Tag Archives: laws

Humiliation for Tories as they give up on ‘English Votes for English Laws’

EVEL: John Redwood – seen here speaking from his home planet of Vulcan (apparently), said the end of English Votes for English Laws was a “sad occasion”, even while his fellow right-wingers like Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted that the procedure had “undermined” Parliament.

The Conservative government tried to quietly scrap its unsuccessful attempt to placate Little Englanders – but couldn’t stop the hoots of derision from across the House of Commons.

They have scrapped their English Votes for English Laws system – otherwise known as EVEL – because it didn’t work.

And quite right, too – especially on the eve of a debate on yet another top-down restructuring of the NHS in England, that will affect patients in the other UK countries as well.

As a citizen of Wales, This Writer would still have to travel into England for treatment at English hospitals in certain citcumstances, and it would be utterly inappropriate for my MP – Tory though Fay Jones may be! – to have her vote on such a matter disregarded.

As it was, the Tories had to grin and bear it as ridicule was piled on humiliation by critics from other parties – most notably the Scottish Nationalists.

The SNP’s Pete Wishart called scrapping the procedure an “utter, utter humiliation” for the government and said it was a victory for his party.

Thangham Debbonaire, shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said the procedure “undermines democracy” and helped feed “the SNP’s indignation”.

And even Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory Leader of the House, admitted that the procedure had “added complexity and delay to the legislative process”.

He said EVEL had “undermined” Parliament and all MPs should be represented equally, rejected accusations the move was to appease nationalists and said the government was “trying to restore the beauty and the uniformity of our constitution so that it will work properly”.

You can see how bad EVEL was by the quality of its supporters: swivel-eyed John Redwood said “England deserved better”, that it was a “sad occasion”, and that EVEL was the “only modest devolution ever offered to England”.

Fine words from the Tory minister for the planet Vulcan

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Electoral Reform Society criticises Tory plans for England-only votes

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Thanks to Tom Pride for flagging up this story: The non-partisan Electoral Reform Society has criticised William Hague’s announcement of the Conservative proposal for giving English MPs the only say over England-only legislation, saying such important constitutional changes should be decided by the public, not just by MPs.

Darren Hughes, Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “It may seem like the most natural thing in the world to give English MPs a veto over laws that affect only England. But the truth is this proposal would have huge implications for the way we are governed. It’s impossible to isolate this issue from wider constitutional questions about where power lies in the UK. We need to answer those questions in full, but that process cannot take place behind closed doors.”

“A citizen-led Convention would put people, not politicians, in the driving seat when it comes to settling our constitutional future. It’s the only way to answer these difficult questions and come to a settlement that commands legitimacy and respect. It’s time to put an end to these back-room deals and unilateral announcements, whether it’s the Conservatives in England or Labour in Scotland. Let’s give citizens a chance to decide where power should lie in the UK.”

So the Electoral Reform Society is supporting Labour’s call for a constitutional convention, and saying it should be led by citizens, not politicians.

What are the chances?

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