Frank Field calls for an English Parliament on Any Questions

Robert Henderson

Any Questions on 21 Feb 2014 (BBC R4) came from  Blundells School in Tiverton, Devon. The panel answering the question were the  Secretary of State for Scotland  and LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael, Conservative backbench MP Nadhim Zahawi  MP, New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny and Labour backbench MP Frank Field.  A classic example of the BBC’s idea of political  balance one might say  with two left leaning MPs in Carmichael and Field, an ethnic minority representative in Zahawi and a hard left ideologue in Penny.

The programme   contained this question: Will England be better off without Scotland? Carmichael and   Zahawi waffled about how successful the Union had been and  Penny exhibited routine hard left bile over the prospect of a Tory government in the rest of the UK if Scotland left the Union.  But then came Frank Field who upset the politically correct applecart by berating the present devolution settlement, suggesting that England would be well-rid of Scotland  and advocating an English Parliament. I have made a transcript of his words and the programme  presenter Jonathan Dimbleby’s interruptions ( The programme can still be heard on the BBC IPlayer  – Enter at 33minutes 54 seconds )

Frank Field: “I think this question is a really good example of how the elites whether in England or Scotland stitch up issues in that if you are giving one part of the United Kingdom a vote to say damn you we are leaving,  I think that should be a vote for all of us to decide. And I think we should be having actually a say  on whether we want Scotland to stay with us. And  I think that what we might well  find is that England would vote for Scotland to  leave  and the Scotland  would  vote to actually stay.”

Dimbleby: “How would you vote?”

Field: “I would vote for them to leave. For this reason, I voted against devolution. I feared that once we started this process the inevitability would be an independent Scotland. We have the unfairness now of this Government proposing issues which affect my constituents but don’t affect Scottish constituents and Scottish MPs vote on those issues affecting my constituents. …

Dimbleby attempts to interrupt but Field shrugs him off.

Field “And therefore I support Alastair [Carmichael had suggested English devolution without specifying what it would be, but implied he was thinking of English regional devolution not an English Parliament].  I think we actually need as a first step in this an English Parliament. I don’t fear that because as we withdrew from Empire , particularly Scotland but also Wales and also Northern Ireland, began to gain a huge sense of national identity, of  not being associated with Empire and actually feeling a proper role for themselves. And I think England has been too giving in this situation, I think we need likewise with Scotland, and with wales and Northern Ireland  to begin to find out what our own identity is, how we then join together mix together,  govern together is something downstream, but I do think this huge injustice that the others have assemblies  or parliaments  and yet the English do not have their own Parliament to make their views known …. “

Dimbleby cuts Field off at this point and calls for further remarks from Carmichael who just waffles about  England having a voice rather than a vote in the question of Scottish independence.

Dimbleby then tried to distract the debate away from such an alarming  idea (for liberal bigots) as an English Parliament by calling for one of the ad hoc pseudo polls of the studio audience the BBC loves to use to propagandise the pc view on anything by asking for shows of hands for those for and against a proposition. In most circumstances they can be certain to get the “right” pc answer because  BBC audiences for political programmes are routinely   packed to ensure that the “right” pc answer will be given. However, Any Questions audiences are a little less  easy to predict and control than most BBC audiences because the programme often goes  to parts of England largely untouched by mass immigration. Tiverton is such a place.  Any Questions audiences tend to be drawn from the area of the broadcast  and consequently  the Tiverton audience was  less likely to be rigid with political correctness than the ordinary BBC audience  simply because it was a genuinely  English audience.

Dimbleby  put the questions “Who thinks  England  would be better off  if Scotland became Independent? followed by “Who thinks  England would be worse of if Scotland became independent?”. This produced the desired pc answer with a large majority saying that  England would be worse off.

So far so pc good. Then it all went horribly wrong.  Field immediately jumped in and asked Dimbleby  to put to the audience the question  “Should England have a Parliament?” Dimbleby  did this and an overwhelming number of hands went up to say Yes, we want an English Parliament.   Such an  open expression of Englishness  was made easier for the audience because the politically correct have not made English patriotic sentiment a formal part of pc. Instead they have simply censured it from public discussion. Hence, the audience did not have the normal pressure of fearing that they would be called a un-pc bigots.

When Any Answers went out on 22 February no phone calls  were taken or tweets, texts and emails read out on the subject of Scottish devolution and where England should stand in a devolved UK.

The liberal bigot tendency who deny England a Parliament always claim that there is no demand for it. This is the exact opposite of the truth. The only reason there is no overt public demand is because the mainstream media and politicians refuse to address the issue.

Field’s view of England needing to find its identity, and indeed of the other home nations needing to do so after the end of Empire, is mistaken because true nations never lose the habit of knowing who and what they are.  Anyone who  believes  the English doubted the reality of their nationhood even at the height of Empire should read  Froude’s History of England (1850–1870), or wonder why when foreigners speak of the UK they to this day more often than not refer to England.  It is only a Quisling elite who suppress public signs of English identity and celebration. Take the politically correct brakes off  English society and the English will leave the world in no doubt of who they are.   The quickest and most certain way to achieve that is the establishment of an English parliament.

This entry was posted in Devolution, Nationhood, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Frank Field calls for an English Parliament on Any Questions

  1. DICK R says:

    That is why Labour conspired to encourage mass immigration knowing that it would fall disproportionately on England, thus creating a huge alien wedge in our midst.

  2. Directly afterwards there was a 10 minute Roger Scruton ‘point of view’ speech where he called for English independence United we fall

    The BBC staffers must have been having palpitations…

  3. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  4. pippakin says:

    Reblogged this on Political Pip Spit or Swallow its up to You and commented:
    i think that when Frank Field called for an English parliament he was speaking for many English people, provided that is its a full English parliament and not some grandiose regional council, that was deal with in the Blair years. Its not often the English vote for a man in a bear costume…..

  5. Pingback: Frank Field calls for an English Parliament on “Any Questions?” and the BBC’s anti-English reaction! | Alan England - English Democrats

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