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Freethinking Tory MPs

In a letter to me, received yesterday, Dominic Grieve told me this:

I do agree with David Cameron on this issue. Ken Clarke’s proposals strike a balance between giving the English electorate the accountability they deserve, and preserving the UK as a single state.

Today, in an article on Conservative Home, Daniel Kawczynski tells us this:

I do agree with David Cameron on this issue. Ken Clarke’s proposals strike a balance between giving the English electorate the accountability they deserve, and preserving the UK as a single state.

It's great to live in a country where politicians act on their conscience, speak freely their mind, unconstrained by party whips and the totalitarianism of party politics. I'd hate to think that I was simply being told what David Cameron wanted me to be told.

As I said, "waste of a stamp".

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But think of all the time

But think of all the time they're saving not having to think up their own answers to such trivial questions! Now they've got more time to devote to more important matters such as putting their children's nannies onto their expense accounts and trying to come up with an economic policy! So really, your stamp has indirectly facilitated an efficient use of the taxpayers' money that pays their wages. And when they vote to part-privatise the Royal Mail, you'll be getting even better value for your stamp money, as the Mail service will be improved, too. Marvellous, isn't it!

Slightly off point but I

Slightly off point but I notice Daniel Kawczynski at Conservative Home makes no mention of his contribution to the St David’s Day debate in the House of Commons:

Daniel Kawczynski: ... I was about to mention Montgomeryshire, which is the seat next to mine. The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire Lembit Öpik), who has already spoken and is an assiduous Member of Parliament, represents 57,000 constituents, whereas, just across the border, I represent 74,000 constituents. That is a staggering extra 17,000 constituents with whom I must deal in comparison with the Welsh Member of Parliament just across the border. That is important, because we all want to do everything possible to support our constituents, table Westminster Hall debates for them and ask questions on their behalf, yet it is a problem when Members of Parliament have the same budget, but 17,000 more constituents. We must tackle that problem.

Lembit Öpik: The hon. Gentleman gets the figures right, but he must also recognise that the geographical area that he covers is much smaller than mine. Montgomeryshire covers 765 square miles. If the constituencies get too big, they become unmanageable for geographical reasons. He has his cross to bear and I have mine.

Daniel Kawczynski: The hon. Gentleman is luckier than most because he flies around in his little plane. He has taken me up in his plane across our two constituencies, so I am sure that he can get around Montgomeryshire in his plane more easily than I can get around Shrewsbury and Atcham in my motor car.

Lembit Öpik: But I have only one airport.

What a pathetic

What a pathetic exchange.

Why does Kawczynski concentrate on constituency size and make no mention of the fact that MSPs and AMs have relieved Scottish and Welsh MPs of much of their caseload?

Yes, that would have been a

Yes, that would have been a slighly more obvious line of attack for an English MP. And picking on the Western Isles of Scotland (this gives the people of the Western Isles as individuals far more access to their MP ... ) isn’t exactly a brilliant comparison to make with his own constituency.

[...] cohesion — David @ 7.33

[...] cohesion — David @ 7.33 am Dominic Grieve, the Conservative Shadow Justice Secretary and an ‘original’ thinker on the English Question, has been setting out the blueprint for the prospective Tory government’s policies on [...]

Your letter from Grieve is a

Your letter from Grieve is a verbatim copy of one I received on the same day from my MP, Mike Penning (Conservative, Hemel Hempstead). I've posted it here: http://theenglishquestion.blogspot.com/2009/03/great-minds-think-alike.html

Note John Redwood is also

Note John Redwood is also blogging on this issue. Eg see "This is not an official Conservative site, and I do not seek to use it to retail official Conservative soundbites."

His influence is growing that's to his blog, and perhaps the realisation that future political advancement is unlikely, allowing him to apply his mind without the constraints of concern for future ambition.

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