Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Westminster misses constitutional tremors

Two worlds. While Alex Salmond is delivering a fine inaugural speech laying out his vision for Scotland Westminster is all a froth over the immediate future of Justice Minister Ken Clarke.

Clarke made some very ill-judged comments on rape sentencing and different types of rape in a radio interview this morning. He has been digging himself further and further into the mire in subsequent television interviews. One of the biggest beasts in the jungle may just have sounded his own death knell.

At Prime Minister's Questions, just gone, Ed Miliband hammered David Cameron on the issue. Labour is coming from the right on crime and justice and making the government look as if it is all over the shop.

Miliband will get the clips he wants on the evening news but he made one major error himself. By asking if the Justice Secretary would still be in his post by the end of the day he virtually guaranteed that Ken Clarke would not be sacked.

In a very bruising Prime Minister's Questions Cameron did get one reference to the Scottish situation.

James Gray, a Home Counties Conservative and a Scot, asked if all voters in the UK will have a vote on Scottish independence.

Cameron said it would be a vote for the people of Scotland and not the rest of the country.

History is being made at Holyrood and Westminster barely notices the constitutional ground moving underneath its feet.

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