Labour have been wiped out in Scotland and the SNP are loudly proclaiming their social democratic agenda which naturally includes eventual independence from the rest of Britain. Indeed, parts of the north of England can be heard declaring that they would prefer to join with Scotland as the only way to escape from the tyrannous yoke of the uncaring, austerity-crazed, National Health Service-destroying, BBC-eviscerating Tory government.
I have a lot of sympathy for this point of view having fled the excesses of the Mad Monk of Oz (as opposed to Britain’s Mad Monk, Sir Keith Joseph) I had fondly imagined that Britain might at least achieve a hung parliament if nothing else. This suggestion however has got me thinking of a solution to Britain’s social democratic deficit. This is my “modest proposal”.
There is to be a referendum on Scottish independence in which the question will not be whether Scotland should be independent but whether there should be two alternative polities, the existing British one that would continue to be ruled and administered from Westminster and a Scottish one ruled and administered from Edinburgh and that, and here is the kicker, all voters in the current United Kingdom could decide which of these they wished to be part of. One would not have to live in a specific part of the country, just allocate ones allegiance to one or other of the systems of government.
At a stroke, those who wished to live in a progressive social democracy could be “Scotttish” while those who wished to live in a cruel, uncaring, neo-liberal nightmare of inequality, privatized health and education with no public broadcasting institutions and so on could choose to be “English”. Of course this could then be extended to the Welsh who may wish to offer a third option.
The “Scottish” people would pay taxes to Edinburgh and be subject to Scottish laws, be treated in Hospitals run by the Scottish National Health and educated in Scottish schools and universities (and kindergartens) which, like so-called “Academies” could be set up anywhere, while “English” people could die in the streets due to inadequate health insurance, be bankrupted by education fees and watch totally crap TV between endless advertisements.
I think that this has the potential to usher in a revolutionary form of mixed polity government that could be a model for other societies that are polarised and riven by political divisions.