Bp Pete Broadbent - England devolution
Church of England

What role for the Church of England in English devolution?

“Sanity transcends political differences”, tweeted the Bishop of Willesden when it appeared there was some cross-party agreement on the pressing need for English devolution following the Prime Minister’s ‘vow‘ of further devolved powers to the Scottish Parliament. Certainly, it would be a lopsided constitutional settlement which permitted Scottish MPs to vote on legislation which pertained only to England. Until, that is, it dawns upon left-leaning bishops (not to mention one or two vicars) that without the votes of those 40 Scottish Labour MPs (out of a total of 59) it is unlikely that Labour could ever again legislate for England, except in those areas which encompass the United Kingdom as a whole, like defence, national security or foreign affairs. We well remember New Labour establishing foundation hospitals in England, and then imposing tuition fees on English and Welsh students – both with the ready compliance of Scottish MPs whose own constituents would remain immune from the effects of the legislation. This is the crux of the ‘West Lothian Question’, which, hitherto, has been regularly asked but never answered. Indeed, it was once observed that the best answer to the question is to stop asking it.

The curious thing is that the Scottish Parliament already has devolved powers which it has never used – namely, the ability to raise or cut income tax by 3p in the £. Quite why Alex Salmond rails so much against “Tory austerity” whilst possessing the means to usher in greater equality by increasing taxation on the wealthy is unknown. Unless, of course, “Tory bashing” in Scotland is politically preferable to an enhanced conception of social justice which will expose the SNP’s philosophical void.

But if the Scots can already legislate for themselves on health, education, law and order, the environment, social services, housing, local government, tourism, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and some areas of transport (all within the parameters set by the EU), why shouldn’t England?

Or does this question constitute the “ugly baying of little Englanders”? Or is it it only “ugly baying” when it is asked by Ukip? Is it just “ugly” when raised by a Tory?

And what of the thorny question of the Barnett formula? Is it an injustice for the Scots to be subsidised at the expense of the English? Or is the asking of such a question “ugly baying” which ignores Scottish oil and gas revenues? How does one divide the North Sea equitably?

The case for the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland isn’t simply economic: it is cultural, historic, philosophical and religious. It is for that reason that most Christian conservatives and Conservative Christians will be unionist in their politics. Not all, of course, for the church is broad in its politics and theology, and it is made up of individuals whose inner lives are composed of multifaceted notions of self, responsibility, freedom, dignity and commitment. We are concerned with matters of identity, and these are fluid and difficult to define. But Bishop Pete’s plea is for a devolution settlement that will work, and that cannot include the inherent injustice of Scottish MPs voting on matters that do not affect their own constituents. And that necessitates a de facto English Parliament or ‘Grand Committee’, or some other sort of legislative mechanism to ensure democratic justice and constitutional parity for the English.

The Church of England is a national church. Occasionally, bishops and archbishops speak out about “Britishness”, but they tend to be immigrant bishops (one thinks of Nazir-Ali of Rochester and Sentamu of York), whose ephemeral cries of patriotism make a good headline in the Daily Mail, but rarely resonate with their English episcopal brothers. The Archbishop of York often lauds St George’s Day and makes a potent English case. He reminds us perhaps that no other national body is better placed to make the case for democratic justice for England.

For some MPs, Englishness amounts to the working-class solidarity of industry and the values of Old Labour which are disturbed by those who did not abide by socialist rules. For others, Englishness is a vision of a picture postcard village of Tudor cottages surrounded by green-belt land which is forever threatened by city expansion and high levels of immigration. Although few MPs dare mention it, the idea of Englishness is inseparable from a history in which Christianity and the church have played a central role. How this vision of Englishness relates to the contemporary multi-faith and multicultural setting is far from clear.

There is, of course, a whole range of policy issues that emerge from the co-existence of different faiths living close by one another. In the fusion of politics with public religion, two strands are particularly important: first is the practical issue of ensuring that the different groups live together in relative harmony – the problem of what has been called “community cohesion”; second is the related issue of how multiculturalism is connected to the shared identity implied in any concept of Englishness. In both of these strands the question of faith is of paramount importance: for many communities, faith will be the principal focus of identity and will be one of the major factors through which people are identified by others. At the same time, it is important to discern the extent to which Christian virtues are perceived to be central to English identity, and, if so, precisely how they might be constituted.

The issues that emerge from these two strands lead to a number of policy questions: to what extent do all residents, from whatever background, need to subscribe to a minimum set of values? How far, and in what ways, should such values be determined by the Government? Should such values be maximised around a universally imposed system of citizenship to which all have to subscribe? Or should the values required for people to live together in relative tranquillity be reduced to the absolute minimum?

The Church of England does some very fine work on community cohesion, helping disparate peoples to dwell together in peace and harmony. Perhaps we do it best when discussing babies over tea and biscuits, or cricket over warm beer, or, in the case of Bishop Pete, Spurs over lager. We are, in large part, balanced, open-minded and fair. But we do tend to belittle ourselves and our national history, and too readily plead guilty for ancient infractions and ancestral evil over which we have no mastery or direct responsibility. We have indeed been oppressors, but we have been much greater liberators.

Having once honed our own independence from European Christendom, England’s Church is well placed through experience to counsel and guide toward a measured and incremental devolved political settlement for England in the United Kingdom. But let us remember that one person’s “little Englander” is another person’s English patriot; and one person’s “baying” is another person’s fervent passion.

  • Busy Mum

    I fully agree that we belittle our national history and so I am going to share with you a letter I sent very recently to our primary school following receipt of the planned curriculum for my 8 year old, and an assembly extolling the virtues of Nelson Mandela, exhorting the children to be just like him.

    “I refer to the list of ‘contemporary heroes’ selected to ‘inspire’ the children,
    namely, Gandhi, Parks, Romero and Watson. In the light of recent statistics*
    and in the pursuit of ‘equality’, it would be appropriate if at least one of
    these heroes was white/Anglo-Saxon; surely it is high time that we give white
    children some heroes of their own – there are plenty!

    Although I recognise that the Church of England may be hard pushed to find a suitable contemporary home candidate (though the ex-Bishop of Rochester would be a good example of somebody prepared to stand up – Nazir-Ali would fit the
    multi-cultural bill too!), it seems rather humiliating for a Church of England
    school to be required to resort to the Roman Catholic church and is somewhat
    insulting to the existing courageous African Anglican bishops, as well as the
    long line of English bishops who have been prepared to speak out and have suffered for doing so.
    Why does England/the Anglican church alone seem to feel the need to elevate and admire people of every other race and religion above her own? The children will lose all sense of identity and self-worth if they think that it is only other creeds and nations that have produced heroes.

    I find it odd that British children are expected to look to places like El Salvador –
    Latin America is synonymous with corruption – for inspiration when challenging
    injustice and poverty when their own country’s history, leading the world in
    democracy, freedom and prosperity, should be the obvious place to look for the
    answers. If taking a bit of pride in our own history means standing up against
    political correctness, so be it; we would be actively pursuing the virtues we
    are trying to instil into the children and it would be a far more Christian
    method of ‘serving our people’ than resorting to the terror tactics of Nelson Mandela…..”

    • saintmark

      I recognise Gandhi, but who are Parks, Romero and Watson?

      • Busy Mum

        Just realised that somehow my reply to you got posted as a reply to myself!

        ….”Having to ask this question illustrates the point I guess!!Rosa Parks (black American woman who challenged the bus apartheid), Archbishop Romero (RC bishop from El Salvador, assassinated) and Michael Watson (black British boxer, injured in fight with Chris Eubank). I had to research the last two and I daresay the teachers did too – they are very good at following the National Curriculum and if the government deems somebody a hero, well then, they are!”

    • Busy Mum

      Having to ask this question illustrates the point I guess!!
      Rosa Parks (black American woman who challenged the bus apartheid), Archbishop Romero (RC bishop from El Salvador, assassinated) and Michael Watson (black British boxer, injured in fight with Chris Eubank). I had to research the last two and I daresay the teachers did too – they are very good at following the National Curriculum and if the government deems somebody a hero, well then, they are!

      • Oscar Romero is a suitable role model for any child growing up. A fine, brave man, recognised by all Christians as a hero for the faith.
        As for the others, Jack agrees with you.

        • Busy Mum

          I did not say Romero was not a suitable role model but I do wonder how many other faith schools (RC, Muslim, Jewish and indeed Protestant) are so willing to laud representatives of other denominations, to the exclusion of their own? I get the feeling the C of E is unique in this but I would be interested to know if anyone has examples to show that I am wrong.

      • Uncle Brian

        Busy Mum, if you want to lodge an effective complaint against the infiltrators posing as “teachers” who are poisoning your children’s minds, the White Anglo-Saxon bit isn’t going to cut much ice. You need to deploy the fearsome I-word. They are clearly a bunch of satanic, prejudiced Islamophobes. Not a single Muslim on their list! Where is Ayatollah Khomeini, who resolutely stood firm against the horrendous danger of democracy and secularism in Iran? Where
        is Yasser Arafat, who valiantly pocketed billions of dollars on the pretext of combating the Zionist Entity? Where is Osama bin Laden, the only leader so far to have taken the Occupy Wall Street slogan literally? Where is Qutb the Unpronounceable, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood?

        Forget Winston Churchill, George VI, Nobel prize-winning chemists and astronomers. Nobody in the teaching profession wants to know about them lot.

        • Busy Mum

          Thankyou Uncle Brian, but I would be too late; I am already regarded as an Islamophobe at school as I have queried why a CofE school allows their Year 6 pupils to believe that all religions are viable routes to heaven, contrary to Jesus saying that ‘He is THE Way’.

          • Uncle Brian

            They probably hate you even more, though, for (correctly) telling your son that the teacher was wrong to put that apostrophe in “its”. After all, what Jesus said in the Pentateuch isn’t really all that important, compared with the hurt feelings of a semi-literate teacher.

    • SidneyDeane

      What response did you get?

      • Busy Mum

        8 days on and no response yet…..

        • SidneyDeane

          You’ve let 8 days go by without chasing it up?

          • SidneyDeane

            I guess you ARE busy, lol.

          • Busy Mum

            First, I am a truly busy mum…
            Second, schools are very good at conforming to government ticklists and don’t quite know what to do when parents suggest the govt may have got it wrong. I know from many years experience that the letter will be chewed over and the governors/staff will come up with a pc response that doesn’t leave me any the wiser as to who, if any of them, agree with me.
            Third, you need to understand the nature of the beast; in former days, schools were generally run by intelligent and knowledgeable people. Nowadays, the government loves people who know ‘how’ to teach as long as these teachers have no pesky ideas as to ‘what’ to teach. It very hard for children to respect teachers who know less than the pupils. A few recent examples: a student teacher who annotated my child’s reading record with ‘Thankyou for reading so lovely’: a teacher who put a red apostrophe in my 12 year old’s possessive ‘its’,which I had to cross out and reassure my son that he must only apostrophise when meaning ‘it is’: a history teacher who told her A level class that the Bible consisted of the Pentateuch….I could go on.
            And parents are ignorant or careless – or both – of their children being ‘led by the blind’; on asking, I was told that in 11 years, I am the only parent who has ever written in to the primary school, challenging the curriculum at ‘great minds’ level (Eleanor Roosevelt). Even worse, the retiring chairman of governors confessed that she hadn’t really understood much of what I had ever written. (Intentional use of ‘chairman’ for a female!)

          • Beverly

            Busy mum, good luck with your correspondence to your son’s school. I was asked by the Head teacher of my daughters’ High School if I could perhaps send something in at the end of the school year rather than writing every week about various issues I had with the school curriculum! It seems nothing has changed in the 10 years since my children left school.

          • Busy Mum

            Thanks Beverley – good to know I am not the only one! I guess it is even worse now; I withdraw mine from a lot of lessons as teaching is largely subjective with no inconvenient facts allowed to get in the way. An 8 year old nephew of mine in another part of the country has so little faith in what he is taught that he goes home every day and says ‘Miss X said so-and-so; is that true Mum?’ My 8 year old regularly corrects his teacher’s spelling and grammatical errors on the board – he does this very quietly as he doesn’t want the other children to laugh at her.

    • Royinsouthwest

      You are being unfair to Nelson Mandela. He is not regarded as a hero because he was in favour of violence in his youth. Even then he had more in common with the Resistance Movements in Europe during the Second World War than with the Islamic State. Mandela is regarded as a hero for renouncing violence. “There is more joy in heaven …”

      All the individuals you mentioned have qualities that make them worthy of admiration. However, I take your point (even though you came close to ruining it with your reference to “the terror tactics of Nelson Mandela”) that the people on the list seem to have been selected because, with the possible exception of Archbishop Romero who was Hispanic, they were not white. In other words the selection seems to have been a conscious act of racism.

      • Busy Mum

        I have reread my letter and cannot see that I mentioned Islam anywhere, yet alone linking Mandela with the Islamic State.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Come off it. You mentioned “the terror tactics of Nelson Mandela.” I pointed out that even during his violent phase he had more in common with resistance fighters in German occupied Europe than with modern terrorists.

          • Busy Mum

            Terrorism is the preserve of the entire anti-Christ, not just of Islam.
            Mandela should only be discussed in schools if his legacy is weighed in the balance.

  • Busy Mum

    meant to say that the stats I refer to are those showing white working class boys as the lowest-achieving ethnic group

  • bluedog

    A first class post of great importance, Your Grace, which asks a number of pointed questions while making some inconvenient points.

    The matter at hand clearly needs to be resolved at two levels, and firstly there is an overwhelming and pressing need for an equitable constitutional settlement between the four nations of the UK.

    Tony Blair’s partial devolution of the UK was always a bluff and that bluff has been called by the Scottish vote, which has triggered the understandable response from England, ‘What about us?’

    Secondly, in view of the extraordinary demographic changes that have taken place within the UK, but principally England. There may be as you say, a potential need to try and redefine what English means. Without question, the secular ascendancy will see any constitutional devolution of England as an opportunity to dis-establish the CofE. Bishop Pete appears not to have considered this possibility and the attendant risks to his stipend.

    It seems obvious to your communicant that a devolved England should assume responsibility for the CofE, while Wales should take on the Church in Wales. Scotland and NI seem problematic, even though Her Majesty assumes a Presbyterian identity on crossing the Scottish border. Indeed, it is possible that Her Majesty should not accept the Church of Scotland role at all but should profess a Scottish Episcopalian faith in Scotland, while upholding the Church of Ireland in NI. Through this mechanism the Anglican Church could be created as the state church of the United Kingdom, rather than the more narrow definition of the CofE. Devolution could therefore become a positive for Anglican Christianity, to the fury of the Left and its agencies such as the BBC.

    The UK now needs a panel of Founding Fathers and Mothers to consider the way forward. Your communicant nominates Your Grace, Lord Tebbitt, Nigel Farage, Lord Steel and Alex Salmond as eligible members of the panel. The latter on the basis that you should keep your enemies very close.

    • Hi blue dog,

      To add to the panel, we could include religious leaders too?

      • bluedog

        On a risk weighted basis, perhaps, and certainly Justin Welby qualifies. But do we want the Muslims seizing their chance to institutionalise their criminal creed? How to prevent that?

  • jillfromharrow

    Bishop Pete really does know how to give offence, doesn’t he? What with the Prince of Wales’s big ears and Princess Diana’s porcelain qualities, and now the English. Would he have branded the Scottish ‘Yes’ voters ‘ugly baying Little Scotlanders’ I wonder?

    Especially as, living where he does, he knows perfectly well that a lot of English people feel they are being pushed out of their towns by immigrants who have taken over their streets, shops and culture generally.

    It is this suppression of, and sneering at, English National pride which has paved the way for the current lack of community cohesion.

  • JayBee

    The “little englanders” in the devolution context are those who would like devolved power to go to English regions as defined by the European Parliament Constituencies. Such a divide and conquer opportunity would not be lost on the EU and plays right into the hands of those who regard countries as historical constructs the borders of which can be changed in any way that advances the international socialist cause. We’ll have none of that. England should remain unified and appropriate powers devolved from the UK Govt to England as a whole.

    Further devolution by an English Parliament to counties and cities is also favoured by many but Localism is all fine and dandy until someone shouts “Tower Hamlets!” which alerts us to another problem. We have to be careful what we devolve, where and to whom otherwise there will be de facto partition springing up in various places. Self governing enclaves that bear not the remotest resemblance to the land with which we were once familiar. Some would say that we are perilously close to that already. England is certainly not what is was and it is self-deluding to pretend that there can ever be a cohesive multicultural society. Do we really want to remain a conglomeration of competing tribes? If England is to be unified and strong then there needs to be a strategy for integration. A requirement to adhere to the English language and values that have evolved from its cultural, religious and historical foundations. Is one a “baying little englander” for believing that immigrants should accept the norms and customs of the land that welcome them?

  • Sybaseguru

    Surely the best way to resolve the Barnett formula is to scrap it and give the Scots their share of the North Sea Oil tax revenues. This has implications for fracking in England – the regions would then get the revenues, removing their dependence on London. Happiness all round.

    • CliveM

      That would open up a big can of worms. Scotland’s share! From the SNP point of view, it would be all of it.

      Personally I think your point is a good one.

      • Sybaseguru

        I think the international boundary would certainly give them 90%. Or should the Northern Isles claim its theirs in which case the Sassenachs (in its original meaning of Lowlanders – Edinburgh and Glasgow) would be screaming even louder.

        • CliveM

          Don’t talk about the international boundary, that is also a sore point!

        • DanJ0

          Perhaps we should be looking at “their share” of the NHS and welfare state bill too, if assets are to be regarded as regional.

    • DanJ0

      Why is any of it “their share” in a union? It’s a resource for the UK as a whole.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Why can’t we all consider ourselves as of one country. GB.

  • SidneyDeane

    “balanced, open-minded and fair”

    Is it fair that unelected followers of your faith you call Bishops are given guaranteed seats in the House of Lords at the expense of anyone else for the sole reason that they are bishops?

    • bluedog

      What did I say.

      • SidneyDeane

        well you didn’t answer.

        • bluedog

          Easy, if you want an answer, herewith. The presence of Anglican bishops in the House of Lords represents an important precedent given the central role of the Christian faith in the laws and governance of the nations comprising the United Kingdom.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Is it fair that hundreds of political cronies are selected for the upper house at the expense of others?

      • SidneyDeane

        Don’t answer a question with a question.
        Got an actual answer?

    • SidneyDeane

      Didn’t think I would get an honest answer from you lot.

      • Windsorbloke

        OK, my answer is “yes”. Now tell me why I’m wrong

        • SidneyDeane

          Didn’t think I would get an honest answer from you lot.

    • carl jacobs

      It seems neither more nor less fair than any other appointment to the House of Lords. Is your objection to the unelected nature of the House of Lords? Or are you simply trying to drive religious people from the Public Square?

      carl

      • SidneyDeane

        My dear Carl, with church attendances dwindling year on year I am pleased to say that that is inevitable. Society is finally growing up.

        • carl jacobs

          My Dear Sidney

          Then it really has nothing to do with “fairness” does it. It’s really nothing more than your animosity towards a specific group of people.

          Nice of you to admit it, though.

          carl

          • Old Nick

            More people go to church than go to football

    • carl jacobs

      Sidney was being clever, doncha know. He was asking a loaded question by subtlety implying the House of Lords should be representative. (A non-representative House of Lords would be ‘unfair’ I guess.). Now, I may be just an ignorant American, but I have been told by Brits that the HoL is by definition non-representative. That in fact is the whole point. So how would the appointment of the 43rd Baron Whosit of Worsta-shishta-shesta-shishta-shire be any more fair? He would be appointed at the expense of everyone else just like a bishop. And he is even less representative than a bishop.

      No, it’s not about fairness. If it was about fairness, he would demand the HoL be elected. Then it wouldn’t matter because there would be no unfair appointments. Sidney would complain about Bishops in the HoL if the CoE was thriving. He isn’t likely to offer places to growing religions either. Heck, he would probably complain if they were elected when you come right down to it. He doesn’t want them in gov’t no matter how they get there.

      Why? Because it gives credibility to the presence of religious ideas in the public square. It implicitly asserts religion has something to offer. But mostly because it interferes with his desired goal of establishing Secularism as the new state religion. There is only room for one religious voice in Sidney’s world.

      carl

  • Hi YG,

    Just wondering if the bishop saw the SNP/ yes campaign as “baying little Scotlanders”. I certainly did. If the Scottish and Welsh can be proud of being nationalists, why is English nationalism so bad(I’m not sure how you can talk about Ulster nationalism)? Nationalism is a positive or negative, there are degrees of it,but I can’t see anything wrong in loving or being proudly supporting of one’s country.

    • John Knox’s left foot

      It’s afentimes bad because it comes wi a muckle bodie, an a sma uneducatit brain.

  • Uncle Brian

    Gillan Scott, in his post the other day, remarked that the referendum “has seen levels of time, energy and raw emotion invested like no other political battle we have seen or possibly will see in our lifetimes.” In addition to time, energy and emotion, it must have cost quite a lot in money terms, too. Although I’m no longer a UK taxpayer and therefore have no personal interest in the question, it would be interesting to have a reassurance that the wise American principle of “No taxation without representation” was duly followed in this case. That is to say, with people in Scotland being the only ones entitled to vote, the government duly made sure, I trust, that the whole cost of the elaborate machinery required to plan and execute the referendum was borne by Scottish taxpayers alone, without a single penny being stolen out of English pockets.

    • JayBee

      The referendum cost over £13 million against a budget of £10 million. Who paid is a very good question that I’ve never seen properly answered. Anyway its all over bar the hangovers and chanting from persons who may or may not be “baying little englanders” that from now on there should be “No taxation without equal representation.” In other words England demands equality in devolved powers and only English MP’s allowed to vote on English affairs including taxation.

  • Athanasius

    I do wish the Little Englander mentality allowed for thought before speech. Scotland CANNOT vary it’s income tax levels because to do so would result in a comparable reduction in its block grant. The power looks good, but is unusable. Moreover, for several years the Scots were getting soaked by the revenue commissioners to the tune of 16 million pounds a year just for the putative privilege of asking them to administer this unusable variation.

    On top of this, despite all the braying, the Scots have always put more financially into the Union than was given back from London. Who does Mr Cramer imagine was paying for the never-ending tax cuts the major parties were using to buy elections for all these years?

    • SidneyDeane

      “the Scots have always put more financially into the Union than was given back from London”
      Well that’s a relief.

      • CliveM

        And not true. There are years when they have, but also years when they have been subsidised.

    • alternative_perspective

      Mr. Cramer, Athnius?

      “I do wish the [enter appropriate text here] mentality allowed for thought before speech.”

    • CliveM

      Reliable estimated show that in its first year, if the SNP were to vary upwards by 1p, it would get a nett additional revenue of £350m in year 1, £400m per year there after. You will remember the penny for Scotland campaign? The voters hammered the SNP over it as even in Scotland they were unwilling to pay extra.

      Which also throws some light onto the truth of how keen Scotland is to pay extra for supposed social justice reasons.

      Why do the SNP not vary? Because they would lose votes.

      • Athanasius

        And money from the block grant.

        • CliveM

          Ask Alex, clearly he understood what would happen to it, when he proposed the Penny for Scotland campaign. Or are you suggesting that he figured the block grant was over generous and he wanted to return some to the treasury?

    • What tax cuts?? We’ve suffered year after year of stealth tax rises, the most cunning of which were devised by Gordon Brown.

      • Athanasius

        Yes, tons of stealth taxes to pay for the headline tax cuts. The point is you people ALWAYS vote for whoever is promising tax cuts regardless of consequences or of any other considerations whatsoever. You think about nothing, and because of that you’re herded like cattle by both main parties.

        • CliveM

          Out of curiosity, what head line tax cuts did Brown do? I must have missed them. Please detail.

  • alternative_perspective

    Perhaps we should have a Metropolitan for each of the newly devolved English regions / cities. I am rather attracted to the Orthodox church.

  • The Inspector General

    Ha ! That blighter Broadbent is running scared, so expect a
    lot more of his screamings, and from other cultural Marxist priests too. They
    know their liberal time is coming to an end, and their influence slipping away.
    The people have rejected multiculturalism, socialism, mass immigration, alien
    cultures, EU colonisation and loss of sovereignty. They had to, or lose their own precious identity while watching newcomers having theirs preserved and celebrated. Do the idiots that rule us not realise how that grates on everyone ?

    The Scots have time for the Scots, and do you know, the English have said yes, we’ll have some of that too. It’s our time now, and do you further know, the English like it. They like the taste of it. It tastes good. We’ll not only have it today, but tomorrow and the day after too !

    Broadbent can appreciate the appeal of patriotism, we all can. We see it in the stadium when England plays. It was tolerated there by the likes of Broadbent and even encouraged by the BBC of all things, because it was expected to vaporise as the fans walked back through streets afterwards more indicative of Pakistan than of England. We’re going to see English patriotism in a lot more places now, and Broadbent is powerless to do anything about it other than whine about his lost world which is disappearing as fast as the Victorian age did…

    • John Knox’s left foot

      Ay the Inglis maun brek free frae the tyrant.

    • dannybhoy

      This kind of piecemeal devolution weakens rather than strengthens.
      No part of the United Kingdom should have been allowed a different set of privileges or priorities from the rest of the Union. It could only ever result in resentment and instability.
      We are all in it together, the Welsh, the Scots, the Northern Irish (pro tem) and the English. It’s farcical for any of the constituent parts to believe that through “independence” they can make it on their own with any global significance or influence.
      If there is to be any measure of devolution, it should have been granted for economic rather than patriotic aspirations.
      For example those areas where the heavy industries such as coal mining, ship building and steel making are now dead should have had more help from governments in attracting inward investment and economic development. The sad fact is that generations of politicians have preferred strutting and preening rather than concentrating on ensuring that the whole country prospers.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Keep up Your Grace, Nazir-Ali is not at Rochester anymore.
    Do I percieve a slight lack of support for Nazir-Ali and Sentamu of York.
    I have found Nazir-Ali to be of the most sound Gospel believing Christian Bishops.

    • dannybhoy

      Nazir-Ali was threatened so many times by the evangelical wing of Boko Haram, -or was it Al Queda’s Primitive Methodists(?) – that it was felt he should retire from frontline duties in war torn Rochester…

  • John Knox’s left foot

    My maister wad agree nae doot, but the foot minds richt clearly, that a we did was get awa fae Rome. We didnae cut ourselves aff frae Europe at a. Cranmer, laddie, have ye forgotten a ready? I mind richt weel some damned dutch trooper treddin oan me richt sair. Forsooth in the name o tru religion, and luv o country, mind you.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The Barnett formula was mentioned by His Grace. There have been many complaints about it in Wales because although the standard of living in Wales is less than that in Scotland, the Welsh get significantly less per head than the Scots do.

    There has been very little about this anomaly in the “national” “British” press or in the BBC’s “national” programmes. This shows that the so-called “national” newspapers are not really “British” newspapers but simply English ones. The same goes for that part of the output of broadcasters like the BBC and ITV that is deemed of relevance to the whole of Britain. It is Anglo-centric. If something happens in London it is often assumed to be worthy of coverage even if it is really something only of interest to Londoners.

    The inability of many opinion formers in England, mainly in the southeast, to tell the difference between what is British and what is simply English was one of the reasons that Scotland came fairly close to voting for independence in the first place.

  • Old Blowers

    YG

    It appears that Pete, Bishop of Willesdencan comprehend Jesus the social worker but Jesus the Saviour and Reconciler is a complete mystery to the old socialist

  • Pete Broadbent

    Gross calumny. Never lager. Always real ale.