Corbyn should fight for English rights

When recently asked his attitude to England and its governance, the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn replied that there never has been a collective voice for England. He conveniently ignored the fact that England had its own elected Parliament from 1265 when for the first time, elected representatives from every county and major town in England were invited to parliament on behalf of their local communities. This was sacrificed in 1707 for the Treaty of the Union.

The Western Daily Press frequently reports on devolution for England which currently means greater local control for example Cornwall’s recent devolution deal which Jeremy Corbyn would seem to support.

It is an anomaly that devolution for England is piecemeal when for Scotland and Wales devolution is applied to each country as a whole.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica devolution is viewed in many countries as a way to dampen regional, racial, ethnic, or religious division. This was more than likely the driving force behind Scotland being given its own parliament and Wales its Assembly in 1999.

There is the remote possibility of this Government introducing English Votes on English laws meaning that England’s MPs would be asked to accept or veto legislation only affecting England before it passed to a vote of all UK MPs at its third and final reading in the Commons.

This legislation would also be scrutinised by the House of Lords which has already rejected government plans to establish English votes for English laws instead voting in favour of establishing a committee to examine and further debate its proposals. This scrutiny of legislation does not include that passed by the Welsh Assembly, Northern Irish Assembly or the Scottish Parliament.

England is a country in its own right yet has no form of self-governance whatsoever. Jeremy Corbyn is passionate about the rights of the Palestinian people and has campaigned for years for a Palestinian state and deplores the government of Israel for rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River.

Why then does he not see that the people of England also have the right to their own parliament?

Veronica Newman

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