Campaign for an English parliament – analysis on who won on the English question in the Stoke Central by-election
On the 21st January 2017, Paul Nuttall stood behind the rostrum at UKIPs Stoke Central by-election launch and said after 6 minutes that he had pride in England and UKIP supported the creation of an English Parliament.
For English patriots those words were music to their ears because there was a realistic chance that Labour’s anti-English agenda of implementing the break-up of England into EU Regions would be shown up for all to see by the favourite to win. Media coverage would be extensive!
This was because the main contender for the Stoke Central seat was prepared to make it known that he was proud to be English, realised that the current devolution settlement for England was unfair and that, to save the UK, an English parliament was needed.
The question was how Labour would respond to UKIP’s leader openly talking about English pride in an area where people had overwhelmingly shown that they also felt pride in being English in the 2011 census. On top of this Labour had a problem because it was known that Gareth Snell, the Labour candidate had ruled out his support for an English parliament on twitter (2014) instead believing in the breakup of England into EU Regions.
It appeared that all Paul Nuttall, UKIPs leader, had to do was compare Labour’s anti-English comments with his positive comments on England and then the citizens of Stoke Central would realise he was the person to protect their interests. In effect the Labour Leadership had gifted him an own goal due to their stance on England
( Please compare Paul Nuttall’s and Labour’s comments on England below)
To highlight the injustices England faces, a couple of members of the Campaign for an English parliament’s campaign team (CEP) decided to take their campaign vehicle to Stoke Central during the By-election with a banner saying ‘Stand up for England , Support an English parliament (equality and fairness).
They hoped to highlight that the governance of England should be discussed as an election issue for Stoke Central. What happened is of interest to all English patriots.
The CEP attended at both UKIP and Labour party election offices and asked to speak with their respective party election officers. At the UKIP office, Lisa Duffy, UKIP’s election officer couldn’t be bothered to speak to our campaign team. Instead (even though she was only a few feet away, behind a screen) she asked her office staff to say ‘An appointment hadn’t been made and she was too busy to speak’. No offer of another appointment was made.
In contrast to this when we attended at the Labour election office, the Labour Election Agent spoke with the Campaign for an English Parliament’s team and they were allowed to give out leaflets and engage in meaningful conversation with Labour activists. They showed the CEP that they had put the English flag on two of their leaflets.
UKIP were out-maneuvered by Labour regarding who was seen in the constituency to be standing up for English concerns.
Even if the Labour Party’s approach is to break up England into EU Regions, the constituency would not have known it during the by-election because UKIP didn’t highlight what Labour were planning to do. They didn’t show how anti-English some of Labour’s leading lights are and they certainly didn’t compare Paul Nuttall’s comments about England with Labour’s negative ones.
Unfortunately, although Paul Nuttall, UKIP’s leader, declared himself an English patriot at the beginning of the by-election it would appear that members in his party did not feel the same way and his early momentum on re-establishing UKIP as an advocate for England within the UK was lost.
A wily Labour campaign team had realised that they had needed to show their English patriotism as well so they made more references to England on their literature with large pictures of the English flags on leaflets. Whereas the Labour activists discussed the governance of England with the CEP, UKIP’s elections office staff didn’t have a clue about the “English Question”, calling it the East Lothian (sic) question instead! UKIP failed to put out any significant literature supporting Paul Nuttall’s declaration that he would be England’s champion.
UKIP’s election team’s failure to consolidate Paul Nuttall’s positive English stance allowed Labour to take his position, they allowed Labour to hustle him off the English ball. Labour didn’t win Stoke Central; UKIP gifted it to them because they didn’t put any substance to Paul Nuttall’s English patriotism and UKIP failed to challenge Labour’s proposal to break up England. A disappointment and a real missed opportunity!
Just compare these quotations
Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson “he opposed an English Parliament on the grounds that Scottish Unionists did not want it”
Labour’s Lord Charles Falconer “To the idea of an English Parliament, we say: Not today, not tomorrow, not in any kind of future we can see now”
Paul Nuttall “We can solve this problem of democratic deficit that England has and I believe the only to do that would be an English Parliament.”
Jeremy Corbyn ‘there has never been a collective voice for England’
Gareth Snell “An English Parliament for English issues doesn’t address the centralisation of power in Whitehall. It’ll still be all about London.”
Jeremy Corbyn “Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were all empowered by Labour’s devolution’
Paul Nuttall I’ve always believed that the devolution settlement was very unfair to the English in terms of finance and in terms of democracy. We need an English Parliament for the English people.
Emily Thornberry sneering tweet “image from #Rochester”. Just because a house had an English flag draped from its window and also had a white van parked outside.
John Prescott “there’s no such nationality as English” L
Paul Nuttall stated “I am English and I am proud of it” and “ We should be proud to be English and proud to celebrate St George’s Day”