The Chairman of the CEP’s Response to the Brown Report

In the recently published Brown Report, Gordon Brown has once again spoken out about devolution in England. He is a politician who has no love for England and saw devolution for Scotland as a way of building a permanent Labour fiefdom in his own country where the Labour Party would reign supreme.

More broadly, forever ensuring enough of a permanent power base where the party would never lose an election and where unicorns and Puff the Magic Dragon would frolic happily in the warm glow of their everlasting ascendancy. And if you looked at the proportion of Labour’s votes in Scotland before devolution you would have said that was a pretty safe bet.

But that “safe Labour power base” was horribly taken for granted by the likes of Tony Blair and Brown himself, and as a result, Scottish Labour is a shadow of its former self. Westminster sadly still wants Scotland to dance to unionism’s clapped out tune. They also seem to think that breaking England up into arbitrary regions to stop us having a national voice is a good thing, and trying to pretend that “the people of England don’t want national devolution” when they have never been asked in a referendum. In the meantime, however, all the opinion polls on the matter would certainly beg to differ. The trouble with the English is they don’t want the kind of devolution that Westminster parties want them to have. Breaking us up along the lines of former EU parliamentary constituencies that have precious little in common with actual local identities.

The Blarites wanted devolution in Scotland as a way of killing off the SNP which of course it did not. It just made the SNP stronger. So Westminster will resist England national devolution out of some paranoid belief that it will replicate

So Westminster wants to break England up into regions as a way of destroying England as a nation under the guise of bringing democracy to the people. Every excuse is used to deny England national devolution, the most absurd of which is that England is too big. It’s completely patronising to the English to pretend that they are too big to have their own government and govern themselves, just as it is insulting to the Scots to talk about rowing back on the powers of the Scottish government and turn Scotland into another Yorkshire.

Such treatment would only add fuel to the fire of the myth that Scotland is a colony of England, when in reality, the latter was formally acquired by King James the VI from the House of Stuart. Making our country informally linked with the Scots.

Westminster‘s power rests on the union therefore everything that weakens the union weakens Westminster that is why they want Scotland and England to remain British so they can keep their hands on power. Which is why they will not scrap the FPTP (First Past The Post) system, never mind that few British MPs sitting for an English constituency even represent more than 30% of their voters.

When you hear any Westminster politician talk about devolution and the union, they always try to sound  authoritative, but do they really know what England and Scotland want? Do they even care? as long as what England and Scotland get is what Westminster wants, now that they do care about it?

One way that would be infinitely more effective for those hoping to preserve the  United Kingdom would be to simply demonstrate all our countries together are equal, and not minimise each of our individual senses of nationhood. Anything less than that only makes this “family of nations” look like a bunch of children currently being dictated by an overbearing “Mother Britannia.” England is not a mass of self-loathing regions, and Scotland is not one of those made-up regions.

We’re both ancient nations who have much to be proud of, and have worked, traded and built families and friendships together for centuries. That will never change, but if you believe that is best expressed within a multinational state, that’s fine. The CEP doesn’t take a stance either way on that issue. But what we do believe in is that Scotland, England and Wales deserve the same levels of domestic autonomy.

As Winnie Ewing pointed out decades ago:

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