Monday, 6 October 2014

Pundit Jeff Jones on devolution and the English Question.

The Wasting Mule has given rein to former Brigend Council leader turned political pundit Jeff Jones to give us his wise words on the English question .
He does nor star well
Unlike the Battle of Waterloo the result of the Scottish referendum wasn’t ‘a close run thing’.
In 28 out of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas the result was no to independence. The result might have settled the issue of Scottish independence for a generation but it hasn’t settled the debate over devolution.

Using the figures for local authorities is frankly miseading and dishonest though it would be healthier if the vote was spread out more . The result was a lot closer than few would have predicted a year before the vote.

Yes or noVotesPercentage
Yes check.svg Yes1,617,98944.7%
X mark.svg No2,001,92655.3%
Valid votes3,619,91599.91%
Invalid or blank votes3,4290.09%
Total votes3,623,344100.00%
Voter turnout84.59%

And with the huge surge in membership for those parties who backed a YES vote  with the SNP nearly doubling its membership. The independence question will not disappear for ageneration, especially if Westminster does not deliver on its promises

he then goes on to attempt to answer the English Question except he doesn't  apart  from appearing that it can be solved by "A peoples Convention" of the whole UK and that people in England should apparently have a veto on further devolution
He says

The future shape of what has been one of the most successful countries in the world should not be left to the 1% of the population who belong to political parties. I agree that a constitutional convention needs to be set up but it should be dominated as conventions in British Columbia and Iceland were by ordinary voters not politicians.
Voters selected as they are for jury service at random. The deliberations of the convention should then be agreed or even rejected by a referendum of all voters in the UK.
If so would this be weighted, or woulds such a Convention be delegated by English Members?

It is not a narrow Nationalist concern unless you regard Wales,Scotland,Northern Ireland  and Cornwall as mere regions of the UK  maybe the same as the South East of England.

Indeed Jeff Jones, clearly  (well not so clearly)  believes  the rest of the UK  and English  voters should have been able to  veto Scottish Independence.
It was frankly a disgrace that although Scottish independence could have a major effect on all of us who live in the UK we were excluded from having a say. You also cannot have major constitutional change where 65% of those eligible to vote don’ take part as happened in the ‘give us the tools to finish the job ‘referendum in Wales in 2011.Politicians for too many of us who live in the UK are the problem not part of the solution. So far they have made a mess of constitutional change and brought the UK close to break up. The future of the UK I would argue is far too important to be decide by the 1% active in politics.
The constitutional Question will not be easy to solve  . But it will not bee solved especially in Scotland  by the rest of the UK saying "We will decide on what your future will be.

Jeff Jones may have a point in that such debate should  go beyond the Political Class.

But thats what actually happened in Scotland especially on the YES.

Even the SNP must have been amazed how much the YES campaign went beyond that Part and how many with no political affiliation were beating the streets campaigning for a YES  vote but I doub't this can be replicated on a UK level.

The English Question must be addresed but it is up to the people to address it .


  1. Great post, although by now SNP membership has not just doubled but increased from c. 25,000 to c. 100,000 and growing.

    1. its hard to keep up with the SNP membership growth

  2. I don't know why Jeff Jones doesn't out himself, do himself a favour and join UKIP. I'm not saying that to insult him or UKIP, just pointing out that he does nothing but attack Welsh Government (which, since its inception has been ruled by Jeff's Labour party) attack the Welsh language and attack the very concept of a Welsh nation.

    As he said in (another) posting on Click on Wales federalism or devolition can't work in the UK because the UK is not Germany. Basically the 'problem' is Wales, Scotland and Ireland. That is the if it wasn't for those 'meddling Celts' and their ideas of nationality, language, tradition the the Great British nation could go ahead and devolved along some rectangual states of regular populations like Nabraska or, ok, something with a little local colour like Yorkshire.

    Basically, he's just angry that the British state didn't do a more thorough job of killing off any vestage of Celtic language and uniquness.

    He is, a British nationalist of the first order. More insidious because he believes he's 'progressive'.

    I'll give him another few years and he'll relise one morning that he really can't be arsed with the 'progressive' sharade of Labour and that he is in his heart a UKIP supporter.

    Come on Jeff, do yourself a favour, come out as UKIP - you'll feel much better for it.