Friday, 8 June 2012


Ed's new friend!
Ed (Miliband) and the Party formerly known as New Labour have decided to embrace the political elephant that is Englishness and they have admitted that they (Old and New Labour) have apparently been somewhat reluctant to talk about the sleeping elephant (in the room) at the heart of the UK - Englishness. There is more, apparently they have decided that the issue of national identity (English or British perhaps?) should not be a closed book. In snippets from the speech released before yesterday's event, it appears that Miliband has managed to hit his thumb squarely rather than the head of the nail, saying that Britain should be a country "where it always possible to have more than one identity" and people should not have to choose between being British, English, Scottish or Welsh. Yet at the same time acknowledging that "multiple allegiances" raise serious questions about national identity and accepting that that Labour has avoided trying to articulate a vision of Englishness. Apparently the released draft of Miliband's speech contained no reference to the thorny issue of a separate English Parliament. Plaid has long called for a partnership of equals, but it is pretty clear that Ed's position on the English (question) is that they do not deserve their own Parliament. He has also entirely ignored the thorny matter of the West Lothian Question and English votes on English laws. In a typical old Labour fudge. that may remind older participants in the devolutionary process of not so long ago, Labour sources suggested that although Ed was keen to continue devolving powers to local authorities, he believed that calls for an England-only parliament to balance those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were "simplistic constitutional symmetry". By my reckoning, based on the way labour plays the devolutionary game, I predict that this means that in about 10 to 15 years Labour will embrace the cause an English parliament....

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