HAVING watching the reality of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s fanciful plan that endangers democracy and public health, many people must be wondering how many more straws it will take to break the camel’s back of putting tradition before common sense in Westminster.
After undertaking in some cases day-long journeys by public transport, members will then obediently shuffle along in a two-hour, mile-long queue for every vote in Westminster. By contrast, at Holyrood MSPs can sit in their seats, or at home, press a button and the results appear in a minute.
READ MORE: Scottish MPs locked out of Westminster as virtual voting axed
This is entirely because the UK Government refuses to move its parliamentary procedures out of the dark ages that existed before we had the benefits of electricity, let alone into to the age of electronics and video communications.
The Mother of Parliaments still sees herself as a leading performer on the world stage, but doesn’t realise that the season has moved on and she is now the dame in a pantomime who has become a laughing stock on television around the world. No laughing matter for the UK audience that has just bought a season ticket.
John S JamiesonSouth Queensferry
WHILST the majority of the population, we oldies included, have taken on board new methods of doing things like Zoom, the UK Government wants to return to the good ol’ middle ages. The old ways mean working inefficiently and wasting time. So, now that they’ve had a taste of modernity, why not grasp it willingly?
READ MORE: Commons pantomime shows why the UK is a global laughing stock
Or is it all part of their contempt for the parliment? They don’t want a written constitution because it’ll mean rules which have to be followed. They want their own private advisers because they don’t trust the civil service to do their bidding. They don’t like democracy because it makes them accountable for their actions.
Put it all together and one day they’ll realise they’re the laughing stock of the “free” world. Have they ordered a stock of brollies for the queues come the raining season? I forgot – they don’t do logistics either!
REGRETTABLY, we are getting used to saying that the behaviour of the Westminster government shows total disregard for the people of Scotland. The latest move to stop virtual voting in the English parliament is yet another example.
As far as I am aware (although you can never be sure about Boris’s directions) the Covid-19 guidance says that everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. However, MPs are the “exception”; yet another example of how politicians and their advisers change the rules to suit their agenda. Social distancing will mean that only around 50 MPs can actually attend to vote. If this includes any Scottish MPs they will have to travel long distances for six hours or more by car, or take public transport. Both will expose these workers and their families to risks which are entirely unnecessary.
Do any decisions taken by a mere 10% of the country’s elected representatives have any legitimacy, or is the measure being used simply to prevent proper parliamentary scrutiny of a deeply unpopular government and their advisers?
The first vote in parliament under the new rules took around 90 minutes to conduct. There won’t be many divisions if this continues to be the case.
MPs were given an additional expense allowance of up to £10,000 to ensure that they can work effectively from home. Is that money now wasted? I have started a petition on the UK Parliament petitions website, which is awaiting approval, to try and get this deplorable policy changed. I would encourage National readers to sign it and put on pressure for democracy to return to the UK.
SADLY I watched Tuesday’s fiasco in Westminster’s cesspit of democracy. Rees-Mogg – the yin that cannae change nappies – made a law that arguably breaks the law.
By his law, passed by his cronies, Scottish MPs are possibly in breach of travel regulations by travelling to a place where their presence changes nothing that these near-fascists dictate. Essential travel for essential work. Scottish MPs don’t do essential work in that place – not their fault!
That got me thinking of a partially amusing situation I find myself in. Last month I passed 60, and as a non-car-owner I looked forward to gaining a travel card. Unfortunately, the issuing of them is considered non-essential. Well, I am in need of underwear but is that essential? If so, I need to travel 15km by bus at a cost of £9. Aye, the website advice is tell the driver and he will allow you to travel. I tried this and was refused; the feeling being I was viewed as a fraudster, despite having my driving licence with name and address. It’s not the driver’s fault, but lack of communications from his bosses at Stagecoach.
Why I have this shortage is that most of my clothes are at the other end of the country where I should be working, were it not for the virus. Another example: pre-virus I would take a bus 5km to allow me a nice walk back along country lanes and wee hills. Now that travel is banned, yet car owners can make the same journey.
Aye, this is a minor inconvenience, but it exemplifies how the less well-off suffer more than the affluent. Of course, those shops that are open are doing great business in tobacco, lottery and drinks – all essential.
IAN Murray MP tells us that Labour needs at least ten or, if possible, 20 Scottish MPs at the next Westminster election and tells us exactly why. So now we know why he and his party want us to vote for them. Not, as we might have expected, to represent us and our views and make sure we have a fair hearing, but simply so that Labour can hold power at Westminster. Our only relevance to Ian Murray and his party is as political cannon fodder.
Has he still not grasped why the Labour party is on the downward path to invisibility?