Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Labour really needs to address the "English Question",

The Wasting Mule claims that Welsh Labour has turned its guns on newly elected Ukip leader Paul Nuttall after he pledged to “promote the English” in his first speech at the helm of the anti-EU party.
Mr Nuttall insisted he was a unionist but promised a new devolution deal for England.
Moments after being named the winner with 62.6% of the vote, he told activists:
 “Whilst we as a party believe in the United Kingdom and are unionist to our fingertips, under my leadership we will champion a fair devolution deal for England and we will promote the English.
“I say this because there is a value that unites the vast majority of British people away from the small metropolitan clique, and that value is patriotism...
“My ambition is not insignificant. I want to replace the Labour party and make Ukip the patriotic voice of working people.”
Mr Nuttall  does not seem  to realise that patriotism and xenophobia are not  intertwined. You can want the best for your nation with out playing the race card.

Plaid Cymr, SNP and Mebyon Kernow promote a Civic Nationalism that is inclusive and progressive  and are the polar opposite of Paul Nuttalls Blood and Soil Nationalism.

But it looks like Ukip are going to portray themselves as an English Nationalist party 

Apparently his remarks alarmed Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens

The Cardiff Central Labour MP said: 
“Paul Nuttall has barely been elected an hour but already he’s turning his back on the people of Wales and making clear that Ukip don’t and won’t represent our interests.
“They may have changed the captain but Ukip is still a sinking ship... [It’s] clear that he simply doesn’t share the priorities or values of the people of Wales. No party that will only promote the interests of England has any business being elected anywhere in Wales
But they have and they will .

It seems that Ms Stevens is more concerned that Ukip seeming rebrand as an English Nationalist Party rather than its  xenophobia  and far right platform.
Indeed Ms Stevens does not seem keen on devolution in England

A detailed report from experts at the Queen Mary University of London concludes that the measures do “not give adequate opportunity for the expression of England’s voice”.

EVEL gives English – or English and Welsh – MPs the opportunity to veto legislation that relates exclusively to their parts of the UK. But for a Bill to become law it must win the support of a majority of all MPs.

English stages last 'around two minutes'

The authors note that MPs have not grasped the opportunity to engage in “substantive debate” during “English stages”, stating that “the legislative grand committee stages have so far been almost entirely perfunctory” and “most have lasted around two minutes, and have been almost invisible within the legislative process.

The Cardiff Central Labour MP said: 
“So-called English Votes for English Laws was a complete dogs dinner that even Government Ministers didn’t understand and couldn’t explain... It’s right for English MPs to have a strong voice in Parliament but that shouldn’t lead to a two tier system that excludes Welsh MPs and their constituents.
“Many people in Wales work or use services in England, so their local MPs should be able to defend their rights in Parliament when these services are being discussed and decisions made. The Government needs to go back and think again about how to get the balance right, but for now it should scrap the complicated, objectively useless and discriminatory EVEL procedures.”
Clearly EVEL is a ridiculous solution to the English Question but Labour needs to address it and either call for an English Parliament  or substantial devolution to the English Regions.

Plaid Cymru’s are also not happy with EVEL but at least have an alternative. With  Westminster leader Hywel Williams MP   called for England – alongside each of the UK nations – to have its own parliament.
He said: 
“Plaid Cymru supports the principle that England-only matters should be decided by English MPs and Plaid Cymru MPs don’t vote on anything that has no impact on Wales, whether we are allowed to or not.
“However, the complex nature of the way the different nations of the UK are funded means that there is very rarely anything that has an impact on England and involves funding that does not also have an impact on the other nations. If England wanted to privatise its NHS for example, that would have a very damaging impact on the money available for the Welsh budget.
“To exclude Welsh MPs on voting on matters with such grave consequences for the people they represent would be unacceptable. Ultimately, the best way to ensure all of the UK countries are fairly represented is to reform the outdated Barnett formula and ensure that each country, including England, has its own Parliament – all on an equal footing.”
Can Labour's desire to preserve the Union be so strong that they are prepared to see our friends across the boarder being conned by the "Blood and Soil Nationalism"  masquerading as patriotism that appears to be on Paul Nuttall agenda.

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