LETTERS: Blair must resolve the tartan problem

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The Independent Online
From Mr M. J. Turner

Sir: Your leader "Tartan Terrors of Mr Blair" (27 December) suggests that one way around the "West Lothian" question would be to ignore it as just another of the British constitution's many contradictions. You defend this view by stating that the English do not seem concerned about the democratic anomalies that devolution would cause.

However, I think not only the English but also the Scots would find this aspect of devolution hard to stomach, for surely the most pertinent point encompassed in the "West Lothian" question is not that the Scottish MPs can make English policy whereas the English cannot make Scottish policy, but that a Scottish Westminster MP can take decisions affecting (say) the national curriculum in schools in the South of England, but will have no say over what is taught in schools in his or her own constituency.

The important link between an MP and his or her constituents will loosen when an MP can do little about local problems and is accountable for nothing concerning local issues. It is for this reason that ignoring the problem can be no option for Mr Blair.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew J. Turner

St. Ives, Cambridgeshire

30 December

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