Today I am writing an open letter to the Prime Minister.
Dear Prime Minister,
The Scottish Parliament will meet to debate the decision of the Scottish Justice Minister over the Lockerbie bomber. When you first took the highest political office in the UK you stated that you wished to restore the Uk Parliament to a more central role in our democratic life. You cannot be serious unless you today recall the UK Parliament, to meet later this week.
Since we were last allowed to convene and do our jobs as MPs, the government has endorsed a substantial increase in so called quantitative easing, has revealed a larger deterioration in our fiscal position than in the budget, has shown that whilst competitor economies on the continent are growing again our economy has continued to decline, and has watched helpless as many more people lose their jobs. We need an urgent debate on the state of the economy.
Since we last were allowed to meet several good Committee reports have been issued, including some worrying criticisms of parts of our health care. Labour figures have been keen to whip up a specious debate about Conservative attitudes towards the NHS through friendly media. Wouldn’t it be better to allow a proper Parliamentary debate on the state of the NHS and how it can be improved and reformed, so claims and counter claims can be tested in a proper forum free of the behind the scenes distortions of the spin doctors?
Since we last were permitted to do our jobs more of our troops have been killed in Afghanistan. There have been recent leaks about the state of our military procurement, along with Minsiterial denials that this has had any bearing on the lives of our soldiers. We need to cross examine Ministers on this. At the very least poor procurement has had a big impact on the state of our budget deficit. We need to ask Ministers to explain what their strategy towards Afghanistan will be once the new government is up and running. We understood the need for the British army to help create a peace sufficient to enable voters to get to the polls. What is the mission now? How do we define success and how long is the new mission to last?
Today we also want to know more about the UK’s relationships with Libya and the USA. The conduct of foreign policy remains a Union responsibility. What actions did the UK governemnt take in the run up to the important Lockerbie bomber decision by the Scottish administration, given its importance to those two relationships? What action is the Uk government now going to take given what has happened?
As far as many English people are concerned, these recent events reinforce what a lop sided and unfair system of devolution we have. A powerless UK government allows the Scottish government to make this decision, washes its hands of the foreign policy consequences, and doesn’t even allow English MPs to have a voice on that foreign policy, whilst Scotland not only makes the decision but has a functioning democracy to debate it.
You should recall Parliament immediately.