Thursday, 4 December 2008

Alexis de Toqueville and the West Lothian Question

This evening on Radio 4's Analysis programme, former Labour MP Tam Dalyell stated that Scottish devolution has increased the momentum towards Scottish independence because of the fact that politicians of whatever hue, inevitably desire and seek more power for the institutions in which they find themselves 'serving'. I think he is absolutely right and what he said reminds me of a quote I once read from Alexis de Toqueville which went something to the effect that revolutions always occur after a period when the situation of a given population (such as the French in the 1780s) has recently become relatively easier and freer than previously, rather than in response to a period of increased hardship and oppression. Scotland has had a taste of autonomy; it's only natural that it should want more.
Given the inevitability of further Scottish and Welsh freedom to govern themselves (eg. in the form of fiscal autonomy for Scotland or increased legislative powers for the Welsh Assembly) the unfairness of England continuing to be governed by the UK parliament will become increasingly stark and it seems likely that the call for some form of redress will become ever louder and more difficult for politicians to ignore.

3 comments:

Michele said...

I don't give up hope - there are just too many of us getting really angry with the present situation to be taken lightly/

In addition I am making sure that my future MP (A Tory) is truly aware that my future vote is entirely dependant on her supporting the notion of a an equally devolved English Parliament. If not it will go to the BNP.

That should worry her!! Perhaps more of us should spell it out to the Tories - yes I will vote for you this time - BUT with an English Parliament withing the first term - you're out and it's the BNP!!!!

Michele said...

Of course that should have been WITHOUT and English Parliament you're out and its the BNP!!!!

simhedges said...

Devolution to England will come if the English people start to want it. The current situation was created by the English (we have 80% of the MPs in the UK Parliament), and it will be resolved by the English. I am in favour of an English Parliament sited outside the South East of England. The "English Votes for English Laws" thing would be a complete mess. As for voting BNP or UKIP - I am not a racist so would never vote BNP and I am in favour of the EU (and think we should join the Euro ASAP!) so I can't imagine voting UKIP.