Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Tory madness

Courtesy of Boris Johnsons. Not so much his remarks about Jamie Oliver but rather his contribution to the West Lothian Question, which indicate a return to the Tories' relatively new-found joy of opposition:
"Mr Johnson also called for Scottish politicians to be banned from voting on English matters.

"I have no wish to be disrespectful to the Scots. But it is outrageous that I as an English MP can be out-voted on issues such as Oxfordshire's NHS without corresponding powers the other way.

"The Scots should not get free university education subsidised by us in England. They shouldn't get free nursing care.

"As a Scot Gordon Brown will find it hard to convince people in England he should be prime minister."

Mr Johnson told the meeting he would be "doing no more apologising" following his high profile acts of contrition when he offended Liverpool and Papua New Guinea.

It later emerged that at another fringe meeting, Mr Johnson had been reported as saying: "Supposing Tower Hamlets or Bradford were to become governed by religious zealots.

"Are we ready for complete local autonomy if it means imposing sharia law?""
Sound familiar? That's because it seems this constitutional problem is shaping up to be the Tories' new Maastricht. It's not that there aren't questions to be addressed; it's that this represents the belief, one shared by not a few Tories, that Joe and Josephine Public are as obsessed with constitutional matters as Mr Johnson and his friends. An unbecoming and most unconservative preoccupation. As Edmund Burke put it:
"It has been the misfortune (not as these gentlemen think it, the glory) of this age, that everything is to be discussed, as if the constitution of our country were to be always a subject rather of altercation than enjoyment."
And if they can't even conserve the Union, what are the Conservative and Unionist party for, exactly?

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