Friday, October 07, 2005

On piglets, freedoms and flying the flag.

Apparently, the English flag is racist. In fact, if you see one flying somewhere, you should report it as intimidating. So, because small minded racist thugs like a symbol, that means the symbol itself becomes a problem? Should I stop buying red roses because the nanny staters use them as a symbol? I don't often agree with the England Project (let's face it, they want to destroy the Union), but on this one I agree completely; the English and British flags are thigs we should be proud of. Reclaim it so we can be.

Mark Steyn wrote an article on the Piglet ban in The Telegraph, and, unsurprisingly, misses the point completely. Firstly, he blames the 'liberals' for bending over, when any true liberal knows this sort of ban to be completely illiberal (oh, Tory run council that did it by the way, the sort of people the Telegraph normally likes). Oh well. It's idiotic nanny staters that want to protect us from being offended Mark, not liberals. Still, he ends well..
But at some point Britons have to ask themselves - while they're still permitted to discuss the question more or less freely - how much of their country they're willing to lose. The Hundred-Acre Wood is not the terrain on which one would choose to make one's stand, but from here on in it is only going to become more difficult.
Other blogs out there have been covering this, but they're all blaming the Muslims. I'm not, I'm blaming the idiots who decided to go overboard and ban everything...

Oh, The Independent had some good coverage. on HMG's non-complaince with our international obligations as members of the Council of Europe, an organisation with a proud history we helped found. shame they still want you to pay for access to their archives.


lascivious said...

Would you agree with banning the Swastika? There have been calls recently to have a pan-European ban of the Swastika - in all forms (due to our royal family making a booboo), due to its obvious connection with the Nazis. It is still used in the same vein, allbeit somewhat more underground than it used to be.

Yet the Swastika has been around for 3000 years, found in cultures as diverse as Tibett, Picts, Ancient Crete, Pottawatomie Indians, Central American Maya and Aztec, Finland (airforce, WW-II) and Ancient Crete.

It seems such a shame that people try to ban a symbol or flag due to its association with nasty people.

Anonymous said...

"I don't often agree with the England Project (let's face it, they want to destroy the Union)"

I do not read the blog that way, I have the impression that it is the Blairite internationalists who want to destroy Britain as a single political unit. “The England Project” just wants equality for in England in the British system envisioned by those who want to break up Britian. If Scotland NI and Wales are all to have their own parliaments then so should England instead of being broken up into 9 separate regions. In other words the call for an English Parliament is a result of the present regionalisation situation not the cause of it.

MatGB said...

@Lascivious; no, I do not support such a ban, and never have. Symbols are just that, symbols. Symbolic hatred doesn't kill people, actions do. Those who use the swastika as a racist symbol need to have their racist ideas defeated, banning the use of symbols simply forces them underground and makes defeating them harder.

@Ken; actually, opposition to an English Parliament is one of the reasons I started this blog and chose the name, I genuinely believe that such a move would, ultimately, destroy the Union, England is simply too big. Ideologically not opposed to it, it's just practical politics, England is too big an entity to exist as a political entity without destabilising the Union.

I'd rather we strengthened the Counties back to what they used to be, but failing that, Regions are better than nothing.

Della & Sarah said...

Pre 1997, I would agree with you that the status quo, whilst not ideal, should not be altered.
However, devolution has put a whole new slant on things.
You're not seeing the whole picture, and whilst you think an English Parliament would break up the Union, you are not only mistaken, you are in fact, increasing the calls for independence from the Union.
An English Parliament would redress the balance of the Union, whilst remaining under the umbrella of the British Parliament.
Unless England is given parity, the situation will get worse.
We see the consequences daily, but you refuse to recognise the signs.
Our elderly, sick and our youth are treated as 4th class citizens.
Indpendence groups are growing, where previously they didn't exist.
Stop encouraging them and start seeing the bigger picture. A union of countries cannot co-exist in peace and harmony unless all are treated equally.
In attempting to stop England being given parity, you are in fact, encouraging the break up of the union.
And just for the record, England no longer exists. What was England, is now 9 EU Regions. Look it up and educate yourself as to the consequences of your actions

Anonymous said...

"England is too big an entity to exist as a political entity without destabilising the Union."

That is an interesting point, one would assume that giving Scotland Wales and NI their own parliament would have the same effect. Surly if the Union is to survive, you should be arguing against all of the Parliaments, not just an English Parliament. I would question the idea that we can allow the nation of Scotland and the nation of Wales to have their own parliament, but not the nation of England, because it is too big.

We have to accept that the break up of the UK has already begun, if the other nations within Great Britian are to be allowed to divide along national borders and England is to be broken up into smaller bits that have no basic historical actuality, that seems a tad unfair on the English. The size question is one which I feel can easily be overcome, if the eventual move from the present system to a more federal system were to become a reality, then surely the government in Westminster would become more of a federal government and the size imbalance could be taken into consideration in the formation of that system.

MatGB said...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Della and Sarah? I never said I supported the status quo, in fact, I've said nothing really so far on the subject, the post I and Paul have in mind requires a bit more planning, hopefully it'll hit over the weekend.

Suffice to say that I have "educated" myself quite nicely thank you very much, I quit my job to spend 3 years studying the subject.
A union of countries cannot co-exist in peace and harmony unless all are treated equally.

Completely untrue by, many many examples from the rest of the world (you know, the bits beyond the islands), but Spain is a pretty good example. You know all about the Spanish system of autonomous communities of course, having 'educated' yourself on the subject?

And just for the record, England no longer exists. What was England, is now 9 EU Regions. Look it up and educate yourself as to the consequences of your actions

Last time I looked, I live in England, and it has legal status for jurisdictions and similar. If you're referring to the Regions that whitehall drew on maps for administrative purposes and then submitted to the EU as a convenient set of lines, then it appears it's you, not me, that needs to learn the facts.

Little hint? I'm replying to your comment in the tone you made it, which is to assume ignorance and try to patronise. If you instead assume a differing of opinion and that the poster may have a degree of intelligence, you may learn and understand an opposing point of view.

I can play nice to commenters, but if you want to treat me like an idiot (I always try to vote) then I'll think how to respond. I know a lot on this subject, and can go into it fully when I've time. I will do, as well.

Ken? My big problem with treating England as one entity in a federal system is that it would, inevitably, compete with Westminster. I want a different solution, the status quo is not an option, and England having a Parliament is, in my view, a bad idea. I'd prefer proper devolution, and have studied the Spanish model of devolution closely. With a few amendments, it's actually quite good, and worth learning from.

I'll go into it more when I'm not horribly busy, suffice to say I have a job to go to tomorrow morning and it's already 1am.

JohnJo said...

A devolved English parliament will compete with Westminster when proposals for the Union would not be in the best interests of the English nation. This is also true of the Scottish parliament and the Welsh assembly (though more power will need to be devolved to Wales for real competition). Cancer drugs that are available in Scotland on the NHS are not available in England. That's competition for you. Student top up fees are not introduced in Scotland but they are in England. That's competition for you. There was no English cycle team in the tour of Britain but there were Scottish and Welsh ones both structured around government supported institutions. That's competition for you. There are more.

I understand where you are coming from but any solution that does not give a voice to the nation of England as a whole will not solve the problem. Someone, some executive at the very least needs to speak for England.

If not, and a regional route is taken, then each region will need a body at least as powerful and as devolved on issues like health and education as the Scottish parliament. If this is not the case then there will be more instances of the people of the English nation being treated unfairly in the Union.

Any body that is introduced will need the legitimate power to say that it is not appropriate for individuals of one nation to be treated differently and more advantageously than individuals from another nation (or 'region'). Not only should they be able to say this but they should also be able to change the situation.

No region will be granted that kind of power. It is unworkable and that is one of the reasons why an English parliament is necessary for the long term health of the Union.

Anonymous said...

"My big problem with treating England as one entity in a federal system is that it would, inevitably, compete with Westminster."

Yes I can see this argument, but then if the UK is to be dissolved into its constituent parts then what is the argument for breaking up England into even smaller pieces. Scotland and Wales would have a national voice and England would no longer be a nation would not posses a national view on anything. So England is to be destroyed in favour of Scotland and Wales, if the argument for regionalism is to be fair then Wales and Scotland should also be divided there would be no Wales no Scotland and no England just a bunch of regions, each would have its own parliament of sorts.

I do not see that an English Parliament would compete with the federal parliament, which may or may not be in Westminster, because its powers would be devolved from the Federal parliament, and its decisions would not hold sway in any of the other nations of the United Kingdom.

As a personal aside I have never considered myself English but British, if my country is to be divided, my next choice would be England, not the Southwest or the North East etc. they are only lines drawn on a map, they are not politically or historically whole units that convey any sense of being part of a demos.

MatGB said...

Essentially Ken, I don't want to see the breakup of Great Britain into it's constituent parts, I want Britain to continue to exist.

I also reject the idea of 'federalism' within the UK as being innapropriate; Wales and Scotland already have differing powers. Scotland has a different criminal law and education system to the rest of the Union, and therefore has more powers devolved to it than Wales does.

Ergo, no equality anyway for historic constitutional reasons. My preferred solution is strong regions equal to the Welsh assembly, failing that significantly strengthen counties.

The problem JohnJo highlights about competition with Westminster is my primary concern, but the differenece between Scotland disagreeing and England disagreeing is that Scotland is small, whereas England is the majority of the population. If there is conflict between the English government and the British government over a significant issue, the damage could well be fatal. Even if a significant minority in England support the British position (as could be likely if we have, say England run by Tories but Britain run by NuLab.

Prescott's devolution plans were for a bunch of small, insignificant white elephants. The Westcountry deserves better than that, and, as you both rightly observe, England needs better than that.