Ken Clarke publishes his Democracy Task Force's report on the West Lothian question this morning. I refer readers to the blog post I wrote three weeks ago, when James Kirkup first wrote about the proposals in the Telegraph.
From what I have seen I am cannot in any way defend this so-called solution. It is not even a half way house. Either you believe that England should have devolved government or you don't. If you do, then you either believe in English votes on English measures or you believe in some form of English Parliament.
Unfortunately, just banning Scottish MPs from voting in the Committee and Report Stages of a Bill will have little or no effect. It still means that Scottish MPs will have a vote on Second and Third Reading.
Ken Clarke's Today programme interview this morning pressed a few of the right buttons, but on the substance of the issue he seemed to be incredibly vague. Yes, the English are starting to feel put upon, he seemed to be saying, but the implication was that we don't want to upset the Scots or threaten the union. Most Scots I know are quite happy for England to have proper devolution.
This is a timid response to an increasingly important question and few will be convinced by it. A month ago I described it as a 'sop' and 'half baked', and I see little reason to change my mind.
UPDATE 3pm: Sir Malcolm Rifkind isn't impressed either. ConservativeHome has his response.