It would be useful if lessons can be learnt from the Scottish Referendum, in particular from analysis of the results and observation of the behaviour of all those involved, people, pundits and politicians. The following is a personal view of some significant lessons (there are obviously many others):
There is wide-spread disenchantment with the political establishment generally. This extends to the SNP who should have performed better in places where they appear to have strong support.
Disenchantment, for many especially traditional Labour supporters, extends to desperation including a willingness to abandon loyalty to Labour, seek alternatives and take major gambles with an uncertain future.
Passion for Politics
People can become engaged with politics, especially when their vote or other participation counts. The failure of the current political dispensation is that very often whatever people want is ignored by the political establishment.
An optimistic vision of the future tends to be superficially popular and motivating, compared with a negative one that focuses on danger, problems, etc. However, it falls apart when exposed as hyperbole without a thoughtful process for delivery. Thus we often get politicians’ ‘promises’ without any practical way to deliver them or any thought about the risks and mitigation.
Political Establishment Panic
The leadership of the political establishment, when panicked, readily resort to making up major policies, including major constitutional change, at whim and abandoning any semblance of democratic process of checks, balances, transparency and accountability; only forcible objections cause them to stop. Panic also shows up their limited competence and integrity.
Politician and Bureaucrat centred ‘Solutions’
The ruling establishment, tend to advocate apparent solutions to political problems (for example ‘a democratic deficient’) which are centred on politicians and bureaucrats, rather than being centred on the people. Consequently, government of the people, for the people, by the people, becomes government of the politicians and bureaucrats, for politicians and bureaucrats, by politicians and bureaucrats.
There is much work to be done to develop a new, desperately needed dispensation between the ruling establishment and us, the people, which truly embraces us, the people; our wishes, aspirations and fears. This is a dispensation where we can work together as (equal) partners for the benefit of all the people of our country. Change will only come when new parties, such as Ukip, challenge the status quo. It is unlikely the existing ruling establishment can ‘think outside the box’.