John B asks, “English? Wossat then?”
Many bits of the administrative region called England – London, Cornwall, Yorkshire, Newcastle-and-surroundings, Manchester-and-surroundings, Scouseland-and-surroundings and Cumbria, for starters – all have regional identities that are far stronger than any ‘English’ identity.
I obviously don’t know well enough because I’m not English. But from this not-very-distant distance it certainly looks to me as though England, as a ‘nation’, doesn’t have very much in common with itself. Cornwall itself probably has a stronger nationalist movement than the whole of England does! (Whether the English want a national English Parliament or regional parliaments is up to them though. It’s a bit rude of me to tell them what’s what.)
Scotland is the same mind you. There’s probably not an awful lot I have in common with, say, your average person from a remote fishing village in the north. There are at least two major spoken languages (three if you include Scots, as many do) in Scotland. A Scottish identity is there though. Scotland’s Parliament is reasonable — nay, required — because of the separate legal and education systems which Scotland always had, and that’s before you go on to ask about identity or nationality or whatever.
I hate the whole concept of the nation though. I am not a nationality. I am an individual person.
Update: John at The England Project adds his views. The conclusion is one that I agree with.
Why should one nation have a parliament in the union and not the others? Cultural arguments simply do not wash because to have them one has to accept that only countries that have a single and strong cultural identity should have a national parliament.