Lord Falconer's Doublethink

Following Today programme, Nosemonkey asks:

How is it possible to hold so many contradictory ideas at one time?

Tony's flatmate Charlie "the Lord" Falconer must be either a genius or a moron - and I know which I'm putting my money on...

So to have an English Parliament would threaten the breakup of the United Kingdom, but having a Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly does not?

Falconer also acknowledges that "The argument for devolution was that the Scots and the Welsh felt policies could be imposed upon them for which there was little or no support in Scotland or Wales" - precisely the same arguments the proponents of an English Parliament use now, only with "England" in place of those two Celtic nations. Indeed, Scots votes have swung it for the government on a number of occasions now.

For the record, my preferred solution to the West Lothian Question has long been that now adopted by the Tories - an honour system, where Scottish MPs don't vote on issues that will not affect Scotland. Sadly, however, under this government the concept of "honour" seems to have been utterly lost under obfuscation, lies and spin. Ho-hum...

Still, at least Tony and Charlie are being consistent in their claims that they can't introduce two tiers of MPs.

Although that rather fails to answer the question "what are MSPs and Welsh AMs if not second-class MPs, exactly?"

Non Trivial solutions makes the same point using a different example:


As per George Orwell, 'the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.' A wonderful example of the genre comes from Lord Falconer today in the Groan:

"The lord chancellor today rubbished claims that peerages were for sale."

His rebuttal follows a recent inquiry that found that every donor who had given more than £1m to Labour had received either a knighthood or a peerage.

But Lord Falconer insisted that did not mean people could buy peerages.

'Absolutely not, no,' he said on this morning's BBC Radio 4 Today programme. 'You are not guaranteed a peerage.'"

So peerages are categorically not for sale, and especially not for a price tag of £1m, which will, empirically speaking, buy you a peerage with 100% certainty. Absolutely wonderful.

I heard both of these go out on the radio, and meant to post on them, before posting I did a quick search to find two posts that had heard one of these each... made the comment I wanted to make... and had already linked to each other. Funny how people think in similar ways.

For the record, I did agree with Falconer's assertion that making a donation should not debarr one from an honour - however I disagreed with his implication that it was pure coincidence that all million pound donors happened to have peerages

Both of Falconer's pieces of Doublethink can be heard in the one interview, linked to from this page, there is also an mp3 - both of these links may well be removed by the BBC in a few days.

Edit: See my earlier post on this interview.