Not long ago a rumour emerged that Ken Clarke’s “Democracy Task Farce” was going to water down the already half-hearted, half-baked English Votes on English Matters policy the Conswervatives have held for a while now.
I asked Daniel Kawczynski MP, who was on the committee, why in gods name they were proposing such a woefully inadequate and frankly insulting settlement to England and was told that the committee hadn’t made its decision yet and to wait and see what comes out of it.
The Torygraph has apparently seen a leaked copy of the report and it looks like the rumour is true – Ken Clarke, arch eurofederalist traitor that he is, thinks that even English Votes on English Matters is too good for the Federated Euroregions of New Britain and that instead we should be satisfied with the constitutional abortion that is English Pauses for English Clauses.
The answer to the West Lothian Question is not, in Ken Clarkes’ opinion, to stop foreign MPs from voting on things that only affect English, but to stop them from talking about it in committee stage but continue to allow them to vote on laws that only affect England when the talking is over. What the fuck was that man smoking when he pulled that idea from up his arse?
Since English Votes on English Matters was first adopted as Conswervative policy, myslef and others have pointed out what a bloody stupid idea it was. Other people including one Scottish MP, whose name escapes me, who said that he would simply claim an interest in anything that cost money because it would have an impact on the Scottish subsidy. Scottish MP, Tom Harris, inadvertantly demonstrates why nothing short of a devolved English Parliament will be good enough when he points out that the 4 SNP MPs voted against the Crossrail Bill in defiance of their self-imposed ban on voting on devolved matters because it cost a lot of money and would have affected how many tartan snouts would fit into the English trough.
I have just sent the following to Daniel Kawczynski:
You may recall that some time ago I wrote to you after hearing a rumour that the Democracy Task Force was going to suggest a pointless, watered down version of English Votes on English Matters – itself a pointless, watered down version of an English Parliament – as an answer to the West Lothian Question.
You told me that the committee was yet to decide on the outcome and that I should wait for the report to come out.
Well, the Torygraph has had a leaked copy of the report and it appears the rumour was true – the report is going to propose what we are calling “English Pauses for English Clauses” as the answer to the West Lothian Question.
The West Lothian Question asks why MPs with constituencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be able to vote on matters that don’t affect their own constituents. In modern terms, it asks why MPs with constituencies outside of English should be able to vote on matters that, in their own countries, are the responsibility of devolved institutions. I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a valid question to ask – why should Gordon Brown be formulating the education policy responsible for the closure of several schools in your constituency, or the health policy that will deprive the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital of funding if it fails to meet an arbitrary target, when those policies do not apply to the people who elected him?
English Pauses for English Clauses does not even begin to address the West Lothian or English Questions. It is a fudge of a fudge that will allow MPs elected in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to continue to vote on laws that don’t affect their constituents and which not a single voter has given them the legitimate mandate for.
English Pauses for English Clauses will solve nothing and will only fuel the resentment caused by the undemocratic assymetric devolution settlement that has left English people disenfranchised and their interests unrepresented.
Technorati Tags: Constitution, Conswervaties, Devolution