Forget the West Lothian question, let’s look at the Kensington conundrum

Some good letters in The Guardian:

Jim Ford, Salford:  We also don’t hear much from Mr Cameron about the “Kensington question” – the parliamentary conundrum whereby the Westminster MP representing Kensington in London can vote on – and veto – spending on transport and economic regeneration in Kensington, Liverpool, but the MP for Kensington, Liverpool, is not so privileged with regard to Kensington, London, where these matters have been devolved to the London assembly.

Iain Mowbray, Watford: As a Lib Dem member I’m appalled that Nick Clegg is refusing to work with any coalition which relied on SNP MPs. This is a clear abrogation of Lib Dem belief in proportional and fair representation which aims to give all citizens a clear stake in governance. Jonathan Friedland points to this discrepancy and writes ”those who believe in the union need to respect the choices [of] their fellow citizens … [and] prove the union is a hospitable inclusion place for Scots”. Again the inadequacy of the current devolution settlement is clear. Chuka Umunna (Saturday interview, 25 April) says “it’s time for all parts of the UK to have … a federal structure”. Isn’t it time for the Guardian to spearhead a campaign for a royal commission on the constitution in the next parliament, with proposals for a properly balanced federation as its aim?

William Dixon and David Wilson, London Metropolitan University: It seems to us that what the Scots, and much of the rest of the country, want is a properly federated Britain, alongside properly thought-through electoral reform – both measures that the Conservatives vehemently oppose. Far from representing a clear and present danger to the union, the SNP seem to give priority to precisely those policies – including adequate funding for public services – that would place the UK on a sounder economic and political footing. But like Netanyahu in Israel, when faced with electoral wipeout, Cameron plays the nationalist card. We can only hope that the British electorate see through this shameful attempt to cling to power better than the Israelis did.

Francis Maccabee, Loughborough: Either Scotland is a legitimate part of the UK or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then the SNP can have no part to play in any future government of the UK. If it is – as all the other UK parties insisted it should be in the recent referendum campaign – then its votes must have the same value as those of any other part of the UK, and lead to a contribution to the governance of the UK on the same terms as any other political party. Any agreement between the SNP and any other party in the formation of a future government will reflect the fact that the UK as a whole appears to have a broad consensus in recent polling of a left-of-centre political bias, and any attempt on the part of other parties to negate this is anti-democratic.

Advertisements