...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Day 2008: Best of British


As the news comes in today that another GIANT ASTEROID has narrowly missed scoring the literally ultimate World Cup Goal, Mr Balloon rushes out an announcement that the Conservatories will change the rules so that if it is going to hit ENGLAND then only ENGLISH MP's can vote on it!

(If it hits Scotland that is the Scottish Parliament's problem!)

This is, I am SAD to say, a bit typical of the Conservatories attitude of DEFEATISM and RETREAT. Rather than trying to make things better, they just want to QUIT, whether it is the European Union or the Human Rights or now even the United Kingdom!

It also bears the hallmarks of Mr Balloon's "policy" making process:

Step one: oh corks, I need a policy

Step two: I say, what a jolly band wagon going past

Step three: say first thing that comes into head

Step four: erm ...

Then have Mr Gove / Mr Eddy / Head Boy George row back quickly, explaining that full policy detail will arrive later when Ken / Zak / Oily / Zarbi Supremo complete report from whichever commission / think-tank / junket / children's party they have been put in charge of.

Still, the time he saves by not THINKING can be well spent being Britain's top party crashers guests.

Mr Alan Dunk'n, normally Trade and Industry spokesperson but today tasked with covering Mr Balloon's back, said:

"I'm beginning to think it is almost impossible now to have a Scottish prime minister because they would be at odds with the basic construction of the British constitution,"

Well, ACTUALLY it is almost impossible for the Conservatories to have a Scottish Prime Minister because they have ALMOST NO Scottish MPs!

(It does not seem very likely that the Conservatories will be getting any more MPs from Scotland if they keep on saying that Scottish MPs are SECOND CLASS!)

Some people have thought that this was an attack on Mr Frown, but that is SILLY, because everyone knows that Mr Frown is ENGLISH now!

(Actually, this kind of thing is a consequence of Lord Blairimort making the Prime Minister's job much more PRESIDENTIAL – and consequentially, making elections much more about who is up for the TOP JOB rather than their party and what they stand for. Odd, that, you would think, what with all the proud and noble things Lord Blairimort's party stands for… er…)

It would be INTERESTING to hear what Mr Alan thinks IS the basic construction of the British Constitution.

I think that the basis of a constitution should be how a PARLIAMENT represents all of the people all of the time and does not leave some of the people more represented than others.

The REAL problem for the Conservatories, of course, is that – after Bromley – they are beginning to think that it is almost impossible to have a MR BALLOON Prime Minister of the United Kingdom!

So facing DEFEAT, they choose to RETREAT.

Rather than go out to the people of Scotland and Wales (and the north of England, and the West of England) as the Liberal Democrats have done, clever Mr B comes up with a whizzo scam – he's going to try and convince the people who WILL listen to him (that would be the RICH people in the South East of England) that somehow they are being CHEATED.

They are already putting it about that in England, the Conservatories won more votes than the Labour. This is neither here nor there: the Conservatories say that there is nothing wrong with the First Pass the Port voting system and on that basis the Labour STILL won more SEATS in England – another example of Mr Balloon trying to have it both ways!

Or, as Daddy Alex points out, what Mr Balloon really means is: "Whine, whine, whine. It's not fair!"

In fact, I am only surprised that we have not heard Mr Balloon announce:

"well, Bromley is not really in London it is in Kent, so the voters there should not get to vote on who comes to Parliament in London!"

So what is wrong with Mr Balloon's back-of-a-fag-packet proposals?

Firstly, it is CONFUSING.

The Parliament at Westminster is elected to govern the WHOLE of the United Kingdom. Mr Balloon is trying to get it to do two jobs at once (maybe "three-jobs-Bob" is his new advisor!) and there may be a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. What happens if MPs for English constituencies start putting the interests of England ahead of their duty as MPs for Britain?

Also, powers of government in the UK are DEVOLVED, not FEDERAL – the Parliament in Edinburgh and the Assembly in Wales do not have EQUAL powers to Westminster but instead are SUBSIDIARY to it. E.g. Scotland can only vary their tax rate up and down a bit, but not decide to have a completely different tax system of their own. English MPs still get to control Scottish taxes when they vote on the Finance Act every year. It is not true to say that tuition fees laws only affect England and Wales, as they force the Scottish Parliament to do loop the loops of its own to work around them.

It is by no means CLEAR CUT which bills are "English Only" – is it "English Only" when Parliament debates the Portsmouth Navel Docks? Or shipbuilding in Cumbria (not on the Clyde). Is it "English Only" when Parliament debates building atomic reactors? What if wants to build them in Gretna Green?

You could get around this by making a SEPARATE parliament for ENGLAND in the same way that there is a parliament for SCOTLAND. BUT, this means a whole EXTRA bunch of politicians and no one in England wants it anyway!

The second problem for Mr Balloon is SIZE.

England may comprise 53% of the LAND of the United Kingdom, but it contains 84% of the PEOPLE of the United Kingdom. This is a very UNEQUAL relationship and is the source of most of the problems!

For ever such a long time, this meant that the England-dominated Westminster Parliament told the people in Scotland and Wales what to do, and the people in Scotland and Wales felt that Westminster did not listen to them.

Mr Balloon wants to re-create this situation, only this time with the roles of Scotland and Wales played by the North of England and the West of England (where COINCIDENTALLY he gets NO VOTES).

So what Mr Balloon OUGHT to do is divide England up into eight to ten bits each about the same size (in population) as Scotland. Call them the Kingdom of Cornwall, the Empire of Yorkshire, the Grand Duchy of Chester, Middle England-land, England-on-Sea, Gymkhana-land, London and Anglia. Newcastle and Sunderland can fight a war over what to call their corner up at the top. Give each of them a parliament.

The problem this time is that it is a whole EXTRA bunch of politicians AGAIN and no one in England wants it anyway only more so! Though to be fair, that IS because the Minister for Magical Accidents came up with the WORST POSSIBLE "regional government" – i.e. a giant QUANGO – for the people of the North-East to vote on, so OBVIOUSLY they said no to THAT!

This leaves Mr Balloon's last solution: abolish all the Scottish and Welsh MPs so that the Westminster Parliament is just for England. Then Mr Balloon can be Prime Minister of what is left. You could not call it Great Britain any more; you would have to call it something like Littler Britain.

So Mr Balloon can be Prime Minister of Littler Britain.

Problem: job may already be taken!

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