Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Ukraine, Russia and the EU
When at Yalta in February 1945, Stalin insisted on the “Curzon line” being the eastern boundary of Poland, with Poland’s western boundary with Germany being shifted west by 150 miles to the Oder-Neisse line, his objective was to keep European powers, particularly Germany, as far away from Moscow as possible.  The subsequent establishment of communist governments in Eastern Europe were seen by the Russians as an enormous safety band of countries protecting the Soviet Union from western invasions, the distance from the eastern edge of newly formed NATO (in 1949) to Moscow being about 1,100 miles. [more »]

Don't Miss: A Future Blueprint for Britain After the Referendum

UK Independence Party Public Meeting at The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

This will be held at 7.30 pm, March 4th 2015. [more »]

Syrian Reality
As Vindex remarked before (Syria and the Arab Spring, January 20th 2014), President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime is the only functioning government in Syria, and sooner or later Western governments will have to treat with him if they seriously wish to tackle the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Lebanon (ISIL), and relieve the terrible suffering of the Syrian people.  BBC’s Jeremy Bowen’s interview with President Assad, broadcast on February 10th, surely underlines this fact. [more »]

Expansion of UK Airport Capacity
Many British readers will have noticed the heavy advertising from rival groups trying to get the attention of the commission tasked with making a recommendation to government on the extension of airport capacity in the South-East of England.  This commission has been asked to make its recommendation after the forthcoming general election on May 7th.  Nonetheless leaks from the commission indicate that increasing capacity at Heathrow is the preferred option. [more »]

One Cheer for British Justice
Thankfully after a five year enquiry (Al-Sweady case) before a retired High Court Judge (Sir Thayne Forbes) costing in all £31 million – a high proportion of which has passed through the firms Leigh Day (Martin Day principal) and Public Interest Lawyers (Phil Shiner principal, Mau Mau lawyer, a committed socialist campaigner), the enquiry found that British soldiers were not guilty of murdering 11 “innocent” Iraqis and disfiguring their bodies.  Hurrah – relief for the soldiers under the shadow of these appalling accusations. [more »]

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Union of Five Parliaments

The only solution to the English democratic deficit

The political class in England needs finally to accept that the process of further tweaks to the present Westminster system to accommodate devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as proposed by William Hague (Leader of the House of Commons), has reached the end of the road.  Only a fundamental move to a “Union of Five Parliaments” will meet the democratic need for an efficient, transparent parliamentary system fit for the 21st century.

The English parliament would sit in the present House of Commons Chamber, the UK parliament in the present Upper Chamber.  That is: one single-chamber parliament for the home affairs of each of the four nations of the UK, and one for the United Kingdom, which would be responsible for foreign affairs, defence, the pound sterling, and borrowing.  Judged by newspaper correspondence many people have reached this conclusion, as we have on this website (see Scotland and the United Kingdom, January 23rd 2012) and the British Constitution page.

To avoid having another set of politicians in England, those elected for English constituencies would form the English members of the UK parliament.  Scotland, if it wished, could do the same by selecting one out of every two MSPs to be the Scottish members of the UK parliament, or carry on having two separate elections.  It would be entirely up to them.  There would be an English First Minister, who by Law could not be the UK Prime Minister.

The change need not be complicated or long-winded.  HM Treasury would be formally split between an English Treasury managing the English budget and the UK Treasury managing the UK budget and the national debt as present, plus oversight of expenditure by the four home parliaments.  Tax-raising would be split between the five parliaments.

The real question is why, with a simple solution to the so-called West Lothian question (of undemocratic anti-English discrimination in the UK constitution, and much else) do not all democrats spring to adopt it?  The answer, one suspects, is that the LibLabCon parties fear the whole tenor of British politics would swing sharply away from the egalo-liberal consensus which has ruled Britain for the last 50 years.