>It seems to be Davids who have done best out of the Private Members Bill ballot this year. Last week I wrote about how Lib Dem David Heath is introducing a Bill to reduce fuel poverty .
Today, Scottish Tory MP for Dumfries, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, David Mundell, announced that he was going to use this magnificent opportunity to improve the quality of people’s lives to introduce a bill to compel English retailers to accept Scottish banknotes.
We’ve all been there, in some florist, or at a newspaper stand south of the border and we hand over a fiver to pay for our purchases and the proprietor screws his nose up and delights in telling us that he (and, let’s face it, it usually is a he)can’t accept our beautiful Scottish banknotes as only Bank of England notes cut it with him.
When we lived in England, and I know this is nearly a decade ago now, we usually had no problem spending our Scottish notes. We did start to have a problem with £1 notes after they were phased out in England, but most of the time it was fine.
I have no problems with the aims of David Mundell’s bill, although I can’t really see why the Government can’t tag a wee clause onto the bottom of some finance bill if it’s really necessary. It’s just that it depresses me that this is the height of his ambition.
We are facing the worst economic crisis probably of my lifetime and he’s come up with an uncontroversial but basically irrelevant piece of legislation. What about measures to help business, or farmers, or people on fixed incomes who are struggling at the moment as interest rates fall? Were none of the current Tory policies worthy of putting in a Private Members’ Bill? Well, obviously I think that, but I didn’t expect him to.
This measure is almost like the sort of thing I get annoyed with my husband for. He will think he’s been very helpful by cleaning out a drawer that we only ever go into occasionally, but hasn’t touched the living room which is looking like a pig sty.
Here’s hoping that in the Battle of the Davids, it’s the fuel poverty measure, which will make so much difference to people who are struggling at the moment, that prevails.