After Scotland

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.

23 thoughts on “After Scotland

  1. The more powers are given to Scotland to administer itself internally, the easier it will be to cut the umbilical cord between Scotland and the rest of the UK in the end.

    What we are seeing with Scotland is the slippery slope syndrome in full flow – greater and greater independence ending in the final cut.

    Actually, umbilical cord is not a bad metaphor since the relationship is essentially one of the greater body providing sustenance to the smaller. This why so many voted no who would otherwise would have voted yes.

    One has got to ask why, since this is all that connects, do we bother with the Union? Wouldn’t all the nations of the British Isles be better off independent? Especially England which wouldn’t have to subsidise the others, or have a built -in Scottish Labour voting bloc on its back?

    Does it really matter if England would cut less of a dash on the world stage now that world power is heading to China and the East anyway?

  2. The Union Forever! Let us scrap the assemblies and integrate all the nations of the UK with one system of local government,law and everything else.

  3. Vita Brevis, would you really have wanted the Scots to break-away with that implies for our border? Mr Salmond wanted to RADICALLY increase immigration. He lied about wanting to have a Common Travel Area because his wish to massively increase immigration would mean that a Common Travel Area agreement wouldn’t have been possible to have been set up.

    There are other issues too besides that one. Scotland AND England and Wales are better defended with ONE ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE. That mad woman in Argentina was hoping for Great Britain to break apart in order to press her absurd claims to the BRITISH Falkland Islands and a break up would have led many other countries to start agreeing with Argentina when, at present, they either oppose the claims or are lukewarm about showing their agreement with it. If the split had happened, I have no doubt a future Argentine government would be highly tempted to try another invasion.

    Scots were asked whether they wanted to separate and they said No. It’s the first time they have had that opportunity to make an explicit rejection (ie in a referendum) of being part of the United Kingdom since 1707.

    What we need is an all party (and hopefully with input from members of the public too) constitutional convention to be set up to thrash out a lasting AND STABLE constitutional settlement for all of us.

    No, the reasons for the Union remain just as valid in 2014 as they did in 1707. Scotland needed totally unimpeded access to English markets which she gained in 1707 and still very much benefits from and we needed a secure northern border and we still have that.

  4. No, Mark, there is no need to go back to the situation pre-1999. It wouldn’t be voted for either. We DO need though a LASTING AND STABLE constitutional settlement for ALL of us which takes into account the fact the Scots rejected separation when they were explicitly given an opportunity to endorse the concept.

  5. Had the unholy trinity of the Liblabcon not made their unwelcome incursion into Scotland immediately prior to the referendum itself, I believe that the “No” vote might well have been significantly higher than 55%.

    As a result of this eleventh hour appearance, many people who had previously intended to vote “No”, became offended by the outpourings and hollow promises of this arrogant, self-seeking bunch. So much so, that many began stating they were mindful to vote the other way (Yes), simply in order to spite the political elite.

    If the three stooges had deliberately set out to cause discord, they couldn’t have made a better fist of it. But if were that the case, we might only speculate as to why.

    For my own part, I am reassured knowing that a certain majority of the electorate, in both camps, voted to retain their ethnic identity as they perceive it, regardless of promises to be materially better or worse off, either way. For the sincere people, genuine patriots, party politics was never the main issue. Nationalism is alive and afire across Europe.

    For my own part, I am British and always wish to remain a British citizen.

  6. (Party Member) Part of the ‘ fall out ‘ of the recent Scottish referendum is that there is an opportunity to stop blinkered, class warfare, multi-cultural types like Gordon Brown, from voting on English only matters in our Parliament. Bearing in mind that the man is devoted to the policy of mass immigration I am thrilled to bits at the thought of him no longer having a say in my affairs. God help Scotland though !

    1. Gordon Brown is entitled to vote on matters in the House of Commons which contrary to SNP and Plaid Cymru myth is the BRITISH parliament. What is needed is not the unworkable nonsense of ‘English Votes for English Laws’ but a new English Parliament to deal with the devolved matters in our part of the Kingdom whilst leaving Westminster to deal with the ‘reserved matters’ like defence, foreign affairs, immigration, macro-economic policies ect. In short, we need a federal system. Anything else is a messy compromise and will lead to FURTHER tensions in our United Kingdom. Labour really should have thought these things through before introducing devolution in the first place. They WERE warned by a few of their own MPs and by John Major and others.

      1. The lunacy of the present situation is that MP’s elected in Scotland can come to Westminster and vote on English matters while English MP’s cannot attend and vote at the Scottish Assembly.

        It is well to remember that Gordon Brown was elected as an MP by no one outside of Scotland and yet we were inflicted with this useless egotist without our own people having any say in the matter.

        All Scots MP’s should attend their own Assembly and not allowed to set one foot in Westminster. The past shows that Scots Labour MP’s gave power to the Labour party which must not be allowed to happen again.

        1. Roger Bennett, Gordon Brown is a Scottish MP but he is also a British one too. The Scottish Parliament is a devolved parliament ie it DOES’T have control over ALL issues. Therefore, Gordon Brown along with all over Scottish MPs is entitled to be in the House of Commons in order to represent Scotland on the NON-DEVOLVED issues like defence, foreign affairs, immigration, macro-economic issues etc.

          There are only three logical ways to end this constitutional absurdity and they are 1.) END devolution and thus end the different classes of MPs and return to being the unitary state we were before 1999 2.) have a system of equal devolution all round/federalism or 3.) we all go our separate ways and become separate states.

          I chose either the first option or the second one.

  7. Steven-let’s be logical. One nation,one system,surely? Perhaps we could bring back Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex and well as London – but I’m a pre-1964 counties and boroughs man with election by STV and referenda on major issues.

    1. Well, Mark, the Union was never meant to have been the absorption of Scotland by England. If it had meant that, the Scots would never have signed the Act/Treaty of Union in the first place. Two of their conditions for their agreeing to sign it were that they preserved their distinctive church (the Kirk) and also that they were allowed to keep their separate law system.

      As for devolution, we could bring back the old pre-1999 system of non-devolution but the problem would be getting the Scots to agree with that. Devolution is very popular in Scotland and I think I am correct in stating that only around 6%-8% of them want it to be scrapped. The vote last week confirmed the fact that devolution is supported by the majority but separation isn’t.

      So, we have to acknowledge that fact and reform the system to the benefit of ALL of us so that we have a stable and lasting system of government FOR ALL.

  8. I would hope that the BDP as a British Nationalist party would give a lead on campaigning to keep Britain united. The SNP are NOT nationalists; it is even reported in the Scottish press that some of their senior activists are mooting a change of name in order to distance themselves from being described as nationalists.

    There are many of us north of the border who want to have a patriotic and pro-British party to work for and vote for. The BDP would do well to try and fill this role.

    1. The BDP is indeed a British nationalist party. It is also a democratic one and debate is permitted.

      It is a fact that Scotland may eventually depart. We cannot ignore that or the fact that there are many different permutations possible as to how Scotland might conduct its affairs while within the United Kingdom.

    2. Yes, we as a party need to continue the campaign in all parts of Britain/the United Kingdom to keep her united. That can and should be a major and fundamental objective of this party. We should also co-operate with other individuals/parties/organisations to this end.

      I certainly agree with you when you say the SNP are fake nationalists. They always have been as can be seen in their attitude towards EU membership and especially their soft stance on the question of mass immigration.

  9. The SNP’s membership appears to be rocketing.

    If that means that in future they take a lot of Westminster seats away from Labour it has huge political ramifications. It means that Labour’s inbuilt tendency to hold power at Westminster due to its Scottish MPs will wither. Labour would likely never gain national power again without them.

    Ironic when you consider who started the devolution process which led to the SNP’s rise.

    1. Potentially, that is entirely correct however the problem the SNP has is that even if its vote increases substantially in the next general election it is unlikely to result in many
      more seats for them in the House of Commons because in a large number of Labour-held seats where they are second they are miles behind and require huge swings to them to beat the Labour incumbents. Some of the Labour Party’s safest seats in the whole of Britain are in Scotland. Unionists in these seats may well start to vote tactically against them too. The Scots are very well-practiced in the art of tactical voting!

  10. Mike you are indeed correct about the Pandora’s Box that devolution has opened. I would suggest that the BDP could present itself as both the true party of British unionism and nationalism with two very bold steps. The abolition of regional parliaments and assemblies and the total reorganisation of Westminster elections on a party list PR system. Secondly, by renaming the Bank of England the Bank of Great Britain and having us all use the same notes Uk-wide.

    1. Yes, I don’t know why George Osbourne didn’t announce plans to change the name of the bank whilst presenting his budget this year. It would have been helpful in the referendum debate to have made sure that people knew what the bank actually is and that is its the central bank of the United Kingdom AS A WHOLE. Certainly, some people may not have been so confused when he and the other possible candidates for Chancellor categorically ruled-out the option of a formal currency union.

      The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom so its name should be changed to reflect the reality. This should have been done in 1707!

    2. I definitely approve of a proper reform of Westminster. I think we need a new Proportional Representation voting system. We now have multi-party politics in this country and we need an electoral system to reflect that instead of the archaic First Past The Post system which only suits Tory and Labour (it WAS a good idea to have FPTP in the 1950’s when these two parties obtained well over 90% of the vote between them but that sort of percentage vote by the duopoly has long ceased to happen.)

      Although there is no such thing as a perfect electoral system, I think the German one comes close to it:

      Indeed, if we had had PR for elections we might not have had a vote to set-up Holyrood in the first place.

  11. What’s the SNP entry level? Not a fussy lot are they? As long as you ain’t English is my guess.

    The Scots have no trouble identifying who the English are. But our own governance denies our existence.

    1. Yes, Mike Barnes, you have summed up the SNP quite well there. The SNP aren’t a genuine nationalist party at all. They’re Anglophobes. If they were genuine nationalists they would define their nationalism AGAINST ALL OTHER NATIONS instead of just one. They are pro-EU and pro-mass immigration. They had a slogan in the 1970s that expressed their true nature well and it said: ‘England expects Scotland’s oil!’ If they were genuine nationalists it would have read: ‘The rest of the United Kingdom expects Scotland’s oil’. Aren’t the Welsh and Northern Irish part of the United Kingdom then?

        1. I don’t mean it in the sense you think I meant it. I’m not against other nations either but the SNP is a very curious party that seems to only define its ‘nationalism’ (not that I consider it to be a genuine nationalist party) in relation to the English rather than the Welsh and Ulstermen and women. They seem to be of no account to the SNP and this also extends to foreign nations such as the French and the Germans in the sense of their markedly pro-EU policy. To be honest, although they do try their utmost to hide it, I think there is quite a bit of Anglophobia under the surface with the SNP.

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