Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Outplayed and outsmarted: SNP anger explodes as Evel is rolled out in the House of Commons, SNP MP Pete Wishart get his knickers in a twist, the SNP went to Westminster to cause trouble, well they found it, now they want to claim victimhood, bless those little outsmarted lambs!
Some time ago, I was a member of the Scottish National Party, while in the party I object to the policy that the SNP had adopted that SNP MPs didn’t play a full role and voted on matters that affected people in the rest of the United Kingdom.
My view was if someone had a good idea from Scotland; why not ‘share’ the idea in Parliament, and let others decide the merits of it.
The SNP spent decades snubbing Westminster, and the end result was they were disliked, in fact some of the new SNP MPs have commented that they are mostly ignored. Of course their behaviour which is a matter of public record speaks for itself; some of them are ignorant crass small minded people.
When Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond fell on his rubber sword after losing the Scottish independence referendum; in comes unpopular Nicola Sturgeon with a fresh policy. In the years prior to this, a massive amount of bad will had been brewing, and others such as Ukip made political capital of Scots getting ‘freebies’, in fact Scots weren’t getting freebies, the block grant was being spent differently.
But in politics, some people don’t let the truth get in the way of garnering votes. A storm of injustice was whipped up which resulted in Evel.
What is Evel?
English votes for English laws.
A sop to massage bruised egos and address English unhappiness, Evel is wrong, a Member of Parliament no matter where elected should have the same rights as any other MP. This is how a democracy should work, same rights at each and every turn of the democratic process. By now you can guess I don’t agree with Evel, and never will, so the SNP like a busted watch has a point here.
The answer to the famous West Lothian Question is…. to ignore it.
A Scottish MP can no more vote on Scottish matters devolved to Holyrood than English one.
The Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has brought this in to steady his ship as there has been unrest of his backbenches. Whether Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would bring this to an end is anyone’s guess, but I would imagine if he needed the rule swept aside for his political purposes it would be done. I think if I was to bet on it, I think he would want to scrap if elected PM.
So, after not giving a toss what is happening in England, the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon done a U turn. I assume that the idea was to cause as much trouble as possible and foster discontent; however the Conservatives have done their Evel plan regardless. We know have the ‘fury’ of SNP MPs getting their knickers in a twist as new rules preventing them from voting on English matters which are being used in Parliament for the first time
‘Leading the charge’ is Pete Wishart, Mr. Wishart is a joke MP, he says things which are nonsense, and down the line says the opposite equally with false indignation to make out he is a serious thinker.
Although he is just swept along by events, he does have a certain comic value which can be amusing.
Can you think of anyone else who has spent as much time as him making ridiculous statements in the House of Commons?
I grant you there are a few warmers out of the rest of the 650 MPs so you might need a minute. Wishart says that the Westminster government is "driving Scotland out of the door".
This is the same guy who campaigned for independence to voluntary leave the Commons and wasn’t exactly a stalwart for change from what I have seen.
Now that Evel has come into effect it means Scottish MPs will be barred from voting on English elements of the housing bill during a legislative grand committee. This will be the first time the new measures will be used in the House of Commons and the Speaker John Bercow had to halt proceedings to check things were okay, it was a rather shaky start.
And I expect a running saga on points of order and anything else the SNP can come up with to be petty, yes, we will be entertained, knickers will be twisted, voices will be raised, outraged will be expressed etc etc etc.
And then they will swan off the Member’s bar to congratulate themselves.
We now have signs have been posted in the voting lobbies barring MPs from Scotland from sneaking past to vote, while officials will carry iPads to catch out any ‘risk takers’.
Chris Bryant, shadow leader of the House of Commons said:
“English MPs need a strong voice in parliament, but Grayling’s damp squib EVEL proposals will be historic for all the wrong reasons. Instead of spending time trying to actually do something about the housing problems facing thousands of people across the country, the government will be wasting time on needless bureaucratic procedures. Labour won’t be playing their game; we’ll expose EVEL for the procedural nonsense it is by not participating so we can get on and use parliamentary time to deal with people's real concerns about unaffordable rents, rip-off landlords and lack of hope on home ownership”.
“Expert after expert warned Chris Grayling that his proposals weren’t the way to give English MPs a stronger voice in parliament, but this almost incomprehensible mess was rammed through anyway. The public expect us to be taking action on the big issues facing the country not wasting time on a procedure that the government’s own expert report rejected.”
In a Parliament which is noted for promoting inclusion and equality, Evel sits as an anomaly to those values.
The way things are going, although it seems ‘popular’ now, it is because the Conservatives control the House of Commons with a majority.
Would we end with a situation that Evel only comes in if there is a Conservative victory?
I expect this to run until at least the next election, depending on who wins that will determine if it gets an extension.
I don’t like it, and I don’t like the unfair way that it was brought in by a procedural change to the House of Commons rules.
As I previously blogged deliver us from Evel because it will only form part of the grievance platform the SNP uses to distract from their appalling record in public office.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University