“The Un-United Kingdom” @rwscarter
Originally posted for UKProgressive on September 16, 2014 :
In a few days, Scotland may be waving ‘Goodbye’ to her brothers and sisters across the United Kingdom. Though separation would not be finalised until 2016, finally breaking the 1707 Union Act that until recently very few people thought would ever break. Even if Scotland stays the relationship will be on drastically different terms with a more Federal Scotland. I really hope and would hedge my bets on Scotland staying in the UK but that does not hide the fact of a narrowing gap with the widely covered poll showing 51% for Independence and 49% Opposed. The vote is so close that the weather on the day could tip it either way with the Yes to Independence Campaign more fired up than the Better Together Camp.
The idea of a Federal relationship building on the current agreement would have been a good starting point, but for it to only be put on the table so late in the day to makes it look like Westminster is just in panic mode trying to protect their own skin, especially as it is well reported that Cameron’s position would be deeply damaged if he is in charge while the Union crumbles. The rushed ‘we will give you more, just stay’ approach by Westminster looks so out of touch, almost like an afterthought rather than a vision. Is it the question of the vision for Scotland is has been a problem for both the ‘Better Together camp’ and the ‘Yes To Independence camp’ a debate that was supposed to be about what the future holds for Scotland is a topic neither side has really explored till now, this makes the No Camp look like the ‘Status quo’ and the Yes camps void on the topic leaves everyones imagination running and dream fulfilled by offering nothing more than rosy promises and assurances.
The problems Scotland faces will not be helped by Alex Salmond who has not promised to reverse the Tory Tax cut from 50p to 45p, has made clear he wants to cut corporation tax by 3%, has ignored completely the need for both fiscal and monetary union that retaining the GBP (£) would inevitably bring, ignored the prospect of having to take the Euro if joining the EU and the difficulties that would bring. It would be madness to leave and have to consign yourself to restrictions you no longer have a part in forming. It seems like Salmond is putting politics or sheer economic ignorance above the economic reality or indeed the well being on the Scottish people.
A lot of the debate I hear from Scottish residence, friends and from blogs and conventional media is that the Yes to Independence just as well be followed up with and rid yourself permanently of the Tories. I understand why they are annoyed I live in an area with no representatives for Labour of yet, I am surrounded by a rainbow of Blue Tories, Yellow Tories (Liberal Democrats) and Purple Tories (UKIP). I understand why Scotland want to leave that behind, but to leave a Union to get an undecided future that has not been drawn up and will unlikely be the future Scottish people imagine they were voting for in a little over a weeks time, the SNP are not going to create some sort of Norwegian paradise or some leftist utopia.
So yes I get why Scotland would want to leave but the bond of the worker across the UK the strength of the worker across the UK is undeniably stronger together, from working together to create the NHS and the Welfare state, or taking down the Poll tax. We collectively can achieve more together than we can alone, together we can rid ourselves of the Tories, together we can make a real difference to those who are squeezed from Freezing energy bills a promise Labour has made and the SNP has not, to a National Care Service.
A federal UK is not a bad idea, a UK without Scotland and a Scotland without the rest of the UK just seems counterproductive as we will be fighting twice as hard to make the changes we need.