“Should we stay or should we go?” Well now we know. The NOs won it in the end after a lot of scare-mongering by banks and businesses about how an independent Scotland would suffer and a lot of promises for “Home Rule“.
It’s clear that almost half of Scots want independence so they’ll be a lot of unhappy people north of the border today.
And they’re are a lot of unhappy people in England too as we see just how far politicians will go in making promises to suit their own agendas.
David Cameron won’t have a vote of no-confidence now; and Gordon Brown, the man who believes he saved the world after leading us into financial meltdown will now be claiming he saved the union.
And I can’t believe I find myself agreeing with Nick Clegg, the man who likes to say no, when he argues that England deserves answers to some tricky questions and English MPs should have more power
- The West Lothian question. First raised almost 40 years ago and still unanswered Why should Scottish MPs be allowed to vote on English law and taxation when English MPs can’t vote on Scottish, or Welsh, or Northern Irish issues like NHS care, student fees etc? Because the other countries have devolved powers is the unsatisfactory answer to that.
- The Barnet formula. Devised in 1978 to stop discussion on devolution it divides public spending between the UK nations. Average spending per person in England is £8,788; Scotland receives 16% more at £10,100 per person; Wales gets £9,800 per person; Northern Ireland gets£10,900 per person. So England, despite having 85% of the population gets a bum deal but all three parties have pledged to keep it for ever if it’s a NO vote.
The McKay Commission was set up in 2012 to look at procedural changes in relation to laws only affecting a part of the UK and it recommended that new laws affecting only England should require the support of a majority of English MPs.
The government has ignored the report so far even though in the Conservative party manifesto it promised “English votes on English Law”. David Cameron has said the commission had produced a “good report“.
But can you trust any politician’s promises? Following the Act of Union in 1707 which created they United Kingdom of Great Britain there were claims that the signatories had been bribed. As Robert Burns wrote: “We are bought and sold for English gold. Such a parcel of rogues in a nation”
Was it any different this week?