Friday, 4 July 2008

A Positive Solution To The West Lothian Question!

Tam Dalyell is a man known for asking awkward questions - the answers to which few, if any, are able to find. So to answer Tam's biggest question of all who better than a 'big beast' of British politics to propose a positive solution.

Earlier this week Ken Clarke MP announced the result of his 'democracy task force', proposing a positive answer to Tam's 'West Lothian Question'. Ken's proposal, backed by David Cameron, is that MP's representing Scottish constituencies should be able to vote on the second and third readings of every Bill, even those that affect only English constituencies, but that were a Bill only applies to England its committee stage, during which MP's formally amend Bills, should only be considered by MP's representing English constituencies.

To those who are not aficionados of Westminster procedure this may seem like a very confusing proposal but to political hacks like me this seems to be a clever and elegant solution to ensuring fairness for England in this post devolution era.

Poll after poll, the overwhelming majority of Scots indicate they understand it is not fair for Scottish MP's to legislate on issues that only affect England when English MP's are not able to vote on the same matters for Scotland as a result of devolution. That is because we Scots believe in fair play, equality and in protecting our democracy!

Ken Clarke's solution would allow MP's representing Scottish constituencies to register their vote on every Bill considered by Parliament, preventing any allegation of the creation of a two tier system of MP, and will address the fundamental unfairness of Labour's devolution settlement in relation to its impact on democracy in England.

Thanks to Ken Clarke, I look forward to campaigning at the next General Election on the basis that, if elected, the people of East Renfrewshire can be assured I will represent them on every issue before the UK Parliament by voting on every Bill put before it. In doing so the people of East Renfrewshire will be able to judge me on my record and by ensuring this becomes formal Westminster procedure the people of England can rest assured the Conservative & Unionist Party will have provided them with a solution to the most difficult of constitutional questions by restoring fairness to their democracy, as they so rightly demand!

1 comment:

Sancus said...

A sensible solution to a complex problem! This combined with a common sense approach to fuel duty announced today, and it becomes clear whose finger's on the pulse-and it isn't Brown or Darling!!