DEAR PRIME MINISTER, ABOUT THIS DEBATE AND THIS ‘EVEL’ BUSINESS

government
Dear David

Can I, first of all thank you, your Government and the Speaker for the full day’s debate that will now take place on Tuesday to discuss ‘further devolution for Scotland’? I am sure you would agree that the half hour adjournment debate granted to the Right Honourable member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was clearly insufficient to deal with all the issues to do with ‘the vow’ and the developments since it first appeared in the Daily Record newspaper.

Prime Minister, I am firmly of the view that it must be you that should lead this debate. You are the key signatory of ‘the vow’ and you were the first to raise the issue of English votes for English laws (EVEL) on the morning of the 19th of September, hours after the referendum result was announced. You have since hinted that the progress of EVEL should be tied to the granting of more powers to the Scottish people. This was introduced exclusively by you and was never mentioned in ‘the vow’ or in any discussion about ‘more powers’ for Scotland prior to the referendum. The people of Scotland are now under the impression that the ‘more powers’ offer is in some way conditional on the progress of EVEL. I strongly believe that you must, in the House of Commons, look the people of Scotland in the eye and say that these ‘more powers’ will be delivered without any such condition. Such is the concern, that the architect of the ‘vow’, the Right Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, has felt it necessary to secure a 100,000 strong petition to oblige you to honour the ‘vow’; in addition, the Deputy Prime Minister fears that the plans for ‘more powers’ are being “hijacked, diluted and delayed”.

The Scottish people will not accept any dilution of ‘the vow’ or have the debate about ‘more powers’ descend in to an unseemly spat between the main UK parties. That is why it is imperative that you lead this debate, with the Leader of the Opposition replying.

Prime Minister, I know that you are passionate about what you see as the injustice of Scottish members voting on English-only legislation and you will no doubt be aware that the SNP MPs do not vote on English-only legislation that does not impact on Scotland. Can I be so brave as to suggest a way forward in securing a consensus in the House and secure parity across all legislation? That is to lead by example.

It has come to my attention that the one Conservative member from Scotland consistently votes on English-only legislation. Will you now confirm that the Honourable member for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale will no longer vote on any further English only legislation so that no charge of possible hypocrisy could be levelled at you or your Government’s approach to this issue? Next week, we also have Scottish Questions. Five Conservative members have questions on the Order Paper, many more will hope to ask a question to the Secretary of State. If Scottish members are to absent themselves from English only issues will English Conservative members similarly respect that Scottish business is the exclusive preserve of Scottish members? In addition, specifically on EVEL, to be consistent there surely must be a similar process for Scottish votes for Scottish legislation. Whilst you should lead the debate next week as the key signatory of the ‘vow’, English Conservative members of Parliament must surely refrain from participating in this Scottish only debate and refrain from voting if any question is put to the House.

Prime Minister, we agree that Scottish members should refrain from voting on English-only legislation, but this should be dealt with distinctly and separately. You must come to the House and confirm that this will be the case. But please come light-handed and similarly leave Scottish business to Scottish members. That is surely the fair way forward?

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13 thoughts on “DEAR PRIME MINISTER, ABOUT THIS DEBATE AND THIS ‘EVEL’ BUSINESS

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  3. jdman

    Thank you Pete for pointing out the extreme poverty of Cameron’s attachment of EVEL (a very apt acronym) to the (very clear) commitment to “DEVO MAX” which clearly WASN’T stated in “THE VOW” which then begs the question, what purpose Lord Kelvins Discussion with “interested parties” ?
    As far as I am concerned there is nothing to discuss, full and prompt delivery of FFA is all that is required, no committees, no focus groups, just a timetable for delivery of “THE VOW” or are we to assume the Tories will attempt to obfuscate and delay such as they did in 1979 with the “jam tomorrow” from Alec Douglas Hume, in my and many others view, any attempt to hinder or prevent full delivery of “THE VOW” will nullify the referendum result which will legally and morally require the Westminster Government to reinstate the Edinburgh agreement and we will then have a rerun of the disgracefully run vote which was at all stages (not least the last 48 hours) handled in a disreptuble manner by the “Unionist parties” who breached the electoral commission rules especially during “Purdah” when it was clear the Scottish Government held to the “no new policies commitment” but they then (and we all know why) 24 hours before the referendum promised the Earth,
    AND THE EARTH WE SHALL HAVE,
    NOTHING LESS!

    Reply
  4. jdman

    In addition, beware Westminster of the monster you have created, it would best be described as a politically aware and connected electorate, which is what the Scottish public have become, this makes us THE most dangerous part of the (sic) UK for the Westminster parties,

    We can and almost certainly will annihilate the unionist parties at the next Holyrood and General Elections,
    the Scottish public has rediscovered its voice and its strength, and it WILL NOT allow itself to be dictated to by an unelected cabel from Westminster,
    It would inconceivable to continue under Westminster rule if the Scottish electorate remove them from power in our country,

    Should they continue to ignore Scottish public opinion in such an eventuality,
    that way lies UDI!

    Reply
    1. Bugger (the Panda)

      I hope you are right, but remember George Square and the 19th of September.

      I wonder what would have happened if we had won?

      Who directed them?

      Reply
      1. jdman

        Interesting they didn’t release the hounds Jim until (after) they had won, had that happened in George Square before the referendum it would have ended up in bloodshed, it wouldn’t have been pretty, and would almost certainly have pushed the vote towards yes,
        that they were “directed” I think is unquestionable

      2. Bugger (the Panda)

        John, without going down the conspiracy, fruit bat loop, too far, I read this as a warning from someone that Scotland could become another Northern Ireland.

        All it took was a button to be pressed.

  5. Barontorc

    An absolutely right reminder of the current state of play and a much needed statement as VOW makers Cameron, Clegg and Milliband, desperately seek wriggle room.

    It’s one thing to denigrate Scots as spongers and benefit junkies to curry favour with your English voting block, but quite another when you plead with the same Scots to stay with you to save the Union, but have to offer extra powers to convince them to do so and in so doing unleash all the dire anti-Scots rhetoric you were previously happy to cultivate.

    Keep their footloose feet well close to the raging fire Pete. Well done indeed.

    Reply
  6. S. Bangham

    Another very sound commentary, Pete. Where you say that there will be delays, perhaps we should inform Mr Cameron that he has until the election in May next year to demonstrate positive progress; and until the Holyrood election in 2016 to be able to come up with an absolute, binding, and approved by both houses of Parliament plan with which the Scottish negotiators are in agreement.

    Failing that, there will be further action by, as you so rightly state, the politically awakened people of Scotland

    Reply
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  8. yesindyref2

    However, if Devo-Max is delivered, i.e. all but Defence and most of foreign affairs, and a handful of other reserved powers on a case by case basis, then there should be little objection to EVEL.

    Reply
  9. Bring back Maggie

    Just thought I’s wind you up with my nom de plum as well. In case you hadn’t noticed, she’s been dead for over a year – perhaps you could tell Jim Sillars.

    You’ve always been keen to shout about how England has foisted its views on Scotland so why are you against giving those living in England the right to be governed by the people of their choosing? As a native of Perth living in Surrey your stitch up on the referendum denied me a vote in the referendum so why should I not demand the same rights for England as you do for Scotland – no interference from across the border? We (in England) voted Tory last time and because of the knackered electoral system still got this coalition of idiots and socialists ruling us and perpetuating the economic disaster caused by Gormless Brown and Captain Darling. No more delay – West Lothian solution NOW.

    Reply

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