Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “West Lothian Question”

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

Read more…

Is an Unrepresentative Parliament a necessary EVEL?

The Scots (specifically the Scottish Nationalists at Westminster) look to be about to “save the fox“. That raises yet more questions about Cameron’s piecemeal approach to a new “constitutional settlement”.

This arises from the unanswered question about what the UK Parliament at Westminster should be. Whilst I have often complained that I am unrepresented in Parliament, I none-the-less subscribe to the belief that a Parliament should be a representative body rather than merely a body of representatives.

The difference is important and possibly holds the key to the current “Westminster Question”. Read more…

Northumberland Votes for Northumberland Laws?

Speaking in the House of Commons, MP for Hexham Guy Opperman said people in Northumberland are keen to see constitutional change.

Blocking Scottish MPs from voting on Northumberland’s affairs must happen as a matter of urgency, a North East MP has claimed.
Journal 16 December 2014 : Government must press on with English votes for English laws to fight ‘injustice’, Hexham MP Guy Opperman has said

I would equally like to see Southern and Midlands MPs from voting on Northumberland’s affairs – as a matter of urgency. Read more…

Drumbeats from North of the Border

This week (27 November 2014) has seen the publication of the Smith Commission‘s proposals – seen by many as the first stage in delivering the three Musketeer’s Vow to the Scottish People.

Whether it proves to be an effective response to the apparent desire of the Scottish people for more autonomy is yet to be seen.

It does however set a critical and crucial drumbeat to which all in the UK must respond. Read more…

Conservative views of Devolution

Amber Rudd on BBC Daily Politics (BBC2 5 November 2014) seems to have complex – even contradictory – views on Devolution. Read more…

The English Paradox

Nations are rarely static; they tend to either form structures to hold them together or they split apart.

This puts England (as the core of the hollowed out British Empire) in a decidedly odd position. Read more…

A bad day for democracy

It is a fantastic result, … Scotland has spoken, … we have had record turnout.

So, surely a good day for democracy?

If you believe that democracy is about a glorified opinion poll every so often, Yes.

But if you believe it means the people’s voice being heard and acted upon, No.

There will be disillusion, because Scots won’t get what they may have voted for, and the rest of us have not been consulted. Read more…

London media and Scottish Independence

In Tuesday’s Guardian George Monbiot bemoans the (mainly London) media coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Living within their tiny circle of light, most senior journalists seem unable to comprehend a desire for change. If they notice it at all, they perceive it as a mortal threat, comparable perhaps to Hitler. They know as little of the lives of the 64 million inhabiting the outer darkness as they do of the Andaman islanders. Yet, lecturing the poor from under the wisteria, they claim to speak for the nation.

… But to those within the circle, politics still begins and ends in Westminster. The opinions of no one beyond the gilded thousand with whom they associate is worthy of notice.
The Guardian 16 September 2014 : How the media shafted the people of Scotland

I accept the examples of “gilded circles” which always make me feel queasy, but I wonder whether good old (bad old?) geographical remoteness plays a bigger part? Read more…

Keeping the Last Colony?

So the colonial masters have finally decided that they need to visit and tell the rebels that it is “just not on”.

If you want to persuade Scots that they should stay in the UK, you don’t at the last minute send in a triple pack of English Politicians to represent the old order. Read more…

West Glamorgan Question

Former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said Wales should have fewer MPs now the Welsh government has more powers.

Mrs Gillan said with constituency and regional assembly members, each Welsh constituency had two and a half politicians doing the work of one English MP.

“I think you need to even up that balance and make people feel that there is an equity between representation on one side of a country boundary within the United Kingdom and another.”
BBC News website 13 June 2014 : Former Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillian’s fewer MPs call

This just illustrates the muddle that uneven devolution is creating. Read more…

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