Praise for the Tories

I fully support calls for an English Parliament, but short of that, I have to give praise for the Tories who are considering giving only English MP's the right to vote on issues that affect England only.

Not only is their a democratic deficit, at present, for those of us living in England, where because of government formulae Scotland gets more money spent on its residents, per head, than English voters, but there is a growing feeling amongst English people that we are somehow the second class citizens of this land.

The Tories have worked this out and, I believe, it is a vote winner too. Undoubtedly there are constitutional issues that arise from this and I still believe an English parliament would be a better answer, but as Lib Dems we cannot go around touting regional government as a solution because it is something that the people simply do not want.


Ordovicius said...

But why settle for anything less than an English parliament?

Toque said...

Vote winner it may be but that doesn't make it right.

Here's why

Paul Leake said...

Doesn't it logically follow that Tory plans would also demand seperating out English and UK government. The idea that Labour HMG Cabinet members would be unable to get legislation past a Tory controlled English Grand Committee, but that Labour would still control the purse-strings and Parliamentary timetable is a recipe for terrible government. Time for a proper federal UK methinks.

Man in a Shed said...

I believe what holds the idea of an English Parliament back is the fear of much of the left that they wouldn't win power in it. If this is true it doesn't say much for their belief in democracy.

However I think if devolution has shown us anything its that the political pendulum will always swing.

English politics may indeed be different from British politics. What represents the consensus may be different, but there will surely be parties trying to influence that and gather support from all sides.

Its time for some of us who are active in politics to believe in England - and despite our varying views - in each other also.

The English Lib Dems could have a key role in all this.

Stephen Robinson said...

The Tories have only settled on this as a stunt to appeal to 'middle England'. If it was part of a package of reforms that included real devolution and opening up government across the board, then it might be interesting. But another party has got there first with that :)

This might throw a cat amongst the pigeons: if Lib Dems supported an English parliament provided it were elected by a voting system that more accurately reflects what the VOTERS actually want!

Man in a Shed said...

You should not assume that Conservatives will oppose some form of PR. Given that in England they won the majority of the vote, yet got about 100 less MPs ( OK the Lib Dems do worse ).

However PR will change the dynamic of the parties and campaigns - each party will have to adapt in different ways.

To get an English Parliament there needs to be cross party consensus. The Lib Dems will almost certainly be key players in that.