure of what was offered as most of us were). I couldn't risk voting no, because if the No vote had won, it might never have been on the table again - shows what a pathetic nation we are, having to take the scraps off the London table. :-(

10/27/2005 4:33 pm  

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