I’ve spent a third of my life living and working in Scotland. I’m not going to re-hash the reasons I left here, they’re easy enough to find elsewhere on the blog. To summarise the summary of the summary, Shetland Islands Council are a cowardly bunch of self-serving arseholes who wouldn’t know a good idea if it bit them on the arse, that’s assuming they could find it with both hands and a map purchased at great expense (with money from the oil funds) from a close relative or personal friend.
I was not expecting Scotland, as a whole, to vote no.
Taking the good things from this. It was a high turnout. That means, for once, people were engaged and interested in the politics governing their nation. Whether that continues to the next General Election, or the Scottish Parliament elections that follow in 2016, we’ll have to see. I’m speculating that you’ll see a lot of “Well, I voted Yes last time and look where that got me, don’t think I’ll bother this time.”
It was close – not as close as some predicted – but well within the margin of error predicted by the polls in the closing days. Most of those “undecided” the polls were excluding must’ve been “no” voters. The “Silent No” they were discussing at great length on Radio 4.
And now we have to live with the fallout.
What we’ve got to deal with now is Larry, Mo, and Curly in Westmister giving more and more powers to Scotland while – at the same time – avoiding giving any concessions to England. The West Lothian issue (Scottish MPs voting for matters that will never affect them as they’re devolved issues), which should’ve been sorted out as part of the initial devolution of powers to Scotland, rumbles on. Until this is sorted out, there’s an awful lot of people who won’t be happy. Oh, and then there’s the Barnett formula, which although Barnett himself thinks is broken, everyone else agrees is just fine. Scotland pays £40-odd billion in, gets £50-odd billion back. That’s fair, isn’t it?
Quite possibly the biggest problem facing England as we go forward is Westminster. The three main parties are all different shades of the same colour – ocean grey, battleship grey and the kind of grey HP used to make PC cases, really, really bland and uninspiring. We have no viable alternatives without giving more strength and credence to the weirder parties. And I’m not including the Monster Raving Loonies here, frankly I don’t see how they could’ve done a worse job.
So, thank you, the Labour government who let this genie out of the bottle without sorting out the full ramifications and seeing this coming. Or maybe they did, knowing full well it would cause trouble and they could sit back in opposition. Laughing. Anyway.
“A person is clever. People are stupid.” – Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black
Each and every person who voted, regardless of which option they voted for, falls into that first category. They took a step in influencing the course of their country. It was always going to be close, and they were right in thinking their vote counted.
The people who believe things just because they’re told it by one person and don’t check their facts or sources? They fall into that second category.
I shall leave you with this…
Father Jack, of Craggy Island, had a special phrase he used for the poor and the needy. I believe it applies equally well to the leaders of our main political parties – regardless of which part of the UK you live in.