Thursday, 30 October 2014

Only The Conservatives Will Bring In Fair Votes For England

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about Crawley Labour's rejection of English votes for English laws and how I see it working in the next Parliament should the Conservatives win the general election next May. 
 
Only the Conservatives will bring in fair votes for England 
"At last week’s Full Council meeting, the Conservative Group tabled a Notice of Motion for Crawley Borough Council to support English votes for English laws. Much of the legislation that Parliament passes affects English Councils like Crawley, but not Councils outside of England because local government is a devolved function in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The gross unfairness is of course that 117 MPs from outside of England can vote on matters affecting Crawley but that Crawley’s MP (or any MP from England) cannot vote on devolved matters outside of England. What needs to happen is very simple. One day a week at the UK Parliament should be set aside for legislation only affecting England, where only MPs representing English constituencies can vote. If the Conservatives have a majority after the next election, English votes for English laws will become a reality.
What would be better is if all three main parties signed up to this and then it doesn’t become an election issue. I was perhaps na├»ve to think that Crawley’s Labour Councillors might possibly support something that puts fairness before their own in-built and unfair electoral advantage of having Scottish Labour MPs deciding matters in Crawley.

Sadly, Labour strongly opposed our Notice of Motion that called for English votes for English laws. They argued against it in debate and put in a wrecking amendment calling it a ‘constitutional convention’, which is fudge and delay that mixes it up with unrealistic and unwanted options such as Regional Assemblies. Labour seems incapable of grasping that people don’t want more politicians and more government - they want fairer government.

Crawley Labour appear to be following their national party line of confuse and delay, with vague promises to consider it if they are in government after May. With polls predicting a hung Parliament, does anyone honestly believe that a minority Labour government or with a small majority, would bring in English votes for English laws when it would probably stop them being the largest party in England? We know the answer and that is that Labour cannot be trusted to deliver."  

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