I was listening to the World-at-One News on Radio 4 today. Right at the very, very end of the broadcast, taking the place of the ‘dead donkey’ and ‘man discovers a vegetable in the shape of a potato’ stories was a report on today’s English Constitutional Convention meeting at Westminster.
Velvet toned ‘Scoop Anchorman’, introduced his expert guest to give his considered opinion on the prospect of an English Parliament. I listened, wondering which English academic or patriot might sally forth with cogent and forthright arguments as to why the cause was just.
Step forward constitutional nobody, Campbell Christie…….
So who the hell is he then?
Scoop solved the mystery. True to P.C. form, the BBC had wheeled in not an English person to preview an English event, but some Scottish geezer. Apparently, Christie was the former general secretary (ret) of the Scottish TUC and served on the Scottish Constitutional Convention during the late nineties….. in short, Campbell Christie was perfect BBC interviewing material - Scottish, a serial quango-meister and as it obviously turned out, anti English Parliament. The trinity of the unholy alliance wrapped up in one chippy package.
I wondered, sort of naively why no English person could be found to give their expert view. Who knows, maybe all the pro Parliament English people were having their butties and listening to the World at One?
Scoop asked his first question to his invited guest. Did he think the English should have their own Parliament. Christie replied…. "There’s definitely an issue…. I had hoped that an England governed by regional assemblies would have been the answer"..
Well thanks very much Campbell, but we’ve passed on that – remember the North East of England Referendum?
There then followed quotes from the lexicon of smoke and mirrors from Christie…. "An English Parliament would inevitably break up the union"….. "An English Parliament would want more and more power"….. and the coup de classic – "I don’t believe there is any desire in England for an English Parliament"…..
And that was that, job done. Yet another Scot wheeled out to damn the proposal of English self-determination. Yet again, the supremely supine BBC achieved its clammy handed Uriah Falconer inspired brief of rubbishing the English question. Yet again, Nu Labour’s stranglehold on the establishment and on the fate of 50 million English people is laid bare for all to see.
But trust me, things really will change.