Gove Set to Deliver Us from Evel

SNP’s feeble 45 at Westminster will feel right at home

The newly revealed plan by the Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, to scrap English Votes for English Laws will be welcomed by fellow Unionists who felt this ‘Evel’ act rubbed salt in Scottish rebels’ wounds after the 2014 referendum. Actually, it was more of a desperate ploy by David Cameron to counter the threat of UKIP before he could work up the courage to call a referendum on EU membership. His cynical, partisan manoeuvre failed to have that designed effect, of course. All it did was leave Scottish MPs feeling like second-class members of the Westminster club. And we all know how much the SNP contingent loves to be cradled in the arms of the Mother of Parliaments.

Anyone who doesn’t realise quite how at home Ian Blackford and co. are in the House of Commons should read a blog posted by Andrew Gimson on the influential website ConservativeHome. A former parliamentary sketch writer with the Telegraph, this right-of-centre scribe had many opportunities to observe the SNP group at close quarters from the parliamentary press gallery. He didn’t dislike what he saw:

Most of the SNP MPs are not, at heart, wreckers. Many of them grow fond of the Commons. Just as a footballer cannot help feeling an affection for a stadium in which he or she scores goals, so a debater cannot help feeling an affection for a Chamber in which he or she scores points. And what is even more wonderful, some of these SNP MPs yearn to become members of the Privy Council, entitled to be addressed as Right Honourable, and sworn to defend Her Majesty the Queen against all assaults by her enemies.

In 2015, when the SNP made its great Westminster breakthrough, winning 56 out of 59 Scottish seats and supplanting the Liberal Democrats as the third party, its then parliamentary leader, Angus Robertson, was made a Privy counsellor, having been appointed a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee. To compile a full list of the SNP MPs who yearn for this distinction would be beyond my powers, especially as those on the list might deny any desire for such a bauble…

The SNP ought not to be taken as seriously as it wishes us to take it. Much the best way to embarrass its members at Westminster would be to hail them as friends and fellow members of the Establishment.


That already seems to be happening. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House, has taken to referring to the Nats’ Westminster chieftain affectionately by his first name, telling ConHome:

The difficulty for Ian is that he’s such a fundamentally decent and nice man that he can’t really upset proceedings in the Commons. He’s not Parnell.

Charles Stewart Parnell, the legendary leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, created havoc in the House in the late 19th century as he skilfully pursued his campaign for Home Rule. But the Commons amended its standing orders to put a stop to such sabotage of its business. Consequently, as the Alba MP Kenny MacAskill regretfully acknowledged recently, any fierce rebels who converge on the Palace of Westminster from other parts of the Celtic Fringe are simply unable to emulate Parnell.

Merrily aware of this, Michael Gove is showing no hesitation in giving back to Scottish MPs the right to vote on legislation affecting NHS England and the education system south of the Border. Such a situation was deemed patently unfair and undemocratic by Labour’s most determined opponent of devolution Tam Dalyell when he posed his famous West Lothian Question. But it now looks certain to be restored. Zealously spearheading the UK Government’s efforts to save the Union, Mr Gove told The Times today that Evel has outlived its usefulness:

Ultimately, it’s a convention which arose out of a set of circumstances after the 2014 referendum, where you had a coalition government and so on. We’ve moved on now, so I think it’s right to review where we are on it. The more we can make the House of Commons and Westminster institutions work for every part of the UK and every party in the UK, the better.

The move was immediately endorsed by Labour’s Shadow Scotland Secretary, Ian Murray, who warned back in 2015 that the Conservatives were “putting a wrecking ball through the constitution” with a move designed simply to appease rebel Tory backbenchers. He told The Scotsman today:

Evel was an ill-judged and reckless act by David Cameron which undermined the Union just hours after Scots voted to remain in the UK. The policy is an incomprehensible mess which has weakened British democracy, weakened Scotland’s voice in Parliament, and created two classes of MPs despite being supported historically by SNP MPs.

The reaction of nationalist members in the Commons to the introduction of Evel was quite a sight to behold. Pete Wishart looked as though he might burst a blood vessel when he warned that removing his right to vote on English laws was “only going to help me and my honourable friends cause damage” to the constitutional status quo:

This is probably the one thing — the one thing — that is going to drive the demand for Scottish independence. This isn’t saving the Union, this is creating division.

Quite why any Scottish nationalist should feel a burning duty to proffer advice on saving the Union wasn’t something the member for Perth and North Perthshire explained. Perhaps the reason was that Mr Wishart was already preparing to launch his (vain) bid to replace John Bercow as Speaker of the House. A bauble I wish the British parties had mischievously granted him, if only to reveal just how comfortably assimilated the SNP contingent at Westminster has become.

Giving back the right to potentially vote down English legislation possibly triggered some alarm among fellow Tory Cabinet members when Mr Gove put his plan to them last week. Professing to have his finger on the Scottish political pulse as the adopted son of an Aberdeen fish merchant – along with the fact that the Conservatives currently enjoy a comfortable majority in the Commons – probably allayed their anxieties. Acknowledging the nationalist complaint that the mechanism had reduced the power and prestige of Scottish MPs, a Whitehall source told The Times:

Abolishing Evel would reaffirm the fundamental constitutional principle that we are one United Kingdom, with a sovereign parliament comprising members elected on a basis of equality, representing every community in the land, able to make laws for the whole kingdom.

Hear! Hear! will be the cry from the SNP group in the Commons as they start to feel even more comfy on those green leather benches. Being delivered from EVEL will delight the feeble 45 as they get back to doing something they clearly enjoy – casting futile Scottish votes against English laws that will be forced through anyway because of the prevailing parliamentary arithmetic. This charade will do nothing to placate those of us who are genuinely determined to stop all the Tories’ EVIL schemes – by achieving independence.

15 thoughts on “Gove Set to Deliver Us from Evel

  1. I’m amazed that anyone could still believe that the SNP are going to deliver a referendum. Never mind independence.
    They are simply a vehicle for place men and women, who all pee hee to Boss Hog Sturgeon, in the hope of further advancement.
    Sturgeon has completely hijacked the SNP in order to achieve her ultimate goal of an unelected position on the world stage, preferably with the UN.
    Nationalists blew it big time by not voting Alba on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Time to rename the SNP at Westminster the SPP – Scottish Parliamentary Party – under the able and loyal leadership of Ian “Redmond” Blackford.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course they can afford to do this now that they have a majority of 80. It was a different story in near hung parliament. So it is the usual PR gesture from Gove, utterly meaningless.
    Having said that, under Alex Salmond the SNP had a policy of not voting on English only legislation anyway, as a point of honour.
    But what have the SNP ever done in Westminster? Oh, that’s right, they colluded with the utterly lunatic Jo Swinson to give Boris what he wanted, and thus gave us the situation we are now stuck in. Well done, the party that likes to moan about Boris constantly, and blame him for all their incompetence.
    Much as I loathe the DUP, why does a much smaller party make life awkward for the govt and get concessions from them, while our useless layabouts pose and posture about, collecting very large salaries, and doing nothing of any note for Scotland?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so depressing. But utterly, utterly, believable. There are more than one pair of comfy slippers in the SNP group.
    Naturally, the only MP who discomfitted the Tory leadership, Joanna Cherry, has been demoted for “not being a team player”.
    We are due to lose three Scottish seats at the next General Election, but that won’t bother the SNP leadership either. Joanna Cherry’s seat is one of those to be abolished, and we know the pettiness of the party leadership means she won’t get another.
    Unless there is a plebiscite election, I’ll never vote SNP again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ‘In 2015, when the SNP made its great Westminster breakthrough, winning 56 out of 59 Scottish seats and supplanting the Liberal Democrats as the third party, its then parliamentary leader, Angus Robertson, was made a Privy counsellor, having been appointed a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee.’

    In that sentence here lies the truth of the current SNP treachery: for the first time in its history, a clean sweep of parliamentary Scottish seats with the ( overwhelming) majority, enabling a de facto and de jure recognition by both Westminster and the SNP’s own constitution of the legitimacy to demand dissolution of the UK Union. Not only that, but 51% of the popular vote from both Independence parties, the SNP and the Greens.

    But what did the Scottish people get? One year after a gerrymandered and State led corrupted Referendum, the parliamentary leader being publicly co-opted into the heart of the British Deep State . Six years later it’s still wait and see for a S30 and the mirage of another REF. Yet some people still believe the ongoing persecution by a corrupt sham ‘independent ‘judiciary and police force of Scottish Independence supporters is entirely attributable to the puppets in Holyrood?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Make no mistake the British state is fighting a dirty war to stop independence.

    Read Brig Gen Sir Frank Kitson in his books Gangs and Counter Gangs, Low Intensity Operations . These will allow people to understand why things have gone the way they have.

    Redacted for decades Kitson explains how shadowy military agents infiltrate, set up false flag, control the media, censor, misinform, blackmail, bribe and otherwise undermine and control movements considered the enemy of the state.

    And yes Kitson recommends the use of the police, prosecution and judiciary as a weapon to intimidate and incarcerate opponents. Just as has been happening with Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Mark Hurst, Manny Singh, Gary Kelly, Marion Millar and now Michael Keating who is to be personally pursued for costs for asking a People’s Constitutional question that was,not answered.

    Yes, it’s a Dirty War that’s,underway here in Scotland.

    Understand that and things make sense. And yes, the state will kill too.

    Read up on the Force Research Unit, its activities and its successor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Willie its not the British state that’s stopping Scotland from becoming an independent nation, its the SNP

      Like

  7. The whole thing is farsical. The SNP policy has always been to never vote on laws not affecting Scotland. This, of course, will not stop them claiming this ploy from Gove as a ‘triumph’ (over EVEL).

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  8. Abolishing EVEL is merely a prelude to introducing a renegotiation of the Treaty of Union into domestic British law where it will come under the jurisdiction for the British courts instead of the international courts. Beware. Professors David Walker (late) and Ian Campbell warned about the pitfalls awaiting the Scots if they embark on such a renegotiation.

    Like

  9. Good article Rob and bang with regards to the SNP MP’s who have settled in nicely on the Westminster gravy train, of course they need to give the odd “Scotland won’t stand for it speech” to keep the masses back home placated, but other than that, they’ve found a home in the HoC, a home that they don’t want to leave, and independence is a threat to their comfy nest.

    Like

  10. “The SNP ought not to be taken as seriously as it wishes us to take it. Much the best way to embarrass its members at Westminster would be to hail them as friends and fellow members of the Establishment.”

    Yes, as Frantz Fanon warned, what we have here is the pampered bourgeoisie elite in a dominant national party making its own “accommodation with colonialism”.

    Which means that, for now at least, Scotland is contained “by a very solid organization; a government and a judicial system fed and renewed by the colonizer’s historic, economic and cultural needs” (Albert Memmi).

    Like

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