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End Of The Union?

On 9 May 2011 at 12:51pm Paul Newman wrote:
Big`Lec and the SNP had a quite astonishing result and there is little obstacle to a referendum on independence for Scotland.The Scotland Act is ,I think, due to cede yet more devolved powers to the tartan terrors which makes the democratic inequality between English and Scot even more absurd than it already is.
Surely the Scots simply cannot go on having it all their way and despite the unionist declarations of its leaders the Conservative the Party is overwhelmingly English .It cannot ignore its voters
Is this the moment for an English Parliament ?
On 9 May 2011 at 1:09pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
I would agree, but for the ridiculous costs involved. It costs us all a fortune to run the Scottish and Welsh assemblies. What do we get for it? Loads of Scottish and Welsh MPs in Westminster.
On 9 May 2011 at 3:06pm Taff wrote:
Tisk tisk EBM.
On 9 May 2011 at 4:26pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
I'm only going on about the ones that don't want to get into their own assemblies Taff.
On 9 May 2011 at 9:39pm Donna Edmunds wrote:
Wasn't it John Major who said "if the answer is more politicians, you're asking the wrong question"? I don't think an English Parliament is either realistic or required. All we need to do is stop Welsh and Scottish MPs from voting on matters that only affect English constituents.
However, Alex Salmond has promised a referendum on Scottish Devolution in the next four years which could be very interesting. I'm all for the Union, but to be honest, if they want to give it a go by themselves I've no real objections. As long as one of the clauses is that we won't bale them out if (when) it all goes wrong.
On 9 May 2011 at 9:42pm Twinky wrote:
Paul - The problem is that the Scots have no downside in demanding more "spending" powers whilst the rest of the UK is for some reason too timid to insist that they do rather more "paying" for all this. You have to understand that everything that goes wrong in Scotland is invariably presented as somehow being due to the machinations of the English; there is no pro-union voice north of the border, that is not discredited - with class (land owning Tories) or sheer incompetence (Central Scots Labour). The Barnett formula (agreed in the 70's, during the first tide of Scots nationalism, locking in higher spending per head in Scotland and Wales) is a disastrous re-allocation of money north of the border, from the South of England (who pay the lions share of taxes), in order to buy the stability of the Union (and Labour votes). It would be a totally different story if Salmond actually had to balance the books, as opposed to the curent situation - taking the Barnett over-allocation and THEN whingeing that we don't spend enough north of the border.
Another costly layer of bureaucracy for England is not the answer - just stop bending over backwards to accomodate the SNP or a Labout who are terrified of losing their core votes.
On 9 May 2011 at 11:26pm Paul Newman wrote:
Not much I disagree with there .Personally I favour a generous doling out of devolved powers with a rough and ready reduction of Scottish Westminster seats. Budgets the size of England's cannot be reasonably said to have no affect on Scotland but the old WLQ has to be addressed somehow.
PS Not out celebrating "Europe Day" Councillor Edmunds ? I am shocked
On 10 May 2011 at 4:50pm Toque wrote:
What on earth makes you think that an English parliament means 'more politicians'?

On the face of it English Votes on English Laws appears straightforward and fair. However, the very government of England (which under your plan is also the government of the UK is coloured by Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs), so even if the English vote for a Tory government ‚?? as they did in the last election (and the 2005 general election for that matter) ‚?? they can end up with a government that they didn‚??t vote for, such as the present Coalition Government. Fair enough on reserved matters, but unfair when it comes matters that are devolved.

English Votes on English Laws will make it illogical for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs to hold Cabinet positions on devolved matters. It will also make it illogical for non-English MPs to cut their ministerial teeth in departments with devolved portfolios, so your plan will lead to a situation whereby non-English MPs are logically excluded from a large minority (or possibly a majority) of government jobs. This will lead to an Englishing of British government that will damage the Union.

Also, if English Votes on English Laws is imposed upon the Commons, it will increase the perception (already widely held in Scotland) that Westminster is the English Parliament, which in turn will weaken our collective sense of Britishness. Excluding non-English MPs from a majority of votes in the Commons will make them fairly redundant, second-class members, and make it unlikely that we would ever again have a Scottish PM.

And then we have Lords reform in which the HoL will be elected by PR, thereby conferring unpon the upper house greater democractic legitimacy than the Commons. And if the Commons has stripped non-English MPs of their voting privileges, then the reformed House of Lords will also be seen as the more British of the two chambers. As Paddy Tipping MP pointed out recently:

"Let us consider what would happen if there were two classes of Members of Parliament, and certain MPs could not vote and, in particular, speak on certain issues. If there were a rival Chamber up the Corridor, where Members from across the United Kingdom, however they were elected or selected, were able to speak, there would be a case for people to say, ‚??We are the legitimate Chamber of the United Kingdom, and you Commoners down there are a de facto Parliament for England.‚?Ě That is the threat. I do not say that that situation will arise, but we need to explore the issue."

Under these circumstances we can see how the evolution of the House of Commons into an English parliament, and the House of Lords into a federal parliament, might begin. The House of Commons could be reduced in size to 400 English MPs and the reformed House of Lords (the federal parliament) could handle reserved matters and have powers of scrutiny over the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments, and be reduced in size from 850 to 500 or so.

Bingo, fewer politicians, England has a parliament, everyone‚??s a winner.
On 10 May 2011 at 6:18pm Upstanding citizen wrote:
I must sit down now.
On 11 May 2011 at 5:49am Paul Newman wrote:
Toque as a measure of how far we have come , it is already unlikely that we will see another Scottish PM .It will certainly not be from the Labour side .I am not certain that appeals to logic are entirely the point either although I like your idea.
My own feeling is that when we get down to the nitty gritty, who pays the debts , who has the oil , who take on the pension liabilities the Scots will think long and hard about becoming a little EU principality with huge debts no industry and of no account anywhere. Its all posing ..I think.
On 11 May 2011 at 8:20pm Toque wrote:
I don't think the Scots will vote for independence, but the referendum itself (rather than the result) will be a transformational event, it will change Britain forever.

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