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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Political Chaos – A Bad Thing?

Nine days from now the Scots will vote on whether or not to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Those who vote ‘Yes’ will be voting to dissolve the three hundred year old Union. I hope they win. If I were a Scotsman I would vote ‘No’.

The first issue, as I see it, is the ‘West Lothian’ question. It is absurd that Scottish MPs should have a say on questions that affect the English but not the Scots. Scottish MPs, currently, can vote on Education in England. Westminster MPs (the majority of whom are English) have no vote on Education in Scotland. This is beyond absurd.

The second issue is the fact that Scottish MPs can help to determine the colour of the UK government. Scots prefer left-wing governments; we English do not. Without Scots MPs in Westminster the Tories would have won an outright victory in 2010. I am no longer a Tory but, in my view, a Tory government would have been preferable to the ghastly coalition of Tories and Lib Dems. Another Labour government would have been as disastrous as all previous Labour governments have been. Tories with a majority might have been less spineless than Tories without a majority.

When I was coming to adulthood, the Scots seemed to me a bit old-fashioned and I admired them for it. Scottish Education, for example, was just better than English.

I do buy the ‘No’ claims that Scotland will be worse off for a myriad technical reasons if the Scots vote ‘Yes’. But I am an Englishman. I don’t want Labour to govern England – ever. If the Scots elect a socialist government, it will be a catastrophe for them (compare Detroit electing Democrats) but I am not a Scot. I will bravely endure their self-inflicted pain. I will hope that they learn from it.  I have no ambition to continue sharing it. Similarly, I have no wish to impose my politico-economic views on other member states of the EU. I just don’t want the Politics or the Economics of the EU being imposed on me.

The English love the Scots. To a man, we prefer Andy Murray to any Swede, Swiss or Croatian. Our affection is not reciprocated. ‘Anyone but England’ is an explicit Scottish theme.

The marriage is over. We may bitterly regret it; but it is. Alex, you have decided that it is so. We English should not regret (in the circumstances) that our common credit cards shall henceforth be invalid.

The Catholic principle of subsidiarity (all decisions should be made as locally as possible) is with the SNP. The EU proclaims it but hollowly. Jock, go your own way if you must. But don’t expect me to regret it if your decision makes life easier for me.

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