Cargill Scott email@example.com
Just a few points I'd like to raise as a Scotsman and one of Gordon Brown's constituents. I think you dodged the point Ewan Mcdonald made.... certainly Brown isn't accountable - as you put it - to any of the English constituents but then neither is he accountable to those people in (for example) Dunfermline, the constituency next to Brown's own Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. In the same vain Blair, representing his English constituency is not accountable to any of the voters in the neighbouring constituencies either, at least in his capacity as MP for sedgefield, as prime minister he is accountable to everyone in the UK and this would not change if Brown was prime minister surely, unless you are accusing Brown of actively favouring the people of Kirkcaldy over everyone else in the UK!
Also, as scary Bear pointed out, there are more than enough English MPs to enforce laws that are unfavourable to Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland, you state that we had the secretary of state for Scotland to 'speak up for us' that's hardly a fair system either is it? considering that said secretary is one man with one vote! Also remember that the post was set up so that the original 1707 'British ' parliment, or rather English parliment as it more properly was (I seem to recall reading a portion of the speaker for the house of lords speech "We have now catched the Scots and we must make sure never to let them go!") to have a govenor presence in Scotland, not to represent us as a nation....
If you have a problem with the amount of Scots in the cabinet it's probably worth remembering that labour's traditional hunting ground has always been Scotland and the north east of England and therefore always has a disproportionate number of Scotsmen in its ranks, these scotsmen have however proven to be more able than the previous ultra English Tory government in many domestic issues regarding the economy.
As for the relatively minor note regarding Adam Smith on a bank note, I doubt it's the first time scotsmen have appeared on UK notes on both sides of the border, I must apologise for our nation contributing a disproportionate share of innovative and intelligent people to the UK. I see nothing wrong with the Bank of England wanting to celebrate a man who's primary acheivement was to the massive benefit of the Bank of England!
Finally, I'm all for the English having more power over their own local politics, although I still believe the overall UK government covers this well. These arguments only surfaced once Scotsmen began dominating the cabinet, therefore a mostly English cabinet would not have sparked your ire but would be no more fair on the Scots, Welsh or Irish... when it comes to UK wide policies the Scots have as much say as the English. All the Scots are guilty of is resisting English domination for 700 years, give us a break!
A quick reply as I am just leaving for Brighton for the weekend. Firstly, if Brown's constituency was in England, unpopular national policies of his would risk him losing his seat. That is how our democratic system works. He would be accountable. But the vast majority of what he does will have no effect on his constituents as they are governed by the Scottish Parliament. So, basically, Mr Brown can do what he wants in England and the electorate cannot vote against him. And he has no mandate. This is a change brought about by devolution. The old system was not perfect, but it was never anywhere near as unfair as this.
Are you suggesting that every constituency elects a Prime Minister?!
The Transport Minister for England can do what he (or rather New Labour) likes - his constituency is in Scotland and what he does will not effect his constituents because transport is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. And John Reid, up at the Home Office - quite a lot of what he does has no impact on his constituents at all.
Around 75% of Scottish legislation is now passed by its own parliament and Scots MPs still want to have a say on English issues. This has made crucial differences to votes on English legislation on several occasions. Many Scots find this absolutely repugnant, just as many English people do. Recent polls show that the majority of Scots are not in favour of this.
You say: "I see nothing wrong with the Bank of England wanting to celebrate a man who's primary acheivement was to the massive benefit of the Bank of England!"
Many people from many countries have done things which have had a significant knock-on effect for England (and Scotland. And Wales, etc...) and there were several great English economists. So why do we just celebrate a Scottish person? Why not have a person from an ethnic minority group resident in England on our twenty pound notes? Why a person from the Chancellor's own country, just next door, which has its own bank notes? We could just as easily have an Italian person, resident in Italy. That would make just as much sense. Adam Smith belongs on Scottish bank notes.
The Scottish Secretary of State carried much influence in the old UK Parliament. Indeed, George Younger, the Scottish Secretary in the late 1980s, persuaded the Cabinet to let Scotland have the Poll Tax a year earlier than England and Wales - http://englandparliament.blogspot.com/2006/09/david-cameron-scottish-poll-tax-lies.html
There was also a "standing order" to prevent English MPs from voting on Scots-only legislation which was enforced on occasion.
The old UK Parliament was not an English Parliament. England alone was submerged in the Union and disappeared at great cost to its people. As with Scotland, the majority of ordinary English citizens were not originally in favour of the Union.
One of the problems I find with people such as yourself is a lack of logic. Everything is England's fault. In reality, many faults attributed by yourself to the English are actually plainly your own.
You say: "I must apologise for our nation contributing a disproportionate share of innovative and intelligent people to the UK" - I'm sorry, I find this an imperialistic and arrogant comment. Being half-Scots myself, I am not unfamiliar with this attitude (although I'm glad to say it's not, in my experience, the attitude of the majority) and I do not feel at ease with it.
The English do not tend to trumpet their triumphs, but there is plenty to celebrate.
At the moment the present crop of imperialist MPs from Scotland are doing that country a great disservice - making it appear small minded, imperialistic, greedy and basically racist. This is not the truth about Scotland. It's not what the Scots want. The majority of Scots, like the English, want to be part of something fair and forward-looking.
The fact that England submerged itself in the Union is being used and abused by Blair, Brown and co. The fact that people in England can die for want of medication available on the NHS in Scotland is an abomination. The Anglophobic "Little Scotlander" mentality is, sadly, rampant amongst the Blair elite. English MPs meanwhile sit by and file their nails.
Please do not try to bring Northern Ireland and Wales into your arguments. These two countries also suffer from unfair devolution, athough not to the same degree as England.
An equal system of representation for each UK country is a way forward - or we dissolve the Union. But something needs to change.
Thanks for writing - have a good weekend,
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