Falconer Rejects English Parliament
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, has rejected the idea of an English parliament to run alongside Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish equivalents. He also rebuffed the idea of a solution to the much-discussed West Lothian Question (the fact that Scottish, Northern Irish, and Welsh M.P.s have a say in purely English affairs, whereas English M.P.s have no say in matters that just affect the other nations. On the Today Programme, he said:
"The reason for devolution was that the Scots and the Welsh felt that policies could be imposed upon them for which there was little or no support in Scotland or Wales. The effect of devolution is to allow a distinctively Scottish and Welsh agenda to be pursued. In England there is 80 per cent of the population, there is just over 80 per cent of MPs. There is absolutely no need for the sort of protection which comes for the Scots and the Welsh by having their own parliament or assembly."
With Labour being the main party to gain from the Scottish and Welsh votes, and the Tories the main party to lose out from them, the fact that the Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet, and is personally appointed by the Prime Minister surely couldn't have anything to do with it, could it?
Ashdown Praises Ming
A bit of a non-event really: Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown has heralded new leader Ming Campbell as a "godfather of new talent" who will act as a "bridge to the future" (to Ashdown's mind, the future being rising star Nick Clegg).
Does this mean that Blair and Cameron will be finding horse heads from the "godfather" in their beds? Londonist hope that Ming doesn't have a brother, and that if he does, advises him to avoid fishing trips with Sir Menzies' cronies in small rowboats...