Just for the Record

I am not sure why I feel this way but I do have a feeling that the June 8th election may well see Theresa May lose her overall Westminster majority. At the same time I think the SNP will lose several seats in Scotland.

This will make an already chaotic situation even worse as it will put Brexit negotiations and the second Scottish independence vote into areas of even more uncertainty.

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Where Are We Going?

I have not written anything for several weeks now as events have moved so fast that there has been no time to reflect. What is more, there is a  deluge of comment out there which has highlighted every possible extreme for the future. However I cannot remain silent for ever so I have to find a way of commenting on individual events in slightly more than the 140 characters of Twitter.

Why Brexit?

There would appear to be no overwhelming reason to trigger Brexit. A minority of the UK population voted for it and a slightly smaller minority voted against it. The referendum was clearly advisory so why do it?

The ordinary voters who voted to leave the EU appear to have been in the main people who felt completely excluded from and powerless in modern society. But the leaders of the Leave campaign were clearly not in that group. So what do the hard line Brexiters including most of the press think they are going to gain from what becomes clearer by the day will be a much impoverished UK?

Why Keep the Union?

I am more and more puzzled by the attitude of the Westminster pro-Unionists? Why do they want to hang on to Scotland? It’s full of pesky people always whinging, always demanding more and costing the English taxpayer a fortune or so we are told; Nicola Sturgeon arguing with the PM about what she wants from Brexit. Why not just let the English have a referendum to get rid?

Firstly I supposed there is sentiment. Maybe the UK PM does not want to end up as the rUK PM and go down in history as the one who lost Scotland, a bit like Lord North losing the USA.

It seems more likely knowing the present Tory government that it is about money. So do they know something the Scots don’t. England has few natural resources and has only a small manufacturing sector. Scotland has oil which England always points out is about to run dry. Is that the clue? Is it actually that Scotland is a useful economic milch cow for rUK? It certainly would explain the hysterical blasts of invective and downright misinformation that accompanies any attempt by Scotland to break free.

Referendums or Even Referenda

The time would appear to be ripe for further government by the people. In spite of being a representative democracy the UK members of parliament have decided to honour the result of the EU referendum whatever their own positions on the desirability of Brexit; this even though the referendum was advisory.

While Westminster is in the mood to meekly accept the result of any referendum how about some more…

  • one to ban drinking on Sunday
  • one banning Fox Hunting
  • another to abolish the House of Lords
  • another to bring back the death penalty
  • even one to turn the UK into a republic so we can have a Trump like president of our own.

Scotland’s Brexit

Mostly the media commentary about Brexit is conjecture. However as far as Scotland is concerned there is a fact that should not be ignored. The devolved government in Holyrood was set up by a UK Act of Parliament and could just as easily be done away by the MPs at Westminster as Pete Wishart MP writes. The Tories have a majority there and Theresa May could get rid of the thorn of the Scottish Parliament if she judged that to be in her interests vis a vis Brexit. That would leave Scotland unable to influence or decide its own future.

Brexit at the moment is all politics, nothing decided and all to play for so Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit plan is part of the political chess game she is playing with the UK government. So are her visits to European leaders and to Dublin. By giving Scotland such a high profile on the Brexit scene she is hoping to make any foul play by Theresa May more difficult to carry out. To date her reasonable and practicable ideas and plans have found much favour and will be hard to ignore. What is more she is keeping alive the sense of destiny that grips many Scots at the present time.

Commentators saying she will not achieve what she would like are probably right but better to play for high stakes than tamely give in to a lifetime of Tory rule direct from Westminster.

For a very detailed look at the Scottish parliaments powers and the fact that in UN terms the UK is defined as two countries read the Grouse Beater.

Brexit

I have not posted to my blog for months. Instead I have sat back appalled by events.

However It seems to me that those little Englanders who voted for us to  leave the EU under the illusion that England could once again be Great Britannia have actually put the final nails in the coffin of that pipedream. They will find that while the UK could delude itself that it was somehow special while part of the European Union once on its own they will find that England has suddenly become part of a offshore island of little consequence to the giants of world finance. Having to renegotiate from a weak position all the EU treaties we presently take for granted will take years and will at every turn demonstrate how insignificant trade with England will have become. Perhaps at last the little Englander world view will be dead.

Meanwhile Tory Prime Minister, Theresa May, who was a Remain supporter has capitulated to the extreme EU sceptics in her party. In a parliamentary democracy, there should be no such thing as a binding referendum, certainly not on something which has the potential to sweep away 300 years of history and leave England on its own in an increasingly hostile world. It should be parliament that decides the way ahead, taking into account the marginal majority of the referendum voters. Instead May has compounded the facile, lazy way in which Cameron brought about the referendum by cow towing to the vociferous hardliners in her party in a populist fashion worthy of all the worst populist parties in Europe. The Conservative party has become overnight virtually indistinguishable from UKIP.