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.

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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.

Hardworking MPs?

For many years we have been fed the line that the paucity of MPs actually visible in the HoC chamber is because they are all so frantically busy elsewhere looking after the concerns of their constituents. As the blog Ripped Off Briton points out the vast majority of MPs sit for safe seats and as their official voting record shows that 36% average do even not turn up to vote, are we being fed a line of misinformation?

I don’t know anybody who has ever consulted their MP. As a volunteer for a party a long time ago, I don’t recall any frantic MP surgeries or concern over the constituents’ problems. The new SNP MPs are managing to spend a lot of time in the Chamber. As newbies might they not be finding the burden of all their other duties too time consuming to also sit for long hours listening to the debates or are they exploding the myth?

Yes No – the Book on Scottish Independence

George Kerevan has written for the Yes side, Alan Cochrane for the No. George has written nearly 100 pages whereas Alan has barely managed half that. It is therefore not surprising that the Yes argument has far more substance. The No side is by and large an attack on the SNP and a rather sentimental appeal to Britishness. Arguments that have already been put forward elsewhere regarding the armed forces and pensions are relevant but not able to halt a drive to independence. The Yes arguments are positive and backed by some research and do not rely on personal opinion.
Without doubt voting Yes is a step into the unknown but to continue the current Westminster / London model into the foreseeable future also has many disadvantages for the Scottish nation. The cat is already out the bag, the hare is running or whatever other metaphor is appropriate and so a No vote will not lay the matter to rest. It will merely alter the course of events and delay Scottish fulfilment for a number of years. After the UKIP landslide in the local and European elections, it must be obvious that the groundswell of pubic opinion throughout the UK is not with the main political parties. Of course they will fight a fierce rearguard action but our present democracy is busted and needs to change. In the long run Scotland and Northern Ireland are almost certain to loosen ties with England even if neither of them actually break away.