Monday 24 November 2003

Clear these Caledonian carpetbaggers from this chamber now!

It looks as though the Tories may be showing some sense - at last.
SCOTTISH MPs would be banned from voting on English affairs under controversial plans being drawn up for Michael Howard’s first election manifesto, Scotland on Sunday has learned.

Under the radical move, which would see the Commons sit as an English parliament, the Speaker would be required to rule on whether bills are relevant to Scotland. If they were not, Scots MPs would be ordered to leave the chamber.

This is well overdue and it was indeed a "constitutional outrage" that Tony Blair was only able to get his foundation hospital scheme through the Commons with the aid of Scottish MPs whose own constituents are unaffected because health is a devolved matter for Scotland.

Scotland on Sunday claims that the Tory plan:

is itself highly contentious because it would mean the creation of two classes of parliamentarian.
Rubbish. There are already two classes of MP: those who can only vote on matters relevant to their own constituents and those who are able to interfere with things that are none of their goddamned business. It is perfectly appropriate for Scots to be represented at Westminster. Their numbers should be in proportion to our population and not reduced below that level because we now have a Parliament in Edinburgh. But it is essential that our MPs should only debate and vote upon subjects that are not devolved to Edinburgh. It follows from this that their salaries must be adjusted downwards.