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A familiar story keeps rising in prominence

Top Story in The Telegraph today

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.

This question is growing legs and starting to run...

The newspaper article continues:
"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."

So it is the thin population that is the problem is it? - not as The Devil's Kitchen says "our feckless MSPs" or that because as Mr Eugenides points out "the Scottish Executive are interfering, nannyish bastards" or "tyrannical morons" as Freedom and Whisky says.

And those quotes are only with regard to the thrice denied story - "Scotland is set to become the first country in Europe to ban alcohol for under-21s as part of a radical shake-up of licensing laws.
The controversial crackdown would also see all members of the public limited to only four alcoholic drinks per visit to a pub or club"

Comments

What is it about socialists that they never seem to learn?

There have been many attempts to curb or curtail "excessive" drinking over the years and around the world. To my knowledge thay have all failed.

To give three examples:

Prohibition in the US led to the rise of the Mafia from small time local gangsters to a nationwide industry serving illicit hooch to the masses.

Massive duties and restriction of supply in Scandanavia has led to vikings spending their weekends on the trans-Baltic ferries drinking themselves into oblivion. It has also led to a not inconsiderable number of rural vikings establishing their own illicit stills.

An attempt to cut drinking in Australia by limiting opening hours to a ridiculous one or two hours led to drinkers descending on the pubs at opening time, purchasing as much beer as theyir wallets would allow and then engaging in marathon boat races. Drinking time became so precious that trips to the bathroom were deemed unnecessary, drinkers pissing where they stood. Bar front urinals can still be found in some outback pubs.

If people want to drink, they will and nothing the state can do will stop them.

As to the suggestion emanating from the toy parliament? If enforced I suspect that urban drinkers will simply consume their ration in the Haggis and Claymore before moving down the street to The Sporranmakers Arms and so on. Thus town centres will become a seething mass of ever drunker porridge wogs searching for the next boozer. Pub crawling will become the national passtime.

Rural jocks will either take to their cars or publicans will break the law.

Somehow I can see absolutely no social benefit in any of these scenarios. Certainly none that outweighs the presumed limiting of alcohol north of the border.

RM

Sorry I made a complete arse of that last sentance.

What I meant to say was that even if these idiotic laws did reduce legal alcohol consumption north of the border (something I doubt) it isn't worth the grief they are likely to cause.

Hope that makes more sense. I promise to stop drinking so much at work when I'm commenting in future.

RM

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