Wednesday, 22 November 2017


From The Liberty Wall – St. George’s Committee Debate (6) – Self Determination For The English Nation?
READERS with good memories may recall that towards the end of September, Nations without States (NwS) held a debate. The subject was that call by Frank Field (the Labour MP for Birkenhead) for an English Parliament. As strong supporters of self-determination, NwS naturally welcomed this development. You can check it out here: http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-nations-without-states-debate-3-%e2%80%93-an-english-parliament-for-the-english-people
However, Nations without States weren’t the only group who were interested in Frank Field’s call. As may be expected, the St. George’s Committee (SGC) also debated – and found favour – with his comments.

The SGC were particularly interested in the idea of a ‘Common Senate’ which would take the place of the House of Lords. Established on almost Syndicalist lines, it would include experts on both arts and culture. Whilst it would be a UK-wide body – and not exclusively English – it was felt that it could prove useful when promoting English (as opposed to British) arts and culture.

The National Liberal Party has reproduced the SGC article below. However, you can also read it (and take part in the debate) here: https://www.facebook.com/stgeorgescommittee/posts/1566913953351750]
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St. George’s Committee Debate (6) – Self Determination For The English Nation?

AS EVERYONE who visits this page should be aware, the St. George’s Committee (SGC) is an Anglo-centric movement. Our task is to preserve, protect and promote English history, heritage, traditions, identity and culture.

As a general rule the SGC steers clear of politics, despite the fact that there is a very fine line between politics and culture. Indeed, some English Advocates would argue – with some justification – that there is no distinction between politics and culture.

In the past we have touched upon political issues. In particular, we’re interested in any situation which will help us fight Anglophobia – where the establishment seems to portray any pride in England and the English in a wholly negative and derogatory manner.

We’re going to steer into political waters again with this St. George’s Committee Debate. Here we wish to draw attention to a recent article in The Express by Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead. The article – Let us rule our England with an English parliament – is reproduced below. If you want to read it online here’s a link to it:
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/834711/frank-field-english-parliament-constitutional-reform-brexit

The SGC is interested in Frank Field’s article as we feel that any form of Self-Determination for England should help us fight Anglophobia and ‘preserve, protect and promote English history, heritage, traditions, identity and culture.’

We’re also excited about his idea to form a “Common Senate” (in place of the House of Lords) which would include those from ‘the professions, arts and culture, industry, including both employers and trade unions.’ The inclusion of those from the ‘arts and culture’ is a move that will be applauded by the vast majority of thinking English Advocates who’re particularly interested English arts and culture.

However, on saying that, the establishment of a “Common Senate” could be a double-edged sword.

As we mentioned at the start of this debate, the SGC aims to ‘preserve, protect and promote English history, heritage, traditions, identity and culture’. So how do we think about Frank Field’s idea to abolish the House of Lords? Should we not want to defend all institutions?

We’d appreciate any thoughts – good, bad or indifferent – on Frank Field’s idea for an English parliament and the questions that we’ve raised. Simply post your views in the comments section below.

It goes without saying that there are no official links between the St. George’s Committee, Frank Field MP, the Labour Party or The Express.

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Let us rule our England with an English parliament, says Frank Field MP

The task of the St. George’s Committee (SGC) is to preserve, protect and promote English history, heritage, traditions, identity and culture. Would an English Parliament help achieve this?

Establishing an English parliament was the inevitable outcome once the Blair government began to give way to Scottish nationalism.


But just as it took much political heaving to get through the first devolution bill, the passage to establish an English parliament will be further hindered by Brexit fallout.

Politicians are scared of the constitutional changes that were set afoot by Scottish devolution.

They should give up worrying. Brexit will drive reform on the constitutional front, just as it will do through much of public life.
Once the Blair government began the process of devolution, particularly to Scotland, but also to Wales and Northern Ireland, we faced what was called the “West Lothian Question”.

The then MP for West Lothian, the late Tam Dalyell, posed the question thus: should MPs from Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland be able to vote on matters which affect only England? Politicians have since sought to answer Tam’s question but with little success.

What has not been posed is a new question, but here it is: Isn’t the answer to the West Lothian question to establish an English parliament? The only rational conversation I had with Gordon Brown was when he questioned if I genuinely believed in an English parliament. I replied that I did.

“But how do you get over the size?” Gordon enquired. “England is so dominant that it makes devolution for England impossible.”
It is the size of England that makes devolution more, not less, important. But England’s size does put a price on success.

England, yet again, needs to be generous in establishing the new constitutional order.

There’s no problem with establishing an English parliament. The House of Commons as we know it today would be abolished. In its place would be the election of MPs to an English parliament that would sit in the House of Commons.

The English Parliament would therefore be on a par with parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A second move would be to abolish the House of Lords. We have a bigger second chamber than China, although our population of 65 million is dwarfed by China’s 1.3 billion.

In place of the Lords should be a “Common Senate” to which the Northern Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English parliaments would send legislation for scrutiny, just as now with the Commons sending its legislation to the Lords.

The Senate should be elected, but not by giving party whips the chance to stack it full again with their candidates who failed to get elected to the Commons. Elections there will be but the establishment of the Senate will reflect those great organisations – the professions, arts and culture, industry, including both employers and trade unions – which would get to elect one or two senators for a fixed term of 10 years.

Likewise, there would be elections of another group of senators based on geography.

British representation has always had a strong local basis. Again, these senators would be elected on a regional basis and would serve a 10-year term. The 10-year term would limit the power of any whipping system trying to control the business of the Senate.
Only the feeble-minded who managed to squeeze through the new devolved electoral system would be easy meat for the whips.
The legislation from the English parliament, and those from the other three parliaments, would be considered, revision offered, but the Senate would not have powers of outright rejection.

Sovereign constitutional powers would reside in each of the four UK parliaments.

English senators would have to work with other senators on major pieces of business.

The Senate would decide taxation, foreign affairs and defence, with all three shared between the four UK powers. Division of seats would ensure that English senators would succeed only if they had the support of other countries’ senators.

Election to the English parliament would be on a constituency basis, just as now. This constitutional change would not only empower voters but it would reduce the bill.

The Lords cost taxpayers £108million in 2015-2016. Cut to a third of its size its cost would similarly fall. While the cost would fall, the effectiveness would increase.

It would attract people who head their own sections of public life. Likewise, each senator would know that their term was limited, a move that should increase their sense of value and independence.

• CHECK out our previous debates:

St. George’s Committee Debate (1) – How Do We Promote English History, Heritage, Traditions, Identity & Culture? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-st-george%e2%80%99s-committee-debate-1-%e2%80%93-how-do-we-promote-english-history-heritage-traditions-identity-culture
St. George’s Committee Debate (2) – Why Does The Establishment Hate The English? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-st-george%e2%80%99s-committee-debate-2-%e2%80%93-why-does-the-establishment-hate-the-english
St. George’s Committee Debate (3) – Is Anglophobia A Form Of Racism? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-st-george%e2%80%99s-committee-debate-3-%e2%80%93-is-anglophobia-a-form-of-racism
St. George’s Committee Debate (4) – Can English Culture Survive Under Westminster Rule? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-st-george%e2%80%99s-committee-debate-4-%e2%80%93-can-english-culture-survive-under-westminster-rule
From The Liberty Wall – St George’s Committee Debate (5) – What Dangers Do We Face? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-st-george%e2%80%99s-committee-debate-5-%e2%80%93-what-dangers-do-we-face
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