We are all Scottish now…


SNP Logo - looks like a charity logo
SNP Logo – looks like a charity logo

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.

5 thoughts on “We are all Scottish now…

  1. Anonymous May 17, 2015 / 4:03 pm

    Go Doug!

    Like

  2. davebirley May 21, 2015 / 1:45 am

    Hi Doug
    Your proposal is interesting but doesn’t it presuppose that the Scots are permanently wedded to social democracy while the hapless ignorant English are doomed to permanent Conservatism? In the 1950s Scotland returned a majority of Tory MPs to Westminster. Interestingly for Labour, the Tories Scottish party at that time was separate – the Scottish Unionist Party. By tradition SUP members took the Tory whip at Westminster (as at the time did members of the old Ulster Unionist Party) and they supplied cabinet ministers and prime ministers including Alec Douglas-Home. The decline of Conservatism in Scotland coincides with the winding up of the separate Unionist Party and its full absorption into the Conservative Party. But this is by-the-by. My central point is that Scotland and Scottish nationalism does not have to be of the left. Indeed I am not sure that I recognise Scotland as the well spring of socialist virtue. The last time I looked capitalism was pretty big in Scotland. Indeed Glaswegian Fred Goodwin formerly of Royal Bank of Scotland is regarded by many as the author of the Banking Crisis. Scotland also has some pretty stark class divisions not to mention some as yet unresolved sectarianism, underplayed in recent years perhaps in part because Glasgow Rangers went bust and has not been playing Celtic regularly. There is no doubt that Salmond, Sturgeon and some of their colleagues are exceptionally able politicians – but of course until the General Election, the big guns of Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland – Douglas Alexander, Danny Alexander, Ming Campbell, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling,Charles Kennedy etc etc played on the Westminster stage leaving the wearisome business of Scottish domestic politics to their second division folk. With no UK wide ambitions, the SNP could put all their best people into Holyrood.

    As for Labour’s appalling performance – I think most of us were expecting Labour to lose and it was only Milliband’s unexpectedly strong performances in the debates and the wonky opinion polls that led to an outbreak of false optimism. Labour has never expected a sympathetic press. Blair understood this and while critics on the Left argue that he blandished Murdoch in my view far more significant was Labour’s Rapid Rebuttal operation which swiftly scotched Tory lies, distortions and half truths in the 90s and 00s. This Labour opposition offered no rebuttal or explanation to the oft repeated Tory charge that Labour’s reckless spending left the country bankrupt. The Tories were allowed unchallenged to imply that Labour subsidised lazy, jobless layabouts with generous handouts. Labour never even tried to explain that the deficit was down to bailing out the banks; certainly apologies were in order – for being naive about banking regulation and “trickle down” and for massive and expensive procurement failures in IT, defence, schools building.Labour should have fessed up and tried to move on but didn’t and remained mistrusted on the economy – fatal to any party’s election chances!!!

    You went to see the Hare play about labour’s loss in 92. Remember what happened afterwards. It all went horribly wrong for Major and Labour swept back for 18 years.Scotland won’t always be left wing and Labour can win again in England.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toby the Cat May 21, 2015 / 12:39 pm

      Dave, thanks for your lengthy rebuttal of my naïve proposal. Your points are all well-made, of course, even if my proposal was a little tongue-in-cheek. You are certainly right about there being no guarantee that the SNP and Scotland itself will remain as left-wing as they appear to be at present especially if one considers that much of the SNP’s current success is possibly as much an efflorescence of Nationalism as Social Democracy.

      I also agree with you that Labour never succeeded in placing the blame, in the minds of the electorate, for the budget deficits where it really belonged. A similar situation has occurred in Australia where Labor allowed Tony Abbott and the Liberals to completely distort the truth regarding the so-called budget “black hole”.

      Still, we must live in hope, I suppose.

      Like

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