Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland the not-so-brave

Scotland: the cool, rebellious teenager with exceptional music taste who is always shouting "I HATE YOU" at their Daily Mail-reading parents but who can't quite bring themselves to fly the nest and cut themselves off from the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Not that I would have blamed the Scots for wanting independence - who could, given that they voted in one Tory out of 50+ MPs at the last election and still ended up with a Tory(ish) government? And not that I can't understand their reasons for voting "No" - the "Yes" campaign were unable to provide convincing answers to a lot of questions and there was just too much uncertainty and risk involved.

Of course, the danger now is that the "No" vote is taken as an unequivocally positive preference for staying in the union rather than an expression of mistrust in the "Yes" campaign's sketchy vision of an independent Scotland by many who favour independence in principle, and that as a result David Cameron's rhetoric about further devolution is just that - rhetoric. Given that the result wasn't as close as predicted, I wouldn't be surprised if Cameron is already privately regretting his pre-referendum promises and looking at ways to backtrack. I can only hope Andrew Marr's right: "What the Scottish shock has done is produce a constitutional revolution on a very, very tight timetable. Possibly the most exciting political story in my lifetime."

To end on a cynical note, the 84% overall turnout is certainly impressive in the context of other elections. However, when you consider that 25% of people in Glasgow couldn't be bothered to queue to directly decide their long-term future while others will queue overnight to get their hands on a new fucking mobile telephone, it puts things into a different perspective...

No comments: