Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How (Good?) Ideas Can Go Wrong

One proposal to solve Israel's internal situation with its Arab citizens who now insist on referring to themselves as Palestinian Arabs holding Israeli citizenship is some form of ethnic-based autonomy (mentioned in passing here and here and here.

Well, without being that exact, see what can wrong with this idea in other places and it surely echoes some matters that we have to deal with in Israel:-

Power of Scottish MPs 'a threat to UK'

Growing anger in England over the power that Scottish MPs wield at Westminster could destroy the 1998 devolution settlement, a powerful Commons committee said yesterday.

The report by the Labour-dominated Scottish affairs committee makes grim reading for Gordon Brown by highlighting how a majority of people in the United Kingdom now oppose a Scot becoming prime minister.

The MPs say that the West Lothian Question - the anomaly giving Scottish MPs a say over English laws but English MPs no similar rights where power has been devolved - is a time bomb that urgently needs to be defused. "It is a matter of concern to us that English discontent is becoming apparent," they said.

The MPs said they hoped the matter would be "comprehensively debated and resolved before … it could undermine the whole devolution settlement".

Worries about the constitutional imbalance have been underlined by the likelihood that Mr Brown, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, will succeed Tony Blair as prime minister within 18 months.

The MPs cited a recent ICM poll which found that 52 per cent of people in the UK believed it was wrong for a Scot to become prime minister, given that Scotland had its own parliament. The figure rose to 55 per cent among English people as a whole and 59 per cent in the South East.

A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph in 2004 found that 67 per cent of people believed Scottish MPs should not be able to vote on matters affecting only England and Wales.

Resentment at the powers the Scots exercise over English affairs is compounded, many MPs say, by claims that English taxpayers subsidise people in Scotland because the country is thinly populated, making services more expensive to run.

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