UK Liberty

English Parliament

Posted in accountability, state-citizen relationship by ukliberty on February 18, 2009

George Monbiot in the Guardian:

… Three nations in the United Kingdom, as a result of one of this government’s rare progressive policies, now possess a representative assembly. The fourth, and largest, does not. England, the great colonising nation, has become a colony. It is governed by a Scotsman who uses foreign mercenaries – Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs – to suppress parliamentary revolts over purely English affairs. There is still no democratic forum in which English interests can be discussed only by English representatives. The unfairness is staggering, the silence stranger still.

One of the peculiarities of UK politics is that issues supported by hardly anyone receive majority assent in parliament. In the current system, no popular support is required. University top-up fees, for example, were rejected by the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, but Scottish and Welsh MPs were frogmarched through the lobbies to impose them on England (the government won by five votes). Foundation hospitals were voted down in both Wales and Scotland, and foisted on the English by the representatives of those nations. Had Heathrow’s third runway been debated only by English MPs, the proposal would have been resoundingly defeated; it was approved by 19 votes, after 67 MPs from the other nations were induced to support the government. They can support such measures without any electoral risk, as their constituents are not directly affected. Devolution, which has had such beneficial consequences here in Wales and across the other borders, has left the English high and dry. …

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  1. […] via UKLiberty, comes George Moongoon in the Graun on the West Lothain question and its relatives. Three nations […]

  2. […] also helps to have MPs who can vote on the bill but who won’t be affected by it because their const… – hello […]


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