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Wednesday at noon

On days spent at home I tend to potter about my business accompanied by either Radio Five Live or the television broadcasting in the background. On Wednesday this week, shortly before noon, having already arrived late for an early doors meeting on the other side of south-west London because I had failed to allow time for traffic issues as Wimbledon village gradually stirred itself in advance of the All England championships, I has switched my television to BBC2 in order to have the tennis burbling away in the corner of the room as I prepared to set up at my computer.

Thus I came by chance to the live coverage of Prime Minister’s Question Time, something else that I had completely forgotten about.

In many respects it was just another unremarkable outing for David Cameron, who remained relatively unscathed by Opposition attempts to discomfort him or catch him out. Harriet Harman, who has generally impressed since she became interim Labour leader, bowled some innocuous stuff outside the off-stump which the Premier left mostly left alone on its way through to the wicketkeeper.

The most notable exchanges – and even these were low-key – occurred when the Beast of Bolsover (Dennis Skinner) ranted away about some injustice to a group of miners in his constituency, only for Mr Cameron to welcome this ‘intervention from Jurassic Park’ and when the Scottish Nationalists – who, as the second largest grouping on the Opposition benches, are permitted a small number [is it two?] of questions as a matter of right – exhibited a head of steam about the Government’s imminent proposal to bring forward measures to introduce ‘English votes on English issues’ or (to be more accurate) a degree of primacy for English MPs when it came to matters exclusively affecting English constituencies.

A Zeppelin-sized amount of hot air was duly generated by the SNP upon the theme that this would create a ‘two tier’ system of MP-ship (as far as I could tell) because it would prevent Scottish MPs having any say on matters that might ultimately affect Scottish voters.

Cameron sniped away that this was a bit rich, coming from a group of MPs whose main aim in life was to go independent.

He noted that the Scottish government had carefully made no attempt to gain control of Scottish pensions, presumably because it knew only too well that staying under the protection of the economically sound and prudent UK Government was a far safer option than ‘taking them away’ – and thereby subjecting them to the vagaries of Scottish economic fortunes (and indeed Scottish pensioners risking losing all) in the wake of the crackpot policies that were likely to be introduced by the Socialist Republic of Scotland headed by Nicola Sturgeon.

I (and, it seems to me, the logic) was with the Prime Minister on this occasion.

Why should the Scots have loads of powers devolved to them – so that MPs from outside Scotland have no say upon them – but still have the right to vote on items in other parts of the country that will not affect their constituents?

What’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, surely?

Personally – as an Englishman – I’m heartily in favour of Scottish independence, especially if it can be written in stone that they cannot ever come back. This is partly because I’d love to be shot of them and partly because I’m convinced that, left to its own devices, Scotland would go economically-up in a matter of five to ten years, which would serve those moaning minnies right.

The Scots are a typical example of a well-off Western European with a pronounced sense of entitlement to ‘a good life’ (whatever that means, but as far as I can tell in Scotland’s case it’s the right to free everything, including all the devices mankind has ever invented, plus beer and welfare support) particularly if someone else is paying for it. This when most populations of Third World countries all over the world can barely afford enough rice and water to last them until 6.00pm each day.

Am I crazy to see parallels between Scotland and the current parlous state of Greece?

Both nations erroneously seem to think that they can wish austerity away (and indeed any other policies they don’t like, including any hint of a suggestion that they might have to be able to afford their chosen expenditure) by the simple expedient of having a vote to that effect.

partyingIf that was the case, I’d break the principle and habit of a lifetime and be delighted to vote for the first party to publish a legally-binding manifesto that promised to provide me with £5 million untaxed cash, a brand new Ferrari and free access to all sporting channels on television every year – plus, of course, automatic access to sexual favours provided by any female celebrity from time to time nominated by myself.

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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts