Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Labour set to boycott EVEL talks

DAVID Cameron accused Labour of “not being interested in fairness” for the UK on Tuesday after the party decided to boycott talks on English votes for English laws.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Any dispassionate observer witnessing the current squabbling amongst British politicians would be immediately struck by two glaringly obvious points. Firstly, that the present constitutional arrangements within the UK are an untenable shambles. Secondly, that these British politicians have neither the wit nor the will to find a lasting solution.

Just listen to them! Only a few weeks ago they were telling the people of Scotland that the UK was the very epitome of political unions. The greatest political union in history. A perfect arrangement which offered “The Best of Both Worlds!”. Now they are falling over each other in their eagerness to be the one who best recognises the countless flaws in the union and is, therefore, the best placed to deal with those flaws.

The reality is that these politicians are not even looking for ways to address the aggravating anomalies and democratic deficiencies that are defining characteristics of the British state. Rather, they are desperately trying to bury these failings in a welter of talk about constitutional reform in order that the very status quo which they acknowledge as unacceptable can be maintained.

Characteristically blind to his own hypocrisy, Gordon Brown - that most prominent of nonentities - complains that talks on the constitution are “a closed-shop stitch-up”. He does so apparently oblivious to the fact that the British has never allowed discussion of constitutional reform to be conducted in any way other than in “a closed-shop stitch-up”. The original devolution settlement was a product of just such “a closed-shop stitch-up”. The Calman Commission was “a closed-shop stitch-up”. And the latest talking shop in the safe pair of hands belonging to Lord Smith of Kelvin is no different.

A constitutional commission cannot legitimately be called such unless it is prepared to examine ALL constitutional options and unless any proposals based on its conclusions are subject to the approval of the people.

Our imagined disinterested observer, were they even moderately politically aware, might note one further point regarding the failure of the signatories to the pre-referendum “vow” to participate in the House of Commons debate on devolution. Some have remarked that these three clowns simply couldn’t be bothered to turn up. That is a serious misreading of the situation. The failure to attend was purposeful and orchestrated. By not having anything to do with the debate, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband were sending a very pointed message that they have no intention of honouring their promises to the people of Scotland. The purpose was to reassure the “devo-sceptics” in the ranks of their respective parties who might otherwise have been concerned that the structures of power and privilege to which they cling like parasites could be at risk.

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