The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64644   Message #1092578
Posted By: Peter K (Fionn)
14-Jan-04 - 07:15 AM
Thread Name: BS: Scots impose regime on England
Subject: RE: BS: Scots impose regime on England
More precisely, MC Fat, it's the West Lothian question, so called because that is the name of the constituency held by Tam Dalyell, who first posed it. In broad terms the question is: how can it be right that MPs representing Scottish constituencies can vote on legislation that affects only England, when MPs in English consitituencies are allowed no say in legislation affecting only Scotland?

It is indeed an absurdity. The more so, because Scotland has 72 MPs in the UK parliament whereas its pro-rata entitlement would be nearer 50. It should in fact be less again, since significant responsibilities have been devolved to the Scottish (sub) parliament.
I believe some Scottish MPs have suggested that any such reduction should follow only after the Scottish parliament has "bedded down." It has already had several years in which to bed down.

I'm not sure that there's much in John McKenzie's point that Scotland "is owed." It may indeed be owed, but I don't see how any debt is repaid by allowing Scottish MPs a deciding voice on legislation for foundation trusts and higher-education fees that will not apply in Scotland. The only beneficiary of this arrangement is the (governing) Labour Party. If the Tories (who hold just one of those 72 seats in Scotland) ever regain power, they would be utterly mad to allow the "West Lothian question" drift unanswered.