Saturday, 20 September 2014

Och Aye The NO

It was a relief yesterday morning to wake up to the news that I was still British as I knew it and that relatives of mine would not be considered as foreigners in their own land. For me, there was no joy in the result but sheer relief.

Relief in that despite of piss poor NO campaign and the shambles in the way the terms of the referendum were negotiated that the good people of Scotland rejected the break-up of the UK and the anti English bile of the SNP.

The terms of the referendum should never have been as they were. I accept that a referendum was the right thing to do as the SNP government elected to Holyrood stood on a manifesto pledge to give a referendum on independence but as a vote for independence would have had massive implications for the whole of the UK I believe all the UK should have had a vote.

It is absurd that an EU national living in Scotland had a vote but a Scot living in the rest of the UK did not. I believe the referendum question should have been 'Should Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom'. This would have allowed the pro Union cause to campaign for a positive YES vote on all the good aspects of being British.

The only aspect of the subsequent Referendum Act in 2012 for Scottish independence that I agree with was allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote. From the campaign that I saw it could be argued that this age group were making more informed decisions on the way they would vote than some the adults! I believe it will not be before long when 16 and 17 year olds will be given the vote for all elections.

You can see why David Cameron allowed the referendum all on Alex Salmond terms. He thought it would be a walk in the park and that subsequently Alex Salmond would be finished. OK, Alex Salmond resigned as SNP leader and First Minister yesterday. There were always going to be casualties following the outcome. It there had been a yes vote, let's be clear, it would have been curtains for David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

The NO campaign was hopeless. This campaign has been disastrous not only for the PM but Labour too. The NO campaign was run by Labour and funded by the Conservatives. This was dry run of the Labour 2015 election campaign. What was quite revealing as the results were coming through was that it was the Labour heartlands that voted yes to Independence. Glasgow, the UK's third largest City and Labour heartland voted for independence. Yet Alex Salmond's own constituency voted against!

When the opinion polls two weeks ago showed the YES campaign ahead, it sent the three main party leaders into panic as they rushed to Scotland effectively offering the voters a bribe of Devo Max and the retention of the Barnett Formula without asking parliament or the English public who would be funding the bribe.

The disaster for Labour here is that the English Devolution and so called West Lothian question genie is now out of the bottle. If Labour go into the election not supporting these constitutional reforms, I believe it will be electoral suicide.

The Scottish referendum is not the end of the matter, it is merely the end of the beginning. I hope the PM makes good his promise on resolving the West Lothian question. What I do not want to see is the idea of regional governments resurrected. I accept devolution is also asked for when there is distain for the national political class but we do not need another layer of politicians. What we do need is further powers being devolved to local government.

1 comment:

Rob Brown said...

Obscure constitutional particulars will not cause electoral suicide.

There are other solutions anyway. Last Lab government offered regional assemblies for example.

Bribes clearly an overreaction by all three parties because they did not understand the particulars of polling. Idiot strategists on all sides.