It is quite clear what the strategy is of all Westminster Parties apart from the Tories and Ukip : they are desperate to Balkanise England. English votes for English laws (EVEL) will not work for practical reasons such as who decides on what is an exclusively English law and the differing powers granted to the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies. But it is probably necessary for it to be tried and to be seen to fail before the only honest constitutional solution – an English Parliament – is accepted by the Tories.
The danger is that the next Westminster Parliament will result in either a Labour majority government because of the scandalous way constituency sizes are weighted to favour Labour and the fact that the Labour vote is more concentrated in certain constituencies than that of other parties or , much more probably, a motley coalition between Labour, the LibDems, the Greens and most poisonously the SNP, who could well return 20-30 MPs to the Commons.
We could find after the general election that a Labour government or a Labour led coalition would not only deny England EVEL, but would enforce some form a devolution upon England, most probably by devolving significant powers to greater metropolitan areas such as Greater Manchester, which would effectively be English regional government by subterfuge. This increase in the complexity of the allocation of powers in England would emasculate any future attempt at EVEL and by leaving as little as possible of English administration at the Westminster level, would make an English parliament an ever more remote possibility because the less power it would have the less press there would be for a parliament.
Once powers had been devolved within England the new regional political classes they would spawn would provide a serious barrier to taking back their powers and returning them to Westminster. Such regional powers would also set the parts of a balkanised England against one another and the populations of the various regions would in time begin to defend what their region has rather than considering the national English interest.
The Westminster Parties which want England to be Balkanised do so in the knowledge that there is absolutely no appetite for a developed England, a fact recently confirmed by an Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) report The Future of England Survey 2014. Their motives are driven by crude party advantage in the case of Labour and the Libdems which both rely heavily on Scottish and Welsh MPs to make up their numbers in the House of Commons and a desire by all the pro Balkanisation of England supporters to hamstring England to prevent her looking out for her own interests – which would include stopping the English subsidy to the rest of the UK – because they fear that it would be greatly to their disadvantage. There is also more than a little sheer anti-English feeling as is exemplified even in their leading politicians who in the case of those from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland never cease to bang the victimhood drum over the wicked English colonial overlord.
Some MPs sitting for English seats join in the insult of the English, most notably the senior Labour politician Jack Straw who was Home Secretary during the Blair Government. On a BBC programme in 2000 Straw stated that the English are “potentially very aggressive, very violent” that England had used their “propensity to violence to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland”
If anti-English Balkanising government is elected to Westminster next year without a majority of English seats there would be a dangerous constitutional situation where the English are effectively being misgoverned according to the dictates of the Celtic Fringe MPs. That could be the point where the patience of the English public runs out.