Sunday, August 06, 2006

The West Lothian question.

This has been irking (read 'pissing me off') for a while now. If you're not acquainted with the term and the situation, please allow me to give you a brief run down- Effectively the Scottish members of parliment (the ruling house of the UK) are allowed to vote on all issues raised in parliment, whether or not they affect scotland. For example, a MSP could vote on bills that will only have an effect in England (and Wales). However, an English (or Welsh, or Northern Irish, if you want to get technical) cannot vote on issues that affect scotland only.

Meh - you might say - this doesn't really matter, it's a minor peculiarity of our parliment. Unfortunately it's rather deeper and more complicated than this. This situation arised in 1998 with the passing of the Scotland Act (although it was initally pondered upon by Tom Dalylell, a Scottish MP in the 70's). The Labour government passed the act, and increased the numbers of MPs in Scotland disproportionately because it had popular support in Scotland, and in fact the (relatively) recent Higher Education act (top up fees anyone? no?) and the act introuducing Foundation hospitals both were passed by mainly MSPs.

This really fucks me off.

Not because i'm anti-scottish in anyway, I trust a scottish MP to make the decision on whether or not I have to pay £3000 a year tuition fees just as much as I trust an English or Welsh one (that is, not at all) - It's for 2 other reasons:

1. It implies MPs can't be trusted. If I were a Scottish MP and an issue arising, say, solely to do with farming subsidies in England, I'd either research the topic, listen to the arguments, then vote accordingly as to what i think the best solution would be. Or I would ignore the topic and go and get a big lunch - but this legal segregation states that the Governement can't trust the English MPs not to screw up scotland when they are not looking. Which is rather silly, thinking about it, because the MPs voted it in 1998.

2. I don't want the UK to be devolved. It's not a big political argument really, it's just that I like Britain. Every time an act like this passes it just puts a bigger wedge between England and Sctoland, and i really don't want in 50 years time for Scotland and England to be seperate countries. It's a personal opinion, but even the most diehard anti English Scots can i'm sure see (or if not, find out) that Scotland wouldn't really survive as a country anyway, economically speaking.

Well thats the basics of the West Lothian question, although there is a bit more to it that i'm too lazy to talk about at the moment.



I'm not going to spout the usual crap about this being my 1st blog - well i am but i'll try to hide it by acting pretentious. Usually works for me.