*) Cartoon - Peter Brookes/The Times
According to the usual suspects – the politicians who created this mess, and who are in fine fettle on the TV stations, it’s all good.
Allowing 16-year olds to vote – something Labour has wanted for a long time – is great. Allowing EU citizens and other foreigners to cast their vote on something as important as the future of the UK just because they reside in Scotland on a given date, while denying the vote to Scots who work and live elsewhere, or to Scottish soldiers doing their duty overseas – that is democracy, innit, like.
Salmond now demanding forcefully the devo-max bribes given to Scotland by the former and present PMs without a mandate from us, who will have to pay, shows how much disdain not just the establishment parties but also the SNP, have for us all.
Cameron now congratulating himself that it was good to and ‘courageous’ to have had this referendum, as if this was a stellar hour for the UK instead of a despicable attempt at popular politicking, of allowing Hollywood*) to determine politics rather than rational thought.
So what should we demand now? Well, for a start, with perfect timing Nigel Farage has this morning launched an inspired UKIP campaign to demand a fairer constitutional settlement for the whole of the UK (particularly England), on the UKIP website to address issues such as the Barnett Formula and the West Lothian question.
On top of that, I believe we need an honest analysis about the costs this devo-max will mean for the rest of us. We know already that English jobs in ship building have been lost to Scotland, as bribe.
We need a detailed enumeration of what the devo-max bribes, in a Scotland Bill demanded for January, consist of, and what Cameron and Labour mean when they say this might also apply to the rest of the UK.
We must keep pointing out that devo-max, promised by Cameron and Brown, to be delivered before the General Election, has not been mandated by the 2010 manifestos: we the people in the rest of the UK have no say in this, none.
Lest we forget: it is EU policy to split nations into smaller regions because these are easier to dictate to. According to Brussels, ‘nationalism’ as expressed by patriots for their whole country, is bad, ‘nationalism’ as expressed by ‘tribes’ within a country and leading to splintering, is good. The ancient Romans had a pithy expression for this: “Divide et impera”.
Finally, the reckoning for this divisive and botched campaign, for the lies by the politicians in Scotland and in the rest of the UK, must come from us.
It can no longer be business as usual, not in Scotland and not in the UK.
We must also acknowledge that this campaign will be a blueprint for how Cameron’s beloved 2017 Referendum will be run, with threats and promises by various vested interests.
Above all, we must keep pointing out again and again how the arrogance of establishment politicians have created this mess, and made even worse by the promise of devo-max. Already pundits say with shuddering voices that all this may have ‘wakened the sleeping giant of English nationalism’ – because that, of course, is a bad thing, innit like!
After this vote, after the acrimony, the lies and promises, the arrogance of the Westminster Establishment, hacks included, nothing is the same. We must keep reminding them that:
“We are the people of England who haven’t spoken yet”.
We must, we will speak from this day onwards, loud and clear!
*) Hollywood’s “Braveheart” has a lot to answer for!