Friday, 8 June 2012

Ed Miliband wants to talk about England … but continues to ignore Cornwall

In the same week as the Jubilee barge Gloriana (below) proudly flew the Cornish flag alongside the national flags of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Labour’s Ed Miliband delivered a speech on identity.

He spoke out against Scottish independence and stated that Labour “should not be afraid to talk about England’s national identity.” But unlike Gloriana, he continued Labour’s tradition of ignoring Cornwall.

Some his statements were as follows:

“Now more than ever, as we make the case for the United Kingdom throughout the United Kingdom, we must talk about England."

“In Scotland, the narrow nationalists of the SNP pose a false choice. They ask: are you Scottish or British? I say you can be both. And here in England there are people like Jeremy Clarkson who shrug their shoulders at the prospect of the break-up of the Union.” [Clarkson apparently said the break-up the Union “would be as sad as waving goodbye to a much loved, if slightly violent, family pet.”]

“It’s a mistake wherever you find it. Having to say: Scottish or British, Welsh or British, English or British. I don't accept any of that. It’s always a false choice.”

He also spoke out against the possibility of a English Parliament, stating: “I don't detect the demand that there was in Scotland, for a Scottish Parliament, in England. I don't feel that. I feel like people want an appreciation and a recognition of English identity.”

I would remind Ed Miliband that it was a Labour Government that failed to engender a truly mature, respectful and wide-ranging debate about the future of the United Kingdom after the creation of the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.

It was Labour that disgracefully ignored the demand from 50,000 declarations calling for a Cornish Assembly and then destroyed local government in Cornwall by imposing a unitary authority on us.

Mr Miliband, there is a need for the London-based parties to address the unequal constitutional relationships between the various nations and regions of the UK, and to tackle the centralising influence of London and the South East of England.

But that is not just about England and Scotland. It is also about Cornwall. Mr Miliband, will you join with me to make the case for the meaningful devolution of political powers to Cornwall?

1 comment:

lionel said...

in all honesty, just like every Labour politician, The Labour party is all he cares about.