by Mike Newland
Only two days have passed since the Scottish referendum but already the map has been outlined of what the result will mean for British politics.
The result of the referendum, as long expected, was a vote for Scotland to remain in the UK. As British nationalists, we welcome our continued existence. Which of us, however, can resist a sneaking wish that Scotland had voted yes and created the sort of titanic upset the British people need to create a political revolution? Without one we won’t survive.
Already the three big parties have begun to employ the result to justify pursuit of their own interests and not ours. The idea is that a result which rejected everything but more power and money for Scotland – in return for not upsetting the establishment apple cart – in fact amounts to a cry from the people for a new constitutional settlement. That was not a choice on the Scottish ballot paper however desirable it might be.
The political class know well how unpopular they are and with good reason. UKIP, whatever doubts one may have about it, is proving far more threatening to the interests of LibLabCon than anyone could have anticipated even a year ago.
An obvious stratagem to get the old gang through the next election is a hollow promise of radical reform excused by Scotland. Scotland gave a pretext for Cameron to launch yet another pie-in-the sky offer to the people like his fatuous promise of effective renegotiation of powers currently held by the EU.
This time it’s a promise to end the ‘West Lothian’ farce of Scottish MPs voting on many English questions while English MPs don’t vote on many Scottish matters. ‘The people must be heard’ and so forth.
If the Prime Minister had any such ideas in mind he’d have taken serious action about immigration. Murder or suicide of the nation? You decide. Placed in charge of the great revolution – William Hague – who is shortly leaving parliament! There is commitment for you.
Cameron can no more deliver on the above than he can force the EU into making more than trivial concessions in its onward march towards total control of our country. It would require the agreement of all three parties and Labour is not about to surrender control of English affairs – most of the country and economy – by neutering its vital Scottish MPs. Labour powerlessness in matters like social policy would be a dagger in the heart of a party whose power base is its client group of the state-funded. Turkeys and Christmas.
So why is Cameron doing it? Because it sounds good and it sounds radical and he hopes it may keep him in power. Better yet, it puts the Labour party over a barrel in that it has to find a means of blocking change without looking like what it is really is – another pack of rats fighting in the big Westminster sack.
Some think that Cameron only agreed to a referendum in anticipation of working precisely the above stratagem against Labour close to a General Election. This is probably too flattering a view of someone who is at best a second-rate public relations man elevated far beyond both his abilities and moral qualities.
Miliband has already launched a counter offensive. He can’t support anything which seems to serve ‘narrow political interest‘. Farcical. Nearly all the energies of the political class are expended on precisely that. Little is left for serving the people.
The statesmanlike Mr Miliband can only support change if more widely considered. So that’s the can kicked down the road until long after the General Election. Whew!
Meanwhile the whole question of pretended change is a huge gift to the political and media class. Juicy opportunities to fill the copy hungry media with interesting discussion about a Britain in the throes of political revolution, endless grand standing by politicians, and juicy positions on committees and probably commissions. There has even been talk of a resurrection and honours for the disastrous Gordon Brown.
Nothing significant will change and before long – probably even before the election – the public will become even more cynical about the system we live under and its inability to serve the country.
That is all to our good. However frustrating it may seem in the short-run.
Cameron’s spin operation on the back of the referendum, however hollow and cynical, may well make another hung parliament more likely. That is all to our good too. An outright win by any party would be hailed as proving that confidence in the current political parties remains strong.