This a problem which must be addressed:But if it the solution as some propose an "English Parliament" then those backing it must realise that will be a partner in the UK and not the sole voice.
In an article in todays Independent on Sunday (IOS) Paul Newman writes an article entitled "Celts fail to embrace spirit of the Games" inadvertently shows us the difficulties of Federal Union of Equals.
In this he attacks the F A's of Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland for not supporting the creation of a combined GB for the under 23 soccer team for the 2012 Olympics. To his credit he does write that.
"Maybe football should not be a part of the Games – a personal view is that they should feature only those sports for which the Olympics is the pinnacle – but at least football has come up with a format that differentiates it from other competitions, even if the presence of three over-age players in a tournament for under-23 players somewhat defeats the object".
So he is not guilty of misleading people by omission (as many of his London colleagues have ) in that this would be international competition. and we would see the International Stars playing. (and how many other Olympic sports have an age limit?) but he fails to appreciate real problem that such a precedent could lead to . He may dismisss the notion that the sides would eventually be forced by FIFA to combine permanently at all levels and he cant see the arrogance of the English FA in saying they will provide a side regardless of the views of the other Home Nations.
And that is the real problem the English FA clearly feel that the other governing bodies are not their equals and that they can make such a decision to side an English side as Team GB and invite players from the other countries to play in their so called GB side regardless of the stance of their governing bodies.
And this is the problem with Federalism. It would only work if an English Parliament were to acknowledge it was on the same par as the other devolved powers which may happen but would take time and the English FA example shows that there would be reluctance. Though perhaps the very nature of creating a English parliament might leds to an acceptance of such a position
Perhaps the answer would beto devolve power within England, but. Is sense the mood in England is more towards a Parliament. (Except in Cornwall of course).
But as Newman has shown whether the rights or wrongs of a Team GB under 23 team for 2012 the voice of England whilst it must be heard is not the only one that should be listen to.