This post serves as a postscript to today’s earlier post.
In her speech today, Theresa May said this:
“As the Government serving the whole United Kingdom, formed in a Parliament drawn from the whole United Kingdom, the UK Government exercises a responsibility on behalf of the whole UK that transcends party politics and encompasses all aspects of our national life”.
This ‘party-politics-transcending’ government, she said, will replace the ‘out of date’ 1998 Scotland settlement with a new one which will take account of the UK government’s need to direct and and regulate presently devolved areas such as farming subsidies and fishing policy.
In truth, here is the present UK government which, for the English Tories, transcends politics. It is made up of 135 Tory ministers (including whips) as follows:
England MPs and peers in spending government departments or serving as whips: 129
Wales MPs and peers in spending government departments or serving as whips: 1.5 (one part-time)
Scotland MPs and peers in spending government departments or serving as whips: 0
Northern Ireland MPs and peers in spending government departments or serving as whips: 0
Additionally, there are the legal-necessities of the Scotland and Wales offices. To understand how irrelevant these non-spending departments are to the UK government, it’s worth looking at this handy 2015 graphic. Spending departments spend many billions, whereas the combined Wales and Scotland office budget is smaller than cost of two two large secondary schools and this money is spent entirely on funding/staffing the physical offices themselves. These departments ’employ’ 3.5 (one shared) Wales and Scotland MPs and peers, whose sole function is to appear on radio and television justifying Tory policy outside England.
Oh, and Annabelle Goldie is an unpaid whip in the Lords from time to time. So, you know, good for her.
So if you’re still a unionist and not a Tory, ask yourself if you think that this UK government is:
A. A party-politics-transcending-government out to govern the UK in all our interests.
B. A Greater England government consisting entirely of England politicians reflecting the right-wing imperatives of the collective England electorate, out to force their neoliberal agenda onto all the non-England parts of the UK so as to change them forever to reflect England’s values and priorities.
If there’s even a part of you which thinks B, then please consider voting Yes to independence when the time comes.
[Postscript – This article has been amended to make it clear that it is about the politics of England dominating the whole UK, and not about people who identify as English. So, for example, there are politicians who may identify as being Scottish but who sit in parliament for English constituencies. Since this article is about the way constituents in England is all that matters to UK government ministers, such people are clearly politicians of England. It may seem clumsy, but for now the policy of FromnotoYes.Scot is to refer to England politicians, Scotland politicians, and so on]