As a consequence of the aggravated Scottish devolution conceded by Dave and the girlie men of our effete government and opposition, in a panic reaction to an isolated opinion poll in the closing stages of the independence referendum campaign, the three legacy parties at Westminster are belatedly confronting the West Lothian Question – the outrageous anomaly whereby Scottish MPs vote on purely English legislation, even though English MPs have no say on the same issues north of the Border.
While it is right this injustice should be abolished, the current controversy over Scots voting on English laws begs the question: if this is unacceptable (and it is), why should we acquiesce in the European Union dictating an enormous proportion of our legislation? Unwelcome though the interference of 59 far-to-the-left-of-Trotsky Jocks in the governance of England undoubtedly is, they can at least claim to be fellow Britons, subjects of the Queen and citizens of the United Kingdom. They are also members of Parliament.
In contrast, the faceless, often un-elected, foreigners who increasingly dictate from Brussels every detail of our lives have no legitimacy whatever in lawmaking for Britain. When are we going to address the West Louvain Question and tell these Belgian-based busybodies to seek the services of a taxidermist?
The right of Scottish MPs to vote on English matters should have been ended in 1999, on the day when the adobe-style slum at Holyrood opened its doors; but Labour wanted to retain its Scottish contingent to supply a guaranteed majority at Westminster in lean years. That is why the stricken Gawd-‘elp-us Ed Miliband is boycotting the feeble reforms announced by William Hague – a dog’s dinner of half-measures reflecting the divisions within the Coalition.
Solving the West Lothian Question could not be further from rocket science: it is completely straightforward. Any measure dealing purely with English matters should be certified as such by the Speaker before the start of deliberations and MPs representing Scottish constituencies declared ineligible to speak or vote on it. To lose the eloquence and mastery of the English language displayed by Labour’s tribunes from Clydeside is a deprivation which parliamentarians must steel themselves to bear.
It is as simple as that. Calls to add to the constitutional incoherence and proliferation of trough-seeking politicians by creating an English parliament or regional assemblies – rejected at referendum in 2004 – are a ridiculous distraction. That is how to dispose of the West Lothian Question. The more burning issue is the West Louvain Question. It is time to get the EU out of our lives. Every time Eurosceptics refer to the huge quantity of laws and regulations (just as intrusive) imposed by Brussels on Britain, sneering Europhiles rush to contradict this reality with weasel words and massaged statistics.
In 2010 the House of Commons library published an intensively researched assessment of the scale of EU legal diktats over Britain. It should be borne in mind that this research was done five years ago, so there is a high likelihood it is by now an underestimate. The legislation was divided into three categories. Statutes enacted by the UK Parliament, but under the influence of the EU, accounted for between 10 per cent and 14 per cent of parliamentary Acts. Regulations influenced by or related to the EU amounted to between 9 per cent and 14 per cent. EU regulations, plus regulations influenced by or related to the EU, totalled 53 per cent.
By what perversion of language is a country subject to such foreign legislative domination termed a sovereign nation? We are no such thing – we are a colony of Brussels. The scoundrels on the slime-green benches at Westminster who have sold our nationhood, preserved at such high cost in successive wars, are well aware of this – though that does not deter them from polluting the Cenotaph and war memorials in their constituencies on Remembrance Sunday.
To put Scottish voting on English laws into perspective, out of more than 3,000 parliamentary votes since 1997 the participation of Scottish MPs only affected the outcome on 21 occasions. That is 21 votes too many; but compared with the avalanche of EU directives deluging Britain it entitles us to ask why ending EU lawmaking for this country is not at least as urgent a priority as neutering Scots MPs.
On just 55 occasions since 1996 has Britain objected to new EU laws; every time its objection was contemptuously overruled. In every decision-making body of the Evil Empire our voting power has relentlessly decreased since 1973: from 17 per cent to 8 per cent in the Council of Ministers; from 20 per cent to 9.5 per cent in the European Parliament; from 15 per cent to 4 per cent in the European Commission.
Yet this is the forum in which Dave pretends he can negotiate a new deal for Britain, despite European leaders warning him publicly his puny initiative will not get past the starting block. If he cannot decisively see off 59 whingeing Jock MPs, what are the odds on his solving the West Louvain Question?