Friday, March 10, 2006

No English self-determination here

If unelected Lord Falconer thinks identity cards "should be compulsory", why is he unable to see a case for an English Parliament "not today, not tomorrow"?

Would he change his mind if Labour had fewer Welsh and Scottish MPs?

7 comments:

DV said...

Snafu,

Any reason why ATW is not on your links :-(

Snafu said...

DV I'll correct that now. I added "A Very British Dude" to the links and must have over-written it in error!

Sorry

Lone Primate said...

I feel that England, like the other... I'll say "provinces", for lack of a better word... of the UK ought to have its own parliament; one that looks after local issues of education, taxation, health, and the like. I don't think it's wise to take it too far and lose sight of the national interest, though. Westminster ought to be preserved and ought to have a role in those areas where only a federal body can properly act: defense, foreign affairs, currency, certain national health and educational standards, weights and measures, labour and primary industries, that kind of thing. What I mean is, you shouldn't throw the British baby out with the SNP-in-English-affairs bathwater.

Snafu said...

"certain national health and educational standards"!?! Scotland has devolved power of it's own NHS and educational standards!

Westminster seems quite keen on giving up Sterling! Could we ever find ourselves in a position where Wales and Scotland have adopted the Euro and England retains Sterling!?!

Lone Primate said...

Westminster seems quite keen on giving up Sterling! Could we ever find ourselves in a position where Wales and Scotland have adopted the Euro and England retains Sterling!?!

That would be interesting. I know the SNP favours the adoption of the euro, should Scotland go its own way. But would you be surprised? SHOULD you be surprised? After all, from what I'm told, English (aka British) pounds are good anywhere in the UK. But "Scottish" and "Northern Irish" pounds are just little bits of wallpaper outside their bounds. It already looks to me like there's a double standard, so really, what difference would it make -- except that in so doing, Scotland would suddenly have a currency they could spend just about anywhere in Europe, instead of just north of Hadrian's Wall.

Frankly, I don't see the point in maintaining the pound anyway; not with the relative equality of Britain, France, and Germany, and the nature of the UK's trade relationships. The mark was a stronger currency, with a long, stable history. If the Germans (of all people) weren't too proud and arrogant to see the back of it, I don't see where Britain's got a better claim. You guys are just letting everyone else do the heavy lifting, and then you'll pick up a bucket and cross the bridge once the work's all done. And you know it.

Snafu said...

Lone Primate,

A nation's currency is so much more than just pieces of paper! Controlling your own currency means having one additional lever of control over the economy through interest rates. Germany and Italy are already struggling as the common Euro interest rate is not suitable for either country. Being able to save a few pounds on commission is insignificant compared to the costs involved. The current set up suits me well, the UK has retained sterling and control of it's economy whilst it is easier to trade with the rest of Europe.

There is no fallback on the Euro, how do you reverse entry if it is not appropriate at some future date? Scottish notes are legal tender in England, I don't think Northern Irish notes are!

Lone Primate said...

Germany and Italy are already struggling as the common Euro interest rate is not suitable for either country.

How is this in any principle different from UK interest rates favouring London and not, say, Edinburgh? Or US interest rates favouring importers in Los Angeles and not exporters in Texas? A sorry excuse. Get on with building Europe. The world needs a strong counter-balance to the US and the rising influence of China.

Scottish notes are legal tender in England, I don't think Northern Irish notes are!

Well, that's just silly. How in the world do you call "Northern Ireland" part of your country? A Greek can spend his money in Paris, but a "Briton" from Belfast can't spend his money in Manchester? That's absurd.