The English have been silenced and excluded from Scotland’s 2014 Referendum
Regardless of its merits and demerits, only one result will guarantee that the Scotland referendum is final. Does anyone really believe that a ‘No’ result will end attempts to separate Scotland from England?
We are encouraged to believe that success for the ‘Better Together’ Campaign will end discussion of the issue of secession ‘for a generation’ as some commentators have said, but I disagree. Of course the size of the turnout and the difference between the ‘Yes’ vote and that of the ‘No’ will also affect both the nature and extent of post-referendum debate.
It seems certain that the deep feelings in favour of remaining in the UK held by many Scots will require considerable mollification which a triumphant ‘Yes’ majority will be minded to offer. In marked contrast, those fiercely favouring separation from England will be unlikely to be appeased by the additional devolved powers promised by the ‘Better Together’ camp quite simply because they will remain subject to UK authority. Moreover, the ‘Better Together’ side will probably feel more relieved than triumphant and, therefore, not feel as benevolent and generous.
It has to be understood that many of those in the ‘Yes’ camp do not acknowledge the hugely disproportionate part played in British affairs by Scots and they tend to lay the blame for those aspects of ‘British’ government they oppose on the English, the Poll Tax being an obvious and oft-cited example. Who would imagine from the perpetual, albeit intermittent, Caledonian complaining that the Poll Tax was also inflicted upon England (and Wales) and was merely rolled out first in Scotland! How dare the British [ie English] Government!
Thus it will go on . . . those aspects of British Government disliked by Scots will be all the fault of the English, and exploited as such by Scottish nationalists in order to pave the way to another ‘independence’ referendum in the hope (if not expectation) that, like the Irish, Scottish voters will return the right answer given a second opportunity.
Those who are as yet undecided and those inclined to vote ‘No’ would do well to consider whether they want to endure the ‘grumbling appendix’ of Scotland potentially separating with all the uncertainty which will accompany it for yet more years, or agree to the decisive and final surgery of amputation from England. It seems likely that such uncertainty will not be in Scotland’s interests if the only practical way of minimising the delay caused by uncertainty is to treat Scotland as already separate and base strategic planning (whether about the economy or defence) on good old reliable England.
Paradoxically, it seems to me, that the English generally would suffer far less angst about getting the right result from such a referendum because we are not the ‘client state’ and we have far less to lose (although lose we will), the paradox being that we do not have any part to play in this particular selfish, exclusive Scottish referendum, not even to express a collective opinion.
Whether Scotland votes ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, England will not gain, especially with Cameron and his ilk purporting to represent England’s interests . . . we’ve come fourth best in all earlier constitutional machinations!
Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, Scotland . . . . . .