The Reader: Ban SNP from sitting in House of Commons

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP speaks in the House of Commons: PA
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP speaks in the House of Commons: PA

How can political parties with a mandate against the Union be permitted to have MPs sit in the House of Commons? It’s the UK House of Commons but the Scottish Nationalist Party’s mandate is to leave the UK.

Sinn Fein does the right thing and its MPs don’t attend the Commons. SNP voters are entitled to vote that way, meaning that they do not wish to participate in UK politics, surely?

Parliament should table a motion to this end as soon as possible.
Lynn Jones

Editor's reply

Dear Lynn

I’m sorry but I disagree. People are entitled to have different views on the future of the UK, and have those views represented in Parliament

Excluding SNP MPs from the House of Commons would boost their cause — it’s far better to defeat them in a democratic debate. In any case, the cause that has made Scottish independence and Irish unification much more likely is not nationalism but Brexit. Since the hard Brexiteers now argue against the sovereignty of Parliament, they presumably wouldn’t mind too much about being excluded.
George Osborne, Evening Standard Editor

CBI’s fury at renationalisation is wrong

Labour’s plans to renationalise public utilities would cost the UK nearly £200 billion, scream outraged bosses club the CBI.

So what? The bankers were bailed out to the tune of £850 billion in 2008-2009 and I don’t recall any objections from the CBI to that use of public money. However, one way of cutting that bill would be to renationalise public utilities without a penny in “compensation” to their current owners.

That’s my preferred option. How would that suit the CBI?
Sasha Simic

Leadsom’s climate plea is not enough

While it’s good to see that Andrea Leadsom is concerned about climate change (“You’re protesting in the wrong city and country, Extinction Rebellion,” October 10), we are now beyond the language of “change”. We’re in a climate emergency. She’s wrong to dismiss protests based on location; this is a global problem that needs global co-operation to solve.

The UK has led on both the Climate Change Act and net-zero target. But setting a target is the easy bit. We already have most of the emissions-reducing technologies we need, many cheaper than their fossil fuel counterparts. We need to commit an extra £25 billion a year to the fixing the crisis. Reaching net zero by 2025 is difficult, but 2050 isn’t easy, and we know 2045 is possible. Only then will we be seeing true UK leadership.
Gareth Redmond-King, Head of climate change, WWF

Andrea Leadsom reeling off modest government achievements, gained under campaigning pressure, does not instil us with much hope.

Why not throw everything at green, future-proofed jobs, rather than airport expansion and fossil fuels? London is where decisions are made. We have apologised for the disruption, but it’s making people think about what real climate-based disruption could look like, as it already is like for many people in the Global South. Our message to the Secretary of State is simple: you’re doing nowhere near enough.
Jayne Forbes Extinction Rebellion

Davies’s obesity policy is too elitist

Professor Dame Sally Davies’s final report is a fitting epitaph to her tenure as Chief Medical Officer.

In seeking to protect those who she saw as most vulnerable to the dangers of obesity she ended up advocating for an elitist policy which restricts children’s diets according to their parents’ bank balances, from banning children who have to catch the bus to school from snacking, to imposing taxes on junk food.

I will be interested to see if her reforms extend to the long lunches of Trinity College Cambridge, of which she is now the Master, where pricing out may be a trickier task.
Hal Stevenson

Room 101 for 101?

How can we expect a police force to operate properly with such a useless 101 contact service? On my call, the robot said: “I did not catch that. Hold to speak to an operator.” All were busy. After listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons over and over again, I gave up. Room 101 is where 101 should go.
Douglas Went