Monday, 1 October 2007

Straw raises the spectre of English nationalism as Tories focus on West Lothian

Jack Straw writes about the difficulties inherent in excluding MPs from elsewhere in the UK from voting on matters pertaining to England in today’s Daily Telegraph.

He raises both the practical difficulties of establishing the exact remit of a bill and all its clauses, as well as the more subtle consideration of the financial and other implications any legislation passed for 85% of the UK’s population may have on the rest of it. Straw rightly points out that whilst the power of levying taxation remains with Westminster, it is impracticable to cleanly separate bills in that parliament by their regional remit.

With the Conservatives continuing to focus on the West Lothian question, Straw challenges David Cameron’s party’s unionism and suggests the Conservative party may have jettisoned its historical roots to become the party of English Nationalism.

Whilst any ideological commitment to nationalism in Cameron’s Tories is questionable (and some may suggest any ideological content to Cameron’s Tories is questionable), certainly the party is prepared to tap into little-Englander sentiment and doesn't mind undermining the very constitutional fabric of the United Kingdom in order to attack Gordon Brown.

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