Monday, February 25, 2008

Clarke rejects the 'East Lothian Answer'

A belated post on the thoughts of the former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, as heard by Members of the House of Commons Justice Committee last week. The Committee is currently looking at devolution ten years on.

As the Herald reported, Clarke dismissed Sir Malcolm Rifkind's so-called 'East Lothian Answer' to the 'West Lothian Question', saying it was 'a minefield' and that it would be difficult to designate legislation as 'totally English'. Clarke, of course, is chairing the Conservatives' Democracy Taskforce which is supposed to be sorting out such things for a future Tory government.

And as the Scotsman reported, Clarke also insisted that the Scottish Tories were to blame for the implementation of the Poll Tax north of the border. To be fair, this is certainly truer than the usual 'guinea pig' argument.
Des Browne, the Secretary of State for Scotland, also gave evidence to the Justice Committee on 29 January. You can read an uncorrected transcript by clicking here.


Blogger Toque said...

If Malcolm Rifkind's answer is a minefield then so is the solution of Clarke's fellow Task Force member, Sir George Young.

It was George Young who came up with English Votes in the first place, and now it's been in the Tory manifesto since Hague - with no one understanding how on earth it would work!

The mind boggles.

8:01 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home