WARNING: This blog entry might be seen as seeing the United Kingdom as the union between England and Scotland. It is not meant to be but I feel the whole argument in Scotland is being framed as the Scot’s relationship with the English – so it really only deals with that. If this does offend any Welsh man/woman or Northern Irish man/woman who might read this then it was never my intention and I apologise for that.
Yesterday I made a rather emotional blog on the Scottish Independence debate. I have had time to think about what I wrote and I still feel that separation is the best way forward. I don’t believe that the Westminster parliament can deliver on the Gordon Brown Devo Max plus a unicorn plan (my idea to add the Unicorn but it is, after all, the symbol of Scotland and Gordon seems to be throwing everything else in so why not). I also don’t believe that should the No side win the Yes side will go away quietly – far from it – especially when the Gordo plan fails. I also don’t believe that that Westminster has any idea how to deal with the West Lothian or English question as they have a great suspicion of anything that takes power away from the centre. Because of all these things and the resentment I feel that some of the Scottish elite get away too easily when blaming everything that goes wrong on England I cannot see the union between the two countries is worth keeping.
As I write this I can here the cry of loss of influence in the world the country will face and I have to ask so what? What has this influence brought to this country over the past few years? Many thousands killed or injured in two futile wars as well as huge sums of money wasted trying to fight these wars. An over bloated military which in turn has lead to the building two aircraft carriers (Both carriers are being built in Scotland by the way something I suspect will end should the Scots gain independence) that we have no aircraft to fly on nor the funds to use both of them – just so we can project power. What power? The only nation who can project power in the world is on the other side of the Atlantic and our role is usually to be an adjunct of whatever decisions are made in Washington. We may well loose our influence on the IMF and World Bank is another cry but again what has been the benefit of that? Did it prevent our leading banks, mainly Scottish, from getting into a huge mess and costing us untold billions of pounds? We might loose our seat on the UN Security Council – other than preventing the French getting over grand what does this achieve?Perhaps the only European power that should have a place on the Security Council is Germany but I guess that is a whole different story. In short I cannot see what is the true value of all this influence or “punching above our weight” – especially when compared to the billions that are wasted trying to pretend we are something we are not. What, in truth, do we get unless, of course, you are part of the Westminster/Oxbridge elite who still have delusions of grandeur. I cannot help but wonder these things.
I hope this doesn’t come over all UKIP it really isn’t meant to. I don’t believe that we should retreat into out part of these islands and fear the world outside. Far from it I believe that best long relationship that England can have with the world through the European Union (EU). I know this is a highly unpopular view as there are so many huge faults with the EU. Nonetheless, when we work together with out near neighbours we get much more done than the default ‘..lets bomb them back to the Stone Age ..’ approach that seems to emanate from parts of Washington. Or am I just being too simplistic?
What I hope to come out of Scottish Independence is a much more mature relationship between Scotland and England. It won’t be an easy birth and there will be many problems that will need to be sorted out but they will be over time. I think that this is the only way forward as has been pointed out many times we both have so many common interests that finding a way of meeting them will only be possible when we both are able to just be honest with each other. I know this sounds like a marriage that has broken down but that really is what has happened. Both countries will be better for the separation even if one, I suspect, is in for a rude shock over the next few years should there be a separation. That is the joy of being an independent sovereign country.
One final thought. England as a country is broken. We have two totally different parts trying to coexist. The first is London centric and who’s short hand name might be M25 land. The second is the rest of the country. I have a sneaking suspicion that if the country outside of the M25 land was asked whether they wanted to join a new union with Scotland and separate from M25 land they may well agree to do so. Which, if true, says so much about the broken model of politics that passes for business as usual in this country.