"The people of England deserve no less than the same choice as the peoples of Wales and Scotland: a referendum on whether they want a parliament of their own." - David Davis MP
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The Empire Strikes Back

English Commonwealth - 16 hours 50 min ago

Commiserations to Scottish independence campaigners. Project Fear has won through on the back of their last ditch Devo-Max and Barnett Formula bribes.

The interesting thing now is how the three Westminster party leaders are going to get those bribes through an English-dominated House of Commons in just four months as promised (they have seven months before the General Election). And what scraps will they throw the English from the devolution table?

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Conservative solutions to the English Question

English Commonwealth - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 02:06

Two interesting proposals from the Times.

Tim Montgomerie has called for David Cameron to ignore calls for English Votes on English Laws and go ‘the whole hog and promise the English people a legislature similar to that the other three countries of the UK already enjoy’. This new English parliament should, Montgomerie says, be financed by abolishing the Lords, should be based in the North and should be committed to addressing the unbalanced nature of England’s economy.

Bernard Jenkins MP has called for a resolution in the House of Commons for MPs to abide by a system of English Votes on English Laws. England would not have the guarantee of a permanent parliament, as Scotland has been promised, but would instead rely upon a self-denying ordinance of a House of dual-mandate MPs. It is Jenkins’ contention that the English MPs could form some sort of rudimentary English government:

There would, however, be consequences for Whitehall. We could never have a Scottish UK chancellor setting English taxes in England at the annual budget but not in his or her own constituency. So Parliament will have to consider how to establish an English executive, with an English first minister and finance minister, along with England-only departments for matters such as health, education and local government, made accountable to English MPs alone.
This does not preclude enhanced functions for counties and cities (rather than for artificial regions), but that would be a matter for the new English executive.

Dual mandate MPs are not a good idea. You can’t have an English government and British government drawn from the same pool of MPs double-jobbing in the same legislature. An English front bench and a British front bench, an English prime minister and a British prime minister, both commanding majorities – possibly from different parties or coalitions of parties – in a sovereign parliament. It’s a recipe for constitutional meltdown.

Montgomerie gets the thumbs up over Jenkins from English Commonwealth.

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It is Britishness, not Englishness, that is in the dock

English Commonwealth - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 08:51

Matthew Parris writing in The Spectator:

I doubt I’m alone among English readers of this magazine in having felt uncomfortable with our last issue. ‘Please stay with us’ was a plea I found faintly offensive to us English. Not only did it have a plaintive ring, but there seemed to be something grovelling, almost self-abasing, in the pitch. Why beg? A great many Scots have wanted to leave the Union; and by arranging a referendum Westminster has asked Scotland to make up her mind. Let her, then. When did England become a petitioner in this affair?

Well said, you’re not alone.

The Scottish independence referendum seems to be frequently reduced to an England-Scotland context, with Northern Ireland and Wales rarely mentioned. But the issue is not Scotland’s relationship with England, it’s about Scotland’s relationship with Britain, the British governing elite and their power structures. England has no democratic political identity, we have no first minister or parliament to speak on our behalf; beyond the imagination of its people and its sports teams there is no England for Scotland to have a relationship with. It is Britishness, not Englishness, that is in the dock.

It is the British nationalism that has brought us to this. British nationalists, or ‘Unionists’ as they prefer to be called, like to make out that Britishness is an all encompassing umbrella identity but it is their refusal to allow for an English political identity has been their undoing. They should have recreated Britain as a federal state – a Union of nations – back in 1997, during the first round of devolution, but instead decided to create an asymmetric democracy out of fear of a resurgent English political identity. Now Gordon Brown, a man who hates the idea of England with a passion, is being allowed to set the agenda, making the United Kingdom even more unfair on England by creating a Union of ‘nations and regions’ and entrenching the Barnett Formula. Creating a democratic English political identity might have helped the Scots feel equal ownership of Britain and British institutions. That was a failure of British nationalists who feared English nationalism.

So here we are. When the Scots look at British institutions like Parliament they see a de facto English parliament; when they look at the Prime Minister they see the de facto English first minister; when they look at the Conservative and Unionist Party they see a the de facto party of England, in no small part thanks to the Tories’ 15 year prevarication about English Votes on English Laws and abolishing the Barnett Formula.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg do not speak for England. They rarely speak of England, let alone for England, which is why it makes many English people so angry to see them making grovelling to Scotland on England’s behalf. They never invoke a collective English consciousness on any other occasion, so why start now?

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Best of all worlds for Scotland, worst of all worlds for England

English Commonwealth - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 02:43

Those with an eye to constitutional reform will have found this an extraordinary week. On 8th September, in a miners welfare centre in Loanhead, a new semi-federal United Kingdom was realised on the back of a fag packet by none other than Gordon Brown, that Scottish bloke England never voted for but got as prime minister anyway. The three Westminster party leaders welcomed his proposal to fast-track extensive devolved powers for Scotland, and the rest of us asked: what the hell is going on here?

It was, Brown said, nothing less than a move towards a federal Britain. “A new Union is being forged in the heat of debate”, he said.
Great. But what debate? I’m not involved in it. You’re not involved in it. Unless I’m missing something, no one in England, Wales or Northern Ireland is being given a say over this radical new constitutional arrangement.
I’m not missing something. Gordon Brown was crystal clear yesterday. “These reforms will confirm that Scotland has helped changed not just our own country but the United Kingdom,” he announced.
Well, thanks for that. But I’m afraid that’s not Scotland’s prerogative.

Here was Scottish Labour’s big political beast unilaterally recasting the Union to try and accommodate Scotland. This isn’t how the House of Lords Constitutional Committee envisaged devo-max becoming a political reality:

….”devolution max” requires a distinct constitutional process for its achievement. As illustrated by the potential for competing tax regimes within the United Kingdom, such an arrangement for one member of the Union would necessarily have real, deep and immediate consequences for the other members and for the Union as a whole. Properly to secure the legitimate interests of each and all, proposals as to “devolution max” would first have to be developed through intergovernmental negotiations conducted, not just bilaterally with the UK Government, but on an inclusive, multilateral basis across the Union state. Whereas both the UK Government and the Scottish Government have recognised that independence is a Scottish question, “devolution max” is not. Proper constitutional process requires that negotiations involving all parts of the United Kingdom precede any referendum on an agreed scheme of “devolution max.”

By 15th September, Brown, this time speaking at a miner’s club in Edinburgh, was demanding guarantees for Scotland, in addition to the fast-tracking of new devolved powers:

      The new Scotland Act should enshrine in law the permanence of the Holyrood Parliament: semi-federalism.
      A guarantee of fairness: Gordon Brown wants politicians of all unionist parties to sign a statement that the aim of a “modern union” will be one that secures “security and opportunity for all” by “sharing equitably the resources of the nations and regions”.
      The Barnett Formula should be preserved in perpetuity and, in addition, Scotland should be able to raise taxes to protect spending on the NHS if necessary
      A permanent role for Scotland in the evolution of the UK, with Scots to be consulted on any changes to the way England is governed.

Nothing for England. No guarantees for us. Only the prospect of having an unfair Barnett Formula enshrined in law along with Scotland’s right to influence future changes to English governance. And to add insult to injury throughout all this Brown refers to the “nations and regions of Britain”: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being the ‘nations'; England being ‘the regions’. Does England want to dismember itself to be part of a ‘modern Union’ of ‘nations and regions’? Does anyone in the British political firmament care what England thinks? Cameron, Clegg and Miliband certainly don’t, they promptly signed a vow – brokered by Gordon Brown – to fast-track the UK to a semi-federal future.

The utter recklessness of this constitutional amateurism was best summed up by Janan Ganesh in the FT, who concluded that “Scottish home rule means English home rule, which in turn means a separate constitutional wrangle about what shape this should take”.

Unfortunately it’s hard to see how either Scottish home rule or English home rule is possible when the two nations are shackled to each other via the Barnett Formula. It is understandable that Brown would wish to guarantee Scotland’s obscene funding advantage over England but we should not underestimate his desire to maintain the constitutional consequences of the Barnett Formula.

If Brown can maintain the Barnett Formula in some sort of Establishment agreement, he can argue that Scottish MPs like him have the right to vote on English legislation, and meddle in English government, because English legislation and government policy in respect of England determines the Scottish block grant via the Barnett Formula.

If we had fiscal federalism instead of the Barnett Formula, or if the formula was a needs-based assessment, Scotland’s block grant would not be calculated as a percentage of what is spent in England – there would be no knock-on effect; and therefore English spending decisions would not impact upon the Scottish budget. By preserving the Barnett Formula, keeping Holyrood policy tied to Westminster’s apron strings, Brown can argue that Scottish MPs like himself can hold sway over English legislation and participate in the governance of England. Everyone will concentrate on the financial side of it (which is scandalous enough) but Brown understands the wider constitutional consequences. The Barnett Formula shackles Scotland to England and shackles England to meddlesome Scottish MPs.

If any of this this bothers you please sign our new Barnett Formula petition. Maybe some of our MPs also object to the way in which England has been stitched up.

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What manner of federal United Kingdom do UKIP favour?

English Commonwealth - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:20

The BBC has reported that Nigel Farage joined IPPR North and Nick Clegg’s calls for devolution to English regions:

Nigel Farage, who will campaign in Scotland later on Friday, joined calls for the English regions to be given some of the same powers being contemplated for Scotland. ‘

“At the moment, the English are feeling rather ignored in all of this,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“We have been talking about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a lot over the last 16 , 17 years and a new constitutional settlement for a federal UK will suit everybody.”

It sounded implausible so I listened to the Today Programme to find out exactly what Farage did say. This is the transcript:

Nigel Farage: I am fully in favour of a federal United Kingdom. We need a new constitutional settlement but I’m afraid devo-max wasn’t on the ballot paper, and with that misjudgement David Cameron has risked the future of the Union.

Justin Webb: If we get devo-max, then you’re perfectly happy then to see proper devolution; Scotland will have tax-raising powers…greater tax-raising powers, tax-lowering powers, greater spending powers, and that the same must go for England?

Nigel Farage: Yes of course. At the moment the English are feeling rather ignored in all of this because we’ve been talking about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a lot over the last 17 or 18 years. Yes, a new constitutional settlement for a federal UK, that will suit everybody.

Justin Webb: If Scotland votes NO and there is going to be devo-max, and discussions start about that, is it right do you think that Scottish MPs should continue in the short-term even to vote on English matters at Westminster?

Nigel Farage: No, I don’t think it’s right at all. I think the overwhelming majority of opinion is that devolution has to be fair to everybody, and that at the moment that’s not working.

In fact Farage didn’t say anything at all about regions. Perhaps UKIP need to clarify exactly what sort of federal UK they are in favour of before the ‘impartial’ BBC does it for them.

This comes less than 24 hours after Nick Robinson was caught lying about Alex Salmond refusing to answer his question.

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Peter Hain vs John Redwood

English Commonwealth - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:40

The highlight of Newsnight last night was this encounter between Hain and Redwood. You can watch the full programme here.

If you want the people of England to have a say, instead of being rail-roaded into a Westminster approved scheme to stabilse the Union, then please add your name to our petition for a constitutional convention.

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Reigniting the Barnett Formula debate

English Commonwealth - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 02:32

The Liberal Democrats pre-manifesto was released yesterday. This is what it had to say on reform of the Barnett Formula:

The nations of the United Kingdom have long had different needs with regard to funding. The Barnett Formula is the mechanism used to adjust spending allocations across the UK. The Liberal Democrats have already delivered a substantial extension of financial powers to the nations of the UK and we would devolve further fiscal powers to the devolved governments. In order to ensure reliable funding at this time, we will retain the Barnett Formula as the basis for future spending allocations for Scotland and Northern Ireland. We recognise the findings of the Holtham Commission that the current formula underfunds Wales and will commission work to update this analysis. We will address the imbalance by immediately entrenching a Barnett floor set at a level which reflects the need for Wales to be funded fairly, and seek over a Parliament to increase the Welsh block grant to an equitable level. Fair funding for all the nations will then be secured.

Here’s that last sentence again: “Fair funding for all the nations will then be secured”.

Fair? Not really.

Applying a needs-based formula Holtham found that Wales was underfunded vis-à-vis England and that Scotland was overfunded. A fair needs-based formula would cut Scotland’s block grant by £4.5 billion a year, as Prof Bell explains:

“If its calculations were put into practice, it would have dramatic effects on the Scottish budget,” Prof Bell says. “The size of the block grant from Westminster to Holyrood would shrink substantially. Instead of the Scottish grant being 20 per cent higher per head than in England, the margin would shrink to 5 per cent.

“At current spending levels, this would mean a cut of around £4.5bn in Scotland’s annual grant from Westminster.”

One can understand why, in the present climate, the Liberal Democrats do not want to advocate cutting the Scottish block grant but please do everyone a favour and stop pretending that fairness is a motivating factor.

On Newsnight yesterday evening Emily Maitlis asked Douglas Alexander ‘When people ask “why aren’t we already better together?”, what’s your response?’

Alexander’s response demonstrated why preservation of the unfair Barnett Formula is a central plank of the Unionists armoury:

“Firstly, we’re £1200 per head of population better off in terms of public expenditure each and every year because we get a good deal for Scotland.

Secondly, how has Scotland gone from being one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom to being one of the richest parts of the United Kingdom over the past 30 years?”

The second line of Alexander’s response is answered by the first line. The Scots are actually a whopping £1377 per year better off than the English. In essence Alexander believes we’re ‘Better Together” because Scotland gets a lot more Barnett money, unfairly, from the UK Government. He must be one proud Scot.

With the three Unionist parties lining up to offer Scotland greater devolved powers, thereby increasing the prominence of the West Lothian Question and calls for English Votes on English Laws, expect the Barnett Formula to move centre stage. The Barnett Formula benefits Unionists on two fronts: It is essential for the Unionists that Scotland maintains an unfair funding advantage; and useful that funding for the devolved nations is directly linked to spending in England, so that they can argue that MPs elected outside England have a right to vote on English matters because English legislation has a direct effect on the budgets of the devolved nations. Unfortunately the recent Future of England survey had some sobering news for Unionist politicians who would rather do nothing about Scottish MPs voting rights and Scotland’s funding advantage.

Voters in the independence referendum would do well to remember that, outside of Westminster, there is little support in England for Scotland’s current privileged position.

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Yes Campaign take the lead in Scottish Referendum poll

English Commonwealth - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 01:11

The Unionist ‘Better Together’ camp appear to be in disarray in the wake of a YouGov poll which puts the Yes vote on 51%.

The Guardian suggests that Scotland is to be offered a federal alternative to independence:

The people of Scotland are to be offered a historic opportunity to devise a federal future for their country before next year’s general election, it emerged on Saturday night, as a shock new poll gave the campaign for independence a narrow lead for the first time.

Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.

The plan, in the event of a no vote, is that people from all parts of Scottish society – rather than just politicians – would be invited to take part in a Scottish conference or convention that would decide on further large-scale transfers of power from London to Holyrood.

Will Hutton envisages how this would work:

Federal Britain, like the federal US and Germany, would need a second chamber that represents all parts of the federation. The House of Lords would become the House of Britain. The elected assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be in control of the whole spectrum of domestic public activity, with a freshly created English assembly joining them. Cities and towns would be afforded the same autonomy, within broad indicative guidelines set by elected national politicians in the now smaller House of Commons.

It sounds great but it would be hard to take such an offer seriously, coming as it does just 11 days before the referendum. Scottish voters might instead be better advised to call Miliband’s bluff and get David Cameron sacked by October.

MPs say the view that Cameron may be forced to stand down is shared by some cabinet ministers. One senior backbencher said: “This is a mainstream view in the parliamentary party. It goes well beyond the usual suspects. Two people who are ministers have said to me that they feel they would also have to resign.”

One MP said: “I can’t see how Cameron can stay, frankly. He thinks he can just cruise on when the union of 300 years has been dissolved. Someone’s got to go. Heads have got to roll. The idea that something like this happens and nobody loses their job over it is nuts.”

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Hello world!

What England Means to Me - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 00:45

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Dear America, wrong flag

English Commonwealth - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 01:29

During ITV’s coverage of England’s friendly against Honduras, we saw the England football team lined up to sing the national anthem in a stadium full of England flags.

Suddenly the camera left the England players to focus on the national flag. Unfortunately, instead of landing on the national flag of England (the Cross of St George was draped around every corner of the stadium), the American camera operator lingered for an uncomfortable period of time on the Union flag.

Of course it wasn’t a proper Union flag because there weren’t any in the stadium, it was the top left corner of one of two white ensigns. That was the best they could find amongst the plethora of England flags.

While Broadcast Service Group, the US outside broadcast company filming the match for ITV, should be applauded for using their initiative to find – against the odds – a British flag to display as the British national anthem was playing; I have to ask whether it occurred to anyone at ITVSport to point out to their American colleagues that the flag of England is red and white, not red, white and blue.

Clearly the difference between England and Britain hasn’t been made clear to Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, whose video for the Official 2014 World Cup Song features the British flag but not the flag of England.

To add insult to injury they even display the flag of Scotland, even though Scotland didn’t qualify for the World Cup.

We only have ourselves to blame. Outside of sport England is practically invisible on the international stage. We have no national leaders, we have no national parliament and no national anthem. Britain speaks for us. Roy Hodgson is the closest thing that we English have to a national leader, and even he wants us to sing the British anthem. Is it any wonder that the Americans think England and Britain are the same thing?

Hopefully by the time the 2018 World Cup comes around we will have our own English national anthem.

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Noble England by Rik Mayhall

English Commonwealth - Wed, 06/11/2014 - 13:13

There is a campaign to get Rik Mayhall’s 2010 World Cup anthem ‘Noble England’ to number one.

As much as I love Rik Mayhall ‘Noble England’ was dreadful in 2010 and it is still dreadful now.

Far better is this effort by Madfish, which captures the anti-politics mood of England perfectly.

Or, alternatively, this from The Skatoons, the best England song of 2010.

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Scotland should have its cake and eat it.

English Commonwealth - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 01:57

As you have no doubt heard the Conservative Party in Scotland has announced an extraordinary plan to devolve additional financial powers to Scotland, should the Scots vote to remain in Union.

Scotland should be given full income tax powers following a vote against independence, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said.

She also argued Holyrood should get additional responsibility over VAT, income tax and welfare.

The plans, which have been endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron, will be in the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 UK election.

Even if the Scots were tempted by what is on offer from the Conservatives, they would be wholly reliant on the voters in England electing a Conservative Government in order to deliver these financial powers to the Scottish Parliament. From an English perspective the thing that needs to be asked is this: “But why would the voters in England want to vote for this; what is in it for us?” In a word, nothing.

Under these Scottish Tory proposals Scottish MPs would still have a free hand to meddle in English affairs, while English MPs would have even less say over what goes on in Scotland.

In our view, it is important that any sense be resisted that MPs for Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish constituencies somehow perform any lesser a function than MPs representing seats in England. The establishment of stable constitutional arrangements for the future of the UK must address this. It would be unfortunate if the feeling were to gain ground that there were two classes of MP. Even under a scheme of enhanced devolution, such as we have proposed in this report, MPs for Scottish constituencies will continue to have significant responsibility for safeguarding the interests of those whom they represent. Scottish MPs are and must remain as qualified as any other to hold high government office, including the offices of Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Extraordinary. Not only should Scottish MPs be able to vote on policy matters affecting England, but they should also be part of the government of England, sitting in Cabinet, designing and controlling the policy agenda for England. Talk about having your cake and eating it!

Is this what David Cameron had in mind when he pledged to introduce English votes on English Laws in his 2005 Conservative leadership election literature?

To add insult to injury the Scottish Tories mention that Scottish politics is based on a grievance culture in which it is ‘far too easy for Scottish Ministers to blame difficult financial decisions on others’ but do not address how these changes will affect the Barnett Formula, which over-funds Scotland to the tune of £4.4bn according to the Holtham Commission.

And you expect the English to vote for this?

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Scots Boo the British and Royal Anthem at Wembley

Anthem4England - Thu, 08/15/2013 - 14:45

Did this make you proud to be English or British?

At least the booing of both the British and Scottish anthems caused some discussion.

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Campaign launched for England to use an English anthem to be sung at the Rugby League World Cup

Anthem4England - Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:10

A new campaign has been launched today calling for the English Rugby League team to sing an English anthem at the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup 2013. RLWC2013 is the first major international sporting tournament to take place in the UK since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will see England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland competing against holders New Zealand, favourites Australia and Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Italy, Cook Islands, USA.

The campaign is supported by Anthem4England, who are campaigning for an English anthem for all England teams, by British Future and by rugby league fans including the Chair of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Greg Mulholland MP.

Rugby league fans are being urged to sign the petition, calling on the Rugby Football League to announce that England will use an English anthem, in the same way that the Commonwealth Games correctly uses an English anthem for English athletes, instead of using God Save the Queen – which should be used by UK and British teams, such as at the Olympics and also for occasions in the future when the Rugby League British and Irish Lions come together again. The petition is at http://englishanthemforrlwc2013.com/

During the World Cup, England will compete against both Scotland and Wales who will stand and sing ‘Flower of Scotland’ and ‘Land of My Fathers’ respectively so in the same way that the England team’s shirts proudly bear the English flag, the Cross of St George, they should sing an English anthem rather than using the UK anthem which equally belongs to Scotland and Wales.

Next year, the Commonwealth Games are taking place in Glasgow and the ‘We are England’ team will be correctly using an English anthem, Jerusalem, after this was voted for in a poll before the last Commonwealth Games. See www.weareengland.org.

The campaigners are also writing to Rugby Football League Chief Executive Nigel Wood and Greg Mulholland, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, has also tabled an Early Day Motion in support of the campaign which can be viewed here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/391

Commenting Greg Mulholland, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group and Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, said:

“The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will be a great tournament, with the best rugby league nations coming together and in the same way that Scotland and Wales have their own anthem, the England Rugby League team needs one too”.

“As well as being a very fast, exciting sport, rugby league has always been known for being progressive and forward thinking. Now is the time for the Rugby Football League to follow the lead of the Commonwealth Games England and as well a proudly wearing the English colours and waving the English flag, using an English anthem”.

“I hope that we will see England signing an English anthem, not only when they take to the pitch in the first game of RLWC2013 at the Millennium Stadium on 26ht October , but also in the semi finals at Wembley and the final at Old Trafford and hopefully this time lifting the trophy and doing the whole of England proud”.

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said:

“Hosting the Rugby League world Cup offers the RFL a great chance to put their sport in the spotlight by making the switch. As England Captain Kevin Sinfield is due to lead the team out for their first match in Cardiff I am sure the local audience would be pleased to see the English team recognise that being English and being British are not the same thing. There is a growing interest across all sports in having an English anthem when England take the field, with God Save The Queen used for British teams like team GB at the Olympics. Rugby League should take the lead.”

Gareth Young, of Anthem4England, said:

“The use of the British anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ by England, especially when competing against Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, smacks of imperialism. It also denies England its own discrete national identity whilst the Scots and Welsh are denied equal ownership of the British national anthem. The Cross of St George has replaced the British flag at English sporting events; it is now time to replace the British anthem with a distinctly English anthem starting with the Rugby League World Cup. Jerusalem works for me.”

Philip Davies, Conservative Member of Parliament for Shipley, said:

“I believe that it is about time that England had its own national anthem for sporting events when it is competing with the other nations within the UK. God Save the Queen in an anthem for the whole of the UK, and a separate English anthem would recognise this and also allow a greater sense of national pride in being English. I hope that the Rugby League World cup is the first tournament where this happens.”

Petition Co-ordinator Stuart Long added:

“I fully support this campaign for an English anthem to be played when England compete in Rugby League World Cup, as a nation England needs to have a unique voice like other nations of the United Kingdom like Wales & Scotland with a unique anthem.”

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English National Anthem for the Rugby World Cup

Anthem4England - Fri, 07/12/2013 - 00:46

England and Wales host the Rugby League World Cup in October 2013.

Greg Mulholland MP has tabled the following EDM to persuade fellow MPs to support his call for the English team to use an English anthem instead of God Save the Queen. Please email your MP and ask them to support EDM 391 “ENGLISH NATIONAL ANTHEM FOR THE RUGBY WORLD CUP”.

That this House welcomes calls for an English anthem to be used by the England Rugby League team at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup which takes place between October and November in venues across England, Wales and France; further believes that the Rugby League World Cup 2013, which is the first major international sporting tournament played on these shores since the inspiring London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, should be the first major sporting tournament where an England team sings an English anthem; notes that the World Cup will see England, Wales and Scotland competing with the Wales team using Land of My Fathers and the Scotland team Flower of Scotland and therefore believes that England should not use the UK anthem, God Save the Queen, that equally belongs to Scotland and Wales, but should use an English anthem instead; calls on the Rugby Football League to announce that England will use an English anthem and perhaps organise a poll of England fans to decide what this should be, or use the anthem chosen for English athletes used at the Commonwealth Games; looks forward to the England Rugby League team taking to the pitch for the opening game of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 at the Millennium Stadium on 26 October and proudly singing an English anthem; and further wishes the best of luck to all the distinct home nation sides participating in the tournament and hopes that they are successful.

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English Commonwealth’s petition for an English anthem

Anthem4England - Mon, 07/08/2013 - 22:54

Please pop over to change.org to sign English Commonwealth’s petition for a distinctly English national anthem.

The sport governing bodies and associations of England: Adopt an English national anthem

The use of the British national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ as the English national anthem denies England its own discrete identity whilst the Scots and Welsh are denied equal ownership of the British national anthem. The Cross of St George has replaced the British flag at English sporting events; it is now time to replace the British anthem with a distinctly English anthem.

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