FROM UKIP’S DEPUTY LEADER Why should Eng­land foot Scot­land’s bills?

STRAIGHT TALK­ING

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

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.

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