Monday, October 03, 2005

Ironically Challenged ?

I’ve been accused of flip-flopping on an English Parliament because I followed up this post with this one. Personally, even if you do take the second post seriously, I still don’t see how you could read to the end and still think that was an argument in favour of the Parliament.

For the record, I still think it’s a terrible idea but, and this was the point of the second post, I recognise how the lunatic shenanigans of Celtic nationalists can make it seem less so. Thing is though that most of these peoples dippy policies are self-destructive anyway. Look at this, for example. Sure, it’s plenty annoying – particularly when proposed by people who no difficulty handling certain bits of paper stamped ‘Bank of England’ – but is it really a problem for us if they introduce yet another good reason for the ambitious to head off east ?

Celtic nationalism is absurd – but English Nationalists sure seem like they want to join them down the asylum. They expect us to boil over with rage that our money is sent to subsidise Welsh hill farmers, but they’re sanguine about money being sucked into the black hole that is Livingstone’s folly. Huh ? How does that work ?

The campaign for an English Parliament is guilty of a certain sleight of hand here. Despite their attempts to collapse the distinction, the disposition of taxpayers’ money between the nations and the constitutional situation are only vaguely related. Indeed, it may be considered that English nationalists are shooting themselves in the foot by allowing the government to put the subsidy situation on the back burner until the question of English governance is sorted.

The other point these guys make is that an English Parliament may not lead to bigger government since it will replace, not duplicate, UK functions. But how would that work ? Will there be P45s be flying round Westminster ? Right from day one you’ll have an extra layer of politicians, with all that that implies in terms of empire building. The sums involved may initially be modest, but I’m still not convinced that this option offers any real advantage to working within the exiting structure, for example only allowing English MPs to vote on English matters.

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