The various exchanges between the party leaders on Maundy Thursday’s televised debates were like comparing chalk and cheese, cheese and jelly with multiple varying standards being operated!
The most glaring omission was, of course, the absence of a voice to speak expressly for England. This huge deficiency permitted all the participants to comment on England’s affairs. There were numerous references to “our NHS” (which invariably meant NHS England) and to “our country” (which again usually meant England).
In a debate which hinged very much on nationhood, especially for Scotland and Wales, none of the leaders expressly stated what they regard as their own national identity; in other words, they each failed to declare an interest!
Leanne Woods (Plaid Cymru) criticised the (British) Labour Party’s stewardship of NHS Wales, conveniently overlooking the fact that it was a devolved matter for which Welsh Labour was responsible . . . I should care! However, the inconsistent, lop-sided nature of the event was in evidence even if no one perceived it or, if they did, drew attention to it.
Both Leanne and the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon attacked Nigel Farage’s position in respect of immigration and ‘health tourism’! Neither Farage nor Cameron, nor Clegg nor Miliband drew attention to the fact that over 90% of immigrants come to England and that it is ENGLAND which bears the brunt of the explosion of immigration to Britain! Consequently, it is NHS England which is mostly affected by ‘health tourists’ (plus England’s Education system), which is exploited by foreign immigrants.
It was (is) all very well for Mesdames Sturgeon & Woods to sanctimoniously condemn Nigel Farage for his (UKIP’s) position on these matters, but it is not THEIR countries which are affected, not their services which have to bear the cost.
Although it was not remarked upon during the broadcast itself, the presence of these minor-nation party leaders in this programme served to draw attention to their narrow, obsessive self-interest and its exclusive nature.
The extent of this obsessive self-interest was demonstrated on two occasions when at different moments first Leanne Woods and then Nicola Sturgeon made the bizarre proposition that the result of any referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU should be determined not by the majority of all UK votes cast, but by the majority of the ‘national’ ballots in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland! In effect, the 1.2 million voters in Northern Ireland would be treated as being equal to the 2.2 million in Wales, to the 3.9 million in Scotland and to the 37.8 million voters in England!
This would mean that a majority of the 37.8 million voters in England would be trumped by a majority of the 8.3 million voters elsewhere in the UK, but there was not been one syllable uttered by Cameron or Clegg or Miliband or Farage challenging this anti-England tactic!
I repeat: England and her interests are unrepresented in the British political system and those in power intend to keep it that way!