Monday, February 28, 2005

About Time Too

Strangely, the BBC seem to be ignoring this story - can't find it on their website.

"Michael Howard, the Tory leader, will seek to harness the growing nationalism south of the Border with a policy of stopping Scottish MPs from voting on English health, education and crime policies.

He will put the so-called West Lothian Question at the heart of the election campaign by claiming Labour’s support has retreated to the Celtic fringe, leaving his authority in England dependent on Scots and Welsh MPs.

The Conservatives expect that, even if Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, wins a third term, Labour will lose its majority in England - putting the power of Scottish MPs in the spotlight.

Mr Howard and Peter Duncan, the shadow Scottish secretary, will propose next month that the Speaker should decide what legislation applies only to England - and ensure Scots MPs do not debate or vote on such issues."

Ignore the spin about 'growing nationalism'. This is just a question of fairness. Scots MPs can vote on English issues - issues such as hunting or tuition fees where the legislation does not apply to Scotland. Scotland has its own Assembly which decides on such matters - and English MPs have no vote there.

You can't blame the Scots for wanting to keep the status quo, if the English are mugs enough to agree.

John Robertson, the Labour MP for Glasgow Anniesland, said:

"All legislation - English, Welsh or Scottish - requires money from UK coffers. Last time I checked, everyone in Scotland pays the same British tax, so every MP in Britain has a direct interest in how that tax is spent."

Quite right John. Makes sense to me. So you'll be scrapping that white elephant knocked up by Kirsty Wark's mates, will you ? No ? Oh.

And some English MPs will use the rift to further the EU agenda for the Balkanisation of England into 'regions'.

Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran Labour rebel, admitted it was "frustrating" to be defeated over particular legislation by Scots whose constituencies were not affected.

But he went on: "Unless we have devolved regional government in England, there’s no reason to bar the Scots."

That's right. The Scots and Welsh can have a Parliament, but the English ? Who are they ? My loyalties are to the ancient 'South West Region', aren't they ?

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