England could achieve parity with all other parts of the UK by the simple abolition of the grossly expensive and patently ineffective system of devolved Governments.
One Nation: Great Britain(United Kingdom).
Four Peoples:United under one Government, symbolised by the Union(Jack)Flag, but retaining their wonderfully unique identities and histories.
Stronger through Unity, Greater by virtue of a common belief structure, that presents a stable, civilised image to the rest of the world, a world that in no way can lay claim to such treasures.
The introduction of devolved Governments was an act designed to weaken us all through the encouragement of harmful social divisions, by people/politicians who did not have the best interests of our nation at heart.
I agree with John. I would hate to lose Scotland and devolution, although it has given some power back to the individual countries within Britain I feel it will weaken the country as a whole and it is sad for the UK. I suspect that this government would love to rid itself of Scotland given that they have a left wing parliament and 56 MP's who totally disagree with their policies.
I am deeply suspicious of polititians whatever colour they are but most of all I am even more cynical of the present lot - they have so many hidden agendas and canenot ever be trusted! I wonder what their secret plans are for Scotland and also for England as well. They want to take away as many of our freedoms as possible and they are divisive - this is all about getting and keeping as much power and control as possible - so those who like devolution beware!
No Peter, to continue this folly of devolved Government will simply result in the destruction of the NHS in Wales by the incompetence of the Welsh Labour Party, that inadequately funds that important public service to the detriment of the Welsh people and the eventual collapse of the welfare state in Scotland because of the SNP's financial imprudence which continues to increase public spending for it's ageing population, its students and its children, without realistically increasing personal and corporate taxation for the diminishing working age population and it's employers because they fear the reaction of the socialist working class that form the mass of Scottish workers who will eventually turn on them.
I agree with you, John, about further devolution, I do not like the idea of breaking up the union. I doubt that the Labour government in Wales or the SNP in Scotland are imprudent, they just see reducing the deficit in a different way from the conservatives who just want a small state and want to crush public services and privatise the NHS. They seem to think that their policies will help grow the economy, and that has yet to happen. 0.7% recent growth is little to crow about given that it is almost entirely down to services rather than manufacturing or technology which is where the real money is to be made. We are now being threatened by raising interest rates, this will have a devastating effect on a vast number of people, already in debt and those with massive mortgages encouraged by the government in order to promote growth in the economy when all it has done is create a housing bubble with prices out of reach for most first time buyers especially in the south east. I lived through 4 recessions during Thatcher's and Major's governments and worked with many people in negative equity and rendered homeless due to an inability to repay their mortgage. This could so easily happen again. The economy has not be re-balanced and will not be any time soon. The so-called Northern Powerhouse has been shelved. Shrinking the state is not the way to go. The most devastating effect on us all has been the growth in inequality and the SNP wants to see an end to it. One way to end it would be to grow proper jobs which pay proper wages effecting the tax receipts and money to the treasury. Conservative ideas about apprenticeships are pathetic - a month in a place of work is not a proper apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are about learning a trade and these, in the past, used to stretch over a period of years not a few months. Industry should encourage their staff to train. Research and development should be encouraged and companies should not just strip as many assets as possible and then leave the dregs -this has been happening for far too long. Maybe the SNP and Welsh Labour recognise this and would prefer to split from the Union in order to establish a more equal and fairer society where their population isn't reduced to going to food banks and they unemployed and working poor are not demonised by a cruel and rather stupid government like our present bunch. I would hate to see further devolution but if I was Scottish or Welsh the prospect of getting away from England would be very appealing.
I doubt if you and I will ever achieve aggreement, the rational behind that statement is the recognition that with your background as a shop steward and a fervant socialist voter you are unable to contemplate that the time when socialism as a workable political system that can win an election outright and effectively Govern Scotlandby means of the votes of the oppressed working classes has long since passed into political history.
You are correct in saying that Scotland is a country predominantly socialist in it's political thinking. However the population dynamics are aligned against Scotland being able to survive as an independent socialist sovereign Nation State:
The bare facts are that 2,611,000 Scottish workers will have to fund the education and chilcare of 900,000 under 16 year olds, all of the social benefits and pensions for 2,915,400 Scots and that figure is growing every year while the number of workers entering employment is falling away exponentially. As the Americans would say "You do the Math"
N.B. My estimate is that for scotland to survive it would have to allow immigration of working age foreigners at the rate of 100,000 per year for the next 15 years and provide the employment for those migrants too so that they continue to pay taxes, who will foot the bill?
Unfortunately, John, we are now revisiting history. I do hope that Socialism is not political history given that the workers in this country are going backwards rather than forwards. Poor pay, dreadful working conditions and losing their rights continually. Inequality is growing year after year and we need a good dose of socialism to redress the balance!
Once this stupid government remove housing benefit from 18 to 25 yr olds we will see vulnerable youngsters back on the streets - it is a disgrace. I work for the YMCA which houses and supports care leavers and young vulnerable children and when this new wonderful idea comes into force the organisation will no longer have the funds to offer safe housing. That to my mind is regressive - this is 2015 not 1815! This is merely one example of the regressive, uncaring and ill thoughtout policies. They are now thinking of removing benefits from substance misusers that do not stop drinking or using drugs - forcing sobriety does not work - the fools. I am so angry I will not continue to bore you with more examples of their vile ideas.
I hope Scotland stays in the Union at least they have reasonable and representative MP's with a social conscience in parliament - the English need the same!
I trust that your reference to "share holders" is directed at corporate shareholders who speculate on the stock market trends literally minute by minute, 24/7 and not the ordinary man or woman who dabbles in shares to offset the lack of accumulated interest on their savings in the banks and building societies to cushion the massive drop in personal income that awaits them in retirement.