Mr Eddie Bone, Campaign Director for the Campaign for an English Parliament.
The Campaign for English Parliament attended the ‘Jeremy Corbyn for Leader’ event that was held in Ealing on the 17th August 2015.
As the Campaign Director of the Campaign for an English Parliament we asked a question during the question and answer section, after Jeremy Corbyn’s main speech. We asked if he would establish an English Labour Party. His reply was direct and dismissive as he stated ‘he didn’t support an English Labour Party as he didn’t see the need for it’. We thought it showed a lack of insight into the complex concerns being expressed by many Labour supporters, so we attempted to highlight the clear differences in policies between the nations of the UK, (Tuition fees).
After the event we attempted to speak with Jeremy Corbyn so that he could clarify why he talked about equality and fairness for all yet didn’t appear concerned about England and the English.
Please read the following transcript to see his appalling reply to English concern (I have highlighted the main point that completely surprised me)
Jeremy Corbyn Ealing Town Hall 17/08/15 (after the main event)
Eddie: This isn’t right, it isn’t right when actually now listen your blocking me away completely is that the way you treat, is that the way you treat the you treat the English this way, your pushing me away
Jeremy: Now hang on, hang on, hang on
Eddie: I just have a question to be answered
Jeremy: There are English regions which have regional labour parties, as does Scotland and Wales and there is the Labour party the membership decide
Eddie: So you’re happy to see them broken up into regions
Jeremy: There has never been a collective voice for England
Eddie: Of course there’s a collective voice for England, were a thousand year old nation, we have a right just as Scotland and Wales to our own parliament to our own government
Jeremy: Well I not in favour of an English parliament, I’m in favour of English regions ??
Tragically for the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn appeared not to grasp what the Conservatives were able to grasp during the general election. Admittedly it took an Australian spin doctor, Lynton Crosby to eventually help the Conservatives see the advantage of playing the English nationalist card. But it did help them ‘above all expectations’ to win a majority. It also helped ‘Northern UKIP’ to block Labour’s ability to challenge the Conservatives as well.
Eddie Bone, Campaign for an English Parliament stated “I was appalled to see and hear a potential Labour Leader, show such a lack of basic knowledge of English history. Jeremy Corbyn’s blinked ignorance will play into the Conservatives, UKIP and English nationalists hands over and over again during the next 5 years. His contemptuous and heavy handed approach will not only just succeed in offending the English but will also strengthen the Scottish nationalist as well. By calling Scotland a ‘Region’ he stuck two fingers up to the new Scottish Labour leader. How will she be able to make the Scottish Labour party more distinctive if a new British Labour leader is still in denial about the growth of Scottish nationalism?”
He continued “Labour will potentially face extinction if Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next Labour leader because he has failed to understand that many Labour supporters in England see themselves as English and want their own voice which means establishing an English Labour Party”