Sunday, February 14, 2010

End this farce now!

One of the current anomalies of devolution is that for all they have their own parliaments and assemblies with their own devolved powers Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MP's can (and do with certain honourable exceptions) vote on matters pertaining only to the nation of England and that do not and will not affect their own constituents. When there was only one parliament for the whole of the UK, this was marginally acceptable as MP's were (and still are) expected to put the interests of the UK ahead of national interests. That ceased to be when Labour devolved powers to Scotland and Wales and left their semi employed MP's to tinker around with legislation on a nation who many of them appear to despise and have no business voting on merely being lobby fodder for the party system. That's why England has university tuition fees and trust hospitals despite the fact that a majority of English MP's voted against the measures, they were carried on the back of Scottish and Welsh labour votes.
For a time it looked as though the Tories were going to do something about it with various suggestions being put forward on English votes for English laws (EvoEl)
However Ding Cameron has decided to break another Cast Iron promise to the people of England.

Times.
Scottish MPs will still be able to vote on issues that affect only England under a Tory government, despite David Cameron’s vow to end the anomaly.
Members with constituencies north of the border would not be banned from voting at the crucial second and third readings of bills on English-only legislation.
The decision has angered some campaigners, who believe it is wrong that Scottish MPs can swing the outcome of crunch votes on issues that do not affect their constituents. The issue has been a running sore since 2004, when 40 Scottish MPs helped the government push through a highly controversial bill introducing university tuition fees.
Cameron has previously indicated that Scottish MPs would be banned from swinging legislation in such a way again.
David Mundell, the shadow Scottish secretary, revealed that they will be barred only from the committee and report stages of bills, in which the precise wording of new legislation is determined.
“Basically, what we’re saying is that, in the committee and report stage of the bill, the committee should be made up only of members from England, or England and Wales if that’s the jurisdiction. That’s the point at which amendments and changes come forward,” he said.
To counter concerns that restrictions would create two classes of MP, he added that Cameron would allow Scottish MPs to vote at the second and at the third, final, stage.
So, no change at all save that the committees would have English only members. Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish MP's will still get to vote on English matters because Ding Cameron is too much a coward and a traitor to his nation to end this disgrace. His one nation Toryism apparently does not include the nation of England.
It gets worse.

Times.

Cameron promises ‘great amount of money for Scotland’s great needs’

Earlier in the day, in Glasgow, before an audience of Scottish media representatives, Mr Cameron challenged the widespread perception south of the border that the Barnett Formula gave Scotland an unfair spending advantage over England. He said England was not being “ripped off” because of the formula, which, was coming to the end of its life anyway. Its abolition would not mean a “pot of gold” for English voters, he said. “Whatever the Barnett Formula is replaced by, it will have to be a needs-based formula and Scotland has great needs and will get a great amount of money under that formula.“ 
I give you that as one example of why this is a UK-wide Conservative Party that wants to keep the United Kingdom together,” he said. 
 I think it's time to end this farce of a Union, if the Scots and Welsh want to go their own way good luck to them, but it's time the English had their say on the Union too as to whether we want to keep ourselves connected to Scotland and Wales and perhaps to hell with being British.
Scotland can  keep its oil, Wales its sheep I'm sure England and the English will get on fine without them. It's time and past time that England emerged from this unequal union and made its own way in the world again, those that think we're stronger united forget the fact that there are 55,000,000 of us out of a UK population of 65,000,000 so we'll be almost as strong and certainly more willing to support the great if not greater needs of England rather than the Union as a whole.

So yes, it's time this farce of a Union and this parliament of treacherous Brits ended.

For this Englishman, it's now a case of England first and foremost.

 

5 annotations:

Bugger said...

The SNP members at Westminster do not and have never voted on an England only motion or bill.

The perfidious Labour and LibDums do it all the time.

As for the Tories, well their one MP probably does vote as per LabLibDums but one vote hardly counts, does it?

England is under-represented by the current system and I, amongst many other Scots, would welcome England growing a set of balls of their own.

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

unfortunately every engish MP can vote on scotlands block grant we should all go our own way
MAKE IT SO

Quiet_Man said...

@ Anonymous,

Since when have MP's representing English constituencies ever voted against the party whips in big enough numbers to force constitutional change?
The system is rotten to the core, the time for change is now and if that means breaking the union, so be it.

tris said...

I think it was all part of Blair's plan to make the pesky pain in the arse Celtic fringe countries feel like they had devolution, without really giving them REAL power.

He once referred to the Celtic parliaments as parish councils, which I understand is something that you guys have in England, at the very bottom of the administration pecking order.

If he had given England a parliament then he would have had to give it real powers.

I completely take your point, as I’ve said before. Personally I can’t wait for the day that we all have our independence, and become friends (like a couple who have tired of living with each other but become mates again when they split up).

In the meantime Scottish Labour MPs, and Liberal MPs and Mr Muddle should be banned from voting on your legislation. No need to do it with the SNP. They aren’t interested and they aren’t allowed by the party to take any part in debates, let alone vote in matters that don’t concern them.

It is worth pointing out, as I have before, that Scottish Law being separate from English, in the days before devolution, many Acts had to be passed in ‘England and Wales’ and ‘Scottish’ versions Previous Tory governments have always used English MPs to get their way, as they have for a very long time, been outnumbered in Scotland by the Labour Party.

So when Mrs Thatcher wanted to pass a Bill for Scotland on Transport, for example, her Scotland Secretary would present it, and on the opposition benches would be all these Scottish Labour MPS. There would only be a few Scottish Tories. So Mrs Thatcher’s whips had to get a whole pile of English Tories to vote on the Scottish legislation to get it through, because otherwise she would be defeated.

So, whilst I agree that it is utterly and completely wrong and MUST stop immediately, Scotland has had to put up with it for hundreds of years. You guys have only had 11 years.

Junius said...

tris - you JUST had to get that in didn't you? And you can't see the difference.

In the bad old days when all these nasty English were have their wicked way,(and by the way Scotland got the poll tax first because the Scottish Office wanted it that way, they thought they might be missing out) - we were all part of the United Kingdom; laws that were passed in Parliament affected us all - and you Scots were able to vote your MP's in, and vote them out.

Regardless of Labour or Tory, if you didn't like what they were doing - you were able to exercise your democratic right to get rid of them because they were accountable to you.

We can't - I am sick of saying this! But we didn't elect the Scottish MPs that get to vote on England only laws; laws which do not affect their constituencies and for which they cannot be held accountable - AND we cannot get rid of them.

And do not try and justifiy that anomally by citing the number of MP's from English seats actually in parliament.

Note that I said MP's from English seats - I did that deliberately because there are a number of safe seats in England filled by government supporting Scottish labour members. Fat chance of them putting England first.

The problem with party politics is that members put their party before their people and so these so called English have very little wish to rock the party boat.

Our only chance is a new and angry party that puts England first and unfortunately the one that shouts the loudest about that is the BNP - and without another alternative many people will vote for them out of desperation.

We need an end to farce and we need it soon.