An extraordinary performance by Ian Davidson as Westminster passes its Section 30 order today, unopposed. A virtually empty chamber at Westminster saw a few bloated Labour and Liberal MPs pour complete scorn on the Scottish Parliament and its processes. The system would be rigged, the vote would be fixed, we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. In fact between the train stealing, the horse burgers, Michael Forsyth and the chimps addicted to porn, today’s one of the weirder days for news.
For those who called for a better quality debate this – from The Cradle (or is it the Mother I can never remember?) of Democracies – was dire. The discussion seemed to focus around Terry Butcher and a sort of deluge of insults. Here’s a few choice selected quotes:
Ian Davidson MP, Glasgow South West (Labour) and Chair of the ‘Scottish’ Affairs Select Committee:
The referendum will be timed to take place after the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, which is celebrated mainly because Scots slew large numbers of English people. The fact that those events will take place before the referendum gives people the opportunity to celebrate the politics of identity and ethnicity.
Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Central (Labour):
We have a majority SNP Government in the Scottish Parliament, but that is not a democratic place in the conventional sense; it is a dictatorship of one man.
Whilst some of this may be depressing, the important point is that none of these people actually challenged the process. What you were watching was a series of self-important men losing their power. The sense of self-entitlement was palpable and no doubt galling for some of these career politicians. But while the vitriol may be harsh the important thing to recall is ‘these people really don’t matter any more’.
But, as we await the authoritative and democratic input of the House of Lords tomorrow, and you reflect on today’s speeches, take a look at democracy Westminster style. Who is it that runs this Scottish Affairs Committee that’s so frequently quoted by the Scottish press and who’s Chair seemed to have the floor of the House for hours this afternoon?
These are some of the people who make up the Scottish Affairs Committee…
Fiona Bruce (who we’ve to address as ‘Mrs Bruce’). She’s the MP for, er, Congleton (no I don’t have a clue where that is either). Her interests include ‘North Korea, Rwanda, Tanzania’ (and obviously Scotland!)
Then there’s Mike Freer (Conservative) – who’s the MP for Finchley. His ‘Countries of Interest’ include: Cyprus, Israel, Middle East, USA (and Jockoland, clearly!). He was a Councillor for the London Borough of Barnet from 1990-94. Er, that’s it.
There’s Simon Reevel (Conservative). He’s been the Member for Dewsbury since 6 May 2010 general election. I don’t really know what else to say about Simon.
This system (rather than these individuals) may be embarrassing but the fact that the committee is packed with Tories and MPs who don’t even represent Scottish constituencies is a fixture of the Unionist past. From tomorrow the opportunity will be here for us to sweep this nonsense away. Besides that, the problem is not these random MPs and functionaries on committees, it is the absurd utterances of fellow Scots like Davidson and Sarwar that are the issue. Career politicians protecting self-interest, unable to envisage any better future for their country and emeshed in self-delusion and cultural malpractice. Their days are now numbered.