The Tories Won In England But Lost In Britain
The general election few up a few issues which should encourage all English nationalists with hope for the future. The Tories may have failed to secure a majority in Britain, but they have a huge mandate from the English electorate. You may or may not be a Tory supporter, but they have two manifesto commitments which we should embrace.
The first is reforming the Barnett Formula. This has become a thorny issue since devolution where the Scots boast of the extra money they get to spend on education, health and other such necessities, while the poor old English have to do without themselves. Not only that, we have to pay for it!
The second is English Votes on English Laws (EVELs). The present Tory proposal would still allow non-English constituency MPs to be involved in English matters, but the fact that they recognise the problem is a start. While people may consider EVELs as a not very satisfactory solution, it highlights the issue. OK, it’s not a full-blown English parliament as many would like, but with some proper adjustment to the Tory idea we can have, in effect, an English parliament.
If the Tories decide to run a minority government, David Cameron is going to have to do something about allowing non-English MPs voting on English-only business, a majority of the Tory manifesto. If he is able to get EVELs through the Commons, he will be able to use the mandate given to his party by the English electorate. It is in his and his party’s interests to ensure EVELs works properly otherwise he will leave himself open to having his Bills voted down by the Opposition.
We have to hope that out of the three parties involved in forming the next government, the Tories are involved in this process because, like it or not, they out of the three offer a partial solution to our problems. We may in the near future see the Barnett Formula reformed, and the first steps taken towards English self-government.
Let’s hope David Cameron uses the mandate given to him by the English wisely.