Tag Archives: Scotland

‘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?


How the Daddy Long-Legs Will Save Scotland After the Referendum…

Today the Scottish people will go the polling stations but, whatever they choose, and whatever the outcome when the votes are counted, the undeniable fact is that, come tomorrow, there will be 2.5 million pissed off Scottish people. The vote is split 50/50; there is no happy ending to be had. One side winning will not end the debate, so while I, an Englishman, do not have a real solid opinion on Scottish independence (on the one hand, fuck Westminster, fuck Cameron and fuck Empire. On the other hand, the pound? The NHS? The deficit?), I would like to suggest a solution the problem that will definitely arise in a few days’ time; how do we reunite the now rivalling people of Scotland?


Free Irn-Bru?

Last night, when I should have been kept awake by the possibility that the UK may soon be headless and how that excites/upsets me (still undecided remember?), I was kept awake by the fluttering of a daddy long legs fecklessly arsing about between my curtains, around my radiator and, inevitably, near my face. When the tiny insect approached me, I did what any rational person would do; I calmly batted it away… Did I say ‘calmly batted it away’? Sorry, that was a typo. What I meant to write was that I completely lost my fucking shit and exploded into a murderous and terrified rage with my unfinished paperback copy of ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ as a weapon. And when I eventually smashed the bastard against the wall, seething with hatred, I surprised myself with the fact that I hit him a few more times, for good measure.

I didn’t realise I was capable of such anger, but it occurred to me that, for some reason, we all hate daddy-long legs. It’s not simply the act of intrusion; if a baby-penguin, a kitty, or Beyonce Knowles were to have wandered into my room, I probably wouldn’t have beat them to death with a classic American novel.

I’d like to beat her to death with a classic American novel – if you know what I mean? Oh, you don’t know what I mean. Neither do I.

There is something ‘other’ about the daddy-long legs which we don’t like and it probably explains, in some small way, how and why people are racist. When something, or someone, is that different from you, you don’t like it. Baby penguins are much more similar to baby humans than baby daddy long legs. Penguins have two arms and two legs and can dance and can be voiced by Robin Williams and… Actually, I think that was a film.

Pictured: The Punchline.

Pictured: The Punchline.

The point is that all humans dislike daddy-long legs (which is literally racist seeing as they are a race in the genuine sense of the word; all humans, remember, are part of the human race) for no real reason. We even use racial slurs, as they are not ‘daddy long-legs’ they are actually several different types of fly and or spider which we have lazily generalised about in the way racists tend to lazily generalise.

Scottish people, last time I checked, are all human. Regardless of what side of the independence debate they are on, they are all human. And nothing bonds humans like a common enemy. Gordon Brown, in his ‘No Thanks’ campaigning, made a somewhat over-the-top call to arms for British identity (both camps, for the record, are fiercely and annoyingly nationalist in their own ridiculous way), and in doing so he mentioned the graves where soldiers lie, not as English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish, but as British. Ignoring the fact that this morbid guilt-trip tactic somewhat ignores the fact that many Irish people have some pretty strong things to say about fighting in British wars, and that using war to stoke up nationalist pride stinks a little of the ‘old lie’ (‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’), it is very clever. Because, like I said, nothing unites a group of people like a common enemy.

Taking Ireland as an example, seeing as we were just talking about them, their identity is largely forged by a common agreement that they are not British. The United States identity was also largely forged by a common agreement that they were not British. And so, whatever the outcome of the vote, Scottish people need to be united by their common enemy and, as humans, their enemy is the daddy-long legs.

Tomorrow, Scotland may be divided among itself but, whatever the result, they need to remember that they are all still Scottish, they are all still human, and they all fucking hate six-legged arachnids flying into their rooms in the middle of the night.