The Wasting Mule Online reports that the tanned one AKA the former Labour Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has joined up with former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell and leading Tory peer the Marquess of Salisbury to form a group that will campaign for a new Act of Union in the UK.
It goes on to tell us.
The ex-Neath MP, who like Sir Menzies is shortly to join the House of Lords, says the Constitution Reform Group will argue that the current Union is unsustainable in a context where the SNP is calling for another referendum on Scottish independence and the UK Government is seeking to ban MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from voting on laws that only affect England.
Mr Hain (soon Lord) said: “
What is new and striking about the new cross-party group to reform the relationship between the nations and regions of the UK is that it was initiated by leading Conservatives.A cynic may think that the purpose of this group is to dangle the prospect of constitutional reform without actually doing anything and keep it going for years in the hope the demands of Scotland will die down
“Until now, the pressure for reform has come from Labour, Liberals, Green and radical constitutionalists.
“But when I was approached to join the steering committee of the new group, I discovered that the main motivation was born out of a belief by serious and influential Conservatives that, without wide-ranging constitutional reform, the very future of the UK is imperilled, not least by the still real threat of Scottish secession
“The analysis we have collectively agreed without any rancour is compelling. Namely that the constitutional status quo cannot remain except at the cost of dismembering Britain and leaving all of its constituent nations and regions immeasurably weaker in a world of much bigger and much more powerful nations and blocs.
“We have identified important areas for reform and suggested different options. These include addressing the asymmetrical devolution that has left England with an understandable grievance (and not just on the political right) as the most centralised and therefore disenfranchised part of the UK (London excepted).
“On the House of Lords, my own view is that a Senate or House of Lords should be at the very least majority-elected on the same day as a general election, ideally by a list system of proportional representation on the same boundaries as apply to European elections.One wonder why Mr (Soon Lord) had not come to the conclusion
“That would enable each of the nations and regions within the United Kingdom to be properly represented, helping bind us back together again in a way that both Houses of Parliament have palpably failed to do.
“Such a reformed institution will give a proper voice to the whole of the UK and act as an effective complement to a House of Commons which – because of first-past-the-post voting procedure – does not fairly represent all our citizens.”
Again a cynic might think that this is a desperate attempt by a retired poltician desperate for a role that might keep him in the public eye.
As i said you might also come to the conclusion that this is more about stopping Scotland leaving the Union rather than any constitutional change and like the infamous "Vow" will peter out if it becomes clear it is not going to happen in the near future (though it doesn't look like it).
Whilst I would welcome constitutional reform I doubt it will come from this bunch of has-beens.
They after all have had years serving in the UK parliament and have hardly raised the question including the LibDems who claim to want a Federal Britain but have never to my mind placed it on the top of the Agenda
They could have placed such a constitutional change at the heart of their coalition agreement instead they were suckered into having a referendum on AV as a form of proportional representation and joined Better Together in the Scottish Referendum offering no real alternative to the Labour-Tory consensus.