Via Toque we see that in a Mori poll, 41% of people favoured an English parliament. This sounds like 59% don't, but not so:
41 per cent said they favoured an English Parliament 'with similar law-making powers to the Scottish Parliament' and Only 32 per cent said they were happy with an unchanged House of Commons.
Presumably this means that 27% are either in the 'don't know' or 'English votes for English MPs' category.
This undermines Lord Falconers' previous statements on the issue, on the 'Today' programme he said the following:
That that is so is reflected by the fact that there is no demand at all for devolution to England or the English MPs only being able to vote on English issues.
Under first past the post (which our current government seems to favour) that means that the English parliament idea is the winner.
He also argued that an English Parliament would inexorably lead to the break up of the UK (but a Scottish Parliament would not).
It's about time I wrote another letter....
Dear Lord Falconer
On Friday 10th March this year, you appeared on "The Today Programme". In the interview you discussed many things, not least of which was the anomaly that is the lack of parity between England and Scotland with regard to representation. There was this exchange:
John Humphreys: Yeah, but, but you're ignoring the anomaly, and it is a clear anomaly isn't it?
Lord Falconer: It is a clear anomaly, yes,
You gave reasons why there should not be an English Parliament (namely that it would be bad for the Union), but you did not explain why the Scottish Parliament is not bad for the Union. As such I do not feel that you addressed these issues and so am turning to you in the hope that you have had time to deliberate upon your earlier statements.
One point of particular interest was that you said "That that is so is reflected by the fact that there is no demand at all for devolution to England or the English MPs only being able to vote on English issues."
This was interesting, as this was in direct contradiction to that exact demand from Oliver Heald.
I am writing at this stage due to a poll reported today in the Observer (it's also reported on "Guardian Unlimited"):
The poll says that 41% favour an English parliament with 32% favouring an unchanged house of commons. Presumably the rest are in favour of "English votes for English MPs" or are "don't know".
If this were a general election, under "first past the post" the English Parliament proposal would be a clear winner. Given this, have you revised your view that there is no demand at all for devolution to England?
We now have a situation where you have admitted that anomalies exist, though you did not indicate how you would solve them. We also have a situation where you have stated that there is "no demand" for a solution and this has been demonstrated to be incorrect.
I would be interested to hear what your next step will be in resolving this anomaly in our constitutional arrangements. If you do not deem that a solution is needed, then I would ask how a Scottish parliament can be justified and yet an English parliament with similar powers cannot â€“ and why one would necessarily lead to the break up of the Union and the other would not.
I look forward to your considered response.