27th September 2014

As predicted by many the Scottish referendum has created more questions than it has answered. Perhaps the most pressing is that of Scottish MPs in the wider UK Parliament. To many Cameron claim for English votes for English MP was both a statement of fairness a shrewd move to embarrass the Labour party. But we should not be fooled to think that this move was motivated by any high motives. It is as partisan as his previous move to influence the electoral system to Tories favour; the ill-fated attempt to reduce the number of MPs in the second year of this parliament. There may be reasons for changing the way the UK governs itself but limiting those who can vote on English matters is the least plausible. It wouldn't address one of the key issues that motivated the Scottish independence vote, the disconnect between London and the more far flung regions. But a more important reason is the vitality of democracy itself. For democracy to truly serve the people there has to be real chance for a change in government. Failure not to, can lead to complacency in our elective representatives. Even without Gerrymandering this can be seen in local government be it the Tory shires or Labour's heartland of north and epitomised by the crises over child protection in Rotherham. The decisiveness of first past the post may suit the national scene but in local government it can create little fiefdoms that typically beyond criticism. And this is where we should start our constitution renewal with proportional representation for our town and county halls.

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