Monday, January 09, 2006

'West Lothian Question' Report

A report into the 'West Lothian question' by the Constitution Unit (“the UK's foremost independent research body on constitutional change”) has concluded that the English “will have to learn to live with this constitutional anomaly”. The report says that the Labour government will rely increasingly on the votes of Scottish MPs to pass English legislation but believes that English votes on English laws would be "fundamentally unworkable".

On its website the Constitution Unit stresses its “independent and non-partisan” nature. This is questionable to say the least. The Unit is part-funded by government departments and neither of the report’s authors could reasonably be described as non-partisan.

Before joining the Unit Meg Russellhad been a researcher at South Bank University, a parliamentary researcher, and National Women's Officer of the Labour Party. From July 2001 - March 2003 Meg went to work full time for Robin Cook.

Guy Lodge’s Labour credentials are also beyond reproach - Fabian Society, IPPR, former researcher for Labour MPs Tony Wright and Brian White.

No bias there then, eh?

More on this at the CEP.

(Updated - got one of the author's names wrong in the original. Same conclusion though.)


Blogger Toque said...

A good piece of investigative journalism. It would certainly appear that the authors may have a bias.

However, I'm not a Lbour supporter and I think they are correct. EVoELs would is unworkable and would eventually lead to an English parliament and government. The Union would be irrevocably damaged in the process.

4:57 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

I notice you don't actually address the arguments made in the report.

11:52 am  
Blogger DFH said...

The Labour-supporting authors of the report believe in maintaining a status quo which favours their party. I don’t.

By instinct I’m against more tiers of government so I’d like to see English votes on English laws given a go. If this proves to be impractical, and as I don’t want England broken down into regional assemblies, then an English Parliament would be my preferred solution.

The report tells the English to “learn to live with” their second class status. That’s the one option I refuse to accept.

Oh, and Paul, thanks for the link to a definition of ad hominem. I found it suitably informative.

2:55 pm  
Blogger Toque said...

An English parliament need not necessarily mean more politicians. There's nothing to stop us going for dual-mandate MPs, sitting in the English parliament three days a week and in the UK parliament two days a week - or in emergency. We don't even need some fancy new building, though I would prefer that the English parliament was based in the north along with much of the English civil service.

The Scots and Welsh may well follow suit.

As for Government; UK departments can just be rebranded as English departments, they practically are anyway, and are likely to become moreso when Wales eventually votes for a legislative parliament.

To my mind this is a much more elegant and practical solution than EVoEL, a 'solution' that endangers the Union.

The only Scots and Welsh that will stand for English Votes on English Laws are the nationalists. You are playing right into their hands.

3:26 pm  
Blogger DFH said...

There's nothing to stop us going for dual-mandate MPs, sitting in the English parliament three days a week and in the UK parliament two days a week - or in emergency.

Yeah, that sounds pretty good.

3:58 pm  

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