FROM UKIP’S DEPUTY LEADER Why should England foot Scotland’s bills?
BRADLEY – or should I say Chelsea – Manning faces 35 years in jail for leaking US government documents to Wikileaks.
The Americans are right locking him up. He’s not a whistleblower – he’s a traitor.
He signed up to serve his country as a soldier, then released files on the net which put the US at great risk.
The former CIA operative and now fugitive Edward Snowden is cut from the same cloth.
These people are trying to secure five minutes of fame for stabbing their own nations in the back and endangering lives.
And then we have Wikileaks head honcho Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as he won’t return to Sweden to face sex offence charges.
I don’t care what our security services get up to in order to keep us safe.
The clue is in the name “security” – and it’s our security. It’s also meant to be secret. LAST week I was on a break in the Med and my holiday read was
by Simon Jenkins – which is brilliant.
It charts the history of England – from the Roman retreat in the 5th century and ending with the creation of today’s coalition government.
It deals with all the greats such as Elizabeth I, Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill, and history’s villains including King John, Richard III and Tony Blair.
Although the book made me feel proud to be English, it brought home just how brutal and unnecessary the wars between England and Scotland had been down the centuries.
Fighting only really stopped with the Act of Union in 1707 and since then the two nations have lived in almost constant peace.
This Union is under threat – but not from the quarter most people think. Forget the SNP and Alex Salmond, and forget the Scottish Independence referendum.
There’s more chance of finding Shergar alive on Mars than the Scottish voting for independence.
The Union is threatened by the English, who increasingly feel they get a raw deal from being in the Union, especially since the Millennium.
This is because when Labour came to power in 1997 they were committed to devolving the UK and as with everything, they botched it.
Influenced by Mel Gibson and his movie Braveheart, Labour rushed though the devolution settlement without any thought for the English.
This has left the English taxpayer subsidising Scotland to the tune of £35 billion every year.
So while the Scots can afford to have free prescriptions and free hospital car parking, the English have to cough up. The Scots also send their kids
to university for free when the English are charged £9,000 for each year.
But it’s not just the issue of money – it’s democracy, too.
The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish all have their own parliaments or assemblies while the English have nothing.
This means that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs can vote on English issues, but English MPs can’t return the favour when dealing with issues that have been devolved.
It’s grossly unfair and polls are now showing the majority of English folk would like to see the creation of an English Parliament – like that of the Scots – to correct the problem. And I agree with them. More worryingly, recent polls show 40 per cent of the English now want to see the Scots go it alone. This figure is growing and would mean the end of the Union.
What’s clear is that the system of devolution – devised by Blair’s government – isn’t working.
It has left the English footing the bill for Celtic fringe and left the English unrepresented without a parliament.
Things will have to change or English resentment will reach boiling point.