Support the e-petition for an English parliament

The UK government’s e-petition website went live last week. Under this system, if any petition obtains 100,000 signatures or more, it earns the right to be considered for debate in Parliament: it won’t necessarily actually be debated, but it will at least go up for consideration.

Petition No. 78 reads:

That England be given within the framework of devolution the same national political institutions as Scotland, including the creation of a Parliament, the office of First Minister, of a Government and a dedicated civil service for all of a united England. At present, England has no purely English national political institutions and thereby suffers from unfair treatment within the UK. The creation or revival of a English Parliament will answer the question ‘Who speaks for England?’ and should ensure that the interests of all the people of England are given higher priority and greater care. As John Bright famously said: ‘England is the Mother of all Parliaments’. It is well time that England regained her own Parliament.

The issue of this petition has been somewhat overshadowed by the terrible events of last night, with appalling riots, looting and violence spreading across London and to other English cities. However, the civil disorder of the last few days is another illustration of the need for English self-government. The disaffection and antagonism towards authority of the young English people involved in the rioting is in part a symptom of the policy vacuum that arises from the fact that the UK government takes decisions that severely affect English youngsters primarily out of economic considerations, rather than out of a vision for English society that places engaged, fulfilled young people at its heart. So, for instance, the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) has been cut in England only; university tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year have been imposed in England only; and stringent cuts have been imposed on social services and amenities that youngsters in deprived English communities and families rely on – all out of economic ‘necessity’, but with no real plan as to what to offer young people, and particularly what sort of future young people can look forward to, in their place.

We can debate until the rioters come home whether devolution along the same lines as Scotland is an adequate answer to the English Question, especially as the Scottish devolution settlement itself is in a state of flux that could well lead to some form of independence in a few years’ time. But the most important thing isn’t a debate among English nationalists about the best form of government for England but getting Parliament to actually debate it. If we don’t get the 100,000 signatures, such a debate won’t even be on the cards, and the naysayers will for ever go on about how the supporters of an English parliament had their chance but couldn’t even get 100,000 out of England’s adult population of some 35 million to sign up to it.

As I write, 1,547 people have signed the petition over five days: a rate of nearly 310 per day. At that rate, we’ll need 322 days to get the 100,000, meaning we’re just about on track: we have a whole year to do it. But the rate at which people sign is bound to go down as time goes on, so we need to keep working to get those signatures flowing in. So I’d urge all my readers to please sign the petition.

English society is undergoing a serious crisis, and we need a strong English government, acting in the interests of English society as a whole, to deal with it.

Advertisements

4 Responses

  1. I WANT A PARLIAMENT
    I WANT IT NOW
    I DEMAND MY FREEDOM
    I DEMAND IT NOW
    I JUST WANT JUSTICE
    EQUALITY TOO
    I DESERVE RESPECT
    JUST LIKE YOU
    I TOO DEMAND LIBERTY
    FOR THE ENGLISH COMMUNITY
    I WANT A PARLIAMENT
    I DEMAND IT NOW
    I’LL FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
    THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW

  2. I fully agree with petition no. 78

  3. Make signing as easy as possible. Is it obvious that someone needs to click on ‘Petition No. 78’?

    People are. by nature, lazy. Put in a big ‘SIGN HERE’ button which takes them straight to where they need sign and remind them to check the email address they give in order to confirm that they have signed.

    • That’s a good idea. I’ll investigate doing so when I have time to work it out from a technical point of view: not great at adding fancy features to this blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: