Thursday, June 15, 2006

An English idea

Hearing Lord Falconer on the radio trying to square the circle on John Reid's (Scottish MP currently holding the English Home Office post ) behaviour on judges - got me thinking on the West Lothian question again. (I think I just associate the idea of an English Parliament with the sound of Lord "There's no demand for an English parliament" Falconer now.) I'll not go on about John Reid's attempt to blame everyone else but himself/NuLabour for the impact of NuLabour's legislation - that's being done elsewhere to great effect.

No, I was wondering if an English administration and a British administration could co-habit in Westminster. I don't think English Votes with Scottish MP ministers holding English Executive posts is acceptable. My plan - just cooked up - is:

1) An act of parliament reserves rights and powers to the British government.
2) All other powers are devolved to national parliaments ( and powers are recalled if necessary).
3) English votes and attendance on English matters is introduced. An English speaker is elected.
4) An English administration is formed with the devolved powers.

English MP's would serve in both systems - if the Scots and Welsh want to pay twice for highly paid and pampered politicians then in comes from additional taxation in their countries. They could of course adopt the same arrangement if they wanted.

This looks cheap ( for the English ) and would require little change. Some government departments would become English Departments - eg most of the Home Office, Health, DEFRA, Education, and a large part of the Treasury ( this is really important and the Treasury is almost a shadow government and if much of its tax raising powers aren't devolved then we get the mess that exists in local government again).

The Conservative party could do this by promising to resolve the West Lothian question in the next election manifesto, and then enacting this when in power.

2 comments:

Toque said...

Dual Mandate MPs have long been suggested, and would have been a much better alternative to the present system.

James Gray suggested them recently and was immediately forced to resign.

Man in a shed said...

Yes I remember James Gray being stomped on. That's why I suggest each country should have whatever arrangement they want to pay for. ( As long as it isn't the English paying for everyone one else. ).

These are just my ramblings - I'm on a journey from being a strong Unionist moving towards a more English centric position.

by the way I don't mean to claim the ideas are unique or novel - just what's rattling through my head as I try to decide what to dislike Lord Falconer more for:
1) Being Tony Blair's chum.
2) Saying there's no demand for an English parliament.
3) Trying to set up a supreme court.
4) Being useless on the Millennium Dome.

Its quite a choice....