Saturday, September 20, 2014

What the Heck is the West Lothian Question?

It's high time we stopped our obsession with mid life sex or what was Joan Rivers' doctor doing to concentrate on the things that really matter - namely, what we should do about the West Lothian question.

The West Lothian question reared its head again this week when Scotland voted against independence. Yep the Scots may not be big fans of scones and the plum voiced British Prime Minister David Cameron who would be treated to a 'Glasgow handshake' in some of the rougher bars of Scotland's biggest city, but the vote revealed they like the English really. Or at least they are fond of the Queen's Corgis and her right to shoot deer on their land.


Linlighgo Palace, West Lothian


Renewed talk about the West Lothian question gave me an uneasy feeling of a former life, like those kids who realize they used to be Civil War soldiers who died at Antietem.

Had I not researched this decades ago in preparation for law school interviews? My worse interview was for the University of Bristol, an experience which I stammered through and talked about the virtues of using water cannons on rioters. My interviewer was a communist public law professor. Fortunately, I was from a state school, so was still admitted.

I was admitted without once mentioning those three golden words - West Lothian question.

So without further ado, here's the definition of the West Lothian question - via the Independent.

"The West Lothian question, or the issue of “English votes for English laws”, regards the concept that in a devolved system, Scottish MPs can vote on England-only policies, but English MPs do not have an equivalent say on how Scotland is run because it is led by the Scottish parliament.
The same is also true of Wales and Northern Ireland.
If more powers are now devolved to Scotland as David Cameron has pledged, this means there will be more devolved areas which English MPs cannot cast their vote upon. However, these restrictions will not apply to Scottish MPs."

We are likely to be hearing a lot more about the West Lothian question as Scotland gets more powers, not that this will appease my Corgi-hating Scottish aunt.  So that was worth waiting for? The place around the corner does great egg, lard and bacon sandwiches. I really should not but....




1 comment:

  1. Hmmm.. what a silly mess, innit.

    I do agree, however, that it is only fair that Scottish MP's do not have the right to English parliamentary issues if the English Mp's do not in Scottish parliament. It works both ways; dunnit.
    I don't know why we can't all just get along but then....theres so much water under that bridge.

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