Once again the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation has lived down to its anti-English reputation.
One of the questions on this week’s episode [11th/12th April] of “Any Questions?” recorded in Chard, Somerset was: “Will a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming Scottish referendum be the only way England could get its own parliament?”
Had this programme been staged in Scotland, there is little doubt that the panel would have been almost entirely if not entirely composed of Scots. Even in England the panel will often include a Scot; it did, Liam Fox Conservative MP for Somerset North! Why oh why do voters in England elect such unrepresentative folk!
Of course Fox peddled the usual Tory obfuscation about ‘only English MPs voting on English matters’! Does he regard himself as English? Of course not as listeners to the programme can confirm. So, what he, a Scot, meant was ‘only MPs from ENGLAND should vote on English matters’! It is by using such ambiguities that Scots have succeeded in exploiting the British political system to minimise if not eliminate representation of England’s interests.
During this programme we learned that Norman Lamb, Lib Dem MP for Norfolk North, is half-Scottish! He kept that quite didn’t he! Apparently his political position is dictated by his Scottish mother who “desperately hopes that we remain as a United kingdom”. Yes, you’ve guessed it . . . he wants more power devolved to the regions, no national parliament for England from him! Surprise, surprise!
We also learned that Baroness Royall, one of Neil Kinnock’s former gofers, doesn’t know what is the population of Scotland . . . “three or four million?”. What is more, Chairman Jonathan Dimbleby didn’t know either! Talk about informed debate, but what does it reveal about some former lackey peers? Being a true Labour apparachik, Janet Royall “doesn’t want to see the break up of the UK” and favours Labour’s unpopular ‘regional assemblies being inflicted on England without a national referendum such as the six or more enjoyed by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland! No surprises here then!
Baroness Royall, one of Neil Kinnock’s cronies
The one welcome note, surprisingly enough, was struck by Elfin Llwd, Plaid Cymru MP for Dwfor Merionnydd who declared that “I think that the English should be heard!” Mind you, he omitted to specify whether that should be by way of a referendum. He also said: “I think there is an increasing appetite for an English Parliament and I, as a proud Welshman, will do everything I can to assist you in getting it.” Unsurprisingly, Dimbleby did not want the audience to dwell too long on that though, so proceeded to ask Liam Fox what he thought.
The answer which no one gave is: “No, it is not the only way because a referendum or plebiscite of England’s voters could be held about this matter.”
In summary, the topic was dealt with in the usual anti-English way whereby the English nation was to be denied a referendum and offered a pig-in-a-poke which not only excludes a separate national parliament but also excludes the separate Executive and bill drafting facilities which would accompany it.
The footnote to this matter was its total exclusion from “Any Answers?” as a subject of listener reaction lest the idea of a national parliament for England is spread further. So much for the BBC’s practice of impartiality, fairness and balance with over 84% of the UK’s citizens being marginalised and treated less favourably by the British Parliament and its agents..