When I first put forward my proposals, getting on for ten years ago, in the context of the creation of a Scottish parliament and the abolition of the hereditary peers, I was regarded as at best eccentric and more probably as plain bonkers!
This is, though, a debate the time for which has arrived.
My suggestion is quite straightforward. We should abolish both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We should replace the former with English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Ireland parliaments. Those parliaments would each elect their own First Minister and would deal with all parochial and domestic issues relating to Health, Education, Social services and the like and raise, within the nations, the finances to support them. Unelected, unloved and unwanted guanos such as Ďregional assembliesí would be abolished and the national parliaments would work within the County structure to deliver services.
In tandem we should then elect a Senate on a two member per United Kingdom County (irrespective of size) basis. That Senate, retaining Her Majesty the Queen as Head of State, would from within itself elect the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and take responsibility for Foreign Policy, Defence and macro-taxation. Those were, in reality, the prime duties of parliament until the nineteenth century. Raise the taxes to pay for the forces to enforce foreign policy and defend the realm. All other matters at that time were dealt with either locally or as private members` legislation. I see no reason why we should not return to that concept: to do so would both retain the Union and create freedom for the Nations of that Union to determine their own domestic policies according to local needs and priorities as reflected by their electorates.
I am constantly told that this would be "very difficult to implement" but it is always possible to find either excuses why something cannot be done or to find ways in which something can be achieved. What we have now is a camel of a horse designed not even by a committee but by apprentices tinkering with machinery that has worked for centuries.
Now that we are where we are the time is surely ripe to take a grip of the whole constitutional issue and to address it through radical surgery.