12 January 2007

Ruth Kelly and the West Lothian Question.

Characteristically, Simon Jenkins has written the best article I have read on Ruth Kelly's decision to send her son to an independent school.

Eschewing the knee-jerk condemnation of the tabloids, the knee-jerk approbation of Guido Fawkes and fence-sitting attitude of Iain Dale, Jenkins' discussion on communities, and faith in them homes in nicely on why Kelly's decision doesn't feel quite right, even for a liberal fee-paying parent like me.

One thing that strikes me about it: I think this is a preamble to what will be the theme of 2007 politics - the hitherto rather obscure West Lothian Question: if it's not possible for person to be Minister for Communities (or Education) prevailing over a system that her family doesn't have to put up with, how much harder is it going to be to have Prime Minister prevailing over the UK, elected by a set of constituents who don't have to put up with the results.

I don't see the West Lothian question leading to the end of the Union as one blogger mischievously speculates, but I do see lots of most enjoyable trouble ahead.

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