top-rated free essay

Will the West Lothian Question Finally Be Asked?

By stephencanning Feb 07, 2012 428 Words
The West Lothian Question was originally raised by the Scottish opponent of devolution, Tam Dalyell, who was the Labour MP for the Scottish constituency of West Lothian. His question was: For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate...at least 119 Honourable Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an important, and probably often decisive, effect on English politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

In other words how long can the English tolerate the Scottish telling them what to do, while the Scottish would tolerate no such interference? This question was originally raised in the 1970s, but it was essentially a moot point. After all the Scottish narrowly missed out on their new parliament and so the English had just as much say over the Scottish as the Scottish had over the English.

In 1998 that changed when the Scottish and Welsh voted for their own devolved assemblies. Again this was not a big issue except when there were a couple of large backbench revolts over purely English matters when the government relied on Scottish MPs. For the first two Labour terms the Labour Party had more English votes and MPs than the Conservative Party, along with an (almost) English Prime Minister who sat for an English seat. However in 2005 this changed. The Conservatives picked up more votes in England, even if it was by a tiny margin of around 20,000 although they still had fewer seats. Scottish ministers sitting for Scottish seats were starting to hold English only portfolios such as health and transport and then Tony Blair was replaced by Gordon Brown who had spent all his life in Scotland, represented a Scottish seat and had a very obvious Scottish accent.

The West Lothian question was still on the back burner as David Cameron looked like he was going to win the election. However he did not. Instead he has to govern with the Liberal Democrats. If there are any big backbench revolts on English only matters the margin of victory for the opposition could be Scottish Labour MPs.

There is another issue, and that is money. A Scottish person receives a far larger amount of central government spending per head. On top of this there is a massive over-representation in parliamentary seats.

So in the middle of a difficult term will David Cameron try to stoke English nationalism by calling for only English MPs to vote on English laws? Don't bet against it.

By Stephen Canning

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • frequently asked questions

    ...Frequently Asked Questions Question: How can a military spouse get a job? Answer: Army Community Service offers the Employment Readiness Program (ERP). The ERP staff will assist you in developing a general resume for job applications and completing a federal resume through Resumix for government jobs. The ERP staff does referrals to local ...

    Read More
  • Frequently Asked Questions at an Interview

    ...Tell me about yourself: The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. S...

    Read More
  • AutoCAD Frequenly Asked Questions

    ...AutoCAD Frequently Asked Questions To reverse the UNDO command the correct entry is: (a) REDO (b) REDRAW (c) Esc (d) U Which of the following statements is true: (a) ZOOM ALL will reach beyond the drawing limits if an object is there. (b) ZOOM ALL only reaches out to the drawing limits. (c) There is not real difference between ZOOM ALL and ZOOM...

    Read More
  • West

    ...package je; import java.applet.Applet; import java.awt.Color; import java.awt.Graphics; public class je { public static void main(String[] args) { // TODO Auto-generated method stub /* <APPLET CODE="Animation.JAVA" WIDTH=400 HEIGHT=300> */ //The basic applet class.The applet shows 4 cars crossing each othe...

    Read More
  • Into the West

    ...Into The West Amanda Miranda America was beginning to boom! With the war over and immigrants coming to the land of “freedom” from all over the world, people began to adventure to the West. There was a new, unsettled land presenting opportunities beyond what anyone could imagine. The west offered natural resources such as gold, oil, an...

    Read More
  • Who Asked the First Question?

    ...Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University Institute of Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies International Research Centre of Traditional Polyphony Joseph Jordania WHO ASKED THE FIRST QUESTION? The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech Logos 2006 2 To the memory of Valeri Pavlovich Alexeev...

    Read More
  • Most Asked Questions in Science

    ...10 Science Questions Every High School Graduate 1. What percentage of the earth is covered by water?  Answer: About 71 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water. --Submitted by Robert Gagosian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute 2. What sorts of signals does the brain use to communicate sensations, thoughts and actions?  Answe...

    Read More
  • the West

    ... Wessay The United Staes were trying to push people to settle in the west brought a lot of trouble. Since, Settlers and Native Americans thought very differently there were many conflicts between them. They both thought in different ways about the land usage, settlement, and ownership. Native Americans thought different abo...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.