Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Right Questions, Wrong Answer

I remember when I was doing maths problems at school I'd sometimes get all the method right, and then blow it at the end by still coming right with the wrong answer.

Football teams can perfect their build-up play and still blaze the final shot five yards over the bar.

A golf swing can be perfect.....OK, you get the idea.

The thing is, it can apply to magazine editorials, too.

Yesterday's Spectator leader, describing Sir Malcolm Rifkind's Grand Committee proposals as the way to "save the Union", illustrates the point.

The analysis of the problem is perfect: the West Lothian question remains answered, nay, ignored, by new Labour; increasing resentment among English voters, feulled by the outrageously unfair Barnett formula; the prospect after the next election of the Conservatives holding the majority of English seats, but of Labour being the largest party in Westminster, led by a Scottish Prime Minister whose Sottish colleagues force unpopular legislation on the English majority.

It is clear to pretty much everybody except the government that this cannot continue. Even the Liberals have grasped that - just. Where much of the Right's thinking - Spectator included - falls apart is in what to do about it. We really have to fight for more than this crazy Grand Committee idea. The English deserve better than to have one inequality replaced by another, especially when it is an utterly unworkable one.

Rifkind's idea might encourage the government of the day to by-pass Parliament more than they already do, invite them do dress up English legislation as British to suit then own ends and place the Civil Service in the impossible position of having to serve one master to introduce legislation and another one to implement it. Not only does it only go halfway in dealing with the injustice it is supposed to address, it is, logisitically, a non-starter.

The English must treat it as such.

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