7 comments on “Why Lichfield for the site of an English Parliament

  1. I could argue with you on that one Derek, maybe a bit bias but York the true historical place for our capital.

    • Mike, I am sure that York has a good argument as a place for England’s parliament, but I did think that we might get into a Red or White Rose argument. The beauty of Lichfield is that geographically it is quite central, so neither too far north nor south. Also it does not have any recent associations with divisions between the English as York and Lancaster do.
      However the point of this article is as much to open a discussion about moving the focus of England away from London. I would ultimately be happy with an English Parliament that was anywhere but London.

  2. Hi Derek, I think you know my views on this. The electorate would never support a plan which would lead to another layer of Government, i.e. a further 523 MPs in addition to what we already have. The only realistic way we would get the Electorate to support an English parliament would be to demonstrate that we could reduce the total number of MPs. This could be done by abolishing the Westminster Parliament and replacing it with a parliament with members who represented only English Constituencies. This would result in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs losing their seats and a reduction in MPs of 117. I think this proposal would attract a large amount of support from our fellow English men and Women, and is in my opinion the best way forward.

    • I agree with your sentiment entirely, although actually I believe the number of English MP’s would be less than 523. I think 500 English MPs at the most. The whole point of my article though is that the English Parliament would not be in Westminster but elsewhere, and I prefer Lichfield.

    • A reduction of 114 MP’s is certainly attractive – as is an English Parliament representing the English people in line with the Northern Ireland, Welsh and Scottish National Assemblies that cater just for their countrymen and women. The self-determination of the Scottish people has highlighted very clearly the inequity in the benefits the English receive compared to the Scots who enjoy free higher education, free prescriptions and free care for the elderly.

  3. “The people of England have been forced to bury their identity in the last century for the sake of British unity.”

    I support the idea of an English parliament. I would just like to ask, however – and I’m not trolling – in what tangible way is the British identity created for the sake of ‘unity’ really any different from the core English identity? Reading the history of the UK, it seems clear to me that in the process of modernising the country in the 19th century, Wales and Scotland simply became Anglicised, rather than England becoming Welsh or Scottish. If anything has changed English ‘identity’ it has been immigration from outside Britain, which has made Britishness something more of a civic identity rather than an ethnic one. But that would not be solved by setting up an English parliament in order to distinguish England from Wales, Scotland and N Ireland. I do think it’s worth having an English parliament however, so that journalists stop confusing UK-wide and devolved matters, and so that Welsh MPs etc can’t vote on issues that only affect England.

    • There is no doubt in my mind that England, being the largest country in the British Isles, has tended to dominate the other nations. That has been an obvious bone of contention down the centuries, and whatever the rights or wrongs of any particular historic event, cumulatively it has had an effect.
      During and after the Second World War, as nationalist sentiment increased both in Scotland and Wales, there was a conscious policy by the British state, and the BBC in particular, to replace the common use of England for Britain, with just Britain and British. As a common identity has developed amongst the Welsh and Scottish, so the use of the word England and English was even more curtailed.
      My view is that because of perceived past oppression the English nation has been fed a diet of Britishness, which in an increasingly multi-cultural society is meaningless. There has been and continues to be a conscious attempt on the part of the British establishment to dismiss and diminish the the identity of the majority of people in England. I accept your assertion that immigration has played a significant role in this process but it started long before uncontrolled mass immigration.
      England has been a separate country since 927AD, we need to celebrate that fact and glory in our rich traditions, not bury them under the British imperial banner. As an English Nationalist I believe that the campaign for a separate English parliament helps in reinforcing a distinct national identity. The UK is a dying political identity, and if England is to survive as a separate nation then the English need to disengage themselves from the blind-alley of Britishness.

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