Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Creating two classes of MP would destroy UK, Brown tells MPs

RESTRICTING Scottish MPs’ voting rights at Westminster because of increased tax powers for Holyrood would lead to the destruction of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown has warned MPs.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Gordon Brown shows himself to be a blinkered buffoon, while Alex Salmond, as ever, displays masterly political acumen.

Brown totally fails to recognise that devolution itself inevitably created two classes of MPs. Those who represent constituencies in the parts of the UK with devolved powers, and those who represent constituencies in England. Like anyone mindlessly wedded to the notion of the British state, Brown imagines that it can exist isolated from and unaffected by the incessant constitutional tinkering which is the British establishment’s way of addressing the fundamental flaws in the union which have been exposed by Scotland’s independence movement.

Salmond, on the other hand is ever the realist; ever the pragmatist; ever the consummate political operator. By stepping down from the office of First Minister, he has freed himself to take a role in the vanguard of the ongoing campaign to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. Keen observers will have noted the early stages of a transformation from staid national leader working within the constraints of high office, to feisty man of the people and bugbear of the British establishment.

His talk of a referendum on independence being a “once in a generation thing” was always carefully calculated. Only the politically tone-deaf failed to hear the implied addendum, “all other things being equal”. Salmond, of course, knew full well that those “other things” were never going to be equal. He knew that the British parties would renege on their hastily cobbled-together “vow” of “more powers”. He knew, too, that public demand for an early second referendum - within five years - would be inevitable and undeniable.

Just as Cameron, Clegg and Miliband made their “vow” never intending to honour it and knowing that there was no power within the context of the British state which could require them to keep to the promises, so Salmond knew he was safe to declare September’s referendum a once in every two or three decades event because he was fully aware that circumstances would render this moot.

The difference is that Salmond was preparing to respond to the voice of the people and serve the interests of democracy. The three British politicians were readying themselves to ignore the people and deny democracy.

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