Letter to Norman Baker MP
Dear Mr Baker,
First of all, congratulations on being re-elected. You deserve it, you are an extremely diligent constituency MP and I appreciate the responses and updates that you send me on the various civil liberties and constitutional reform issues that I pester you on. So thank you.
The outline coalition policy agreement looks extremely promising, particularly the section on civil liberties.
But what I am writing to you today about is the pledge "to establish a commission to consider the 'West Lothian question'".
In my opinion we do not need a commission to consider the West Lothian Question, it has already been thoroughly considered, and the general public overwhelmingly want the unfairness of MPs elected in Scotland voting on English domestic matters resolved. The question is, how do we resolve it?
What we require is a national conversation for England, which involves the English people in a debate on the English Question and the future of English governance, and which then takes forward their recommendations to a referendum on English governance. The English Question can only be answered by the people of England. I hope that you will join me in calling for a National Conversation for England to precede any constitutional convention - it is a call for popular sovereignty. I'm sure that you appreciate the need for governance by popular consent, so I hope that I can rely on you to make representations on behalf of "we the people".
Your new coalition partners would prefer a top-down, Parliamentary mitigation of the West Lothian Question that did not consult the English people how they wish to be governed. That is not acceptable, and neither - in this modern democratic age - is an establishment commission like the Kilbrandon Commission.
Will you involve yourself, as my MP, in the commission, and will you also push for as much public involvement as possible? This is something that the new government should make a priority because it was ignored by Labour for thirteen years, please do not allow it to be kicked into the long grass.