Finally the vote on Scottish Independence is in and the vote is in favour of remaining in the Union has achieved a majority.
Some of the communication and pronouncements that have been made by commentators is that the question of Scottish independence has been settled for a “political Generation” – that is to say a 15 year period.
Having seen the turmoil and planning chaos that this particular referendum has caused, do we really want to go through this rigmarole again?
It would seem that the Scottish nationalists are not willing to move on and govern in the name of the Scottish population, but would like to continue their pursuit of the independence dream. So we are faced with the prospect of another referendum in approximately 2030.
This particular referendum has been the province of those who are currently resident in Scotland and reflects the views of those individuals. The rest of the United Kingdom was not allowed to express their view on the subject. If the Scottish people at some stage in the future wish to have another referendum as to whether they wish to remain in the Union, then the other home nations should also be given the right to decide their own status within that Union.
Shetland / Orkney / Western Isles
During the discussions and electioneering for the Scottish Independence, the above parts of Scotland requested that a separate referendum to ascertain their own relations both with Scotland and also the United Kingdom as a whole. Part of the devolution debate should include a discussion as to the future status of those territories.
Perhaps they could be turned in Crown Dependencies with their agreement and provisions being made for the “management” of their offshore “estates”. It would be necessary to define their future relationship with both the UK as and Scotland in particular.
Whilst the rest of the UK has had to sit by and watch the campaigning during the Scottish Referendum and it can honestly be said that I have been appalled by the behaviour and antics of those involved in the Yes Campaign. The vitriol and abuse that has been heaped on anyone who has dared speak out against Scottish independence is worthy of actions of President Putin and the media campaign against Ukraine or that of the Nazi Party.
Part of the debate has been that should Scotland vote against Independence, more powers would be devolved to Scotland. The government has said that what powers are devolved to Scotland should also be devolved to the other home nations. It has also been suggested that the “West Lothian Question” would be resolved FINALLY. For those who are not familiar with the vernacular. This relates to a UK parliamentary questions relating to legislation passed in Westminster. Currently if there is legislation in question relates to say Scotland only, then only Scottish MPs vote in the legislation. However, the current situation relating to legislation concerning English specific legislation is that ALL MPs feel the right to vote on the legislation. Part of the re-arrangement for constitutional situation should only allow MPs to vote only legislation which relates to their part of realm.
The Labour party, has done its usual backsliding and is now opposing the resolution of the West Lothian Question. The reason for this, is that the majority of Scottish MPs in Westminster parliament are Labour Members. Without those members voting on English Legislation the Labour Party would probably fail to pass any proposed legislation – so as usual only what is good for the Labour Party matters. Have the “Westminster Elite” not learnt anything from the referendum vote.
The whole debate or at least the perception of the debate south of the border, is that all that ails Scotland is as a result of the Westminster Parliament and more specifically the English. And what does 2 years of listening to that invective do… Congratulations Mr Salmond you just managed to make the English very fed up, THEY are not stupid enough to believe that ever Scot buys into the invective but they do now believe that it’s time to stop being ashamed of being English, and that the English deserve exactly the same rights as….. the Scottish! Funny that!
Given the likely pursuit of the SNP to gain independence from the United Kingdom at some time in the future, the Government in Westminster should in future ensure that critical defence infrastructure should not be built in Scotland, but in England so as to minimise the cost of moving defence equipment out of Scotland.
Historically the English have been somewhat apathetic or even ashamed to say they are English and put up with the jibs of the other nations, generally with good humour. However, the diatribes, invectives and snide remarks by the YES camp, has resulted in the English begin to question their own position in the union and what should be the rights of the English. It has also generated a significant amount of anti-Scottish feeling. Alex Salmond and the YES campaign should be congratulated in poisoning the relations within the union.