Have just heard James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, on Question Time.
The panel was answering a question about Scotland – Referendum – wee Wendy, and a member of the audience talked about Scottish members voting on English matters, but not the other way round; no prescription charges in Wales; and so on.
So little James bravely speaks up about the virtues of preserving the United Kingdom, and then says that with devolution they have tried other forms of government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so they can “work out what is best for each country”.
There’s something missing here isn’t there? What about England? It seems we are not old enough or responsible enough to have the self-government the other three countries of the United Kingdom have. Labour doesn’t have to bother to “work out what is best” for England. We just have to put up with having Brown’s scottish comrades make the rules for us.
Just how blinkered are these people that they can’t see the unfairness of having a completely different constitutional framework for England than for the other three countries?
A Parliament for England now!
Well, we’ve waited all day for the London result, and it was sure worth waiting for.
A high turnout, one of the highest ever in London; over a million first preference votes for Boris; and a majority of almost 150,000 on the first preference votes, and 140,000 on the combined first and second. 53% of the vote for Boris and 47% for Ken.
The London Mayoral election is quite unlike any other. The media attention and the pressure are enormous. I was there for the first ever Mayoral election in 2000. We had a basement headquarters office for our inner team, and every time we stuck our noses outside there were a couple of TV crews there. I know how hard Boris’s team has worked this time. If it was anything like us it was 18 hours a day, seven days a week. So congratulations to Boris’s team, and to all the London Conservative Associations for their hard work.
I have to be a bit biased and say that Steve Norris was a strong and popular candidate on two occasions. I believe that if he had stood again, in the current political climate, he would have won. But that takes nothing from what Boris has done.
The first Conservative Mayor of London – congratulations and we’re expecting great things from you.