Local solutions

Constitutional proposals based on four “English Votes for English Laws” options are unsurprisingly “confused”, but Brian Wilson (Perspective, 20 December) insults Tam Dalyell for his West Lothian Question’s mere “alliterative appeal” in 1977 and millions of English as “Little Englanders” for backing Evel in 2014.

He avers the Question needed no addressing on 19 September; English attitudes to its anomalies were “tolerant indifference”. If once true, that radically changed with David Cameron’s abdication of his referendum responsibilities to Alex Salmond and the Gordon Brown-inspired, panic-induced, possibly unnecessary “Vow”.

If the Question’s “practicalities” are “much less significant than pretended”, they must be simple to rectify; he offers no solution. If there is little “purely English legislation to worry about”, ergo is there not little purely Scottish legislation – so why Holyrood?

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Why should “intense contradictions and extreme marginalisations” ensue from a Westminster shared by English and UK parliaments? It is surely one solution, plus abolishing all “MPs”, having MSPs cover Scottish affairs in Holyrood and UK affairs in Westminster (two or three days each, or alternate weeks); likewise members of the Anglo Parliament (MAPs?); with local affairs left entirely to councillors, and parliaments in session year-round to scrutinise legislation and monitor executives.

Anent “two classes of MP” (from Scottish MPs abstaining from English matters) we already have two classes, with Scottish MPs in a privileged underemployed position versus English MPs dealing with English matters devolved to MSPs in Scotland. Existing “contra­dictions/marginalisations” flow ­directly from the flawed devolution of Mr Wilson’s colleagues Blair, Brown, Dewar et al.

His logical conclusion is the devolution we were not offered (avoiding both the West Lothian Question and our current situation): to sensibly established “local authorities” throughout the UK, without ­Holyrood.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife