Welsh Conservative Councillors View of England Having Own Parliament
Welsh councillor René Kinzett’s http://www.renekinzett.com/2010/02/in-defence-of-union.html response to a blog by Andrew Gwynne Labour MPhttp://thinkpolitics.co.uk/andrewgwynne/?p=54
In defence of the Union
There was an interesting debate on the Union over on Andrew Gwynne’s blog earlier tonight. Andrew is a decent Labour MP (yes, there are quite a few!) who writes an honest and thoughtful account of himself and his views both on the blog and via twitter.
The Union being debated was not the kind that boilermakers and railwaymen join (before the humourless Labourites pounce on me here, I am joking! I myself am and have been a Trade Union member throughout my working life), but the far greater Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It didn’t really surprise me when I saw that Andrew Gwynne had launched a full-on defence of the Union on his blog under the equally unsurprising but somewhat provoking title “For England & St George!” This call to arms from the Labourite was not welcomed by the forces of “Little England”, those opposed to Great Britain and the political Union of the United Kingdom. For the English Parliamentarians clarion cry was not for England, England but rather for why England should remain proud of its position within the UK.
I, for one, agree. The fact that I, a liberal Conservative Parliamentary Candidate (a “Liberal Unionist” as Mr Worthing rather nervously described himself to the stern Lady Bracknell in Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest”) in agreement with a centrist Labour MP on this vital constitutional question shows how vital this issue is.
I also write as one who chose to make Wales my home back in 1994. I am English, but Welsh in so many of my outlooks these days. I am proud that my father’s father was a coalminer in Wales and fought at Dunkirk and during the D-Day landings under the badges of Welsh regiments. I am a local councillor and now a Parliamentary Candidate within Wales and hope to be representing a Welsh constituency after the general election. I remain as committed to Wales remaining a part of the United Kingdom as I am for England to continue to invest in the importance of maintaining this special bond between the four constituent nations.
The comments left on Andrew Gwynne’s blog from the Little Englanders appeared to be mostly just emotional piffle, more telling of their own view of themselves in the world as about the state of the nation of England. Most English people get on with their lives, are industrious, open and fair minded. They are glad that the Union with Scotland (and the much older coupling with Wales), as well as the continuing importance of Northern Ireland, gives our Sovereign Nation State of the United Kingdom a total far greater than the sum of its parts – whether in terms of economic prosperity, international significance, a proud military tradition and a diverse cultural mix.
England, by far the most populous nation in the UK, is secure both in its own existence and its role in the family of nations in the British Isles. Due to its size, it does not need the special recognition afforded to both Wales and Scotland, with their (albeit diminished) existence at the Cabinet table. England feels no real need to adopt “regional assemblies” and there is no popular movement for any form of English Parliament. The self-confidence and strength of the English nation is shown through its rejection of petty nationalism and tribal delinquency. England is a mature nation, having decided long ago to move beyond its borders and create a Great Britain and a United Kingdom.
The success of the UK as a collection of uniquely individual and often competing (not just on the sports field) nations is a wonder to behold, especially given the sad experiences in other parts of the globe when experiments to hold nations together within a sovereign state collapse into anarchy and warfare. That is the key with the United Kingdom. Whilst its creation at times owed more to the sword than the ballot box, it is the consent of the peoples of these islands that holds the Union together now and in the future.
One response to him from comments
England certainly ‘feels no need to adopt ‘regional assemblies”, as you say, Rene, but regionalisation is, sadly, the ‘settled will’ of the Labour party as far as England is concerned. The charade of regional committees of MPs will no doubt continue if Labour stays in power. The Labour party does not believe in democracy. Do you?
I’m sorry you had a swipe at ‘Little Englanders’ and ‘petty nationalism’. You will know that the term goes back to the last quarter of the 19th century when it was used to describe those (mainly Liberal) MPs who opposed the expansion of the British empire – and the term even included one Welshman, possibly the greatest Welshman ever, David Lloyd George.
The alternative to Little England is Greater England and as you live in Wales you will appreciate that Wales is part of the English empire in Britain. Neither Edward 1 nor Henry VIII offered the Welsh a referendum on their incorporation into the British state. TheIrish had no choice either. There was certainly a parliamentary agreement between England and Scotland in 1707 but it was opposed by many people northa and south of the border.
There is nothing ‘petty’ about Welsh, Scottish or English nationalism, except to a Greater Englander. Each of the British nations is entitled to be proud of its national heritage. Each remains a people and this includes the ‘mature’ English. Each is entitled, if it wishes, to leave the Union (Article 1, International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, 1976). The consent of the people to the continuance of the Union has never been given and has never been tested. It is not satisfactory, post 1998, to say that the people have voted for Unionist parties. They each have the ‘sovereign right to determine the form of government that best suits their needs’ (Claim of Right for Scotland 1985).
If you believed in democracy you would let the people decide – and that could strengthen the Union. Or are you afraid they would vote for independence?
Why call us little Englanders, this is just spiteful and inciting harsh responses. There is nothing wrong with being a Nationalist, I would class myself as an English Civic Nationalist, does this make me a bad person because I love my country? No it does not.
Rene Kinzett himself moved to Wales in the early 90s so why persecute the English he was born here too.
In reference to Andrew Gwynne’s Blog it is good and has good comments, worth a read and worth a comment.
Posted on February 9, 2010, in CEP, england, English, parliament, scotland, St george, twat of the week, union, wales and tagged CEP, English, parliament, St george, union. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.