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Graham Allen MP stated in The Independent on the 28th January 2013 that there is ‘little appetite for an English parliament’ (see link below for the article in full).

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/give-councils-direct-power-to-raise-tax-8470535.html

That assumption is totally incorrect and in direct contrast to what the people of England are really saying. Over 26 independent opinion polls put support for an English Parliament in England at over 60%.

Notwithstanding that blatant omission, Graham also makes another fundamental error when comparing England with Scotland and Wales. In doing so he fails to realise that the Scots and the Welsh have been allowed to keep their national identities whilst experiencing devolution. Devolution in England is a very different matter and what Graham Allen is talking about when referring to England is devolution within a country (i.e. fragmenting power within a national group, or a type of back door regionalisation). Devolving power within a country without consent and without the political apparatus to hold the country together is foolhardy and will facilitate the destruction of the nation. It is obvious that without a cohesive centralised body, coordinating devolved power can create rivalries and friction through unstable government.

However, Graham is correct on one point, which is that regional devolution has been tried, tested and rejected – less than 10% of England’s population are in support of it. What the Labour Party need to do now is come to terms with that simple truth. Labour MPs should listen to their constituents, because Mr Allen’s statement that there is little appetite for an English Parliament is pure denial and a contradiction of the facts. I wonder if he has studied the Office of National Statistics, census 2011 where over 32 million stated that they felt their identity was ‘English only’? Surely Graham, you need to listen to that collective voice…

 

Eddie Bone

Chairman

Campaign for an English Parliament