Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our members and supporters.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Supersized Unitary Authorities

Following the overwhelming 'NO' from the people of the North-East in the referendum on elected Regional Assemblies, the government promised to abandon the idea. They nevertheless continued to install them and even appointed a minister to each. But they have, for once fulfilled their promise and, as of yesterdayay, the S.E. Regional Assembly was dissolved. Good news? Far from it. As 'part of their plans to streamline regional working arrangements, its Sub-National Review', from today there will be a new S.E. Partnership Board. This will have planning, housing, transport responsibilites, and will ensure that Brussels is kept informed about the the regions' interest. This is no change except by name, it is an unelected body. More ominously, while there are many distractions, the government has announced that 44 English district and county councils will be replaced by 7, ( although 9 were also reported), 'supersized' authorites. I am hoping, being April 1st, it's a joke, but I fear not. We are on our way to the break- up of England into 9 EU Regions.
Nationalism seems to be given more space in the media this week ,even if it is swamped with international summit news. Bojo has decided that London will have not only a St. George's Day, but a St. George's week. At last he has found something to give the English a boost. Meanwhile the Plaid Cymru has joined the party season and their leader has raised the issue of Wales having a more powerful Assembly. He has also criticised Westminster for bailing out the financial institutions instead of targeting 'real' industries and jobs. To add to the nationalism fervour, Holyrood MSP's have attended the Welsh meeting and have voiced the view that both Scotland and Wales can become full nation states. But apart from some rather spasmodic celebrations of St. George's Day throughout England, ( not helped by the heads of the government's refusal to recognise England as a nation), no mention of England's representatives looking after English interests. Because we don't have any representation by an English Nationalist Party, why not? Finally, a petition to No10 asking for the signatories to the Scottish claim of Right to renounce their their pledge that the interests of the Scottish people shall be paramount has been turned down. It finishes, after a lot of blather, with -
'There is no question of any participant in the Scottish Constitutional Convention, whether or not they are now a member of the Government, having a conflict of interest.'
And we all beleive what the politicians tell us, don't we?

Friday, 3 April 2009

EU Regions

Although the planned break-up of England by Brussels into 9 Regions is not usually discussed as an issue alongside that of an English Parliament, it is nevertheless very pertinent.
The announcement on April 1st about the S.E. of England Regional Assembly being dissolved was not the good news it should have been. It was replaced with the S.E.E Partnership Board. At the same time, the government replaced 44 District and County Councils with 7 'supersized' or Unitary Authorities. However the governments spins this announcement, it is nothing less than a thinly disguised move towards the previously planned 9 Regional Assemblies, which are as the EU wants England to be. If this continues, our hopes for an English Parliament will be ended.

Monday, 7 April 2008

CEP stands up for English university students

Press Release: CEP stands up for English university students while the NUS lets them down

The CEP carries on with its opposition to the Government’s policy of discrimination against English university students.

The Campaign for an English Parliamen has deplored the decision of the National Union of Students last week to end its opposition to the tuition and top-up fees which are being imposed upon English university students.

‘We want every English student to know’, stated Mrs Scilla Cullen, Chairman of the CEP, ‘that the Campaign for an English Parliament will not stop campaigning against the fees New Labour has inflicted on English students while sparing Scottish and Welsh students. English students are being hit with immense debts while Scottish students are not.

In England university students have to pay £3145 each year of their university life. Students loans then have to be repaid at 4.8% interest rates after graduation.
Welsh students don’t have anything like the fee burden English students have.Their fees are only £1255 pa.’

However, in Scotland university students have no fees to pay. What’s more, the Scottish parliament has also made grants up to £2510 available to Scottish students coming from families on low incomes, which are not available in England. To make the discrimination even worse English students at Scottish have to pay their fees, while EU students do not; and Scottish students, and indeed Isle of Man students, at English unviersities pay no fees. What is quite grotesque about the whole situation is that, at the same time as the Scottish Parliament was legislatiing to relieve its students of fees, the vote in the UK Parliament to impose top-up fees on English students was carried only by the Scottish MPs in Westminister voting for them to give New Labour its majority in the vote in the House.The majority of English MPs voted against them.

‘The only way forward out of this discrimination’ says Mrs Cullen, ‘is for England to have its own parliament just as Scotland has. The UK government is just seeing England, which provides 85% of its whole tax revenue, as a milch cow from which Scotland and Wales benefit at the expense of the people of England. All the MPs who have imposed these fees upon English students got their university education completely free. The injustice to England is grotesque; and it is time that of the 660 Westminster MPs the 550 who are English start to stand up for their country. England should matter as much to them as Scotland does to the Scottish MPs both at Westminster and Edinburgh. They should stand up for their constituents. I can assure English students that is what an English Parliament will do.’

All students are invited to the CEP National Conference taking place at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn London on Saturday April 26th from 10:30 to 4:30. It is free and open to everyone.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

The Regions

Having recently moved house, I decided to find out what (unabolished) Regional Assembly was appropriate for my new address in Licolnshire. So I tried the East Midlands R.A who directed me to the Yorkshire & Humber Assembly. Note, not Regional Assembly, just Assembly. Is that significant? I was also told that my representative there was the Leader of the Scunthorpe Council. It covers an area '..from Sheffield to Whitby; Hull to Huddersfield; pop. over 5m and about equal in size to Scotland. Definitely significant! Their website blossoms with self-praise of course, but just to pick a couple of bits out -
Office in Brussels funded by the Yorkshire Forward R.D.A, - where does it get its money from?
The Assembly gets £2.50 per week from from every taxpayer - as an unelected body, on what authority?
etc, etc.
Apart from the fact that Brown has 'promised' to abolish Assemblies by 2010, he has appointed Ministers for the Regions and continues to surreptitiously fragment England into the 9 Regions on the grounds that this will bring government closer to the people. So if I want planning permission for something in Scunthorpe, instead of it being dealt with by my local council, it will be decided on in Wakefield by councillors, (and others?), from as far away as Whitby or Sheffield.
Is that bringing government closer to the people?