John of Gaunt:So, England has a problem that needs solving. It's come up (again) in the comments on the previous post, so I thought I'd open a question for debate.
Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
Squaring the circle. How do you bring power as close as possible to the people, recognise the existence of England as a unit, and ensure that a Parliament of 80% of the population does not destabilise or undermine the British parliament?
How is the need to take power away from the centre helped by creating a new administrative unit that is as big as England? How does this improve the way I am governed?
I ask this in the attempt to have a reasoned debate - can "nationalism" be removed from this discussion? Does "England", in and of itself, matter? England is nearly as big as Britain. If Britain is to continue to exist as an administrative unit, what will the England govt do? I've said before that a medium term objective of all disparate reformers has to be a constitutional convention, and in that, nothing can be ruled out or ruled in. I'm convinced that a Parliament for England is an irrelevence for as long as Britain exists, too distant and remote.
However, can we devolve power from the center into units big enough to be effective but local enough to be responsive? And can such a system also include an "English dimension" in some way?