Tag Archives: west lothian question

LibLink: Sam Ghibaldan: Time to end constitutional quirk

england-flagEnglish votes for English Laws has become the great rallying cry of the last week ever since David Cameron decided it was appropriate to use the exact moment that almost half of the 85% of Scots who voted in the referendum said they wanted to leave the UK to pick a fight with Ed Miliband over what has been traditionally called the West Lothian Question. Sam Ghibaldan was Special Adviser to two Liberal Democrat Deputy First Ministers in Scotland and he has some advice for Ed in an article in today’s Scotsman.   He urges him to stop prevaricating and embrace the potential change.

First of all he sets the context:

In the 18th century, of course, the whole political system was largely corrupt and the rotten boroughs provided yet more opportunities for bribery. The West Lothian Question does not do that, thankfully, but it is nevertheless a serious democratic aberration, pushed back to the top of the political agenda by the independence referendum.

The concern is something we British like to think of as our own: fairness. Why should Scottish – or for that matter Welsh or Northern Irish – MPs, vote on English issues, when their English counterparts cannot vote on Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish ones?

The answer to that – they shouldn’t – is so obvious that most Scottish voters, let alone English ones, oppose their MPs voting on English issues. It is one of those rare constitutional questions that chimes with the electorate, appealing directly to their inherent sense of justice.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: How do we answer the West Kensington question?

I swore blind that I would not get drawn into what promises to be a long running battle over Scottish independence but Simon Hughes’ call for an English Parliament to answer the West Lothian Question has prompted me to pen this piece.

Scottish Nationalists wrongly claim that there is an easy solution to the West Lothian Question – independence for Scotland. They fail to remember that we still have devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and the London Assembly.  Independence for we Scots doesn’t make the issue go away for others.

We still refer to it as the West Lothian Question but it …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 28 Comments
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