Letter: Devolution: a recipe for corruption

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Devolution: a recipe for

corruption a recipe for


Sir: Those who are concerned about corruption and croneyism in the Scottish Labour Party ("Suicide MP: call for wider probe", 18 August) should ponder the malign implications of Donald Dewar's proposals for the election of a Scottish Parliament. Half the MPs will be elected from party lists according to the proportion of votes cast for that party. The selection of names for those lists, the order in which they appear on the list, and thus their chances of election, will be determined by party officials, not by constituencies or the electorate.

If ever there was a recipe for putting corruption and croneyism at the heart of a parliamentary democracy this is it. Those who find their way onto this nomenklatura might be the most corrupt and unpopular people in Scotland but if they are top of the Labour party list they will still become MPs. Is this how we want Scotland to be governed?

Unless the Labour Party grasps this nettle now, the devolution referendum deserves to fail.


Professor of Public International Law

University of Edinburgh