Archive for the ‘english question’ Category
We are less vocal on how England’s governance should be arranged, with the exception of supporting Cornwall’s right to self-determination, we believe that what happens in England is a matter for people in England of course. We would like to see an English Parliament emerge, with groups of local authorities forming a decentralised regional level of government beyond this. Whether this will happen will depend on English public opinion, and the extent to which the major parties in England react to the situation.
My party – The Party of Wales – would love to work with an Alliance of progressive forces from all parts of England, as well as those in Cornwall with whom we already have a loose alliance. In 2010, it was Plaid Cymru (and the SNP) who led the calls for a rainbow alliance of progressives, which would have stopped the coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems. We would be prepared to do that again if need be.
A broad network in England, united behind a core set of progressive values could well include the Greens and other environmentalists. It could include the trade union movement, many in the churches and other faith organisations, the new People’s Assembly movement, our sister party Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall, refugees from Labour and the Lib Dems and, yes, refugees from Respect and the SWP, too.
Following an original post – The Wonderful Chaos that is English Regionalism – here is a quick look at some recent developments.
Yorkshire – After a promising start the Yorkshire Independence campaign (pro-devolution in reality) appears to have died a silent death. On the other hand a new Yorkshire Devolution Movement has sprung up and recuperated some of the former members of YI. YDM have produced a new blog, facebook page and twitter account that are all in need of a little tidying up but still seem promising.
I was very interested to read your response to my piece on the North of England, and to get a Cornish take on the issues I raised. One of my main concerns in writing the piece was nationhood: what is a nation, what privileges does nationhood bring (even without a state), how does the perception that Scotland is a nation and Yorkshire, with much the same population, isn’t, affect the way the two are viewed and treated within the polity of the UK? Everybody seems to agree that Scotland is a nation in some sense(whether or not they think it should remain in the UK), and nobody – not even the most rabid Yorkshireman – seems to think that Yorkshire is (although as I argued, if you go back a thousand years or so it easily could have been). Much the same could be said of Northumbria, Wessex and Mercia. So what is it, other than historical accident, that makes a nation a nation?
As a footnote. A new Republican Party of Great Britain has been launched but they seem of little interest to Cornish campaigners. Their idea of devolution is to a massive South England region.
In the English local elections even it was gratifying to see the Lib Dems get righteously stuffed – just deserts for their two-faced behaviour some might say – this was largely to the benefit of Labour and the Tories. It’s a shame fourth parties couldn’t have made more of this opportunity. Congratulations must got to the Greens in Brighton for coming in as the biggest group on the council but we need this repeated on mass across England. Equally why are there so many minor left-wing parties and groups who seem more interested in fighting amongst themselves over ideological issues than coming together to form a relevant force on the left of Labour?