Here is a letter I’ve just emailed to the Hunts Post, in response to our MP’s letter about Scottish devolution and ‘the English problem’ …
Most of what Jonathan Djanogly says about English voices being heard is common sense. But his final comment – suggesting that reform of how laws which affect England should take place at the same time as the settlement for Scotland – is disingenuous. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all promised that more powers would be devolved to Scotland – no ifs, no buts. To alter that promise after the referendum is dishonest, and, quite frankly, rather foolish. Politicians aren’t trusted very much at the moment; to go back on their word now would damage their reputations even further, and might even foment civil unrest north of the border.
The West Lothian question was first raised nearly forty years ago, in the run-up to devolution for Wales and Scotland. The fact that it has not yet been resolved suggests that it is not a simple problem. To tie Scottish devolution to the resolution of the English conundrum is neither fair nor necessary. I’m pleased to note that David Cameron has confirmed that further devolution to Scotland will go ahead without any caveats.
As a life-long Liberal, I can’t help having a quiet smile to myself at the sight of all these Westminster politicians hurling themselves into the federalist cause (for a federation is what the UK is becoming); the only party which promotes European federalism of is, of course, the Liberal Democrats.