Sunday, December 18, 2005

Letter to Daily Mail about an English warship

Dear Sir,

I read with interest your article about The Golden Galleon in Saturday's Daily Mail.

However there is one glaring mistake - it refers to the ship as part of a British Fleet. The vessel sank in 1694 some thirteen years before the creation of Great Britain. Therefore the ship was English, as is confirmed in the accompanying picture that clearly shows the English Red Ensign flying on its stern.

I have no doubt that the Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer currently charged with looking after the English economy will happily make the same mistake as your paper. No doubt he will utilise some of the monies received from the salvage on spending to benefit the people of Scotland despite the fact that it was actually English gold.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Higginbottom

Thursday, December 15, 2005

City Regions

The New Local Government Network has released its recommendations for the reorgansiation of local government based on its City Regions Commission, the report includes a call for government to pass greater power and strategic responsibilities to new local authority alliances, based on England's city regions.

Full details are at the Campaign for an English Parliament newsblog.

First question, how many city regions will we have in Shropshire? We don't actually have any cities.

Second question, why can't we just have an English Parliament instead and then we can decide what we want for ourselves?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Letter: Shropshire Star

Clarke has contempt for public

I wonder if Home Secretary Charles Clarke knows of a different definition of democracy to the rest of us?

He instructed West Mercia Police to draw up plans for a merger with West Midlands Police without consulting the public or the police forces involved.

When faced with the fact that 88 per cent of people in Weat Mercia are opposed to the merger of the police forces, you would imagine that the plans would be scrapped. This is a democracy after all.

But no, rather than remembering that his job is to serve the people, the Home Secretary said he would wait until he received the results of the police consultation "before deciding how to proceed".

I understand that this is a major blow to the Government's drive to firmly establish regionalisation in England, but how can the Home Secretary even contemplate going ahead with the merger when 88 per cent of the people in West Mercia are opposed to it?

This just shows the utter contempt our so-called elected representatives have for the people they are elected to serve and for the democracy that this country was once so famous for.

Stuart Parr

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Letter: Shropshire Star

Why can’t we have a special day for saint?

Earlier this year a pub landlord in Norfolk applied for a late licence to allow his regulars to celebrate St George’s Day. For the second time in two years he was refused a late licence on the grounds that it is not a special day in England.

When he made his first application two years ago, he was told to come back this year with evidence that St George’s Day is a special occasion. So he did.

He turned up at the magistrates court with a large group of supporters, hundreds of letters and assorted reporters and TV crews.

The magistrate still said no, so he appealed to the High Court. A High Court judge refused the appeal on the grounds that he was also of the opinion that St George’s Day is not a special day and the magistrate was right to refuse the late licence.

One of the reasons given for it not being a special day was the lack of national celebrations like those seen on St Patrick’s Day.

Ask yourself this: When was the last time your local council or the Government did anything to promote St George’s Day?

They are happy to hold festivals for Diwali, Eid, St Patrick’s Day, Chinese New Year — anything except St George’s Day.

Anything, as long as the English are denied the right to celebrate their culture, history or nationality.

What are they so afraid of? Why do the Government go out of their way to offend 50 million people?

Perhaps David Wright MP can explain why his party is intent on denying the English their national identity whilst spending billions on ensuring the rest of the UK can promote theirs?

When I asked him why he was opposed to an English parliament when it was plainly obvious that England was being discriminated against he simply refused to answer me and any subsequent correspondence from me doesn’t even prompt an acknowledgement.

Stuart Parr

Letter: Shropshire Star (CEP Shropshire)

Join battle for English parliament

Leaked reports suggest that the Scottish-led UK Government is now looking to abolish the 1000-year-old English shires.

This is yet another deliberate attempt by the anti-English, Scottish-controlled Labour Party to erase England, its history and its people from the map.

They will say it is only reform of local government but unless they are stopped we will soon merely be West Midlanders run by an unelected regional assembly operating out of Birmingham.

The Campaign for an English Parliament is trying to get fair treatment for England, with a parliament along the lines already given to Scotland.

Because the English are so easy going, the majority of the people in England are unlikely to do anything to save their country — they’ll wait till it happens and then moan.

Edward Higginbottom
Shropshire Branch of the Campaign for an English Parliament

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Letter: Shropshire Star

Situation unfair for pensioners

The recent cold snap and the threatened had winter has highlighted the dangers to the elderly, in particular, many of whom still live in poorly heated homes.

For those pensioners living in Scotland they are, of course, better off. The Scottish Parliament is providing them with free installation of central heating. This is possible because the taxpayers in England generously subsidise Scotland to the tune of £8 billion per year.

That equates to more than £1,300 extra per person being spent on everybody in Scotland compared to those in England.

The Scottish-led UK Parliament sees nothing wrong in this invidious situation.

Isn't it time England was treated equally with Scotland instead of like a third class citizen within the United Kingdom and given its own Parliament?

The Campaign for an English Parliament is trying to do just that. Help us fight the injustice by joining us today

Edward Higginbottom
Co-ordinator, Shropshire Branch of the Campaign for an English Parliament

Friday, December 02, 2005

Welsh worries over English hospital

Source: BBC News

The Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust, which administers the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford and Royal Shrewbury Hospital(RSH) in Shrewsbury, is a few million in debt and are looking to cut services.

One of the proposals is to downgrade one of the hospitals and only offer A&E at the other one. It is most likely going to be the Princess Royal in Telford that gets downgraded because, despite it being a fairly new hospital, it is badly equipped and has huges debts.

However, the Welsh aren't taking any chances and Glynn Davies AM has already scheduled a meeting with the Health Trust amid concerns that Welsh patients in Powys might have to travel to Telford for treatment if they decided to downgrade the RSH instead of the PRH.

Welsh First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, has even appointed someone to investigate.

I remember blogging about the Welsh using the RSH a few months ago. At the time it was discovered that the RSH was losing loads of money because they were obliged to treat Welsh patients but received a fraction of the money they would get for an English patient as the Welsh Assembly paid for the Welsh patients.

Perhaps the Welsh, if they are so concerned, could consider paying the going rate for a patient when they attend the RSH or perhaps even pay a premium as they are being treated outside of their own country - as they would were they to send their patients to, say, the United States.

While they're discussing ways of saving the A&E service at the RSH, they might consider forfeiting their portion of the £15bn of English taxes that are given away to the rest of the UK under the Barnett Formula so that the English NHS might have enough money to offer a similar level of care and treatment that is received in Scotland and Wales.