‘So Now What?’: The Future of the Union After the Scottish Independence Referendum

Hasn’t anybody told you? Now is the time for change: swift, bold and absolute. Things need to be different; the people of the Union (Welsh, Northern Irish, English and Scottish) won’t stand for this anymore. We don’t like Westminster because – well, there’s the problem. I know why I don’t like Westminster, and I’m fairly certain Nigel Farage does too, but we both dislike Westminster for radically different reasons. Hey, Farage, what would be the difference between white British/German MPs and white Romanian MPs?

The no campaign heavily criticised yes campaign on the basis that they had no detailed answers with regards to what an independent Scotland would look like. Indeed, they did not. After all, a yes vote would have meant the creation of a new parliament, and the government leading that parliament could have been from any end of the political spectrum.

And so the people of Scotland voted no. And change is coming, so we’re told. But, just as with the yes campaign, what we’ve not been told is exactly what that change will be. The Tories are discussing introducing a system whereby English laws can only be voted on by English people and Scottish laws can only be voted on by Scottish people. This is somewhat confusing for several reasons: The first is that at no point during his campaigning in Scotland did Cameron mention this plan (actually, that’s not confusing, it’s fairly obvious why he didn’t mention it, so I suppose ‘fucking sneaky’ was the expression I was looking for), the second is that Cameron is trying to introduce a system that will unravel the very Union he fought so hard to keep, and the third is that, if this is what Cameron wanted, why didn’t he introduce the further devolution option on the ballot papers of the Scottish Referendum in the first place? Let us not forget, it was his misguided arrogance that led to the strict ‘yes/no’ referendum when a ‘yes/no/more devolution/less devolution’ referendum was clearly on the cards.

And so we turn to Labour? Ed Milliband attempted to woo his voters with a solid outline of what Labour would do if they were voted in now Scotland have voted ‘yes’. This was a great chance for Miliband. He had the attention of a left-leaning English, Welsh and Northern Irish audience, usually sympathetic towards charismatic Labour leaders, and the attention of a pro-Union, pro-Labour, left-leaning Scottish audience who are usually downright devoted to charismatic Labour leaders. The issue was that his ‘solid outline’ wasn’t very solid at all. He said ‘change’ and ‘devolution’ several times, but hasn’t mentioned what this change or devolution would entail. He did, however, say that he disagreed with the Tory’s proposed reforms. So at least we know what kind of devolution Miliband doesn’t want.

You could argue that it’s early days yet. I mean, Jeez, they’ve only just finished campaigning. Give them break, right? Except that no voters were promised a ‘motion’ from the ‘No Thanks’ campaign; the motion should have happened yesterday: ‘The day after a No Vote the timetable for further powers will be published as a motion before the UK parliament. All UK parties will support the motion.’ Ignoring the fact that ‘All UK parties’ couldn’t agree on anything more complex than a colour scheme for a 3 year old’s birthday party, the fact is that this did not happen. So, unless they did it in secret, I think we were lied to. Still, the new Doctor is Scottish. And, thankfully, Scotland is still part of the Union. So, I’m sure, if we ask nicely, we can borrow the TARDIS, go back in time, and have this little motion after all. How about it Doctor?


‘You’ll starve to death trying to find the light switch’

Bloody hell. Maybe not then… So now what?


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