Sunday 13 July 2003

Reform the Rotten Burghs

Now we know why all those Scottish MPs supported Blair on the question of foundation hospitals for England:
Scotland on Sunday can reveal the government has sanctioned a last-minute reassessment of proposals to slash the size of Scotland’s representation at Westminster from 72 MPs to 59.

Opposition figures claim the cull had been put off as a reward to the Scottish MPs who controversially voted to save the government from humiliating defeat on its foundation hospitals scheme, which applies only to England.

The number of Scottish MPs should be immediately cut to the proportionately correct level of 59. The reduced number of Scottish MPs should then be barred from voting on, or indeed debating, any "England only" measures in Parliament. Finally, their salaries should be halved to reflect their reduced Westminster role of being responsible solely for input into UK-wide matters. Scottish MSPs should also have their salaries reduced so that one English MP (dealing with "English" and UK affairs) should cost the same as the equivalent two-person Scottish representation.