Friday, March 10, 2006

How is it possible to hold so many contradictory ideas at one time?

Tony's flatmate Charlie "the Lord" Falconer must be either a genius or a moron - and I know which I'm putting my money on...

So to have an English Parliament would threaten the breakup of the United Kingdom, but having a Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly does not?

Falconer also acknowledges that "The argument for devolution was that the Scots and the Welsh felt policies could be imposed upon them for which there was little or no support in Scotland or Wales" - precisely the same arguments the proponents of an English Parliament use now, only with "England" in place of those two Celtic nations. Indeed, Scots votes have swung it for the government on a number of occasions now.

For the record, my preferred solution to the West Lothian Question has long been that now adopted by the Tories - an honour system, where Scottish MPs don't vote on issues that will not affect Scotland. Sadly, however, under this government the concept of "honour" seems to have been utterly lost under obfuscation, lies and spin. Ho-hum...

Still, at least Tony and Charlie are being consistent in their claims that they can't introduce two tiers of MPs.

Although that rather fails to answer the question "what are MSPs and Welsh AMs if not second-class MPs, exactly?"

Update: Apparently that wasn't Falconer's only bit of doublethink this morning. This is what I get for no longer being able to pick up Radio 4 on my alarm clock. Then again, missing The Today Programme is probably doing my heart a world of good - waking up every day to the levels of anger ministerial idiots provoke can't have been healthy...

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second class MPs? I prefer the term "third-rate" myself...

DK

3/10/2006 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

But that would imply that there are some first-rate MPs out there...

3/10/2006 12:23:00 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

You can get the Today political bits by podcast. It's like a daily bite-size heart attack delivered by iPod. Do a search on iTunes to get it.

3/10/2006 01:13:00 pm  
Blogger Truth Seeker said...

I have to say that while I am somewhat hesitant about an English parliament as such, those in favour of such a parliament do raise some valid concerns, as you have raised in your on post here.

I would certainly agree that on English only matters, those who represent constituencies outside of England should be bound to abstain from voting. As you say, there is not much honour around these days.

3/10/2006 01:29:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Andrew - that would necessitate a) owning an ipod or other kind of mp3 player, and b) knowing how to use it... I am sadly largely sans-gadgets. Hell, my computer's getting on for eight years old, and bits of it are early '90s...

3/10/2006 01:44:00 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

Probably for the best. Grimacing and cursing while commuting scares people away. Your PC should play the MP3s though if you really need a Labour cabinet minister fix every day.

3/10/2006 01:57:00 pm  
Blogger Bishop Hill said...

Surely hoping for honour from politicians is a little optimistic?

3/10/2006 07:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Neil H said...

Got to say I can't agree with an "honour" system, not least because some MP's might be a bit confused by the concept of honour.

But surely mixing up the government of England and the UK in one system like this has to be bad for accountability? I don't think people who are not overly interested in politics (who make up the vast, and healthy, majority) are going to carry it around in their heads exactly how many and which MP's make up the UK majority of the governing party, and which set of MP's it is that comprises the English government? And do you honestly think the English media can be relied upon to explain to people the difference? The Sun? The Daily Mail?

Sorry, good blog, just needed to get that off my chest. I'm Scottish, by the way, and I've lived most of my life near Newcastle. I was in favour of the North-east assembly, which shows how much I know.

3/10/2006 10:02:00 pm  
Blogger strangely rouge said...

never mind the papers explaining it to their readers. Will anyone really know who to blame for anything. Do I speak to a parish council? unitary authority council? Directly elected Mayor? MP? Regional Assembly? gov. department? super national Parliament (EuroParl)?

The buck will be passed whenever there's a problem. Just as happens now with any draconian or badly thought out rules that are seemingly always blamed on European Directives. Yet any attempts at ensuring the rights of unions to exist, or limits on our working hours are suddenly well within our power and national interest to block.
I'm no big fan of the concept of 'small government' as the conservatives in Anglo-Saxon democracies call it, but all these governments, these salaries, expenses and pensions.

It's often been said that they best way to get a good pension is work for government and with so many governments and assemblies and councils most of us will have the opportunities to work for them.

3/10/2006 11:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get all the BBC radio programs from the last week over the net (for free) from the BBC radio website. All you need is real player (also free)

3/11/2006 01:27:00 pm  
Blogger Rigger Mortice said...

the only sound logic for having an English parliament is that the Taffs and Jocks have one,so why shouldn't we.
The reality is that these extra layers of govt are no more than parking spaces for hordes of really bad bureaucrats who have somehow managed not get gainful employment in the public sector handouts of the last 8 years.
The sooner we all work for the govt the easier it will be.

3/11/2006 04:56:00 pm  

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