Can we expect more progress on the WLQ Commission after the Scottish and Welsh elections?

Doh! It suddenly struck me that that must be the reason – or at least one of the main reasons – why the Con-Dem government has been so cagey about the timing of the promised Commission to look into the West Lothian Question: they don’t want to give Labour and the Nationalists in Scotland and Wales another weapon to use against them in the devolved election campaigns presently taking place in those countries. Labour and the Nationalists would be able to spin any move to prevent Scottish and Welsh MPs from voting on English matters in Parliament as a sign of the Westminster government’s enmity towards Scotland’s and Wales’ present public sector-friendly, social-democratic settlement – with MPs from Scotland and Wales no longer able to influence spending decisions for England that have knock-on effects in those countries via the Barnett Formula.

Does that mean we can expect the WLQ to mysteriously appear on the parliamentary agenda as soon as the Scottish and Welsh elections are put to bed? I suppose that depends in part on the results and on how well (or badly) the Tories and Lib Dems perform, particularly in Scotland. If they do really badly – as the signs are they will – this will make it less likely that they’ll do anything on the WLQ, as they won’t want to undermine their position in Scotland and Wales still further. So while a dramatic SNP victory will put Scottish independence – and, indirectly, the English Question – back on the political agenda, it may delay still further any attempt to resolve the West Lothian Question.


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