In the wake of the Scottish referendum the predictable constitutional monster may now have to be slain, at least, for the foreseeable future. In this scenario of course it can live again.
The current malaise stems from the quite pointless (from the people’s point of view) establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly for purely Labour party political advantage. The inconsistencies it raised, although well understood, have never been addressed relying, instead, on a complacent and compliant England to just accept these outcomes without complaint. Underpinning this staggering display of arrogance is the firmly held belief by the elitist governing group and the pretenders that only a Labour or Conservative dominated government will ever exercise power in Westminster.
The process by which the Scottish parliament was established shows how easy it is to curry nationalistic sentiment with a few anti-English slogans, a subliminal declaration of national superiority, some highly optimistic promises where blame for failure can always be lain elsewhere and the intangible assertion that somehow we (the Scottish people) are better. The strategy, it seems, always works and almost did so again in the independence vote which, it now appears, was lost by Salmond simply because he failed to answer the critical questions.
In a sense this shows the myth of referenda. Why the Scottish people would think that an incompetent Scottish government would be better than an incompetent UK one defies rationality. The deployment of the nationalistic ‘Braveheart’ factor helped to conceal the fact that in the last UK government both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were Scots meaning that the entire UK was run by Scots, as it happens almost to destruction, so how is government by the Scots sitting on a seat in Scotland better than government by Scots sitting on a seat in Westminster? The answer is that it isn’t. The Scottish parliament is good for only one group of people and they are the well paid and expensively supported Scottish politicians and that’s it.
There are 59 Scottish constituencies supporting 59 Scottish MP’s in Westminster. The establishment of the Scottish parliament added 129 more politicians with no more work to do and no more people to represent. With further powers to be devolved the Scottish Westminster MP’s will presumably have enormous amounts of time on their hands?
The nonsense continues. In Wales there are 40 Welsh MP’s to which were added 60 Assembly members. Similarly there is nothing more to do and no more people to represent but still the politicians have multiplied spectacularly.
If we look at the pinnacle of achievement in superfluous levels of expensive and ineffective government it is alive and kicking in the EU with 751 additional members of parliament 28 commissioners and 30 council members all supported with a massive administration. As in the UK example all the member countries still have the same number of national politicians as before so the net effect of all of this is simply more politicians.
Clearly the thinking by the political classes is that creating more politicians is the answer to everything when most people might take the opposite view. Having politicians in greater numbers and occupying even more complex governmental structures simply makes the gap between the rulers and their ruled wider and supported by the entirely spurious argument that if the debating chamber is geographically closer the resultant legislation will more accurately reflect the will of the people. However the opposite is true with more costs, more spending promises and interminable obstruction to any and all innovations. It is a recipe for getting nothing new done and doing the existing job badly and as such is not a way to encourage participation but to discourage it.
It will, therefore, come as no surprise to anyone that the political elite are considering the option of an English parliament for the English, proffering the horrific possibility of an additional six, or seven hundred politicians. The mind boggles.
The Midlothian question needs an answer and it is simple.
When representative government is devolved extensively, as will be the case for Scotland, there is no longer a need for directly elected MP’s to Westminster as the Scottish parliament can send a limited number of representatives, from within their own ranks, to contribute to national debates.
The same arrangement could be offered to Wales but it may need another referendum. The Welsh have already been subjected to the disastrous Welsh Assembly and with that salutary experience may well decide to get rid of it entirely. In the event of any devolution the deal should be always be balanced with the removal of the Westminster constituencies in favour of representation from within the devolved power.
Naturally the Labour party, forever entirely partisan, will not agree as they lost their soul some time during the last century and are now far more interested in themselves as they could ever be for the people they purport to represent. The Tories have no idea what to do but will happily sacrifice English benefit as they have done since 2010. Let us remember that the unfairness of the Scottish question has pertained throughout the current parliament with no attempt to address it until it has become inconveniently unavoidable.
Once more it looks as if the significant majority of our United Kingdom, the English, will be left as the paymaster for the benefits addicted regional governments.
This can be changed. Until the elite establishment are buried by UKIP votes in next years general election nothing will change and the English will continue to come second in any regional fiddling so a vote for UKIP is the only way to introduce sense and rationality into government. It is a message that must be made loud and clear.